Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Thames Tributary, Darent - Chipstead

Thames Tributary Darent
The Darent continues flowing north east enters the lake and flows out again at its northeastern end.
TQ 50285 56145

Pretty Kentish village, once important but now hidden away on a side road.  Lakes and water areas resulting from now defunct gravel extraction.

Post to the west Chipstead
Post to the east Riverhead

Bullfinch Dene
Sand and gravel extraction in this area by Walter Smith in the 1920s.

Chesterfield Drive
Sand and gravel extraction in this area by Walter Smith in the 1920s.
Pond left behind by Smiths and now belongs to Holmesdale Angling and Conservation Society.

Chipstead
Chipstead is essentially part of Chevening and in that parish. It was Chipstead alias Wilkes and based on Moat Farm. Means ‘market place’. Chipstead was an important early crossing point of the Darent on the route that linked London with the south coast ports. It was a stopping point for 'ripiers', medieval fish merchants, who transported fish to London by pack horse.

Chipstead High Street
Cobbled pavements and listed houses, many with decorative bargeboards. The Rye Road from Chevening went right through the village heading for Bessells Green.
19 goes together with the White House
24-26 Croft House. Site of the working men’s club. It includes part of a medieval hall house. The working mens club was largely for the employees of Walter Smith,
29-31 Grocers shop 1826-1960 and now a house, 16th jettied timber house.
30-32 18th cottages
43-53 cottages built as part of the Chipstead Place Estate.
59 The Butlers House and has a large cellar
61 the head gardener's house with a large garden
9, 11, 15, medieval house in the middle section the rest rebuilt 17th. Nothing remains of the medieval about the ground floor and 15 is a mid 19th addition.
Bank House. Contains a two bay timber building. The caves for whitening extraction were in the garden. John Pudney lived here.
Bushey Cottage – on the site of a wheelwrights workshop.
Chipstead Post Office by brick bridge over millstream
Crown House. Built 1763 as a house- Pub 1866-1970s
George and Dragon. 16th timber framed jettied house. Stone stack for a central fire-place. Name was originally George and it was changed in the early 20th.
Home Farm House. In 1840 there were extensive farm buildings here and it was the farm for Chipstead Place. 16th jettied building with 18th front.
Mouse House tucked in behind 9-11
Old Bakery. 18th timber framed house. Bakery in the wing,
Rock House . Possible 12th chapel in the basement. Might have been a rest house for Pilgrims on the Rye Road. The undercroft is actually cut into the underlying rock. The house is 16th timber framed with 18th additions.
Stone cottages built by Perkins in 1841 and on the site of the White Hart pub
White House. Haunted. Has the date 1694 on it which is probably when it was rebuilt. Described in 1754 as formerly the Kings Arms
Wisdom. Homes of late Victorian butcher of that name. Pillars said to come from Chipstead Place
Floods in 1968. Water rose to over four feet in parts of the High Street and flowed into the back of the cottages overlooking the lake ripping doors off hinges in the process.

Chipstead Lake
Chipstead Lake Cheshire Home. Modern structure, with individual bed-sitting rooms for eighteen disabled residents of differing ages and circumstances. The home has an atmosphere reflecting the spirit of its founder and its location.
Club House and Sailing Club. Once a sand pit, dug initially by Walter Smith when they had exhausted the area to the south. This was dug on land owned by Windmill and Froghole Farms. The sand was removed by suction dredger and the river was diverted through the lake. Smith was bought out by Redlands and the Lime, Mortar and Gravel works by Tilcon.
a mile long, the lake is a leisure centre, crowded with dinghies, birds are attracted to the lake.— herons, Canada geese, mallards, coots, moorhens and great crested grebes —avocet, oystercatcher, sandpiper, cormorant, teal and widgeon have been spotted, and, ashore, an occasional mink and coypu.

Martin’s Shaw
Whitening mine. The mine is in the side of an abandoned quarry, now built over. This quarry once contained a whitening works. Fine white sand from the Folkestone Beds was compacted into blocks for cleaning floors. By an entrance in brickwork is a niche with a statue. This-appears to show Venus with a dolphin, but at some time the statue's head has disappeared and been replaced with a male head. Inside, the oldest date on the walls is 1864 and the floor has been surfaced and this may be as a result of being used as an air raid shelter in the Second World War.

Sandilands
Sand and gravel extraction in this area by Walter Smith in the 1920s.

Stairfoot Lane
Flight of steps to the High Street from Chipstead Lane

The Carriageway
Chipstead House – the last remains of Chipstead Place. The Polhill family lived at here from 1711 and were succeeded in 1829 by brewer, Frederick Perkins, who set about transforming the village. The estate was sold in 1916 after which time roads were opened and everything expanded. Morton Peto also lived there for a while in the late 19th. Most of the house was demolished in 1932. Stable end and ballroom remain as two separate homes.

Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Bygone Kent
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Cheshire Homes. Web site
George and the Dragon. Web site
Holmesdale Angling Society. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry,. Kent.
Watson. History of the Parish of Chevening.
Wood. Lets Explore the River Darent

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