Brabsden Green, Horsenden Lane North

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Once upon a time this was a tiny hamlet at the foot of Horsenden Hill. It was inhabited by the 1750s, but the last house was demolished in 1972 and since then whatever was left has disappeared under trees, brambles and ivy. Broken bricks, rusting metal and a small area where tarmac covers an earlier road surface are the only signs that anyone lived here. The satellite map shows a wooded area to the west of Horsenden Lane North which appears to correspond with the lay out of the buildings. A little further south, alongside the lane, there are the remains of a grander house (built in 1896) and its garden. It had a number of names, but it was first known as Rohais House. Even at this time of year you can see some plants that have resisted the scrub, as well as three very tall conifers, one alongside a set of steps that may have risen from the footpath to the house itself or a terrace alongside it.

I felt Boxing Day, traditionally a time of charitable giving, was appropriate to mention this lost community because in 1816 one and a half acres was set aside there to provide fuel for the poor. This probably means that they were allowed to gather wood on that site. By 1830 fourteen cottages had been built here for the poor. The sum of £500 was bequeathed in 1856 by Mrs. Mary Bennett to benefit twelve poor families, including one resident at Brabsden Green. Mrs. Bennett’s grave is in the churchyard of Holy Cross and her charity was eventually combined with that of Edward Betham and several others dating from as far back as 1649.

My thanks to my partner who set out on a cold and muddy trek with me to help to identify the site. I would have missed quite a lot without his sharp eye. I am also grateful to the British History Online website for the information on local charities and the helpful information board provided by the Ealing Council at the site of the original Ballot Box public house, which is further along Horsenden Lane North.

Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2012. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.

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This entry was published on December 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm. It’s filed under People, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Brabsden Green, Horsenden Lane North

  1. Simon Roberts on said:

    Nice page. I have started working at Horsenden Farm once a week. So I have become fascinated by the local history. I wonder why those houses were demolished?

    • My guess is that they were unsafe. By the 1970s housing anyone there and maintaining the fabric of the buildings was probably less economical than giving financial support to those in rented or social housing. Social Services and care homes were now available. The post office probably closed there because it was competing with more conveniently located branches and was no longer viable if there were no customers living next to it. Apart from that there was less inclination to restore old buildings at the time.

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