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

Posted on April 8, 2016 by Sioux under General
1 Comment

 

On Easter Friday we went exploring, into a couple of towns near Uxbridge, and from there to a pub alongside the Cowley Lock. We visited a number of historic places, but a lot were closed as they only open during the holidays, but I got outdoor photos anyway.

 

First stop was the Manor Farm, which is a 22-acre historic site in Ruislip, Greater London. It incorporates a medieval farm complex, with a main old barn dating from the 13th century and a farm house from the 16th. Nearby are the remains of a motte-and-bailey castle believed to date from shortly after the Norman conquest of England. Original groundwork on the site has been dated to the 9th century. Ownership of the site passed to the King’s College, Cambridge in the 15th century, with whom it remained until 1931. At this point Manor Farm was included in the sale of Park Wood as a gift to the people of Ruislip.

The site continued as a working farm until 1933. What remains of the motte-and-bailey castle can be seen today in part of the moat and bank on the site. Today, the moat on the site is a scheduled monument, believed to have been extended to create an oval area upon which a wooden castle covering 110m by 61m was built, presumably for the landowner, Ernulf de Hesdin. The moat’s shape and the presence of traces of a fortified building have allowed this part of the site to be dated to the 11th century. However, the castle is believed to have been built around 1066 then either demolished or changed significantly as it does not appear as a castle in Domesday Book. The farm buildings date back to the 13th century with the Great Barn the most prominent. The barn is the second largest such structure in Middlesex after another in Harmondsworth. The Great Barn is constructed of English oak from the

nearby Ruislip

Woods.

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We wandered through the grounds of a lovely little church over the road from Manor Farm, but they were having an Easter service so didn’t go inside.

Next stop was The Barn Hotel, which is clustered around three historic buildings.

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St. Laurence Church, in Cowley, was first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book along with the parish land owned by Westminster Abbey, valued as worth one pound ten shillings. It is the smallest medieval parish church in the county. Built mainly of flint rubble, with freestone dressings, and a tiled roof. The nave inside the church dates from the 12th century. One original round-headed window survives, though it has been slightly enlarged, and there is a two-light window of c. 1300: the rest of the windows were enlarged or inserted later. We couldn’t get inside as the doors were locked. Unlike most other churches, the grass in the surrounding cemetery area looked unkempt.

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The farmhouse of Sherley’s Farm dates back to around 1528. Some of the oak frames used in the building were dragged from the River Thames, after having been scavenged from old ships. Apparently a ships name can be seen in one of the timbers, but no one has found it yet. The farm was a working farm until the early 1950’s before being used as a riding school, a nightclub of dubious reputation and even as a camp for US Navy Intelligence Service Unit!

 

One response to “Easter Friday walkabout….”

  1. Derrick Baney says:

    Keep them coming

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