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23. Ray Mill Island

Size: 16,442 sq m/ 1.6 hectares
A walk around the perimeter of this park will contribute 1,000 steps to the advised 10,000 daily steps recommended to improve fitness.

BBQs are not permitted in any of the parks and open spaces.

Works to create the bridge parapet will be commence on Monday 26 June 2017 for approximately 12 weeks. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, the island will remain open during the time.

Location and access details

Access to Ray Mill Island is from Ray Mead Road cross the road bridge at Boulters Lock walk past the hotel (SL6 8PE) and cross the pedestrian bridge onto the island.

Due to the location and nature of this area it is monitored from September to April and can be closed due to high river levels making it unsafe for public access and a daily decision is made.

Facilities

  • Aviary and Guinea Pig enclosure
  • Picnic tables and benches
  • wooden animals dotted around for imaginative play and small play area for children aged 3-8 years
  • Toilets
  • Cycle racks
  • Cafe - privately run - Franca & Sons contact number is 01494 438320
  • Please do not feed the squirrels on the island as they are wild animals and may bite

History

The Island's name dates from when the Ray family managed a flourmill here. The site was acquired by Maidenhead Borough Council in 1950 from the Conservators of the River Thames.

At the northern end of the Island you will find Boulter's Weir, one of 50 remaining on the Thames. Managed by the Environment Agency, they maintain water levels so that boats can pass through the adjacent lock, control land drainage and ensure that water is available for public consumption.

As part of the 1979 Thames Salmon Re-habilitation Scheme, the last Salmon ladder to be built on the Thames was opened at Boulters Weir on 19 May 2000 by the Duke of Wellington. All the weirs from Teddington to Mapledurham now have Salmon ladders.

The Millstone

Whilst clearing the stream to the rear of the island in the autumn/ winter of 2011 an old millstone was uncovered. This has been incorporated into the water inlet area at the head of the stream.

Sculptures

As visitors to Ray Mill Island, Maidenhead will be aware the memorial to four Altwood School pupils who died in an accident in 1988 was stolen and damaged beyond repair in October 2011.

Following discussions with family members and feedback from others, it was agreed to put an identical bronze statue - using the original mould - in the same location. The original sculptor, Cookham's Eunice Goodman agreed to carry out the work.

Altwood School launched a fundraising drive and the Royal Borough underwrote the project. The new statue is in place and the official rededication of the statue took place on the 17th July 2012 with the families and the Mayor in attendance.