Datchet’s Greens are the defining features of the village and it is hard to believe they did not always exist, but most of the buildings around the village centre are older than the Greens. Until about 1840 a watercourse ran through the centre of the village from alongside the Slough Road, forming a pond in front of the Manor House and running out to the Recreation Ground. (For more information about the stream and how it was culverted underground click here.)
Settlement in the centre of Datchet first developed around the high ground to the north of the Greens on which St Mary’s Church stands. The earliest buildings cluster around here and originally belonged to medieval institutions: the Parish Church, St George’s Windsor and Eton College. The whole range of houses along the south side of the Greens, owned by Lord of the Manor of Datchet, were built later, perhaps from about 1500. The land there was lower and liable to flood, being very close to the pond running through the village.
2016, from the Church Steeple
1999, from the Church Steeple
1964, from the Church Steeple
1950s, towards London Road corner
About 1910, Village to West
From left past Morning Star: two shops; low blacksmith’s building; Jubilee Cross 1897 & Oak Tree 1887; Country Life Club in background; drinking fountain at original site; large elm tree (cut down 1940s); Chemist’s, Bank & Bank House, all about 1907. (Hand-coloured postcard, Royal Windsor Web Site))
Early 1900s, Looking North
Two old cottages not long before they were demolished to build the Bank and Bank House, between the Chemist’s on L and the Old Priory (Rectory) on R; drinking fountain on original site. RWWS (Click to enlarge)
1877, The Greens Looking East by William Corden
From left: Hall Cottage & new church steeple; Rose & Chestnut Cottages with elm tree outside; Church Cottage blacksmith’s workshop in distance; Old Council Offices projecting forward, before mock timber decoration added to front; Manor Houses & Manor Cottages; Manor Hotel, newly-fronted red brick section plus old whitewashed section on corner; High Street turning; edge of very old White Hart pub on opposite corner.
1877, Flood in Datchet by William Corden
By 1877 the watercourse had been culverted and the Greens created, so this is a typical flood situation, not a view of the old stream. The plank bridge is only temporary, it is not one of the BBHT bridges as has been thought.
From left: shop now The Bridge; Royal Stag; Church after rebuilding; blacksmith’s workshop adjacent to Church Cottage.
1874, A Hunt Meeting in Datchet by William Corden
Stag hunting took place in Victorian times across local fields and villages. Here, the Hunt is meeting at the Manor Hotel before setting off, with their dogs gathering and villagers watching.
From left: red-brick newly built (or re-faced) section of Manor Hotel & old whitewashed part on corner; High Street turning; house at 6 & 8 High Street where the Corden family lived; very old White Hart pub; a barn; Morning Star; ‘Temples’ house, now shops; blacksmith’s workshop; old cottages.
Mid-1870s, Photo of Manor House Range
Photos of this age are often surprisingly good and it is worth clicking to enlarge and then zoom in for the detail.
From left: Builder’s workshops on site of W.I. hall and its shops; Old Manor House; Manor Houses; Manor Cottage & Manor Green Cottage; Manor Hotel partly rebuilt as in 1874 painting; High Street; White Hart.
Early 1870s, First Photo of Datchet, looking west
From left: Old Manor House; Manor House 1 & 2, newly re-fronted in mock-Tudor style and patterned roof tiles (but not a date as has been suggested); Manor & Manor Green Cottage; Manor Hotel all whitewashed before any rebuilding; next white building is White Hart on opposite corner of High Street, with barns at back; Morning Star and ‘Temples’ building; old cottages; sign post pointing down Queens Road; gaslight in centre of village (no drinking fountain or Jubilee oak & cross); Royal Stag sign (pub out of shot); old cottages replaced by Bank & Bank House.
It is very worthwhile to enlarge and zoom into this photo. Near the centre is a water pump and in front of that is a pile of building materials, while to the left a man is moving a ladder propped up on one of the Manor Hotel buildings. Are we looking at the start of rebuilding here? On the right are two women in long aprons, and the Stag sign is clearly legible.