Home Timeline A little history Planting

The land was once part of the ancient Manor of Coldhall or Coldhawe.  The Manor changed hands in the 17th Century but the exact location of the Manor has never been established.  Boston Manor Farm, which covered part of the site, was owned by the Clitherow family who owned Boston Manor House. The land was leased as farms and then as market gardens.  Between 1750 and 1834 it was run as a nursery specialising in fruit trees and had approximately 300 species of apple trees.  Later, on the site Charles Blondin (Jean Francois Gravelet 1824-1897) lived in a house he built  in 1889 until his death.  He was a famous tightrope walker and performed until he was 70 years old.  He was famous for walking across Niagara  falls with all kinds of stunts in addition to walking the high rope.  The house was pulled down in the 1920’s and only lives on in the name.  The land was purchased by Ealing Town Council in 1926 for the princely sum of £15,920 to be used for allotments and a recreation ground and was known as Northfields Recreation Ground.  In 1996 the 5 acre site (now known as Blondin Nature Reserve) became available when the council decided to consolidate allotments on to one half of the site.  A public consultation exercise was overwhelmingly in favour of a nature conservation area.  In 1997 work started in earnest in the spring to establish the site.  A pond was dug by contractors, puddled by local residents and filled by the Fire Brigade. A wildflower meadow, rough grassland and wooded areas were incorporated and 50 apple trees planted to form a community orchard.

1940 allotments

View the photo gallery of volunteers helping create the pond

1970’s Pavilion used by Walpole  Grammar School