December Park of the Month
Dormers Wells Moated Manor
Dormers Wells Moated Manor is a small (2.73 hectares) but important nature reserve. It is a refuge for amphibians such as frogs, newts and toads. Not to mention bats and foxes and a variety of birds.
This is one of the five parks in Ealing that has improved toad habitats and installed nature trails to raise awareness of the toad population - sadly the the UKs common toad population has declined by nearly 70% over the past thirty years, which is why habitats like this are so important. The Dormers Wells Stream is a tributary of the River Brent. Its source lies within the Dormers Wells Moated Manor and West Middlesex Golf Course. Due to these natural springs it is the ideal habitat for amphibians, but be careful if you follow the wilded route around to the ponds as there are small streams and rivulets.
Also when you visit, follow the interactive trail to find the key areas and habitats being managed for toads. www.froglife.org - here is a link to a downloadable Ealing Toad Nature Trail :
What else is there to see and do? Once you have done your nature spotting - do look out for dragonflies and butterflies in summer - walk from Dormers Wells Lane through to the gate in the opposite left hand corner to the Dormers Wells Lane entrance, and if you follow the lane to your left there is a grassy play area. If you follow the lane to the right you come to a way into the West Middlesex Golf Course - the contrast between nature friendly habitats and manicured golf courses is interesting to observe although there are some majestic trees there!
A bit of history!
The presence of a spring or well with reputed medicinal properties was first recorded here in the 13th century said to be owned by a man named Dēormōd (maybe Dēormund) this eventually became known as Dorman’s Well then eventually Dormer’s/Dormers Wells - the plural form Wells dating from the beginning of the 19th century
The term Moated Manor comes from a moated castle (called Dorman’s Well ) and is said to have been built for Edward Cheeseman, Cofferer (treasurer) and Keeper of the Royal Wardrobe to Henry VII, and was certainly in the possession of Robert Cheseman (MP for Middlesex from 1539-1540) on his death in 1547, when a chapel also stood here.
The Dorman’s Well estate subsequently belonged to the lords of the Manor of Norwood and the house is said to have gradually fallen into ruin. Sadly only traces of the moat now survive.
Dorman’s Well had become a manor in its own right by the 18th century, consisting of a 108-acre farm. The present form of the name evolved in the 19th century, when Dormers Wells Farm was by then owned by the Earl of Jersey, as an outlying part of his Osterley possessions.
Dormers Wells remained little more than a single farm until after the First World War, when developers began to build houses for the lower middle classes. Between 1926 and 1928 more than 700 houses were built in the neighbouring hamlet of Mount Pleasant, which lay just to the west and has since been absorbed within Dormers Wells. Boys’ and girls’ secondary schools opened in 1934.
The council built up the area intensively from the 1960s, in the form of the Havelock, Windmill and Golf Links estates, which included a number of tower blocks. Many of the streets of Dormers Wells are named after British inventors and discoverers.
Find Dormers Wells Moated Manor
Dormers Wells Moated Manor is accessed from Dormers Wells Lane. The access gate is in a small lane between Dormers Wells Infant and Junior School and the Park.
Transport: Buses 195, 207, 427
Car Parking: There is some limited car parking free at weekends.
The Nature Reserve is not suitable for wheelchairs.
There are no toilets.