Green Close

Histories

Green Close

Green Close road name in the snowThe land on which Green Close is built was originally glebe land, ie agricultural land owned by the church. In early times the priests were often drawn from the villagers and would farm the land themselves to provide food for themselves and their families and possibly for more needy folk as well. Later on the land would have been rented out to farmers to provide an income for the priest. The land originally belonged to the parish church but in the first half of the twentieth century all glebe land was transferred to the dioceses in exchange for an undertaking to pay the priest's stipend.

The glebe land of which Green Close now occupies part was apparently given to All Saints' Church sometime in the eighteenth century. It stretched from Church Lane to Springfield Road. In the middle of the nineteenth century the new railway cut the glebe land in half.Looking down a street of detached houses towards a cream house at the end A rectory (now "The Old Rectory") was built on the glebe land adjoining Church Lane.

In the 1930s the land north of the railway, between the Bunny Path and the Old Rectory, was sold to a developer. On the east it was bounded by Stump Lane and on the west by an orchard, with a footpath between. (In the 1950s Hillary Close was built on the orchard. The line of the footpath can still be made out, although most of it now forms part of peoples' gardens.)

The developer laid out the road and presumably put in the services (but not storm water drains; surface water eventually drains into the pond behind No 16).View looking down a wide residential road, with a car parked in a drive on the left He also divided the land into plots, which he sold to purchasers on the condition that they built houses costing not less than £600. The current house numbers are based on the old plot numbers. Some purchasers bought adjoining plots, or a plot and a half, but only built one house, which is why there are some numbers missing.

The first houses were built before the Second World War. Building restarted after the war and now the Close probably contains houses built in every decade since. Building has continued as some plots have been subdivided and some older houses demolished and new ones built in their place.View taken from a front garden showing a row of large detached houses

The road has never been adopted by the local council so has always remained a private road, with the house owners responsible for the upkeep. The council will not adopt the road unless it is brought up to its standards, which among other things would involve installing storm water drains. In 2008 the estimated cost was in the region of £50,000.

Possibly because of this joint responsibility for looking after the road, Green Close has always been a friendly and neighbourly place, with "get togethers" at least once a year, a Green Close Millennium Party to greet the start of 2000 and the third millennium and a Diamond Jubilee Party in 2012. Green Close Residents Association Limited, owned by the house owners, was formed in 2007 and was registered as the owner of the road itself. This gives us greater control over the upkeep and use of the road and, for example, allowed us to introduce parking charges to discourage those with no connection with Green Close from parking their cars in it.

In a way we are glad it would be so expensive to have Green Close adopted by the local council, even though it means we all have to pay an annual contribution towards the cost of road repairs. We like it here just as it is!