Monday, 18 November 2013

Hampton fields - brought to life

(Above)  The difference in paving here (outside this buidling on Church Street) apparently shows the direction of an underground stream which then heads towards, possibly under, Pickles on Festival Square. Clearly the stream has come from directly under this house and through Cae Glas park. No sewer maps yet to confirm this, but I have heard that this is a stream from several people including the owner of Pickles.

 So, this is where we are. The 'Brynhafod Stream' and 'Jennings Road' Stream. I have confirmed the direction that these streams take under the road, see below.

So I was a little stumped when some FANTASTIC images turned up:

 (above) Brynhafod Road, Hampton Road. To the right is Hampton Fields. Notice the lines crossing the fields. The large field in the foreground is now Llanforda rise - it is bordered on the top and bottom by both the streams in Question. At the time of this photo (1966) Bradley fields is being developed.

(above) focused on Cae Glas park. Good view of Park Avenue and Hampton fields visible.

(below) Astounding view of Hampton fields, 1980. Now deforested since the 1966 picture revealing - an obvious stream! If not two streams. This is a curveball and raises a lot of new questions.

(below) another view of Hampton fields on the upper right.

(below) the Waterworks 1965. Hampton fields visible directly from above - priceless (in the top left quarter of the image)

(below) an 1875 map of the area. There are some sporadic implications of streams, but with little clarity. Evidently many of the local streams have headed underground for a long time. Notice, no development of Park avenue or Hampton Road, yet still no clear routes for the Hampton Fields streams.

(below) some annotation of that earlier 1966 image demonstrating possible routes

(below) this is a 1833 map of Oswestry. Notice the cross like formation on the top left - that is Hampton Fields. This mirrors the formation I have highlighted above. Also on the left of the picture heading towards the middle is a clear outline of Jennings Road stream - heading as suggested in my last post into Brynhafod Field. However, there is no evidence for a stream running through the 'Avenue' Cae glas - in fact there is a lot more evidence for a stream running on the Willow street side of Cae glas.
(above) Hampton Streams and Jennings stream highlighted with possible link to Brynhafod stream. In red is modern day Brynhafod Road, Welsh Walls and Oswald's place. The large encircled area is now Brynhafod field, part of which is now Holbache road. Notice how the Jennings stream does indeed flow towards Lakeholme by the Broadwalk.

(above) I think this is a 1960s image of Brynhafod field. Notice the memorial trees are very young! And there is some menacing barb wire on the fence? I wonder when this was replaced with the wooden planks which were taken down only a couple of years ago and replaced by that god awful green iron fencing. No sign of a stream going through the park here, however it does look unkempt and possibly boggy.

(above) another old Oswestrian map with some interesting tree lines in Cae glas park and around Brynhafod field (bottom left corner) which may suggest water routes.

 (above)  possible detailing of a stream running south along Welsh walls

(below) This superb 1838 map is a revelation. The Brynhafod and Jennings streams are laid out beautifully showing their origins far up into the fields near High Fawr and Broomhall. What's more, the confluence of these two streams is clearly depicted as is the route down Welsh Wells where the stream disappears for a bit (most likely continuing down Welsh Walls to upper brook street or possibly under the Parish church) and reappears running parallel to Victoria Road eventually converging at what is now the industrial estate with another major stream in the town that travels from Brogynton. This is extremely illuminating and provides some significant answers and clarification. Interestingly my supposed Arundel Road stream is also evidenced here, though it is isolated. The Cae Glas/Pickles connection also seems to be irrelevant here.

Still some questions remain
1. What is the exact nature of the streams in Hampton Fields?
2. Do the Jennings Brynhafod streams divide at any point?
3. Where does the Arundel stream come from and head to?
4. What is the source of the flooding in Cae glas park?
5. Where does the 'Pickles' stream come from and go to?
6. What happened to the Brynhafod stream? Where does it flow now?
7. What evidence is there for a stream on Victoria Road?
8. What happens at the top of Broadwalk by Lakeholme?

and perhaps most importantly

9. What other ancient streams are there?
10. When were they driven underground?

Please contact me with any suggestions, information or questions.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Ground breaking new research! Literally. Cae Glas lake? Nostalgia streams?

DISCLAIMER: Only interesting to a minority of people, namely from Oswestry or interested in water bodies. Most people in Oswestry would not be interested, but this is the sort of information I have sought on the internet and not been able to find, so if anyone ever happens to search for related subjects it would be nice that they might be able to find this. Excuse the ms paint and poor fonts here and there, this is all very rough and will most likely stay that way.



How does the stream that flows along 'Muddy Lane' [ also known colloquially (and archaically) as 'Rhewl y High' Lane, 'Lew-e-li' lane and other derivatives of High Fawr (the farm at the top of Muddy Lane)] relate to the overall Oswestrian aquatic scheme - where does the stream come from and where does it go to?

How does it relate to the River Perry/River Morda/River Vyrnwy/River Severn?

 above: the area of Shropshire inquestion
below: main streams of interest and conjectured routes highlighted in red

below: further lines of conjecture (non priority) added in orange

Why I am interested:

I grew up at Norton Grange, Brynhafod Drive - a property to which the stream in question runs adjacent. I am fascinated by the origin of things, though familiar, not often considered. It would provide immense satisfaction to me to find sources and consequences of this stream.

What I already know about it:

Let's call it Muddy Lane Stream, or High Fawr stream.
The stream runs down the Muddy Lane bridle way, which is of course always muddy because there is a stream running down it. As to be expected, the stream flows faster and fuller in Autumn and winter months, drying up somewhat through late spring and Summer. The stream now passes under Oerley way via a pipe, and further up comes out of a man made pipe that lies under a field belonging to High Fawr. It passes through some properties on its journey down Muddy lane, but generally stays true to the lane. Near the Oerley way nexus it temporarily splits into two and is joined by another subsidiary that runs paralell to Oerley Way. At the base of Muddy lane the stream flows through a pipe under Brynhafod Lane and into some of the gardens belonging to Llanforda Rise. After heavy rain the stream bursts its banks in one of these gardens and flows down Brynafod Lane, Brynahfod Road and even as far as Welsh Walls on occasion, though it will often return to the drains by the end of Brynhafod Road.
The sound of rushing water can be heard in the manholes on Brynhafod Lane and Road. I have been informed that this stream continues to run alongside the shop Pickles on Festival square. The owner of Pickles has pointed out to me a difference in paving across Church street by the TSB cashpoint, indicating the direction of the stream. An underground drain runs along Festival square, a likely route.

There is a clear connection between water in this part of town and the Water Works. Also the Broomhall Reservoir.

According to developer and surveyor Melvin Gough 'It eventually joins the Morda brook like everything else around here'. I think this may be up for dispute


A. Muddy Lane stream (our subject
B. Llanforda Rise/Jennings Road stream
C. Oerly Way stream
D. Brogynton playing field stream
E. Mount Road/Brogynton sream (same as above?)
F. Maes y Llan stream
G. Morda brook
H. Industrial estate stream
I. The water works
J. Plas Fynnon pool
K. Windsor Road Pool
L. Oakhurst Road stream
M. Small reservoirs on Mount road
N. Lake Brogynton
O. The Coppice stream
P. "Babbinswood/Whittington" Brook
Q. Middleton Pool
R. Cae glas lake
S. Mysterious 'broad walk' stream
T. "Pickles Stream"


LINES OF ENQUIRY/Methods of investigation

Physical - travelling out and about to the subjects
Maps - finding old maps, new maps, looking at areas before being built up, checking contours for logical water gravitation
Historical Accounts (John pryce jones?)
Town sewage and drainage maps
Google Earth - studying logical phenemona from my armchair


I would first like to associate  Items A, B, C, R, S and T. I suggest that AC meets B underground near the junction of Jennings Road and Brynhafod Road and continues under Welsh Walls into Cae Glas Park - possibly meeting S (I am not familiar with S in real terms but it occurs on Google maps). This would all make sense with R - the annual flooding of Cae Glas park in the area between the Bandstand and the fountain. I call this 'Lake Cae Glas', an area prone to flooding and very possibly an old pool. Old maps and accounts of the Cae Glass estate will prove invaluable. This directional flow would meet up perfectly with the varied paving by the TSB and 'Pickles stream' - T.

((A+C) + B) + S = R = T

below: known routes of Brynhafod and Jennings road streams

 above: theories about confluence of Jennings Road and Brynhafod road streams culminating in possible Cae Glas stream - connecting to Pickles underground stream

17/11/13 Having drawn up lines with a proposed route for the confluence of AC and B, it would seem entirely plausable and likely that this body of water would have been an important, if not THE important influence, on the layout of Brynhafod Road and the southern border of Cae glas park. This route does not meet up perfectly with R - Cae glas lake - it would make sense that this route could lead to T - Pickles stream.

below:further theories regarding connections between jennings road/brynhafod road and Cae glas park.

It makes sense that land which was once an estate and now redesignated as a park should have water flowing through it - this may have made it undesirable to build on and also provided natural demarkation. I'm sure some light can quickly be shed on this by an on-foot analysis of the surrounding drainage systems.

There is a tree formation at the eastern corner of Cae glas park that also suggests a running water body which could provide a more detailed explanation of the source of T - including Cae Glas lake, though would not make complete sense of the Cae glas border theory. However, the satellite images demonstrate some interesting lines on cae glas park that could represent remant vestiges of a phantom stream. These could be paths - like sheep paths - but that cannot be confirmed.

Some possible developments re: AC and B. Maybe they do not meet? there is a very direct and distinct straight rought that runs through Hampton fields and to the Sion chapel which could in turn meet up with the 'sheep paths' on Cae Glas park. Also there is evidence of a split at the end of Jennings road with another route possibly heading through Brynhafod field, though this could all lead Brynhafod Road itself begging as for its own confluent stream.

Did Lakeholme house - now an estate called Lakeholme gardens - have a stream or body of water? Is there evidence of a stream between 'cae glas lake' and the Lloyds TSB building?


Source maps and information about olde time Cae glas estate, Jennings Road, Hampton fields and Brynhafod estate. Streams? Bodies of water? What was buried underground?

Expedition - visit 'Lakeholme stream' and 'Lake Cae glas' and inspect the 'sheep paths' in Cae glas. Worth a look at overground drainage system between Brynhafod Drive and Cae glas park. Tend to remember rushing water underground on Park Avenue by the Walls supporting  the Jennings Road/Brynhafod split theory. Drains and manholes are the key.

Monday, 14 May 2012



Awful layout follows

Current situation:

A Mini greenhouse in the conservatory - major heat trap. Has about 10 chilli plants in the top level, a couple of which are touching the ceiling of the greenhouse. 2 of the plants need repotting but I haven't got any more large pots at the minute. All are doing well, a couple maybe struggled with the repotting, several are showing the beginnings of flower buds.

Also in the mini greenhouse are 6 tiny lettuce seedlings I repotted into individual small inserts today. In 'group pot germination' are basil, chives, parsley, rockett, watercress and another type of lettuce. I'm sure there's something else I'm forgetting. Nia's parents gave me two pumpkin seeds in pots, which have so far done nothing. Also there are 3 small lettuce plants in there that Anna Doggart gifted me. I got my chitted seed potatoes from Shiv's earlier today and have put them in the greenhouse for safe keeping. Also I got a strange pack of dirt labelled as strawberries for half price from wilkos today, I've made a little hanging basket out of a milk carton for them, have no idea what's going to happen with them.

Hovering around the conservatory/house - two tomato hanging baskets (2 plants in one, 3 in another), one is in kitchen. They seem quite content and are coming along well, one is starting to droop over the edges as intended.

Repotted (i think) 7 sweet pepper plants today which have been growing for a couple of months, they are quite nice, some still rather small. I've filled a window sill planter with compost and there are my first major basil, chive and parsley plants in there, with space for more at a later date. Looks nice, Basil and parsley are doing magnificently but chives maybe a little choked - or are they just slow?

Some spring onion seeds in germination in the conservatory and three more chilli plants that need repotting.

Nia's venus fly trap 'Lady Di' is on the windowsill, I fed her a dead wasp yesterday. The fly trap, not Nia. Also some lovely azaelias I bought for her are on the 'table'.

2 planter pots with 2 onions in each, seem to be doing ok - the stems are hardening up. One planter with 3 garlics in it, nothing happening yet. One planter with nothing in it - don't know what to use it for yet. Must choose wisely!

I've dug over the three 'allotment' style beds in the garden and have got 4 of Anna's cabbages in one of them, all still covered by plastics. I mixed miracle grow into the soil in these beds.

Had a dig in a strange shallow bed surrounded by tiles. Cannot figure out what to do with it, would ideally like to make another bed but I'm unsure whether I am permitted. There is a nice flower bed by the conservatory door with spearmint and what I think is a rosebush in it, with space for more. There is a border bed on the long side of the garden with lots of spearmint and some reed like things and a little bush or two. On the north border there are 10 heavily coppiced pine trees, rather ugly and no doubt dominating the soil but there is definite potential for a bit of deep tendered soil and a flower border. Also have a large pot of mature chives Nia's parents gave to us.

Immediate plan LUNAR GARDENING
At the moment Sun is in TAURUS
Today and yesterday moon in PISCES and is in the last (waning) quarter. This then is a good time for transplanting, hence the moving about of things I've done today (chillis, lettuces, sweet peppers, chitted potatos).

However, as we're in the waning moon I'm holding off planting until the new moon, which will be in TAURUS on 18-19th May. Between then and now is the ARIES moon in last quarter - a barren sign in a good position for some weeding and garden maintenance.

So the plan for the next 2 weeks according to the luminaries is as follows...

MAY 15-17 - Last quarter, Moon in ARIES

Time to weed the shit flower beds and tidy up (if I get in the garden). Also might plant a couple of Sunflower seeds as Fire signs favour plants grown for their seeds (creative energy) like Sunflowers.

May 18-20 - New Moon, Moon in TAURUS, Sun going into GEMINI late on the 20th

I'll be planting most of my hardy root crop - Parsnips straight in the ground as I'm already a bit late with them (in the middle bed I think). Plant Carrots into the ground but maybe some in pots as controls. Beetroot - possibly some in spare pot? Definitely some in the ground, maybe between the parsnips. Also Radishes into the ground and a couple inside as controls (same for beetroot actually). Potatos into growbags and - dare I - a few into the ground for good measure?

Into the ground - Parsnips, Carrots, Beetroots, Radishes
Into bags - Potatos
Into pots - carrots, radishes

Busy day that, but very important I catch this POWERFUL POWERFUL TAUREAN new moon. Hell yeah.

May 21-23 - New Moon, moon in GEMINI
Barren, Garden maintenance time. I read somewhere that Parsley is associated with Gemini so might do a little experiment while the sun and moon are both in GEMINI see if I can make some super parsley. Would like to get some nice organic compost for that (and everything actually - in fact I just phoned Anna Doggart in the middle of writing this and offered a swap of 2 chilli plants and a sweet pepper for some organic dirt). Prepare seed trays for planting veggies in CANCER

May 23-25 - First Quarter, moon in CANCER
Time for some planting in an opportune time - A waxing moon and a water sign - perfect.
Will plant a couple more carrots and radishes, to make use of the lunar situation and back up the previous TAUREAN crop.

Lots to put into seed trays -
Tray 1: HERBS and SALADS - basil, parsley, chives. Mizuna, rockett, spinach, more lettuces?
Tray 2: VEGGIES - Broccoli, Romanesco, Spring Onions

Into the Ground: Spinach into planter pot/Ground? Same for Rockett? Runner Beans into veg patch and maybe in pot with spinach! FLEECE may be required.

MAY 25-27   
First Quarter, Moon in LEO

Have myself a rest.

May 28-30
Second quarter, VIRGO

Continue to rest, but could prepare seed trays for flowers

MAY 30-JUN 1
Second quarter, moon in LIBRA

This is when I plan to plant my first flowers!

In seed trays:


Looking forward: I plan to set up my worm farm in the Aquarius moon - 7 June-9 June

Lunar gardening links:
Cafe Astrology annual astrology overview
Some lunar gardening tips
Gardening by moon phases
Lunar Organics - Biodynamics and lunar planting

Wednesday, 21 July 2010