Hazelwood Farm

Before the early 20th century, Hazelwood Lane was little more than a mud track, save for a few cottages on the north side at Green Lanes.  At the end of the track, about 100 years before the New River, roughly where the junction of  New River Crescent and Hazelwood Lane are today, was Hazelwood Farm.  Walkers could continue over the canal via a narrow bridge into countryside beyond, eventually, if they followed the general direction of Kings Arms Lane, arriving at Huxley Farm, at the junction of Ash Grove and Hedge Lane.

The 60 acre Hazelwood Estate spanned the area between what is now Hazelwood Lane and Hedge Lane and was thoroughly developed in the first decade of the twentieth century. However, the area at the eastern end of Hazelwood Lane – beyond Hamilton Crescent and New River Crescent – was spared from development until the 1920s and still retained its rural character.

One of the buildings next to the farm evidently survived until much later: in the Ordnance Survey map of 1936, the corner plot of New River Crescent and Hazelwood Lane is undeveloped, alone among its neighbours, save for Hazelwood House, which appears in ordnance survey maps from 1867 onwards next to the grouping of farm buildings. According to Kelly’s directory, in 1936 it was the residence of Claude Wells Woolaton, who was a physician and surgeon. Alan Dumayne doesn’t mention this house, although he does mention another Hazelwood House on the corner of Green Lanes and Hedge Lane, which became a temporary home for the (future) congregation of St Monica’s in 1911.

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