It’s another Saturday afternoon in lockdown v3. For once it isn’t pouring down with rain and there appears to be some bright little yellow thing in the sky. It’s time for a walk, and it’s a little bit further afield than bordering Southgate. I’ve got a little loop of Pound Hill and Worth in mind.
I used to live in Pound Hill for six years or so, and during these years, on the whole, it would appear that I walked around with my eyes closed, blind to the kind of buildings there were dotted around and the history that is around if only I’d open them. It’s bizarre that until about three years ago I was completely blind to Crawley’s history, even after twelve or so years living here. Especially as someone who trained up to be a blue badge guide in Leicester when I lived there.
And so we’re at Pound Hill parade to start a wander. We head out the side between the Co-op and launderette onto Crawley Lane. So obviously the original road out to Turner’s Hill when you look on the map, and that can be picked up by looking at the buildings along its length. A number of them are so much older than the parade behind them, and the estate to the south of it. I had done some wandering in the summer, taking pictures of churches, pubs and road signs in this area, but I’d ignored the houses on Crawley Lane.
Two in particular are on the list of locally listed buildings. Numbers 6–8 are a couple of weatherboarded cottages from the 1870s.
And Woodcote Cottage further up the slight incline is again weatherboarded, and is older, being from the 1840s.
I couldn’t help myself and took a detour onto Mount Close, doing a lap of the triangle. This was the only place in Pound Hill I ever used to take any notice of when I lived in Wakehams Green. I would deliberately detour through it from Crawley Lane to the far corner and the narrow path onto the Balcombe Road just below The Hillside. It is full of a glorious array of beautiful houses. It is my aspirational place to live in Crawley…