Preston Hill – Alperton Walk – 16.11.2013

I thought I would take a short walk in the winter sunshine, without any particular route and let me feet guide me :-). As I started to make my way, I noticed a small stream emerging beneath a small bridge at the side of the road. This was the “Wealdstone brook”, a small waterway mostly hidden from view by tree foliage and the roadway. At one time the brook was not so inconspicuous, it was not beneath the road at all, you had to cross it by a ford no less! Although a footbridge was available for those who needed to cross the waters more politely 🙂 Once I left the brook behind I reached the top “Preston Hill”, and if I looked carefully, on the other side of the road I could just see a little bit of a view :-). During C19th “Preston House” was built near here and one of the owners decided to turn the grounds into the “Preston Tea Gardens”. I can imagine sipping tea and admiring the landscape, unfortunately it was demolished 1962.

I turned away from Preston Hill, to walk along “Shaftesbury Avenue”, no this was not theatre land, it was a road lined with large houses! It was blessed with “Woodcock Park” being towards the end of the road, which I decided to explore. All the leaves on the trees had turned to many hues of golden browns, unsurprisingly most of them had fallen onto the ground. I stuck to the path, as the grass looked quite muddy to me, but it still looked very green and fresh even for November. I once again encountered “Wealdstone Brook” which runs through the entirety of the park. Not only has the stream managed to create an island where horse chestnut trees grow, it sadly divides the park into two areas. As I meandered my way around I spotted that a number of trees had been sadly damaged in the recent storm that we had recently suffered. This is a shame as the park has a number of unusual trees such as copper beech, Oriental plane, conifers, redwood, and even an ancient mulberry!

From 2013 – 16.11.2013 – Preston Hill – Alperton Walk

I was about to leave the park grounds, when I spotted the park information board, and I noticed it was labelled “Kenton Grange” and not “Woodcock Park”. The park was originally part of the grounds of the large “Kenton Grange” and was developed as a public space, as part of “Metro Land” during the beginning of the C20th. Just outside of the park, is a large Tudor style building, this is “Kenton Grange”, which was built as “Kenton Lodge” in 1803. This beautiful home used to have a miniature garden railway steam through its grounds Now that would have been wonderful to have been able see that 🙂 Today the Grange is a hospice, and the residents can’t enjoy the garden railway, as it no longer runs :-(. I left the grange behind to make my way along Kenton Lane, which I hasten to add is a noisy road rather than a quite country lane!

Further on, I came across this huge dominating Church that sits on the side of the Kenton Road. This was the Church of St Marys, built in 1936 to replace the original wooden Church of St Leonard, which originally stood here. The Church holds some artifacts from other churches, a font from St Giles, Cripplegate and fragments of glass from All Saints in York! Walking on from the Church, I decided to leave the noisy road behind and headed towards a residential street, taking me to Northwick Park Station and a shortcut beneath it. Once I was on the other side, I found I my walk had joined up with “Proyer’ s Path”, and the “Capital Ring”, which was to take me through the green space known as “Northwick Park”. It is a very open landscape, quite suitable for lots of games and picnics :-). Sadly, it is not exactly quiet, with the metropolitan line trains on one side, overground trains on the other and the hospital on another! Nevertheless it was still nice to walk 🙂

From 2013 – 16.11.2013 – Preston Hill – Alperton Walk

This park was developed throughout the early C20th, and was originally planned by Captain Spencer-Churchill, a relative of Winston Churchill. The park was meant to leisure park with a tennis and social club, but things changes in the area due to WWI and WWII and plans were abandoned for the leisure park and houses were built instead. Despite the growth of Kenton and the development of the railways, the local council bought some of the Northwick estate for the open space which thankfully is still here today! I followed the Capital Ring through the park and out into “The Fairway” road, I am unsure if this road took its name from a long abandoned golf course that may have been in the area at one time? As I emerged from the road, I spotted some grounds in front of me, this was the “Vale Farm Sports Ground”, it was very muddy and did not have my walking boots on so I was unable to take a shortcut across it 😦 . The Sports centre that I saw includes a large swimming pool, which was originally an open air Lido!

As I was unable to walk along the sports ground, I continued my journey alongside the roadway. Eventually I came across a small bunch of shops opposite a small open space, which was known as “Butler’s Green”. This little green space represents the last remanant of Sudbury Common, which was at one time over 234 acres in size! Over the years the common was gradually built on and this particularly piece of land was preserved when the local council purchased from a group of Trustees and was opened as “Sudbury Recreation Ground”. The grounds were subsequently renamed after Edwin Butler, a local gentlemen who was a very involved in acquiring land for public recreational use and was Wembley’s first Mayor, his Grocers shop. was opposite the land. It was probably one of the shops I was walking past!

From 2013 – 16.11.2013 – Preston Hill – Alperton Walk

As I passed beneath the railway bridge I encountered another green space, Barham Park. I walked on the outskirts of the park and I could see that it looked rather a large space to explore. It was named after “George Barham” who purchased a house and grounds here in the late C19th. Mr Barham was well known in the diary trade, he received a Royal Warrant for delivering milk to the Royal Monarch and his diaries have kept up this tradition right up to the present Queen! Whilst living at the house he saw the area change and grow, sadly as a consequence green common space disappeared. He decided to bequeath his house and lands to the council to ensure that his grounds would remain and open space for all to enjoy. Unfortunately, the house was not maintained and was eventually demolished, but an annual fair take place in the park and I am sure that must be a lot of fun!

My walk took me once again alongside a noisy roadway, I must admit to hurrying along at this point as I was not enamored by my surroundings! Although when I turned the corner to take me along yet another large road I could see a number of trees on the opposite side of the road. In fact this was hiding “Sudbury Golf Course”, the very course I had seen from the Grand Union Canal on another occasion! The road side I was walking along, followed an Underground line, which was not in operation on this particular day, so could imagine it would have been even noiser! I was about to cross over the road to see if could look into the golf course, when I spotted an entrance to “One Tree Hill Open Space”. I walked beneath the railway bridge and it brought me out in this lovely green area, if I had time I would have climbed the hill in front of me, I am sure it would have given me a lovely view of the area, railway and indeed the golf course!

I left the open space behind and followed the road way round and found that I had reached Alperton and found the Grand Union Canal, where I was too leave my walk for the day. I am looking forward to picking up my walk along the Grand Union at Alperton once again! Please feel free to look at the photos for this short winter walk.

2013 – 16.11.2013 – Preston Hill – Alperton Walk

My route for the walk is as follows –

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One response to “Preston Hill – Alperton Walk – 16.11.2013

  1. Pingback: Sudbury – Walthamstow Marshes – Via Capital Ring « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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