Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Thames Tributary, Darent - Brasted

Thames Tributary Darent. The Darent continues north of the A25 and flowing in an east/west direction. It has now found its' way through the chalk barrier on its way to the Thames.
TQ 46832 55135

Village strung out along the A25 and the Darent.  The M25 lies on the route of the defunct Westerham Railway.

Post to the south Brasted
Post to the east Brasted
Post to the west Beggars Lane

Almshouse Row
2-5 Cottages 1440

Church Road
Stanhope Arms
Darent Bridge
St.Martin. An original Saxon church lies underneath the later replacements and was known as a daughter church of Shoreham. The parish seems to have been taken out of Westerham in a long thing shape which reflects secular land ownership. A 14th church was thought to be by the same architect as churches at Mersham, Chipstead (Surrey), Merton, Gatton and Cliffe. This was demolished in 1865 and a new church built in 1880. The architect was Alfred Waterhouse. Only the much buttressed west tower of 1225 remains along with the Stocket Chapel, a 13th chantry. The chapel’s ownership used to be with a house called Stockets which later became Brasted Place. It was added to the Church in 1320 and in 1912, when the estate sold and the estate purchasers did not want it – it was bought anonymously and given to the church as a war memorial. The church was damaged and burnt out by flying bombs in July 1944 and became unstable through damage to surrounding ground. Much glass, and the organ were smashed - village events were held to pay the bills resulting from restoration. In 1989 the church was burnt out following a fire caused by a vagrant, and recently finished wartime restoration was completely lost. It has since been completely rebuilt again. The first vicar was Edmund de Mepham. Monuments: sepulchral stone to de Mepham; Table tomb to Dorothy Bansford 1413; John Turton. It is on a slight rise which may be to protect it from flooding.
Graveyard. Crawshay tomb with druidical symbols. Railings formed of anchors.
Old Rectory. Early Pugian Gothic. For William Hodge Mill, orientalist vicar
Mill CottageMill Farm. With fire mark and plaque about the mill.
Water mill for cereal milling, built in 1705 and built into the bank. Worked by the Smith family until 1858. There was a cast iron waterwheel. Machinery was removed by the First World War and by 1954, it was a garage. The stream had been diverted into a millpond, since filled in and planted as an orchard, standing on an earth bank into which the mill had been built. In the 1960s there were still some remains of equipment etc.

High Street
Bull Inn. Surrounded by antique shops

M25
Follows then line of the Westerham Railway
Secret turnaround junction, which uses two slip roads – one for each carriageway – constructed west and east of the location, connected via the old Station Road which now goes underneath the motorway. This junction would also have made a very handy short-cut to and from Chevening House.!
Park Wood

Sevenoaks Road
Park Farm. Vet,
Recreation ground
Swimming pool on the A25 frontage of the recreation ground opened 1914. 25 yards long and with a gravel bottom fed by the Darent. Changing rooms and wooden walls. Very popular in the 1920s and 1930s it closed in 1949.

Station Road
Brasted Station. July 6th 1881. Single platform and goods yard. Closed. ` The station approach is now a works road leading on to the M25, with the actual access way covering the site of the former booking hall.
Station goods yard, formerly occupied by a local coal merchant, closed off by steel gates.
Stationmaster’s house
Glebe Cottages

Sources

Bygone Kent 

Cox. Kent
Disused Stations. Web site
London Transport. Country walks
Penguin Kent
Pevsner and Cherry. West Kent
St. Martin's. Web site
Wood. Lets Explore the River Darent

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