Birch Lane & Farm Drive

Laid down over the course of thirty years (1888 to 1918), the roads on the Webb Estate were designed and developed individually according to the richly varied planting scheme envisaged by Webb.

The intrinsic character of each of these roads is important because ultimately it is their aesthetic interaction which lends the Estate so much of its appeal.

Although very different from another in style, Birch Lane and Farm Drive lie at the heart of The Webb Estate, having been designed as access roads to Upper Woodcote House. Built in 1903, this was the first property on the Estate and the home of William Webb.

Birch Lane is the main entrance to Upper Woodcote House, beginning its impressive approach from where it meets Briar Hill and The South Border. Its wide driveway is bordered by hedges which lead to a pair of tall white gateposts. Topped with roughcast stone, these mark the original entrance to the grounds of the mansion. The house itself is hidden behind lusciously overgrown cypress trees which, along with yew hedges and grass borders, line the road inside the gate.

There are only three other properties here, and one of these, Ummed Villa, was once Woodcote Lodge. Birch Lane is a cul-de-sac and gives access to Farm Drive by way of a narrow footpath which runs behind the main house.

Farm Drive leads eastward from Promenade de Verdun. A narrow road bordered by grass verges and hedges, the impression that it creates is that of a path in the woods, widening as it turns towards Upper Woodcote House.

Most of the houses in Birch Lane and Farm Drive were built at later dates on the grounds of Upper Woodcote House. Because these roads were designed with the primary purpose of serving Upper Woodcote House, they are different in character and nature from the "floral roads", which were later designed as part of the Estate.

Road charges including sinking fund are £100 per annum.