Thursday, 19 August 2010

Thames Tributaries – the River Wandle. The Bourne tributary. Riddlesdown

Thames Tributaries - River Wandle
The Bourne tributary continues to flow underground along and south of Godstone Road.

Post to the west Kenley
Coombe Wood Hill
Coombe Wood

Downs Court Road
Probably continues the Roman Road which crosses Riddlesdown

Godstone Road.
Kenley Station. 1856 Between Purley and Whyteleafe on Southern Rail. Once called ‘Coulsdon’ but it is older than this. The platforms are below road level, with a brick ticket office on the up-side. Stairs lead down to the platform and a footbridge to the down platform. There is a listed deep gabled station house by architect Richard Whittall – it is like the original one at Caterham. This house was sold to in 2007 and the original wooden waiting room on the down platform was demolished and replaced with a small modern shelter.
62 Kenley Hotel. Mirrored bar destined for the Titanic.
Cricket Ground – Southern Railway and Kenley Cricket Club.
Riddlesdown Caves. Used as air raid shelters in the Second World War. Used by Optical Surfaces - instrument makers because of the constant temperature and lack of vibration.
Kenley Memorial Hall. War memorial community centre.
Police Station with decorative plaques. Said to be the oldest building used by the Met. Police it dates from 1896. Locally listed.

Little Roke Road
Little Roke. The name ‘Roke’ is first noted in 1550 and derives from the Middle English word for 'place at the oak tree' and there are two ancient oaks by the railway footbridge, one c.400 and one c900 years old. Earlier it is found in the name of Adam atte Roke in 1367 and in the field name ‘le Rokegrofe’ in 1431. It is shown on the Ordnance Survey of 1816 together with Roke Farm which was once known as “Great Roke”. There was a small group of terraced houses in the 19th but the area was rebuilt in the 20th.
Roke Primary School. The School dates from the early 1900s but the current site is 1994.

Mitchley Avenue
Saxon graves found at the junction with Riddlesdown Road.

Riddlesdown
The name means cleared woodland - ‘Redelsdon’ in 1277. It is believed that the hillside was once covered with beeches but is now a mix of chalk grassland and scrub. It was sheep or rabbit grazed well into the 20th.
Track along the line of the Roman road from London.- an ancient trackway to the Caterham Valley and beyond to Portslade.
The common and its rights were bought out by the City of London in the 1870s following a legal dispute about common rights between the Lord of the Manor and land owners. Later, as the Corporation acquired other commons, they added more land, including a tenanted farm.
“New Ditch” of unknown origin which is a scheduled ancient monument. There were also once three parallel banks and associated ditches which have since been destroyed by house building.
In the 1820s chalk extraction began on the SW edge of the Down, and only halted in the 1950s.
Trig point alongside the roadway, 525 above sea level.
Rifle range and associated buildings were here in the early 20th
The wooded side of the Down rises to a terrace of grassland with broom quaking grass and sedge along with thyme, kidney vetch, marjoram, and wild parsnip. One important plant on the site is round-headed campion. To the south is an area of improved grassland. Scrub includes spindle, juniper, dogwood, buckthorn and wayfaring tree together with eventual oak woodland with an understorey of ash, whitebeam, hazel and hawthorn. Along the track are some ancient yews, and it should be noted that yews were once planted as markers on boundaries and trackways.
Rail tunnel taking the line between Riddlesdown and Oxted Stations
Tunnels were bored through the chalk as trials for the railway in 1838. They have probably been backfilled and the shafts capped – but they may lead to otherwise unexplained subsidence.

Roke Road
Little Roke house stood at the southern end of the road.

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