Stunning views, undiscovered trails

Patrick Moore’s Meander

Map of Patrick Moores Meander walk

Start/End: Pinner Underground Station, Pinner, HA5 5LZ

Distance: 4 miles

Allow: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ascent: 100 feet

Highlights: Patrick Moore’s birthplace, Ronnie Barker’s former residence, Heath Robinson’s former residence, East End House & Farm, East End Way, Paines Lane Cemetery.

Refreshments: The King’s Head public house on the High Street is Pinner’s oldest building, dating from Tudor Times. Cafe Rouge in Pinner is also next door.


Directions:

This walk visits a large number of Pinner’s celebrity or former celebrity residents, and explores the area to the east of the town, taking in a much loved recreational park and ruralised roads. Leave Pinner Station via Station Approach and at the bottom of the road, turn left under the railway bridge on Marsh Road. Walk down this road, taking note of the new residential and office developments on the right hand side, until you come to a mini-roundabout, with a large office building named Evans House on the right. Turn right on Eastcote Road, and take the first turning on the left, Cannon Lane. Walk down this road until you approach no. 22, a distinctive white triangular residence on the left hand side with a red door.

This is where the famous astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore, was born in 1923 to his parents, Captain Charles Caldwell-Moore and Gertrude Moore, before he moved to Bognor Regis in Sussex when he was six months old (and then later to East Grinstead). It has a country feel, resembling almost a house in a fairytale such as Little Red Riding Hood, with its whitewashed front and attic window.

Continue down Cannon Lane and take the first turning on the left, Hereford Gardens. Continue straight as the road turns into a footpath and enter Pinner Village Gardens, a large recreational space featuring a playground, tennis courts and a small rose garden. The park was designed around the time of Pinner’s development as a London suburb in the 1920s (fig 1). To the south of the park, the rig ridge and furrow is a reminder of its former agricultural use in medieval times[1].

Follow the path round to the left and right, and upon reaching a junction turn left, and then left again. This path takes you round the perimeter of the park, taking in the shrubs and specimen trees before eventually leading to the Marsh Road exit.

Emerging onto Marsh Road, turn right and cross the railway bridge, and then take the second turning on the left, Nower Hill. This road feels distinctly suburban in nature to begin with as it contains paired dwellings, originally for local tradesmen, that were built just before the turn of the 20th century[2]. it soon turns into a winding, country road, with brick and wooden detached houses with tall chimneys, some dating back to as early as tudor times. Take the second turning on the left, just before a village green, and on to Church Lane. Pause outside the first house on the left. This is Elmdene, possibly the most famous residence in Pinner, and lived in by two different celebrities at different times. Actor David Suchet (1946-), known for his appearance in the TV Drama The Way We Live Now, and comedian Ronnie Barker (1929-2005) both lived here for many years, Barker residing in Pinner in the 1990s before moving to Dean in Oxfordshire. It is also rumoured that Horatia Nelson, son of Lord Nelson, also lived at this address in the 19th century. It is presently valued at around £2.6 million.

Turnaround and take the left-hand branch of Church Lane across the other side of the green and turn right on Moss Lane, a continuation of Nower Hill. Continue up this road, passing Amberly Close on your left and Wakehams Hill on your right, and continue until the road curves round to the right and a sign on the left reads ‘Private-Entrance to East End Farm’. This is East End House, which hides behind a tall hedge on the left. Its most famous resident was the poet laureate Henry James Pye who retired to the house in 1911. Pye is mainly remembered for his connection to the song ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’, which has the words ‘once the pye is opened, the birds began to sing’-a reference to the expressions about birds in Pye’s poems[3]. If you walk up the driveway, you will also see East End Farm Cottage, possibly the oldest house still surviving in Pinner (fig. 2), and an old-fashioned petroleum pump, set in a brick-like structure (fig. 3). The house was built in the 1490s, and was home of the archbishop’s bailiff who had control over the Pinner manor[4].

Head back to Moss Lane and continue on the road, passing East End Way on the left. Pause outside number 75 on the left hand side, just pass Moss Close on the right. The comic book illustrator and artist William Heath-Robinson lived here between 1913 and 1918. A blue plaque on the wall commemorates his presence. He is best known for his cartoon drawings of eccentric machines and sportspeople. A permanent display of his works is open to the public at West House in Pinner Memorial Park.

Turnaround and retrace your steps along Moss Lane. Turn right at East End Way. This is a delightful private road and its road surface is made up of pebbles, with a variety of detached houses on either side (fig. 4).

At the end of the road, turn left down Paines Lane, a road recently subject to traffic calming measures, which eventually leads back into the centre of Pinner. On your way back, feel free to stop and explore Paines Lane Cemetery, on the left hand side, which features a wide selection of Victorian and early twentieth century graves. On the right hand side of the centre path lies the grave of Horatia Nelson, the daughter of Admiral Lord Nelson.

Continue on Paines Lane for another half-a-mile and it emerges onto Pinner High Street. The King’s Head pub on the right is excellent for a post-walk pint.

[1] London Gardens Online: Pinner Village Gardens. http://londongardensonline.org/gardens-online-record.asp?ID=HRW037 [accessed 25.07.13]

[2] Clarke P Pinner-A Pictoral History (1994).

[3] Bartlet PJ-Pinner Local History. http://www.pjbartlett.co.uk/Pinner%20History.htm [accessed 25.07.13]

[4] Bartlet PJ-Pinner Local History. http://www.pjbartlett.co.uk/Pinner%20History.htm [accessed 25.07.13]