Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The London/Kent Boundary - Dartford Marshes

The London/Kent Boundary - Dartford Marshes
TQ 5343477477

An area of Dartford Salt Marsh alongside the Darent

Post to the east Darent meets the Thames
Post to the south Crayford Marshes
Post to the north Crayfordness
Post to the west Erith Anchor Bay

The London (Bexley)/Kent Boundary
The boundary goes south down the line of the River Darent.
A riverside path winds up the river, and the boundary, on both sides. Lonely, beautiful, still the edge of the world and any activity is likely to be one which would unacceptable further inland.

On the boundary

River Darent/ Dartford Creek.
‘Not a river but a persistent stream ‘
Coal duty boundary marker post. There is a granite obelisk in the foreshore at the Darent mouth. It is square tapering to a pyramidal top. Marked ‘14 & 15 Vic C 146’. These posts mark the point past which coal and wine taxes were due to the City of London and can be found all along the boundary.

London/Bexley side of the boundary

Crayford Marshes
An area which Michael Baldwin described as ‘wet earth and dry water’
Ship Canal plan drawn and promoted by J.E. Hall in 1836
Lower Farm. The red wall belonged to it, below sea level. Red brick, old, soggy footed on uncertain foundations. ‘Red House’ is marked on many maps and was associated with ‘Lower Farm’. It was used by river workers as a tack point
Railway Line. Trench Warfare Light Railway. This was linked to the North Kent Line by a siding to the Thames Ammunition works. It went from Slade Green Depot, where there was a platform, across the marsh 1½ miles to the ammunition works. It opened in 1917 and in 1918 became Hudson's Refuse Works Line and closed in 1924. A section remained between Slade Green and the refuse dump.

Ray Lamb Way
Was previously called Wallhouse Road. The road is now much used by lorries, but was built on brushwood and rubble
Sports ground.
Concrete bunkers near the river housed ammunition during the Second World War
Pill Box. Hexagonal brick with gun ports on four walls with concrete lintels. Semi buried entrance in concrete. 1942
Anti Aircraft Battery site. Remains of gun emplacements and ammunition store dating from the Second World War
Thamesside Industrial Estate – this is on the site of the ammunition works. An industrial estate with a described by Michael Baldwin described as ‘an orderly room look’.
Thames Ammunition Works site. The land around the Ness was from 1890 the site of the Thames Ammunition Works, which became part of Vickers Armstrong. During the First World War the works covered a large area and finally closed c1962. It was linked to the North Kent Railway by the Trench Warfare Light Railway and some internal rails remained.
Barne’s Wharf. Derelict remains of barge wharf built on Dartford Creek in 1870 for bricks to be send from Barne’s Brickworks. Group of formerly upright timbers in the river and by the river wall. Nothing horizontal left. Was this actually in this area?

Dartford Kent side of the boundary
Dartford destructor 1903. Steam raising from sewage.


Sources
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Coal posts. Web site
Defence of Britain. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
Hamilton. Industries of Crayford
Pritchard. A History of Erith
Spurgeon's. Discover Erith and Crayford
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames

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