Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Thames Tributary, Darent - Riverhead

Thames Tributary Darent
The Darent leaves the Longford Lake, crosses the London Road and flows into another lake going in an easterly direction. It emerges from the second lake to go north.

Post to the west Chipstead
Post to the north Dunton Green

Baden Powell Road
Site of the original offices of Walter Smith the gravel extraction outfit which formed Chipstead Lake.

Bradbourne Vale Road
Engineering workshop of Mr. Worsell who built cars and aeroplanes
Bradbourne Farm. 1700 common type of built of which this is an example c.1700. It is red brick chequered with blue headers. Late 18th door case. The farm buildings make a fine group

Bullfinch Lane
The original Chipstead Common was between here and Chipstead Lane
Sand and gravel extraction in the area west of this by Walter Smith in the 1920s which was removed via this route. Smith works was there and some bungalows for the workers. Lime, Sand and Mortar also had a works here and a shop for local builders.

Chipstead Lane
Rock House rag stone with a different character to its neighbours
Chalet style bungalow.
Cottages. listed. white weather boarded pair
The Lodge building with decorative bargeboards

Chipstead Lake
Remains of a dry dock in the south east corner. Weir was built before Longford Bridge was reached.

Chipstead Common
The area was given after enclosures in 1837 by Earl Amherst

Chipstead Green.
Land at the eastern end of Chipstead Lake which was owned by Tilcon. Turned into recreation space and this extends to woodland around the Cheshire Home.

Kingswood Road
Brickworks

London Road
Miners Arms, pub called after Welsh miners who built the Polhill Railway tunnel in the North Downs in the 19th
Longford Bridge.Opened 1636. In 1066 it was said that both Harold and William crossed here with their armies.
Millstone. Set into the tarmac.
Marley tile works. Opened a factory to make tiles at the east end of Chipstead Lake in 1934.They bought up vast amounts of land between here and Dunton Green including farmland., The works were closed in 1989
Tesco – on the site of the Marley Works.
Hardy’s Yard. Industrial units
The Bullfinch. McMullens only site in Kent,

The Mead Way
Rocks from Crawshay's Druidical ruins in the gardens

Mill Lane
Watermill which ground seed for animal feed. Power transmitted through overhead drive that turned three pairs of grinding stones by vertical shafts. Rebuilt by Weeks of Maidstone in 1859, it had an internal cast iron overshot waterwheel replacing a breast shot wheel. Electrical power was installed between but work ended in 1947. The mill building survived until 1987 when the site was redeveloped. A lido - known locally as ‘the lagoon’, was built at the mill in 1930 and used for 22 years The water rights had been sold to the gravel workings and had essentially failed while the mill continued to run with electricity. By the 1980s nothing to show that any building had been on site.
Old Mill house. Looks modern pastiche to me,

Pointoise Close
5 Sundial from Crawshay's druidical ruins

Pounsley Road
Go down it to the river.
Pounsley was a big house connected to the brickworks, with offices at the entrance, 16 workers cottages and a gardener’s bungalow.

Railway
The Darent goes through a brick arch under the railway embankment,

Riverhead
The name seems originally to have been similar to Rotherhithe and mean ‘cattle landing place’.
St.Mary’s church. Gothic by Decimus Burton 1831.
Village Hall
White Hart Parade

West Lake
Jeffrey Harrison Wild Life Reserve
Sevenoaks Wild Fowl Reserve. The Darent goes through it in a water meadow with the channel well defined in grooved rag stone into which boards were put to control the flow. The entrance is beside some stables – This was Bradbourne Quarry and the flooded pits were taken on by Jeffery Harrison, a local doctor and ornithologist. In the late 1950s he began to turn the pits into lakes. he analysed the stomach contents of over two hundred ducks shot locally to find out what they ate and Then planted around the lakes things suitable for food and cover – brambles, alder and silver birch near the banks, sedge and reed on the banks, and aquatic plants in the water, allowing birds to swim around and have cover. Islands and spits were also created. Harrison died in 1978 and his work has continued.
Brickworks

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