Thursday, 21 January 2010

Thames Tributary - Cray flowing to Darent. Foots Cray

Cray Tributary to Darent, itself a Thames Tributary

Post to the north Foots Cray
Post to the south St.Pauls Cray

Cray Road
Schweppes, opened by Princess Margaret in 1961. Building by Tripe and Waterlow. Taken over by Coca Cola. the source of the Dasani ‘pure water’ fiasco in 2004. They have nine production lines which produce small plastic bottles, recyclable glass, squash and cans including 1 litre Schweppes Cordial, Roses, 5 Alive, Ki-Ora and the 200ml Coke Contour bottle.
Twysdens

Edgington Way
Richard Klinger works. Klinger Fluid Instrumentation A large factory of 1936 by Wallis Gilbert & Partners, considered to be influenced by Dutch Expressionism. The frontage is symmetrical and impressive, with long horizontal bands of brown brick and glass, and similar but vertical bands of brick and glass in the central tower
LEFA Business Park
Ruxley Corner Business Estate
Tesco

Foots Cray
Foots Cray is named after a Saxon, Godwin Fot, who held the manor at the time of the Conquest. The nickname Fot -from Old English would perhaps mean that the person had a foot of unusual size or shape. It is recorded as ‘Crai’ in the Domesday Book, when it had a mill worth 10 shillings, 4 cottages, a serf and woodland worth 6 pigs. ‘It is later called ‘Fotescraei’ or ‘Fotescraye’. It was once a distinctive Kentish village centred around the River Cray and on the main route from London to Maidstone and carried considerable traffic. There is also evidence that the Romans occupied a site near the river. Industrial and residential development has swamped the area, but you can still find the old village centre.

High Street
Tudor Cottages. A late medieval, 4 bay timber framed Kentish hall house which had been converted into cottages which had been allowed to become derelict. It was restored in the 19th and has since been rebuilt behind the facade, and is now as offices
Seven Stars. Has records going back to 1753. It has a weather boarded range at right angles to the road, which is probably 16th, though the windows and the stucco are 19th. The range parallel with the road was added c1930. The garden overlooks the River Cray and the site of the old paper mill. It showed a red lantern on the ford before the bridge was built. Then in the early 19th traffic from Maidstone to London via Footscray increased considerably and this was an important inn for coaches with names such as The Times, The Balloon and The Sovereign. In the middle ages the Madonna and the seven stars was a religious symbol, which went out with the Reformation. During excavations an old plaster plaque of a Madonna's head surrounded by seven stars was found in a well and it is now inside the pub above a fireplace
The Red Lion. A "worthy" establishment of some notoriety built in 1823. It is said that Thomas Edison once stayed here whilst visiting Sir John Pender at Footscray Place. Gaudy pink interior.
Prospect House. A building c1980, with a jettied upper floor in sympathy with the adjacent Tudor Cottages. It is linked to the Red Lion by a surviving section of a 16th building.
Nexus House, by Campbell Ross 1982, Like Prospect House, it has a jettied first floor.

Maidstone Road
Sidcup Technology Centre. A building of 1985 designed by GMW. It has bands of glass and baked white aluminium sheeting, with the first floor suspended on pilotis, and three circular brick staircase towers. The western range is over the River Cray, on the site of the old mill demolished in 1929.
Foot's Cray Mill. Very old mill site. Paper making in 1798 when it was bought by Harenc. In 1878 it was Royle fabric printing. 1886 1890 paper and calico. At the turn of the 20th it was being used as a factory making photographic film. And then partly laundry plus European Blair Camera Co and E.K.Cole who later became EKCO radio. 1925 British Artificial Fibre Co. Ltd. demolished 1929. Had an onsite gas works. Its final use was involved with the processing of silk. The paper mill had two cast iron overshot waterwheel in parallel. The mill itself was demolished in 1929
Kolster Brandes. Were on the mill site and Made radios here from the late 1920s. It was later owned by Standard Telephones and Cables other STC businesses were on site. Radio manufacture finished in 1992.
Brimar – on the mill site as part of STC valve makers. Built as a bomb proof factory before the Second World War and a strategic manufacturing site.
Harenc Mill – paper making from 1767-1870s. Then textile and artificial fibre until demolition in 1929. Also a photographic film plant.
Foot's Cray Bridge. A small two-arched bridge over the Cray, but it is difficult to identify the earlier elevations because of modern service pipes and road widening. It was probably a packhorse bridge. The mill made the river higher and so the County authorities made the owners rebuild the bridge. There is a. Horse wash on one side. The south side of the road bridge still has its brick wall of c1815, and the wall with the old spans and breakwater can be seen from the modern footbridge alongside. It was widened in 1909 to accommodate buses. There was previously a ford here.
65/79 A mock-Tudor shopping parade c1930, with oriel windows, curved eaves, Tudor chimneys, and a steep and narrow half-timbered central gable
Sidcup Bus Garage. London Transport Garage. But built by London General Omnibus Co. and opened in 1924. Built in brick with attached sheds to accommodate diesel buses. Demolished 1983. Later ICL computers.
Hall

McKillop Way

Mount Culver Avenue
15. Subsidence 2m wide and 5m deep, in rear garden 6.09m from rear of house. Unlikely to be a denehole, possibly a well or cess-pit.

Powerscroft Road

Sidcup by Pass
Critall’s Corner – called after the factory
Both sides zoned for industrial use. Built with unemployed labour KCC 1926-1927
Old cottages
Critall factory. Factory from 1930s for the manufacture of steel window frames with an Impressive frontage. Taken over by Rank-Brymar for the manufacture of cathode ray tubes. Ceased production 1990 and demolished. DIY store on site.
First KCC purpose built old peoples home in Bexleyheath in 1956
DFS Superstore. On the site of the Crittal’s factory

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