Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Thames Tributary Darent - Hawley

Thames Tributary Darent
The Darent continues to flow north and slightly north

Post to the north Dartford Central Park
Post to the east Hawley
Post to the south Burnthouse


Hawley Road
1 Cressey Arms
Jessamine Place
The Four Lymes Pub which was the Bull – later the Buffalo’s Head. Now named after four trees near the pub.
Sutton House
Fishery 'a delight'
Papermakers Arms Pub.
6 Orange Tree Pub. 17th building called Orange Tree Farm. By 1832 it had become a pub and in 1894 owned by the Dartford Brewery Company,
One With Grace church and the Stretch Theatre
Hawley Manor. Brick dovecote. 1556 date is not genuine but it is said to be Elizabethan. Listed.

Powder Mill Lane
Questor House. Offices of J.& E.Hall (International). More than 200 years of progress and achievement. it was not until the late 19th century that Halls moved into refrigeration. In 1886 Halls’ cold air machine provided cooling for the preservation of provisions at sea. Three years later the company installed a two-stage carbon dioxide compressor for frozen meat at Smithfield. By the early 1920s Halls had installed more than half of the world’s marine cargo refrigeration. The company grew steadily during the 20th century and merged with air conditioning pioneers Thermotank in 1959. APV acquired the business in 1976. In 1978 the first British single screw compressor, the HallScrew, was developed. In 1995 AAF McQuay International purchased the refrigeration and freezer interests
Pumping Station. A well was sunk in 1885 by the Kent Water Works Company and a pumping station has been in operation since then, Buildings from 1903.
Bridge over the Darent
Powder Mill. 80-acre site on either side of Powder Mill Lane where, from 1732 to 1906, gunpowder was produced. There were once 150 buildings here. The River was impounded and divided and channelled around the site to run waterwheels that powered. Foundations, cogwheels and grindstones remain as well as brick tunnels still there to conduct the water for the grindstones. The three channels through the site unite at the Brick Bridge and a fourth stream with a concrete flume. There were also moats around stores of explosive materials and spark free transport between units of the factory. Founded 1732, and used by Pike & Edsell, and then sold in 1778 to Frederick Pigou and M. P. Andrews who amalgamated with Charles Laurence & Son of Battle. From 1890, they manufactured gun cotton and nitro-cellulose. In 1898 taken over by Curtis & Harveys. Vickers Armstrong ex-Vickers Son and Maxim. The powder makers wore soft garments of wool and leather, to minimise the chance of anyone wearing or carrying anything that might cause a spark with baggy leather ‘elephant slippers’ on their feet. The management provided a dining room to prevent workers going home for lunch and a garden to occupy them if their shift finished early. Despite such precautions there were some horrendous accidents, with bits of works being blown far afield.explosions in 1790, 1795 etc. it was so bad that people fled to Crayford. 1833 8 people died. Part of the gunpowder site was used for the production of munitions by the Vickers company in the First World War. Site now redeveloped.
This may be the original site of John Spilman’s Tudor paper mill
Smelting plant – set up to deal with ore brought here by Martin Frobisher from Baffin Island in the 1570s.

Watling Street
Watling Street leads downhill into the valley of the Darent and crosses the road leading from Dartford to Farningham. This arterial road was reconstructed by the Ministry of Transport and opened in 1925.

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