Aerial photo from 1920 looking northwards over the Fisheries on the left back of the River Thames, with St. Michael's Church, Bray, in the foreground.

The Fisheries Estate

The Fisheries is an estate of individually designed houses, built on land bordering the River Thames, to the south of Maidenhead, and has been in existence as a residential area since the 1890’s. The earliest Fisheries properties are to be found spaced out through the estate. The most noteworthy of which, perhaps, is Langtree House, reportedly built for King Edward VII’s mistress, Lily Langtree. Whether she actually lived here is open to question, but the story lingers on. The property itself, located on the river, at the junction of Fishery and Avenue Roads, is now split into 3 separate dwellings. Other remaining examples of Victorian and Edwardian properties are West Court, Fisherman’s Cottage (now Glebe House) and Wych Elm.

Whereas the original estate was characterised by large open spaces in the form of orchards, tennis courts, and vegetable gardens, the attraction of the river to Edwardian Londoners soon led to sub-divisions for the erection of summer houses, boat houses, moorings etc. Development has  slowly taken  place over the last 130 year with some of the earlier “summer houses” and workers cottages being demolished to make way for larger, permanent homes.

 With the development of the Great Western railways under their world famous engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the railway eventually bridged the river, bringing the town itself within easy reach of London, the worlds’ then greatest city and financial capital. Money came in looking for residential properties, leading to a steady sub-division and infill of the estate.

The land now occupied by the mock-Georgian Estate to the north of the Fisheries, was originally known as Old Field and once housed Bray Cricket Club, before the club merged with Maidenhead Hockey Club and moved to the new site to the south of the Fisheries.

The Fisheries Residents Association (FRA) was founded in 1961, primarily as unincorporated residents’ body to maintain the four private roadways of the estate. Prior to that time, the limited number of residents within the Fisheries maintained the roadways at their own expense, under covenants drawn up by the original landowners. 

By 1964/5, people living on Oldfield Road as far up as Forlease Road, had joined the expanded FRA and Chauntry Road residents also appeared as members about this time. When The Rushes development was started in 1968, they too became members of the FRA.

The original estate fell into 2 halves, due to the presence of a creek that separates Chauntry Road from Fishery Road. The footbridge separating the two areas was closed some 20 years ago by a Chauntry Road resident whose garden contained the footpath extension that enabled people to walk back to Maidenhead from Bray without using the main road.  By the 1980’s, the involvement of the upper Bray Road and Chauntry Road residents fell away, and the FRA developed into the entity it is today. 

Membership of the FRA is open to all households in Avenue Road, Church Road, Fishery Road, Glebe Road and the houses along the east side of Bray Road that back onto the Fisheries.

Aerial photo from 1949, looking northwards over Maidenhead and the River Thames, showing both Maidenhead Bridge (completed in 1777) and Maidenhead Viaduct railway bridge (designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and completed in 1838).