Monday, 4 January 2010

Thames Tributary Darent.- Westerham

Thames Tributary Darent.
Emerges under Quebec Square and flows east parallel and north of Sevenoaks Road


Post to the south Westerham
Post to the east Valence House
Post to the north London Road Westerham
Post to the west Croydon Road Westerham


London Road.
Moreton Almshouses. 1874. Half timbered and sandstone
Well head.
Westerham Press. Grey brick built 1965
Court Lodge
Westerham Station. July 6th 1881. Opened following a lot of lobbying from local people. Came from Dunton Green and intended to go on from Oxted. Single platform and goods yard - Used to transport wood, coal beer and agricultural products. 1961 October. 28th closed despite petitions and recommendations from CTUCC. Big local demonstrations on closing day. Roughly on the site of Quebec Place on London Road. Was linked to Dunton Green.
Industry on the site of the station.
Westerham Library 1952 KCC

M25
Built partly on the railway line

Market Square
Market granted in 1352. Market grant obtained by traders in 1617 and they built market facilities leasing land from the George. They built the Buttery, since demolished.
Post Office. Used to have the stocks and lock up next to it
Crown Hotel. Became The Painters then, closed 1961

Quebec Square
Old House at Home Pub or Old Wine House.

Sevenoaks Road
Turnpike roads from Sevenoaks and Bromley were opened in the 18th century and Westerham prospered as a result of the increased trade during this era.
Darent in a concrete channel beneath the main road, between the 'Old House at Home' and Quebec House on the north side of the road...
Quebec House 17th gabled house of architectural and historical interest which Used to be called Spiers. It is a square brick block with 16th origins and was changed in the 18th and 20th including added the gables. Inside are reused fire places and stairs. It was the home of General Wolfe, hero of Quebec. Wolfe was born there and lived there as a child. He successfully led an ingenious campaign to capture the fortress city of Quebec and died on the battlefield, his leadership resulted in the surrender of Quebec, the turning point in the French/ English war. The house contains pictures and prints connected with Wolfe and many of his personal possessions. It was given to the National Trust by Joseph Learmon in 1913.

The Green
The Pheasantry. Built 1700 and looking like a doll’s house. Distinctive weather vane.
Wolfe statue. By F. Derwent Wood in tricorn hat and pigtail and brandishing a sword. ‘as camp as Carry On’ (Sinclair)
Statue of Churchill. The other local hero in a siren suit sitting in an armchair. Unveiled by Sir ‘Robert Menzies on condition it was done at the same time as the 1969 Test. The sculptor was Oscar Nemon and it was done out of specially donated Yugoslav marble. ‘glares, unseeing, across Tower Wood towards Chartwell’.. (Sinclair)
St. Mary the Virgin’s Church. Medieval church restored in the 19th by Teulon... There must have been an earlier Saxon church built near a springhead. The church is in an Early English style ‘like a hen over her clutch', but it is an impressive building built of ragstone with occasional groups of flints and the odd piece of brick or tile. There is a consecration cross at the base of the tower. It is interesting to compare the small irregular pieces of ragstone used here to build it with the carefully dressed ragstone blocks used to build 19th Crockham Hill church. The roof is Horsham stone. The earliest parts date from the 13th - there is a 14th anti-clockwise wooden spiral staircase that leads up to the bells with a wide and open construction. There is a Royal Arms from then time of Edward VI – the earliest in Kent and one of the earliest in England, it is on a wooden board and has a dragon, not a unicorn which came later. Wolfe was christened here and there is a tablet to him over the south door and a Morris window designed by Burne Jones... Winston Churchill donated a lamp to the church and some of his grandchildren were christened here. There are numerous tributes to the local squires, the Warde family, including the Brixton built organ and its carved wooden screen. There are 12 hatchments. John Frith, first Protestant martyr, was burnt at the stake for writing a book attacking the Pope. The church was closed in the 1880s through disrepair and reopened in 1883 when the Wardes gave the organ, windows of Whitefriars glass, and general air of prosperity.
Churchyard. Kentish ironstone paving. Remains of a processional way like at Wrotham. Grave tablet of Noel Streatfeild, author of 'Ballet Shoes'. And also Peter Nissen of Nissen huts fame
Grasshopper Inn. Said to have been built to house the church stone masons.Churchill memorabilia

Vicarage Hill
Old Vicarage
Old Vicarage Barn
Darenth. Complete Wealden timber framed house with recessed centre. Once an inn the Darenth itself flows nearby and underneath.
Grosvenor House. Very urbane with distinctive front wall. 18th
Colltherst Almshouses. 1575.
Westerham Place, once Darent Towers. Large red-brick house — now a restaurant but once the home of Luke Hansard who gave his name to the official reports of Parliamentary debates
Red Cow House 1450
Copthall House. Another hall house.

Westerham
The name is that of an English settlement in the Darenth valley which became a medieval manor of over 30,000 acres. It was an important royal estate in the 7th and one of the earliest markets in Kent, being on the border with Surrey. In the 18th Daniel Defoe described it as ‘neat, handsome, and well-built’. It is spelt ‘Oistreham’ in Domesday and was held by Godwin before the Conquest. It refers to the most westerly part of Kent. In 1135 it was transferred to Wast near Boulogne via Count Eustace. Its huge area was controlled by an infield and outfield system. In 1290 it was given to Westminster Abbey who built a chapel. The manor was given to Gresham in 1539 and the Wardes in 1751.

1 comment:

marie said...

Have enjoyed browsing your blog. I recall standing on the railway embankment to wave to the last train as it ran along the line back to Dunton Green as a child of 6. After that we played on the disused line picking wild strawberries and wild flowers. Will tell family in Australia about your blog, they will be fascinated.