Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Thames Tributary, Darent - Brasted

Thames Tributory Darent
The Darent flows east parallel to and north of the A25

TQ 47436 55182

Pleasant but upmarket country village strung out along the A25 and the Darent. Big houses - a convenient area for industrialists with business in London.  There were mills here along the Darent

Post to the west Brasted
Post to the east Sundridge
Post to the north Combe Bank Wood

Brasted
Brasted - means broad-place from Old English. It had dens in the Edenbridge and Hever areas. In the Domesday book are two mills. Later it was very much a village based round its mill. Its dens were at Hever.

Brasted Green
Old Mill. Externally the mill’s appearance is much as it was when active but the wheel has gone and the mill-pond has been filled in. In the 19th lads could earn half a crown here for a Sunday spent 'sharpening' the mill-stones. It was a corn mill, now housing. It had a converted cast iron breast shot waterwheel. The mill ceased work in the 1920s and was a refrigeration plant until the machinery was removed c1934 and was later used by a coach builder.. It was three storeys and on flat land by the main river. The ground floor is brick and rag and the rest weather boarded with the date 1881 in wrought iron.
Offices and works of the nation's oldest building firm -Durtnell Building Co. Durtnell claims to be the oldest building firm in the country, and has been here since 1591, father to son all that time except once when a young wife ran it for a bit. They do period restorations but also routine building work. This 1966 building is an attempt to do a Wealden House in 20th terms and so the scale is wrong.
Old pump. Octagonal, gothic cast iron. Spout like an animal’s head. Once stocks there too.
Crampton’s Brickfield. Smelt

High Street
Originally called Brasted Street – as distinct from the area round the church. Was the Broad Place which the village is called after a river terrace. The High Street is full of antique dealers. The houses are erratically numbered, and the street is picturesque.
Village Hall. Self consciously pretty. 1900 given by Mrs Tipping in memory of her husband..
War Memorial. In  the wall by the Village Hall
Village House 18th
Chartside House. Fake timbering
Rectory Lodge 18th Royal Philanthropic Society
The White House 17th box brick.
White Hart Inn. Part of it dates from the reign of Richard II, when it was a thatched farmhouse. A four-horse coach departed from here for London at eight each morning. During the Battle of Britain, many famous fighter pilots relaxed here between patrols against and left their autographs on a wall in the saloon bar. Their names may still be seen but only in replica, the board bearing the originals is now an exhibit at the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon. Very much done up and improved by the Tipping family in the late 19th .
17 the village's oldest house, 1430
Passage beside the pub. A right of way to the Darent for cattle or villagers needing water for households, Old steps set into the river's bank.
King's Arms

Main Road
Ian Ramsey College. Previously known as Brasted Place. A Robert Adam design for John Turton the fashionable royal physician to George III. He rebuilt it in 1784. He is buried in Brasted church. Various owners before him of a previous house called Stockets.. It is a Gothic Villa of Tunbridge Wells sandstone ashlar and picturesque landscape created Remarkable and prophetic informality. Standing in a beautiful wooded park of about 100 acres. Later let to various people who didn't live there. Occupied by Napoleon III in 1840, before his unsuccessful attempt to secure the throne of France. He brought his pet eagle with him and drilled his revolutionary troops in the grounds. 1871 extensions by Waterhouse for William Tipping.
Ice House in the grounds
Bridge built over a glen in the grounds and said to be on an ancient trackway.
Stone cross – the oldest thing locally alongside a sunken road, which is the packhorse way from Brasted to Ide Hill, seen as something pilgrims visited. On the bridge inside the park

New Road
Junction with the High Street moved east in 1792 by Dr.Turton at Brasted Place. The original junction was the site of the lodge.

Rectory Lane
Bridge
Lake in the grounds of Combe Bank. Sending a stream down to join the Darent.
Mill stream also going to the main road by the crossroads


The Carriageway
Stable block to Brasted Place. On it is an old turret clock from Horse Guards Parade given to Turton by George III.

Sources
Bygone Kent 
Cox. Kent
Durtnell. Web site
Ian Ramsey College. Web site
London Transport. Country walks
Penguin Kent
Pevsner and Cherry. West Kent
White Hart. Web site
Wood. Lets Explore the River Darent

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