Walking down the lane, you can see the original entrance to Lullebrook Manor on your right. Immediately to your left is Grove Cottage. It was lived in during the 18th Century by a well-known historian of his day, Nathaniel Hooke. A visitor to his house in 1753 reported that there was not much evidence of a man hard at work though…”I could not perceive any signs of the Author, no papers, pen or ink, or sheets just come from the press. I fear the fine Ladies and fine prospects of Cookham divert his attention from Roman History…” A friend of many, including the poet Alexander Pope, he drew many famous people to his house in Cookham. Being a Catholic in the 18th century precluded him from owning the property so it was purchased, possibly with his money, and held in trust for him. The cottage now part of the Odney estate and used as accommodation for Partners.
Further along the lane the bridge leads to Odney Common which was the site of a bitter dispute during the early days of the Odney Club. John Spedan Lewis wanted to exchange 8 acres of the estate from the Grove Farm area, for part of the common where he wanted to create a children’s play area. It is also thought that he was unhappy with local villagers and walkers by the stream being able to look over into the grounds of the Club! The local community objected strongly, partly because it meant access to the Odney Pool, where they swam in the river by the weir, would become a problem. The matter rankled for years and eventually things remained as they were.
Over the bridge and through the gate to the left is the final stop on our tour, the Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre is open to visitors on Saturdays between 10am – 4pm.