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

Posted on October 10, 2018 by Sioux under General
2 Comments

 

A walk in a different direction on a different day took me to a park known as The Old Courthouse Recreation Grounds and is noted as one of Barnet’s ‘Premier Parks’. There are six free-to-play tennis courts, a bowling green with a pavilion, a children’s playground, a café and car park. It has formal gardens, grassed areas, rockeries, and a tree trail. Some of the trees are from California, such as a Monterey pine and a Brewer’s weeping spruce were planted in the 1800’s!  

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This sign got me chuckling! 

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Hadley Green was another wide open park area that I thoroughly enjoyed walking to, and around. IA 10 acre area of grassland and trees, with a few ponds; some regionally rare species of plants, and apparently eleven species of dragonflies and damselflies! It is also reputedly the site of a battle in the Wars of the Roses in 1471. Traditionally the village common, it was used for grazing by villagers’ animals for hundreds of years, and has been enjoyed as a public open space since 1818.   

Over the road from Hadley Green is The Old School House, the last remaining

building from the former St Mary’s School complex. Built around 1907, the building is privately owned and in a bad state of disrepair. It is facing demolition due to the cost for repair being prohibitive. 

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On the way back from my walk I passed by The Christ Church, which was built in 1845 and also served as the local school, as did most churches back then. 

 

Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to stop and go in for a look around. 

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With all the many fields and wide open spaces in the area I wasn’t short of choice for where to walk if I didn’t feel like going into town! 

I was surprised by a call from my brother, who lives in Hungary, saying he had a work visit to the UK. As I was close to London,  we arranged to meet up for dinner one evening. A fabulous surprise and some quality time spent catching up!

My client had a very interesting garden, so on

the days when my feet were not happy, I spent my time

exploring closer to home, as well as walking in the huge open fields behind the residential area. 

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On one such day I took to the main road and walked for an hour, with no specific destination in mind, just looking at the sights I passed along the way. 

I also passed by The Gate, a public house of Victorian origin, which has retained some of its original features. The area surrounding The Gate was first called Grendel’s Gate, after the monster slain by Beowulf, and the name hints at a place of some significance in Saxon times.

 

There was never actually a tollgate as is often the case with places named ‘XXXX Gate’ – just a barrier that prevented cattle from straying onto Barnet Common.

 

On the side of the building is a five bar gate, has an inscription which reads: This gate hangs high, and hinders none; refresh and pay, and travel on.

 

Apparently until the early 1960’s a large tree grew up from the floor of the pub and out through the roof. 

St Peter’s Church was one of them, and although I tried to go in, the doors were locked. St Peter’s began life as a small private chapel in 1840 to serve the workers of a nearby brick works and in fact a lot of the bricks used to build the church were from that very yard!

 

In 1905 the chapel was given to the Church of England by the heirs of the brickworks’ estate and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the building was enlarged to fit a growing congregation. In 2015 St Peter’s celebrated its 175th anniversary! 

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A rainy morning kept me indoors but I made the most of the clear afternoon! 

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With an extra hour available on one of my breaks, I headed out with the view to finding a specific park that was quite some distance away. The area is extremely pretty with a lot of greenery.

On the way back, I passed the Wilbraham Almshouses, founded in 1616 by Sir Roger Wilbraham, a prominent English lawyer who served as Solicitor-General for Ireland under Elizabeth I.

 

Built using red brick, and with tiled roofs, the 6 single storey cottages were built specifically for ‘six decayed housekeepers’. Whether the word ‘decayed’ was used due to very advanced age of the housekeepers or not, I couldn’t ascertain.   

My time in the assignment ended and thereby my exploration of the area. A fabulous area for exploring though, with many interesting woods and fields to walk in. 

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I didn’t quite make the park I was looking for but found Monken Hadley Common, another public park area, where I noticed rabbits roaming freely. I headed back there the next day, armed with food in the hope of getting some decent photos. Unfortunately, school came out at the same time I was there and a number of nosey children from a nearby school, came to see what I was doing. Trying to keep children sitting still and quietly so as not to scare the rabbits off is not the easiest and I eventually gave up trying to get my photos and headed back home.

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2 responses to “New places, new faces, new fun #2 – walk about.”

  1. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Stunning pics and info thank you, love the wanted “S crap” Cars & Vans advert LOL! Good to see your Brother always a reason to be in the right place at the right time :o)

  2. Pauline Smith says:

    Morning. Crap cars and vans – Come to JHB, we have plenty.
    It must’ve been so nice to see family again.
    Where are you now?

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