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Beyond Crown Square, the main village street, going east, is known as Brook Street. The Brook flows into the village from the east with its source being a series of chalk-fed springs within the village of Ewelme, where it is also known as Ewelme Brook.
It flows through the watercress beds at Ewelme then along the southern side of Brook Street, on through Mill Lane and under St Helens Avenue, along past the allotments and under a bridge beneath the A4074 before joining the Thames just upstream of Benson weir.
Cottages in Brook Street
There were once three public houses in Brook Street, within a few hundred yards. The Plough occupied the building on the corner of Old London Road and Brook Street, looking across the road towards the Crown.
Next door to the Plough, was a blacksmith's shop, and across the road was a bowling green. The Lamb and Flag was in a thatched house a hundred yards further along Brook Street, beyond the Farmer's Man public house. (See photo with geese below.)
Black and white photographs:
Above: Brook Street looking west, with the brook on the left and the Crown in the background.
Below: Brook Street looking east, about 1890, with the Farmer's Man on the left
Colne House, later Observatory House
Colne House was once owned by the Powell family. It was later bought by W. H. Dines, who renamed it Observatory House. Observatory Close now stands on this site.
Click here for more details.
Old Observatory, Brook Street
The large early 19th century house, which is reached from Brook Street, was built by Edward Field, the founder of the Outfitters and Furnishing firm of Field and Hawkins, which once traded in Wallingford Market Place. At one time, a stream ran through the garden, but it was later diverted. Edward Field lived in the house when he retired.
Fifield Farm and Manor
The original old manor house, built in 1120, is said to be the oldest building in Oxfordshire. Additions were made in the 14th, 18th and 19th centuries. To the south was a magnificent “L” shaped range of barns, which have now been redevoloped for housing.
Click here to read a short history of Fifield Manor
Fifield Manor in days gone by
73 Brook Street in 1982 76 Brook Street in 1974 Rampton House, demolished to make
way for The Cedars development
Memories of Brook Street in 1939
In 2016 Ken Branigan reflected on his childhood
"I remember Brook Street when I was a small boy. My grandparents were Albert and Annie Field and they lived in the Chapel House to the left of the picture."
Click here to read Ken's memories.
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