Then a walk along Wellington Drive.
A wooden barrier marks the entrance and the path rises slowly through an avenue of Giant Sequoia trees, a common Victorian feature of country estates. The trees were discovered during the Californian Gold rush of 1869 and they became known as Wellingtonia’s in honour of the Duke of Wellington. Their towering reddish trunks may look impressive but these American immigrants are small compared to those that grow in their native California. There, they can reach up to 300 feet high, have a trunk diameter of 35 feet and live for 3000 years or more. They are the largest living things on Earth.
Edward the Confessor’s Royal Palace at Havering-atte-BowerThe route now exits the park and leads to the village of Havering-atte-Bower.Nothing now remains of an important royal house that once stood here on the village green. Edward the Confessor founded a holy retreat here nearly 1000 years ago. Later William the Conqueror and King John built hunting lodges. Slowly, over the next 600 years, a large Royal Palace was established, with Charles I being the last monarch to stay here. It fell into decay and by 1815 there was nothing left. A Victorian church stands where the original chapel once stood and there are riding stables on the site of the old palace stables.
Joseph Hardwick Pemberton’s Round HouseThe path leads to open fields and, through the trees, a strange round building can be seen on the right.This is the Water Tower on Broxhill Road.Built by the South East Essex Water Company in 1934 to help maintain water pressure to the town of Romford, some two miles distant. It is still owned by the water authority but believed to be not now required for its original purpose.
|and then out onto Broxhill Road|
|Tried to use this path to take us up to The Bear PH, but it was locked up for some reason :(|
|So we walked back along Lower Bedfords Roads to Collier Row for a bus home.|