Sunday, 10 January 2010

Thames Tributary Darent - Horton Kirby

Thames Tributary Darent
The Darent continues flowing north

Post to the north South Darenth
Post to the west Dartford Road

Darent
The river was widened and deepened to impound water for the mill. Beside it is a weir.
Weir - small water wheel at the mid-stream wall is part of a device that automatically opened a sluice gate to release water in time of heavy flow.
Three old gravel pits, water-filled, and stocked with fish for anglers.
Concrete sill over which water from the river flows into the largest lake. Excess water from this passes into the other lakes, and, if excessive enough, from one of these via a dried-up stream bed. Springs, no longer active because of a lower water table, once filled this bed and water-cress was grown in it commercially. Four culverts took this waters through the railway embankment

Bull Hill
Rashleigh Lodge was the original St Mary’s Vicarage. In 1936 Walter Millen bought it and called it Holmesdale.
Lake District houses built by Walter Millen in 1947 in part of the grounds of Holmesdale on land always known as The Rookery.
Vicarage built in 1936 the old Vicarage grounds.

Forge Lane
Glebe Place. Local authority housing
Barns at the junction of Skinney Lane are still used to dry the hops from Court Lodge Farm
Forge House
Post box in the wall of Forge House.

Horton Kirby
Horton means ‘filthy farmstead’. Kirby is the name of the Lord of the Manor in the 13th

Horton Road
Court Lodge. The house Looks Georgian but there is a medieval feel to the outer enclosure. It is a medieval fortified manor built on land granted to Bishop Odo at the Conquest and on the site of Horton Castle. The south and east walls are exceptionally thick and two small square windows and stone quoins have been uncovered. The river is a feature in the garden. In both world wars, German prisoners worked the farm.
Horton Castle. This was once a stone built moated manor house, defended by an eastern gatehouse with a drawbridge, later replaced by a single arch brick bridge. Nothing other than some wall in Court Loge survives
Moat - there are still traces of this which was fed by the River Darenth.
Dovecote - 18th ornamental round brick dovecot, crowned by a conical tiled roof, with square roofed bird's entrance
St.Mary's Church. Old but the steeple is new - 'Cathedral of the Darent' Built 1220 by same masons as built Rochester cathedral and there are Roman tiles appear in the walls. It was partly rebuilt following an earthquake in 1382. The Bathursts of Franks House are buried there. It is a cruciform flint building with an over-large brick tower built in the early 19th to replace a previous broach spire. Art Nouveau electrolier.
Graveyard. Old yew tree leaning and held up by gravestones.
Court Lodge Cottages farm workers' houses. and the cellars are still in existence. The bar was probably at the rear of the building

Jacobs Lane
There was once a school run by a Miss Jacob and Ann Parker

Lombard Street
Reynolds Place Farm
The Bull. Has a rear garden. It is over 100 years old but has not always been in the same building and was further along Lombard Street, the pub was in Russell Terrace was called “The Bull and Bavenstack”. This comes from baven, which is a thin piece of split wood used by bakers to fire their ovens. and stacks of them were sent on barges from this area to London. The building dates from abut 1906.
12-13 Russell Terrace old site of The Bull. Cellars run under both houses

Main Street
Royal Oak Cottage charming was once a pub. After 1916 when the licence was “refused”, the building became a private dwelling but fell into disrepair. In 1950 a Demolition Order was issued and the present house was built in the same style and appearance
Meadow Brook looks like a normal, two-storeyed, modern house but it is essentially a bungalow. the upper storey, empty and without even staircase access, was added as a sop! In the garden are traces of an ancient trout-farm once fed by a loop from the river?
Kirby Hall. Thought to be on the site of the original Kirkby Court built by Roger Kirkby in the 13th, from Lancashire who married the Lady Horton. In the 19th a lieutenant of, HMS Victory transformed the timber framed house with a slate roof and pale brickwork. The brickwork effect is in fact created by mathematical tiles hung over the original walls. Grade II Listed and converted into flats.
'Fighting Cocks' pub with a garden leading down to the river
Bexley Cottages built on the site of the Dame School
Millen Court – housing on the site of the Mill and called after he last mill owner.
Mill. Behind a high fence was widened and deepened to impound water for a mill, replaced later by a factory. The water wheel was removed in the late 19th but there was a water-driven turbine capable of producing a modest electricity supply. Shoelaces were produced here. The main corn mill was burnt down in 1879 and replaced and a roller mill installed. Still working in 1899 it claimed to be the last corn mill on the Darent,

School Lane
Earlier it was called Brockhole Lane because of the many badgers. The name changed in 1857 with the building of the National School
White House Weatherboard old farm house. Said to have been the centre of a smuggling trade when contraband was brought from Gravesend to London. Goods were stored here before being taken to London via Calfstock Lane and Farningham Woods. Has secret tunnels underneath.

Skinney Lane
This road, had been known as The Homes Road. It was the road from Horton Kirby to the Homes for Little Boys. However, Skinney Lane was the name by which this road was known to the Post Office the name derives from a Mrs. Skinner who lived in a cottage along the road many years ago.
The cottage

Stack Lane
School – Horton Kirby environmental education centre. The original village school included the head teacher's house and was opened in 1857 on land from Queens College, Oxford. It replaced the Dame School in The Street. It became known as the 'School on the Hill'. The Reverend Henry Rashleigh was the prime mover and Edward Cressy was the architect. A yew tree in front of the school house was transplanted from the grounds of the Dame School for the opening ceremony. Originally there was one classroom divided into two. Boys and girls were separated by a partition, and also in the playground. Water was pumped from a well outside the scullery door and a slab engraved with 'WELL' marks the point. In 1972 the building was re-opened as a Field Study Centre and in 1993 its name was changed to Horton Kirby Environmental Education Centre

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