The Northern point.

The parish boundary of Valley End used to reach as far north as the junction of Broomhall Lane Sunningdale and the London Road, the A30.

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Noakes Corner, London Road. (The corner of Broomhall Lane and the London Road, looking towards the station.) Photograph by William End. (Photo courtesy of J. End.)

The London Road used to be the Great West Road, one of the major routes from London.

By the 18th century it had become a Turnpike Road, with tolls at Egham and Bagshot. The road surface was improved, and milestones added along the route. We have one at Sunningdale, facing Waitrose, announcing that it is 23 miles from Hyde Park Corner.

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The milestone at Sunningdale.

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The milestone at Sunningdale, at the junction of Ridgemount Road and the London Road.

Before the advent of the motorcar, the road was quiet, with only horse drawn traffic.

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The Post Office on the London Road. Photograph by William End. (Photo courtesy of J. End)

It began to be developed. A parade of shops was built on the corner of the London Road and Chobham Road.

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Parade of shops on the London Road. (Photo courtesy of J. End.)

30 years later traffic had increased, although it seems peaceful compared to 2017.

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Sunningdale, 1960. (Photo courtesy of J. End.)

The scatter of houses to the west of Chobham Road, just before it joins the A30, was known as the North End.

Frederick Charles Hodder was born in Sunningdale in 1871, and remembered his childhood roaming in the area. When he described Chobham Road and the Common, he was remembering what was then Valley End.

He wrote about mixed memories of industry, the military, and gypsies, set against the background of the common.

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Chobham Common, Spring 2006. (Image Wikimedia Commons.)

“Passing up the Chobham Road we came to Dagwell House, occupied by Mr. Joseph Norris, and his builder’s yard and workshops adjoining, then three or four cottages and the brickfields, with a brick kiln and a few more cottages connected with the brick works, and then the open common, with Titlark’s Farm cut out of it.

“One could go for miles over the heath without meeting a soul, unless the common had troops encamped upon it or carrying out manoeuvres, as frequently happened in the summer months.

“What a glorious place it was for a picnic, what a refuge for birds, rabbits and hares! And what a place for gipsy encampments!”

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Chobham Common, Spring 2006. (Image Wikimedia Commons.)

The common remains a refuge for wildlife, and an open space to be explored; but  the London Road  has changed out of all recognition.

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Sources.

“A short history of Sunningdale with some notes on Wentworth.” F. C. Hodder. Foreword by R. S. Brewer. London, Saint Catherine Press, 1937.

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