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Crane Valley Park Hounslow

Summary

The river begins in Harrow and runs through Hillingdon as the Yeading Brook, changing its name to the Crane at the Grand Union Canal in Hayes and eventually meeting the Thames at Isleworth. The Duke of Northumberland's River links the Crane Valley to the Colne Valley. From late C18th-1926 Bedfont Gunpowder Mills operated here due to the isolated position, supply of water power and abundance of willow and alder trees for making charcoal. After the closure of the mills the southern section of the Crane River was opened as a public park in 1935. The river borders had parkland in the north within LB Richmond, and woodland, scrub and grassland on the south bank in LB Hounslow.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Crane Park

Site location:
Hanworth Road, Twickenham

Postcode:
TW2 ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Public Park

Date(s):
C17th, 1935

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
None

Borough:
Hounslow

Site ownership:
LB Hounslow

Site management:
John Laing Integrated Services

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
8am - dusk

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Hounslow West (Piccadilly) then bus. Rail: Feltham then bus. Bus: 116, 117, 237, 235, H23

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2005
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.hounslow.gov.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ124731

Size in hectares:
6 miles in length

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No

In Conservation Area:
No

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Metropolitan Importance

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
Yes

Special Policy Area:
Yes - SRB

Other LA designation:
Local Nature Reserve

Fuller information

The River Crane begins in Harrow and runs through Hillingdon as the Yeading Brook, changing its name to the Crane at the Grand Union Canal in Hayes and eventually meeting the Thames at Isleworth. The artificial Duke of Northumberland's River links the Crane Valley to the Colne Valley. From the late C18th to 1926 Bedfont Gunpowder Mills operated here due to its isolated position, the supply of water power and abundance of willow and alder trees for making charcoal. There were numerous explosions caused by burning charcoal near the mills, sometimes with devastating effect, and heard from miles away. After the closure of the mills the southern section of the Crane River was formed into a public park and opened to the public in 1935. The river borders had parkland in the north, within LB Richmond, and woodland, scrub and grassland on the south bank in LB Hounslow. In the middle of the river, Crane Island is managed as a nature reserve by the London Wildlife Trust leased from LB Richmond. The waterwheel pits, millstones and machine foundations of the former mills can still be seen in the park. Also in the park is a formalised stretch of the river Crane with a late C18th bridge carrying the driveway to Cranford House and the parish church. To the south on the east side of the river were the Hounslow Gunpowder Works, now in LB Richmond.

Sources consulted:

Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); David Pape, 'Nature Conservation in Hounslow' Ecology Handbook 15, London Ecology Unit, 1990

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