Saturday, 9 January 2010

Thames Tributary Darent - Eynsford

Thames Tributary Darent
The Darent continues through Eynsford in a long curve turning north east.

Post to the east Eynsford
Post to the south Lullingstone Castle

Crockenhill Lane
Mount Eagle

Eynsford Pumping station,
Kent Waterworks Co. Gas engine house. New well. Two oil engines by Ruston and Hornsby
River flows beneath the pumping station bridge which crumbled in 1968,

Eynsford
The name means Eigen’s ford, or something similar. Eynsford was given to Christ Church, Canterbury, about 950 by a Saxon named Elfege, and until the reign of Edward I the manor was held by a family named Eynsford.
Airport. In 1930 Eynsford was announced as the site of a new airport for London. The Second World War prevented this and it was never progressed.

Lullingstone Lane
Wood Mill. This mill stood downstream of the Bridge, and was a corn mill with an undershot waterwheel. Other evidence shows it was a water powered saw mill built c1853. It may have stood on the site of an earlier mill. There appear to be no remains.
Lullingstone viaduct. Nine arches 30'9 each and 63'4 high. Opened 2nd June 1862, the embankment with trees. The east/west railway from London to Ramsgate was opened in 1858.

Riverside
A watering place where people come to enjoy the Darent, since the pre-war start of popular motoring. It can get too crowded to find space, Sometimes a car crosses the ford, sending up a spray.
Path Between the viaduct and the Roman villa. The Darent winding through meadows, on its right bank are alders and Highland cattle.
Saplings replacing trees blown down in 1987.
Tudor cottage 16th probably once an inn,
Cottages c16 adjoining.
24 Plough pub. 16th close studding. Was for a while the ‘Steam Plough Inn’.
Malt cottage c16 jettied cottage
Oak planted to commemorate Arthur Mee
Old Mill, Eynsford. This was a corn mill which stood immediately downstream of the bridge by the ford – which seems an odd place to put it. It had a low breast shot waterwheel was in 1887 replaced by one of at least 10 feet diameter. The millstones were only 3feet diameter, suggesting that only a limited amount of flour was available. It was working until 1911, and no auxiliary power was used. The mill house building was converted to a house in the 1920s. Originally it had a curved corrugated iron roof.
Mill House. Next to the bridge.
Ford. The village probably gets its Saxon name from the ford, Aegen's ford. The ford was an important crossing point of the Darent from Roman times. Control of the ford protected the valley south of it from the piratical raids that Norsemen and others inflicted on the upper reaches of the Darent. Bronze age arrowhead found nearby and a possible Sarson stone boundary marker.
Bridge. Pretty. 17th Century. Projecting stone-angel, now nearly obliterated, between the arches on the south side. She is St.Catherine to whom the bridge is dedicated as the patron saint of bridges. When there were plans to renew the bridge in the 1930s, Hore Belisha, Minister of Transport lived locally and he arranged to have the original bridge strengthened.
Boulder in the river from which Wesley preached
Home Farm. Square Georgian building. Stone walls replace grassy banks to ensure tidiness and conformity with the neat and efficient agricultural installations. Georgian stone wall. Alexander family of cattle farmers. Highland Cattle are theirs and are pets.

Sparepenny Lane
Probably a private route that undercut the higher tolls payable on the main turnpike road, now the A225. Locals used Sparepenny Lane to save a copper.
Toll Bar Cottage to get tolls for Sparepenny Lane. Cheaper than the turnpike. Occupied by a toll keeper according to an 1851 census. Lamp-post outside
Water Board conifers - Round this area perhaps a million starlings, reputedly driven south from Russia, gathered each evening in the winter of 1982/83.

Station Road
Malt Shovel Pub

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