Cross Oak

Cross Oak Road is born…
“Great Berkhampstead… Board of Guardians… The Inspector reported that Gilham’s-lane was about to be converted into a new street under the Bye-laws, and it was resolved that the Land Society laying out the street have notice to throw out roadway to the extent of 18ft. from the centre of the present road.” (Bucks Herald, Nov 1885).

Crossoak House_bk8854

Cross Oak House

Crossoak House for sale…
“The house occupies an elevated position, commands very extensive and picturesque views, is in the Swedish style, approached by a carriage drive, and contains 21 bed and dressing rooms, linen and box rooms, entrance-hall paved with tiles, inner hall, corridor, principal and secondary staircases, lavatory, elegant bay drawing room 35ft. 9in. by 19ft., dining room 25ft. 6in., by 18ft., with French casements, serving room, boudoir, library, billiard room, butler’s pantry, housekeeper’s room, servants’-hall, and well-arranged domestic offices, dairy and cellars, kitchen ; yard with outhouses, poultry-houses and gardener’s and coachman’s cottages. The outbuildings comprise three-stall stable, two loose boxes, saddle room, coach-house for six carriages, coachman’s cottage, a range of three vineries and orchard-house, peach-house, greenhouse, granary, enclosed yard, with house for eight cows, cattle-shed, &c. The pleasure-grounds are tastefully disposed in broad terrace walk, lawn tennis ground and flower beds, belted and planted with a choice collection of rare shrubs, well-stocked garden and prettily timbered undulating meadow land, the whole containing about 73 acres, a considerable portion of which possesses extensive frontages to good roads, and adapted for building purposes.” (Hertford Mercury & Reformer, Oct 1880).

Homoeopathic Magic…
“I have read that at Berkhampstead In Hertfordshire, there used to be certain oak trees [specifically Cross Oak] which were long celebrated for the cure of ague. The transference of the malady to the tree must have been painful. A lock of the sufferer’s hair was pegged into an oak; then by a sudden wrench he left his hair and his ague behind him in the tree. But I am not credulous enough to believe that story. Superstition does not thrive in a matter-of-fact world. To be honest, I regard superstition as a false, misdirected belief based on ignorance.”
(H. J. Channon, Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser, Jan 1942. Channon omitted to reveal his source: Henry Nash, Reminiscences, 1890, p.45).

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