Sunday, 8 January 2017

M25 Dartford The Brent



Post to the north Bow Arrow
Post to the west Dartford Central Park
Post to the south Hawley



Brandon Road
Very odd road. Half way down are two massive trees effectively blocking the carriage way. Brandon Road, originally, went only as far as the trees with allotments beyond. Beyond that (and in the square to the north) was a new and different road.


The Brent
The Brent is the common land at the top of East Hill which descends into Dartford from Kent. It was a place of confrontation and execution – a Protestant weaver was burnt there in 1555. A campaign was waged and lost against the Brent's enclosure in the 1870s including a petition to the Court of Common Council. Up until this period the Brent as an open area stretched westward down to the current junction with Park Road.
Brent Recreation Ground. This is shown on maps in the 1890s but appears to date from the 1880s.  It lay in the triangle between Park Road, Brent Lane and York Road. It appears to have had a cycle track
The Brent Methodist Church. The current site was purchased in 1902 by a congregation from Spital Street and a Wesleyan Chapel built in 1906. The church members reserved the front of the plot for a future expansion meanwhile letting out the site as allotments. In 1960 a new church was built together with the East Hill congregation. This opened in 1962. The original chapel remains as a church hall
Denehole. A hole appeared in 1985 in the back garden of a house backing onto the M25. It was circular and was probably a denehole.
Windmill. This corn mill stood in an area which is now part of Hesketh Park. It was a smock mill built around 1799 and working until 1886., It was demolished around 1901. There were associated mill cottages.


Churchill Close
Housing on the site of the Downs Secondary School
Winners Chapel. European Headquarters of Nigerian Church.  They are based in a large site using what are probably some of the old school buildings, plus some new build.
The Downs Secondary Boys School. The Downs School was sited on either side of Green Street Green Road and Girls and Boys were originally segregated. From, 1990 the buildings were used by the Dartford Leigh City Tech College – which is now sited on the west side of the road. Downs School was previously known as Dartford East Secondary Modern School which changed its name to Downs School in the early 1960s when it appears to have been rebuilt. Dartford East School seems to have been built in the 1920s or 1930s


East Hill
Roman Road. The hill is part of the continuation of Roman Watling Street – and its Roman origins are emphasised by the Roman cemetery discovered beside the road in the area to the west of this square. The Romans may have built their road on the site of an earlier roadway going to the crossing of the Darent at the bottom of the hill.
St.Edmund’s Cemetery. Burial Records for the cemetery on East Hill began in 1856 .It was originally known as the Brent Cemetery. This was to replace St Edmunds burial ground and the Dartford Burial Board bought an adjoining site from the Brett charity. They built two mortuary chapels - one Church of England, the other Nonconformist. It was further extended in 1881. There are 30 war graves in the cemetery


Green Street Green Road
The Leigh Academy is a state funded ‘academy’ built on the site of the Downs School which lay on the west side of Green Street Green Road.  It is now is part of Leigh Academies Trust whose previous Chief Executive had been head of the school when it was became a City Technology College in 1997. Ot was then one of the original City Technology Colleges. New buildings were opened in 2008 and it then became an ‘academy’ and in which is it is one of seven schools. The current site is partly that of the Downs Girls School
The Downs School. The school replaced an earlier secondary boys school on the east side of the road. The Downs Girls School was built on the west side of the road. The Girls School dated from 1930.
Goals. This is a commercial 5-a-side football chain venue with all-weather pitches.
Kenard. Building if the which was incorporated in 1964 by Ken Churchill and Alan Richard Magenis and since 1982 has belonged to the Ellis family. The Kenard Group specialise in subcontract precision engineering and manufacturing software technology. The Dartford branch has a fully equipped machine shop and the Group headquarters


Hesketh Park
The Brent as an area which allowed free access from early times until the late 19th.. In 1903 Mr Everard Hesketh paid for the creation of Hesketh Park and gave it to the people of Dartford in perpetuity.
Cricket. Cricket was played on the Brent and the earliest known inter-county match was in 1709 between Kent and Surrey. The cricket ground then wqas near the top of Brent Lane. Dartford Cricket Club still plays in the Kent League and its present ground at Hesketh Park is almost all that is left of the old Brent. With the support of Dartford Counmcil & the English Cricket Board the facilities at Hesketh Park underwent a total redevelopment during 2015 which included a new Pavilion, nets and scoreboard.
Sundial. This is wooden 10 feet gigh with the date 1794. It was  relocated from a building  in Lowfield Street and is now above the cricket clubhouse. It is an interesting example of a square wall dial.  The gnomen is notched to allow the viewer to read the time along with the sign of the zodiac.
Tennis courts,
Bandstand – a bandstand originally in the park has now gone
Children's playground including swings, climbing equipment, a bike track and enclosed ball games / basketball court.
Bowling green – the park bowling club was established in 1904
Memorial which explains how and why Hesketh Park was created
Memorial to Sergeant Trevor Oldfield of 92 Squadron Royal Air Foce who was shot down here in combat with Me109s over Dartford in 1940 in his Spitfire R6622
The Dell - a wooded area
A reservoir is shown as a mound at the apex of the park on the sdite if which is now the new cricket club pavilion and car park. This belonged to the Metropolitan Water Board Kent District – and may have originated with the Kent Water Company.


London Road
Once an important through route, and the main road between Gravesend and Dartford, but is is now a local road although much used. It now begins as London Road at the Princes Road Interchange running eastwards. Westwards it is East Hill and The Brent.
Milestone. This was the 16th milestone from London Bridge and is on the south side of the road at the end of Lingfield Avenue.
52 Royal Tandoori was the Tradesmen’s Arms pub and closed in the 1990s
62 Brickmakers’ Arms. This closed in the early 2000s and is now a take away pizza shop..


M25
Princes Road Interchange. This is junction 1B on the A282 (M25  through the tunnel) and it was first built in 1963 when the   first tunnel opened.  It was then the junction for the A2 before the M2 was built.. In 1972 the A282 was extended to the Darenth Interchange changing the designation of the old A2 which became A225 and A296 and in the 1980's works for the Dartford Bridge, meant that this junction had limited access. In 2006, Fastrack opened and goes round the junction and it is now very busy.  It is known locally as the Blue Star roundabout after a local garage, now gone.


Park Road
128 Orchard Garage. Art deco building


Pilgrims Way
Brent Laundry. This was on a lane off  the road which led into what is now the park
Dartford East Health Centre


Princes Road
This was a Dartford Bypass built in 1924 and opened by the then Prince of Wales. It was then called the A2 and was thus part of the Dover Road.. The road now bears no resemblance to the 1924 road. For most of it there is a busway beside it and it has lots of traffic lights too. It currently has three different road numbers on a relatively short stretch.
Fasttrack bus lanes taking buses from Dartford centre to Darenth Park hospital and beyond. Set up in 2002
Footbridge. 70 ft span Callender-Hamilton footbridge erected in 1965.
Dartford Bridge Harvester. Pub and chain restaurant. This was built in the car park of what was the, now demolished, Princes Hotel.
Princes Hotel. Pub demolished in the 1990s and replaced by ucky Harvester.
Blue Star Garage. This stood on or near the site of the present Esso Petrol Station and was a local landmark after which the road junction was named.
Princes Golf and Leisure Club. This is a sports and leisure area owned by Dartford Council and used by Dartford Football Club. There is an all weather training pitch and a clubhouse with bars, banqueting suites and meeting rooms. A car park also functions as a Park and Ride facility for Fastrack. There is also a golf course.
Dartford Football Club. This Dartford Football Club was formed in early 1888 by members of the Dartford Workingmen’s club. In 1894 they became a Founder-Member of the Kent League and later of the Southern League. At that time they played on a site in Lowfield Street. From 1921 they were a public limited liability company, unique in English football for fifty years. They then played on a site in Watling Street until 1992, when it had to be sold to meet debts. They then had ground shares with various other clubs. Eventually in 2004 Dartford Borough Council provided funding and a site for the building of a stadium which opened in 2006.
Stadium and Pitch. This was designed by Alexander Sedgley architects, and is said to be one of the most ecologically sound ever built, The pitch is sunk below ground level to reduce noise and light pollution  The roof has a sedum planting with solar panels which provide hot water for changing areas and toilets along with a water recycling system. Rain water is collected in two ponds in the grounds.  Excavated earth was reused for landscaping the external courtyard areas around the stadium.


St.Vincent's Road
This used to be called Fulwich Lane


Watling Street
Watling Street Cemetery  The first burial here was in 1914. It had been consecrated by the Bishop of Rochester in 1909, but construction of the Chapel was delayed. It features a variety of mature trees and shrubs in a formal setting.  James Smith VC is buried here – the award was for action in in India in 1897.
Second World War Civilian War Grave memorial. This was erected in 1949 remembering the many civilian citizens who died during the war.
Garden of Remembrance. This is for cremated remains and was opened in 2006.
St Andrews United Reform Church. The church was built in 1961. The hall - which was the original church built in 1910 - is used as the church hall. Up to 1972, St. Andrew’s was Presbyterian Church of England


Sources
Bandstand database. Web site
Bygone Kent
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Closed Pubs Project. Stone. Web site
Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Web site
Dartford Council. Web site
Dartford Cricket Club. Web site
Dartford Football Club. Web site
Dartford Methodist Church. Web site
Hesketh. J..&E.Hall
Hesketh Park Bowls Club. Web site
Kent County Council. Web site
Kent Mills. Web site
Leigh Academy. Web site
Milestone database. Web site
National Maritime Museum. Web site
Parks and Gardens. Web site
Princes Park. Web site
SABRE Web site.
Shoreham Aircraft Museum. Web site
St. Andrews Church. Web site
Wikipedia. The Brent. Web site
Winning Ways. Web site

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