Footpaths near Iver
Iver is a village in the south-east corner of Buckinghamshire, at the edge of the Chilterns. It is a clustered village which includes the largely residential co-neighbourhoods of Iver Heath and Richings Park.
The parish shares with Uxbridge the woods and lakes of the Colne Valley and the land beside the Grand Union Canal covering 43 square miles. The Colne Valley Regional Park is here. Most of the green space land forms Metropolitan Green Belt. It is a commuter village with some prosperity to it: two 18-hole golf courses are found in the parish.
Iver's western border is for the most part formed by a green buffer zone between here and Slough, and further south by Langley, a contiguous suburb of the latter. Iver is intersected to the north above Iver Heath by the M40. South of the main farm and the golf course of Richings Park runs the M4 motorway, beyond which is Colnbrook in Middlesex. The Great Western Main line bisects Iver.
The village has retained a semblance of a country location notwithstanding its close proximirty to the Middlesex towns. It has its own station, Iver station, and Uxbridge tube station is close by. Iver railway station is connected well by footpath and has no car park. A few Oxford services call on the station's platforms, which is for the non-express aspect of the line for stopping trains to Crossrail destinations.
The informally named 'Thorney interchange' of the M25 could just as easily have be named Iver in the same way as its railway station however adopted the name of the smallest detached part of Iver shortly after its construction. Gentle Chiltern Hills lower slopes begin in the north-west of the parish giving rise to Iver Heath's name. The M40 and M25 are in cuttings north and north-west of Iver Heath. The M25 motorway is on embankment 300 yards from Iver village centre.
Two estate areas of employment are in the parish: The Ridgeway trading and warehousing estate and Pinewood Studios.
In the Domesday Book of 1086 the whole area was recorded as Evreham or homestead by the brow of a hill and it was in the possession of a man called Robert Doiley.
In 1351 the area was granted a Royal charter to hold a weekly market. This charter was confirmed 110 years later in 1461.
Iver village on the Uxbridge to Langley road has a pre-Domesday foundation. Neolithic pottery fragments and other artefacts have been discovered here, though the village is Anglo-Saxon. The village church has shards of a Saxon window, and elements dating from the 15th century, 16th century and 17th century can be seen. The village has numerous houses from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Iver Heath is the location of Heatherden Hall, a Victorian estate with spectacular grounds. It was purchased by Lt. Col. Grant Morden, a Canadian financier, who transformed the mansion by adding a huge ballroom and Turkish bath. During the 1930s it became a retreat and private meeting place for politicians and diplomats. The agreement to form the Irish Free State was signed at Heatherden Hall.
The Church of St Margaret was built in 1862. Iver Heath itself is centred on a triangle of roads. The village post office is on the Slough Road to the south, while a parade of shops used to be found along Church Road to the north. Slough Road and Church Road are connected by Bangors Road North to the east.
Richings Park was once the estate of Lord Bathurst. Richings Park mansion was destroyed during Second World War, and its site is now a residential area with its own shopping facilities. Richings Park mansion was very briefly the home of RAF Bomber Command, and the cellars of the house are still visible in fields now overlooking the M4.
- Main article: Black Park
Black Park adjoins the Pinewood Studio complex. It has a lake that extends over 530 acres. Due to its proximity to Pinewood Studios, Black Park was used for outdoor sequences in some of Hammer's Dracula films, a number of Carry On films, the Gerry Anderson Sci Fi series UFO and in the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger.
To the south, Black Park is separated from Langley Park by the A412 road. Langley Park covers 130 acres and is known for its rhododendron and azalea-filled Temple Gardens.
Pinewood Studios is a major British film studio to the immediate west of the developed land of Iver Heath, which is in all other respects residential. The studios have hosted many productions from blockbuster films to television shows, commercials and pop music promos. The Superman and the James Bond film franchises have used the film studios which provides tours of its museum.
Pinewood was built on the estate of Heatherden Hall, which was a large, attractive Victorian house with spectacular grounds. The Pinewood estate was purchased by Lt. Col. Grant Morden, a Canadian financier and MP for Brentford and Chiswick. He spent a fortune transforming the mansion into a show-piece home, adding refinements such as a huge ballroom, a Turkish bath and an indoor squash court. Due to its seclusion, it was used as a discreet meeting place for high-ranking politicians and diplomats. Here the agreement for the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed. When Grant Morden died in 1934 the estate was purchased at auction by Charles Boot, who had recently inherited a large construction firm from his father Henry Boot, who had died in 1931. Within twelve months Charles had formed a partnership with J. Arthur Rank who transformed the estate into the office building for a film studio complex. He based his new studios on the latest Hollywood designs of that era. Charles Boot named it Pinewood Film Studios, reflecting pine trees surrounding the area. The entrance to the studio is on Pinewood Road.
Iver Heath Drama Club
Established by John Hargreaves in 1948, the Iver Heath Drama Club contributed to the construction of the current village hall. The group puts on plays and pantomimes. In 2008, it celebrated 60 years by performing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
As of May 2014, the club has over 40 regularly active members who are aged between six and eighty years of age. The club is run by volunteers using a not-for-profit charitable framework and is funded entirely by profits from shows, membership fees and donations. The members come from the Ivers area and are from a wide array of backgrounds and abilities.
In March 2014 Matthew Streuli, Vice-Chairman of the club, was presented with a Runner-up Community Champion Award by the Chairman of South Bucks District Council, Councillor Santokh Chhokar.
Since 2008, Pinewood has been the club's main sponsor. Pinewood Studios Group has helped with rent and co-funded the 60th birthday pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, which played to over 300 people in January 2009. The 2014 Pantomime, Cinderella, over the course of six shows was seen by almost 500.
Recreation and sport
Iver Recreation Ground off the High Street has been enrolled as a Queen Elizabeth II Field.
The Evreham Sports Centre in Iver has such facilities as a multi-purpose sports hall, dance studio, lounge (with adjoining kitchen), sunbed, outdoor floodlit synthetic surface pitch, grass soccer pitches and a first class changing facility and fitness suite with state of the art equipment including the award winning nautilus tread climber. The fitness suite contains many pieces of fitness equipment designed to be accessible to those persons with limited mobility.
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