A SQUARE BY SQUARE LOOK AT LONDON
TQ 30 58 Rural area as the road goes along the ridge of Farthingdown
The London/Surrey/Croydon boundary goes up Ditches Lane At Farthingdown Cottages it turns west and then north up the boundary of the downland area.. It then turns west along Drive Road.
Sites on the London, Croydon side of the boundary
Post to the west Dutch Village
Post to the soiuth Devilsden
Hedgerow – ancient hedgerow runs all the way parallel to the road from Marlpit Lane to Drive Road. It has over 20 species in it and formed a boundary between the lower fields and the downs.
The road name used to be Driftway – as a farm track going to Tollers Farm
‘Farthing’ or’ Fairdean’ Downs. It is marked like this on the Ordnance Survey map of 1878, but simply ‘Farthing Downs’ on the 1816 map. It was earlier written ‘Ferthyngdoune’ 1322, ‘Ferthingdown’ 1549, ‘Farthing Downs’ c.1768. It comes from an Old English word meaning 'a fourth part or quarter of an estate'.
Field system and Saxon barrows. The lynchets and an ancient trackway can be seen in some light conditions in the fields on the side oi the road and on the road to Chaldon. west of the road are barrows which contained burials and their grave goods. The most prominent features are a series of anti-aircraft trenches dug during the Second World War.
This is an arc of anciently worked chalk downland and woods on a steep ridge. Farthing Down belonged to Chertsey Abbey but the survival Celtic fields and barrows show cultivation from the Neolithic period. Until this century the area was used for sheep grazing and then the City of London bought Farthing Down when it was threatened with enclosure. Much of the area is has an SSSI. The coarse grass on the chalk reflects the harsh conditions but there are also deep-rooted plants like knapweed and wild carrot. It is a major source of greater yellow rattle. The boundary hedges include eight species of ancient yew. Trees cover on the escarpment is mainly hawthorn. There are many butterflies. Foxes and badgers live here as do birds like nuthatch and treecreepers, kestrels and skylarks. .
This material has been collected over many years and from a wide variety of sources