Islip Manor Meadows
Where is it?
Located on on the edge of Northolt at the top of the borough. Situated at the end of Arnold Road, Northolt. The site is north of the A40 between the Polish War Memorial and the Target Roundabout.
Nearest tube: Northolt (Central line)
Bus: 282, 120, 90 and 140
About the park
This is a very good example of a wet meadow. This site contains a rich mosaic of different grassland types; over 20 grass species and ten leguminous species are among the diverse flora.
Damp grassland and ephemeral ponds support a number of uncommon plant species:
- ragged-robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)
- lesser spearwort (Ranunculus flammula)
- oval sedge (Carex ovalis) and marsh cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum)
Typical London clay grassland herbs include:
- sneezewort ( Achillea pta rmica )
- pepper-saxifrage ( Silaum silaus)
- devil's-bit scabious (Succisa pratensis)
- betony ( Stachys officinalis )
Drier grassland supports:
- grass vetchling ( Lathyrus nissolia )
- dyer's greenweed ( Genista tinctoria)
- saw-wort ( Serratula tinctoria)
- narrow-leaved birds'-foot-trefoil ( Lotus glaber)
Permanent ponds support further botanical interest, including:
- lesser marshwort ( Apium inundatum) and
- common water-crowfoot ( Ranunculus aquatilis)
The latter also support important populations of the specially-protected great crested newt.
Islip Manor Meadows are designated a Local Nature Reserve and a site of metropolitan interest. Natural England provides information on local nature reserves. There is no formal access and it tends to be quite wet so if visiting boots would be advised.
For many years Isip Manor formed part of the Manor of Northall (Northolt) and when, in 1629 the Lord of the Manor took up temporary residence there he called the site Iselipps Manor, the name probably deriving from an important family name, the Riselepes.
Having severed connections with Northolt Manor, Islip Manor became a freehold estate and was managed as farmland until the end of the 19 century. An 1824 survey showed that the land consisted of 50 acres of pasture and meadow and, like most Middlesex farms, was devoted mostly to hay production.
In 1880 it was producing 100 tons of hay a year. The land was purchased by the Middlesex County Council and the borough council in the late 20’s and 30’s and today forms part of the green belt.
Illegal horse grazing was a problem on the site up until about 2004 but previous management would have seen cows grazing the meadows.