White Hart Crest of the Royal County of Berkshire David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History

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Bracknell Suburbs in Winkfield
from Bullbrook to Martin's Heron

Bullbrook is one of the older parts of modern Bracknell. It is named after the Bull-Brook which still runs through it, though it's not as easy to find as it once was. On the edge of Bullbrook stands Lily Hill Park. This lovely old house was built in 1817 by Henry Dormer Vincent, possibly on the site of a medieval hunting lodge. Henry was an equerry to HRH the Duke of Gloucester and probably moved to Bullbrook to be near to Windsor Castle. The Vincent family and their heirs, the Lanes, lived at Lily Hill for almost a hundred years. They made extensive alterations to the building in the mid-19th century. Their residency was followed by the Van Necks and several short-lived occupants before the place was bought by the Bracknell Development Corporation in 1955. It now houses offices.

Harmans Water
Though now the name of a large estate in east Bracknell, the original Harman's Water has now gone. It was a small lake that stood where Merlewood and Shaftesbury Close now are. The name dates back to at least 1761. The area around the Blue Lion, in the north of the estate, is quite an old district. Originally, it was a small hamlet called Ramslade. Today, the name has almost totally disappeared. Prior to its demise, the RAF Staff College was officially the Ramslade RAF Staff College, and Ramslade Road stood within the complex.

Martin's Heron
Martin's Heron (now demolished) Martin's Heron is one of the most recent developments in Bracknell. The housing estate, including the Railway Station, is built on the parkland that once surrounded the mansion of Martin's Herne (or Heron), originally called Goddard's Croft. The house that was pulled down in the early 1980s was probably built around 1750. It was the residence of a succession of high ranking army officials and minor members of the nobility. General William Gordon lived there in the late 18th century. He was Groom of the Bed-Chamber to King George III and the King was a frequent visitor to Martin's Heron. A grassy walk used to be pointed out as one that the King particularly liked to stroll along. General Gordon is best known for controlling the mob during the Gordon Riots of 1780 as recorded in Dicken's "Barnaby Rudge".

Major-General Sir Henry Rooke took on the house in the mid 1820s. He was a personal friend of HRH the Duke of Gloucester, but is best known in Winkfield for establishing one of the first Agricultural Societies in the parish. General Rooke spent a large amount of money improving his house Martin's Heron. It was latterly home to Baroness Berkeley and her family.

See also Winkfield, Cranbourne & Swinley


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