"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on January 4, 2018 by Sioux under General
1 Comment

 

An assignment with a new client took me to Cobham, an ancient settlement whose origins can be traced back through Roman times to the Iron Age. Cobham is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Covenham and its Domesday assets listed as 12½ hides; 3 mills, 10 ploughs, 1 unit of meadow and woodland worth 40 hogs. Coveham or Covenham is thought to mean a settlement in the curve of a river. 

                                                                                                                    Initially three communities – Church Cobham, Street Cobham and 

                                                                                                                    Downside – which is how Cobham began, it is a community steeped                                                                               in history and was once described as a ‘creature of the Mole’ the river has given the place its 

                                reason for being as well as providing the rural atmosphere which can still be found, despite the close proximity to London. 

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The River Mole is the setting for Cobham’s best-known landmark – the red brick water mill, constructed in the late 18th century and once part of a much larger complex. The current mill stands on the site of earlier mills dating back to the Middle Ages, and was in use until 1928. When it became uneconomical to continue operating, it was used as a storehouse. During WWII a Canadian tank collided with the main building, causing much damage and in 1953 the main part of the mill was demolished to alleviate traffic congestion on Mill Road. Today just the grist mill is left standing. 

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Every morning the garden of the home I was working at became a hive of activity with all the birds that came to feed or bathe; and squirrels that came to gather the acorns we had put out for them.

 

At dusk & after dark it was the foxes’ turn.  They snuck quietly in, ate and left as quietly. I had to be quick with the camera to get a photo. 

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Early one afternoon, the sunlight in the house started to fade and took on a strange but warm glow. I went out to look. It was like watching an eclipse through orange coloured paper! Apparently it was dust in the air, blown up north from the Sahara desert by the hurricanes that were active in the North Atlantic Ocean.  

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The fire station was originally built in 1833 as Cobham’s first purpose built school, and became the fire station around 1900. It is now a private house, but retains what is understood to be the original bells, as well as the fire house doors. The Almshouses are now also private homes. Aaah what history those walls hold! 

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The Stone of Remembrance in a park in Cobham, features insignia of Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy in memory of the locals who lost their lives during WWII. There was originally a row of cherry trees planted, one for each person who had died, with its own individual plaque, but sadly these plaques disappeared and later on the trees cut down, and replaced by the stone monument.  

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I went for a few walks along the rivers’ edge and into the town, but didn’t get the chance to explore much more than that. 

I’m hoping to return at some stage there is an intriguing park in the area that needs exploring but I’ll have to find a bicycle or bus route to get there as it’s quite far. My assignment in Cobham over, I headed to my next client before flying back to SA for a well-earned rest and some quality family time! 

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There are a number of large, landmark homes in Cobham and red-bricked Cedar House is one of them. Overlooking the mill and the river, with far reaching views over fields, it dates back to the 15th century and is rumoured to have welcomed Horatio Nelson himself at some stage. Originally constructed as a private residence, it still has the brick and timber framing and additions to the front in the 18th century added a Georgian facade. The house still has many original features including a six panel door with Doric pier surrounds and the grand medieval main hall. It is not open to the public so photos of the outside had to suffice. 

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One response to “Back to work, new job, new area – and a meeting with Monsieur Reynard!”

  1. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Good info thanks i belong to the MOTHWA – re Stone of Remembrance :o)

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