Friday, 20 January 2017

M25 Titsey Eden source

Post to the west Clacket Lane

Broomlands Lane
This is a footpath and bridle way running from the Westerham Road to Titsey Village.  In this stretch it runs through woods and fields, crossing the motorway on a footbridge.


River Eden
The River Eden  is a tributary of the  Medway, It rises from a source in Titsey north of Clacket Lane motorway services

Roughfield Shaw

Wikipedia. River Eden. Web site

M25 Clacket Lane

Post to the east Westerham Croydon Road
Post to the west Titsey Eden Source

Clacket Lane
Westwood Pumping Station. This was built by the Limpsfield and Oxted Water Co. and is now run by the Sutton and East Surrey Water Co. It was taken over by the Chelsam and Waldingham Waterworks Company Ltd, becoming the East Surrey, in 1930. It has a greensand water source and on site is treatment works. There were three bore holes here.
Waterworks Cottages. Housing originally associated with the waterworks
Playing field. This was immediately south of the waterworks
Westerham Road Industrial Estate. Industrial and trading area. This may be on the site of the playing fields.
Moorhouse Tile Works.  Originally the Moorhouse Brick, Tile and Concrete Products Company Ltd with a concrete roofing tile work, it was taken over by Redland in 1948. The company later became Lafarge and then Braas Monier Building Group. This was a large works which included internal tram systems, settling ponds and overhead conveyors’. There are now plans for a distribution depot here. Neolithic implements have been found on site
Westwood Farmhouse, Late 18th building in brown brick
Westwood Farm cottages. 
Tip. In the 1980s this was opposite the cottages on the other side of the road
Clacket Green. This is road side waste land.
Cupid’s Coppice. Woodland designated as of conservation importance
Clacket Wood. Woodland designated as of conservation importance
Church Wood. Woodland, to which is attached a legend of a church which was begun but each days building was demolished overnight
Church Field. In the field are a Romano-Celtic temple and an adjacent 65m stretch of the main Roman London to Lewes road. They are both buried and only visible as parch marks in dry weather. . Investigations of 1879 and 1935 show the temple as a small square building, of which the flint footings survive. The road runs to the east and had a flint and gravel metalled surface.
Square Wood, Woodland
Wet Wood. Woodland
Titsey Wood.  Site of Special Scientific Interest

Clacket Lane service stations. There are two motorway services one on each side of the M25 which  are operated by Roadchef. The site was chosen from around five possibles on this section of the M25 although Chevening was originally preferred. The site was chosen in 1976, but it took almost 20 years to be finally confirmed. Roman artefacts were found during construction. At one time the westbound was thought to be the largest services in the country – and the most expensive. The filling stations were originally run by Elf then Total, to Shell and now BP.

Bourne Society.  Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Historic England. Web site
Motorway Services On line. Web site
Sutton and East Surrey Water Co Web site
Tandridge Local Council. Web site

Thursday, 19 January 2017

M25 Westerham Croydon Road

Post to the south Moorhouse Bank
Post to the east Westerham
Post to the west Clackets Lane

Croydon Road
Southern Gas Networks. Pressure reducing site.  Old gas works site. The   Westerham Gas and Coke Co., Ltd. Dated from 1857 and supplied gas to the town until nationalisation in 1949. There were two holders.  The site is surrounded by a wall which may be built of gasworks or other rubble and waste

Devil of Kent
This wood is on the Kent side of the border which runs down the west side of it.

Farley Common
Partly wooded stretch of common land,

Kent/ Surrey Border


Squerries Sand Pit
Squerries Sand Pit. This is a soft sand extraction site consisting of a large deep pit and a number of small pits and some ponds.  More excavation is planned between the present workings and the motorway; the pit, while large and very deep, is not easily seen. There are some paint ball and similar activities on part of the site

Westerham Wood
Woodland designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest

Brian Sturt, with thanks
Sevenoaks Council. Web site
Visit Westerham. Web site

Monday, 16 January 2017

M25 Westerham London Road

Post to the east Beggars Lane
Post to the north Westerham Hill
Post to the south Westerham

Beggars Lane
Farm road now blocked. This was a road which went to Brasted before the railway and the later motorway were built.

Force Green Lane
Wall mounted post box in the hedge
Force Green Waste. This is common land
Force Green Farm. Dairy farm
Force Green Farmhouse. This has an 18th front on an earlier timber framed house, which was probably late 16th.  Inside are heavy, close-set beams plank floors and inglenook fireplaces
Force Green Farm Cottage. This is late 18th
Hartley Wood
Ancient mixed broadleaf woodland formally managed as coppice .It is to the east of and joined to Westerham Wood.

London Road
London Road Brickworks. This stood slightly south of the motorway, probably on the site of the current garage. It was active in the late 19th into the early 20th.

Pilgrims Way
Pilgrims’ Way may/may not be a route for Pilgrims to go to Canterbury (from where exactly??) or may/may not be a prehistoric track way.  On this stretch it is however a made up road for vehicle traffic
Betsomhill Farm. The farm lies at the foot of Betsoms Hill alongside the Pilgrims’ Way. The Old Barn is a snooker club.
Westerham Wood
Only a small part of the wood is in this square.  It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its ground flora and breeding bird community. A   Pheasantry is noted here in the 19th as are many reports of poaching.
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Common Land in Kent. Web site
Historic England. Web site
Sevenoaks Council. Web site.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

M25 Beggars Lane

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

Beggars Lane
There appear to be two Beggar’s Lanes, one either side of the M25. The northern one is a farm track which runs the London Road at Force Green eastwards, turns south and runs under the motorway to end at Charman’s Farm and a junction with its namesake.

Beggars Lane
This is an A road which runs south of the motorway from London Road, running eastwards, turning at Charman’s Farm, to the south and the Brasted Road. It acts as a bypass to eastern Westerham an alternative route to the difficult entrance in the town to London Road. It appears to date from the same time as the motorway was built.
Charmans Farm. The farm is noted in 1540 as having been in the possession of Sir John Gresham. The Farmhouse appears as an 18th building which masks a 16th or earlier timber framed structure. There are two round kiln oast house. One brick built and one ragstone built kiln. Converted to offices.
Westerham Brewery. This is set up in a former sawmill on the farm site. It produces sparkling wine and craft beer. A barn on the site is a craft shop managed by the Squerryes Estate to sell wine, beer and farm products. Brewers spent grant feed the fairy herd at Squerries and Squerries grows grapes for the winery on their estate land.
Pond – there is a pond to the south of the motorway at the point at which the lane turns south, and this is understood to be a balancing pond for the motorway. Another pond to the east and north of the farm is marked as ‘weir’ and ‘sluice’ on maps and as ‘spring’ on older maps.

Force Green Lane
Force Green Farm Cottages

Holywell Shaw. Woodland from which a track leads to the Pilgrims Way

The motorway finally deviates from the line of the railway west of Charman’s farm.

The railway continued westwards to access Westerham Station.  The motorway covers its route until at a spot part way along what is now Beggars Lane, the railway line deviated south westwards on its way to access Westerham Station

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Disused Stations. Web site
SABRE. Web site
Westerham Brewery, Web site

M25 Combe Bank Wood

Post to the west Chevening Ovenden
Post to the south Brasted

Combe Bank Wood
Large area of woodland

Combe Wood
Semi-natural ancient woodland bisected by the M25.  It is an area of nature conservation.

This runs on the line of the previous railway to Westerham

Ovendon Road
Combe Bank Farm. The farm site includes several buildings now converted to housing. It includes a twin oast house claimed to date from the late 18th and turned into a house. The farm was at one time owned by The Infants Hospital in Westminster and used by them to supply milk. It should be noted that a major funder of Westminster Children’s Hospital was Robert Mond, who lived at Coombe Bank itself (to the south)
Oveny Green Farm. Buildings here have been converted to housing. There are records of the farm from the late 16th.
Oveny Green Farmhouse.  There is a plaque on the building saying: "This farmhouse was built by Thomas Lord Dacre, Earl of Sussex, in the year 1701."  It is in red brick, with blue headers in a diaper. There is also a weatherboarded 17th threshing barn as well as a granary and other associated buildings

A history of the Parish of Chevening
Cohen. Life of Ludwig Mond
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Oppitz. Kent Railways Remembered
Royal Society of Health. Journal
Sevenoaks Council. Web site

M25 Chevening Ovenden

Post to the east Chipstead
Post to the south Sundridge
Post to the west Combe Bank Wood

Chevening Park.
This square covers only the southernmost third of Chevening Park. This is part of a wooded park where features of an earlier design combine with those of this century. The landscape is of high quality and an ambitious restoration programme is now underway.

Chevening Road
The road crossed the South Eastern Railway line on a bridge, as it now also crosses the motorway

Combe Bank Drive
This path runs south from North Lodge.  It crosses the motorway by a bridge, as it did the railway.

The motorway was built on the line of the South Eastern Railway line to Westerham.
Ovenden Road
Lodges at entrances to the Chevening Estate
Ovenden Lodge. The drive from the lodge accessed Ovenden House.  This was built by Robert Tothill in the 18th and bought by the Second Earl Stanhope in 1780 and added to the estate as the Dower House.  It was bombed in the Second World War and later demolished.
Sundridge Lodge
North Lodge

Railway Line
The motorway now covers this

A history of the Parish of Chevening
Historic England. Web site
Parks and Gardens of the UK. Web site

Friday, 13 January 2017

M25 Sundridge Road Chevening

Post to the north Star Hill
Post to the south Chipstead

Chevening Road
This runs alongside the wall of Chevening House on its west side

Chevening Interchange. The majority of Junction 5 is in the square to the south. In this square the M25 runs south with the A21 alongside it.  One slip leaves in a loop and takes traffic onto the, finally westbound, M25. Meanwhile other slips come into the system from the westbound M26.  This complex junction is apparently the result of half built ringway plans which were then abandoned and the resulting road abandoned.
Edward Shaw – small wood alongside the motorway
Bridge. A bridge over the M25/A21 takes a farm road from Morants Court to Morants Court Farm.

This road, which gets to the interchange from the east, is a link between M25 and the M20. It was originally supposed to be part of M25 Ringway 4. However it goes forward with various slips coming and going off it and then becomes the M25 going westward (in the square to the south)

Sundridge Road
Turvin’s Farm. A track from here to Chevening Church is probably an ancient route called The Greenway
Chevening Cross – crossroads with Chevening Road.

A History of the Parish of Chevening
SABRE. Web site

M25 Star Hill

Post to the east Dunton Green
Post to the south Chevening Sundridge Road


Pilgrims Way
Trackway across the area, maybe used by pilgrims or maybe just another tracl.
The Spinney. Woodland alongside

Star Hill
Previously called Morants Court Hill, and before that Madame Scott Hill. This was a turnpike road set up with a trust in 1749.  The houses around Star Hill House are marked on maps up to the early 20th as 'The Beacon' and an old quarry shown behind them.
Keeper’s Cottage. In the 19th occupied by a gamekeeper.
Star Hill House. Once a pub on what was the main road. It opened before 1792 but had close before 1851.
Star Hill Wood
Entrance to Fort Halstead

Sundridge Road
Road built by the Earl of Stanhope who lived in Chevening House
Morants Court (in the square to the south). Originally  the main approach ran south from Sundridge Road.
Morants Court Farm. The Farm was attached to Morants Court (in the square to the south) and laid out in the mid-1860s and let to tenants. The farm is now in use by a landscape, animal food and transport contractor.

History of the Parish of Chevening
Kent Gardens Trust. Web sote
Smithers.  A History of Knockholt

M25 Dunton Green

Post to the north Polhill
Post to the west Star Hill

Anisbirches Wood

Ivy House Lane
Little Dunton. This was a farm with an important well.  It appears to be gone.

Lime Pit Lane
This short road seems to have once been called the Pilgrims Way and led to Polhill Road and then carried onto the Pilgrims Way now west of the M25.
North Downs Business Park. Trading estate built up during the site includes building supplies, cement, exhibition fitters and very posh car servicing.
Dunton Green Lime Works. The works dated from at least the 18th the site is on the crest of the North Downs scarp face working the Middle Chalk. Lime kilns were of the 'shaft' or 'bottle' type producing quicklime. There was an associated quarry

London Road
Rose and Crown.  The pub name symbolises the union of York and Lancaster. This was a coaching stop on what was then the main London to Hastings Road. It dates from at least the 1830s in this form but was the Chequers in the 17th and stood on what was probably the original village green.
Post Box – wall mounted on the east side
Milestone. 21st milestone from London Bridge and third from Sevenoaks
Donnington Manor Hotel. This is a mock Tudor building built just after the Second World War by Bill Newman who used genuine   materials from all over the country.
Emma Hotel. This house is now the hotel restaurant at Donnington Manor. It is a timber framed house from the 15th with an entry wing from the late 16th. It was later converted to cottages; and then in 1936 remodelled and extended as one building and many additions made. The whole building has been changed a great deal but is still substantially an old structure. There are large additions at the back.
Marble elephants stand in front of the hotel.
Mount Pleasant. Late 18th house, at the end of the terrace and hidden from the road. It appears at one time to have been a smithy
Balancing Pond – to soak up excess moisture from the motorway
Reservoir. Built by Sevenoaks Rural District Council

Morants Court Road
This is the final section of London Road from the roundabout at Morants Court. Before the M25 was built this was the main A21. The road name refers to a farm in the square to the south.
Morants Court Cross. The roundabout at the junction of the old A21 with local roads.  It stands above the M25 but there is no junction with it. We're now at the bottom of Polhill. After a junction for Otford, This was also where the old  Sevenoaks By-pass used to start – now its route is the M25.
In the mid 1980s, the A21 was upgraded from D2 to D3M to become the M25 and the A2028 became the A224 when that road was extended south of Badgers Mount. The junction for Otford, which was formerly a GSJ, is one of the leftovers from those days.

The M25 running southwards has also been the current A21 from junction 4 to the north. In this stretch the roads begin to divide as they approach junction 5, to the south.  The old A21 runs parallel to it as the Polhill Road.

Pilgrims Way West
Pilgrims Way Link Bridge. This goes across the M25 to link the Polhill Road with Pilgrims Way West.
Anglo Saxon cemetery. This was found near current link bridge during the building of the M25. During previous road building in this area Saxon remains had been found. In 1967  an excavation of some of the site was done and continued in 1984 in response to the expansion of the M25. It is on the lower slopes of Polhill on a false crest of a steep hillside, with a view across the valley and to the north and south-west.  From the centre of Otford, the cemetery is visible and thus the ancestors could see and be seen.
Dane Bottom. Supposed site of a battle between Edmund Ironside and the Danish King in 1016. It is thought the battlefield was actually nearer the river Darent

Polhill Road
This is the old turnpike road to Sevenoaks and lattery the A21. Now downgraded to the A224. Until the 1960s this carried on into Dunton Green becoming London Road.  A road, shown on maps as ‘New Cut’ then took it onto its present route to continue into Sundridge Road – this became then the Sevenoaks Bypass, and, now, very much rebuilt and altered, the M25.

Star Hill Road
Road going from the A21/M25 to Knockholt. This would have once been the main road superseded because of its steep slope. Double decker buses however still use it.

Sundridge Road
This is now the B2211 numbered in the late 1930s. It continues to Westerham

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Domesday Reloaded. Web site
Dunton Green Brick and Tile Works. Web site
Kent Archaeology. Web site
North Downs Business Park. Web site
Rose and Crown. Web site
SABRE. Web site
Pub History. Web site
Whitaker. The Water Supply of Kent

Thursday, 12 January 2017

M25 Polhill

Post to the north Polhill
Post to the west Otford
Post to the south Dunton Green

Crow Drive
Great Stockholme Wood

Filston Lane
Covered reservoir


Old Polhill
This is an abandoned road and not available for traffic. It is however partly still laid out with white lines, etc. On older maps it is marked as Halstead Lane and is on this route at least by the 1860s.  It appears to have been a tributary road from Otford to the pre-turnpike Bromley-Sevenoaks Road and meeting it at Pratt’s Bottom.
Mast. T mobile site by the railway
Tunnel under the motorway which the path goes through – wide enough for a roadway
Dane Trench.This is an earthwork running east west at the foot of Polhill. Nearby is Dane Bottom
The area along the eastern flank of the hill is historically known as No Mans Lane

This was the turnpike road built in 1834 which replaced the older route from Bromley to Sevenoaks which ran to the west via Knockholt.
Hangman Down Shaw. Roadside woodands. A 'shaw' is acoppice or thicket.
Old Grove

Kent Archaeological Society. Web site
Mast data. Web site

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

M25 Polhill

Post to the north Andrews Wood Badgers Mount
Post to the east Filston
Post to the south :Polhill

Crow Drive
Knockavilla. Rooney’s Gym. Boxing training
Highfield Farm

Filston Lane
Sepham Farm or Sepham Court. This is a late mediaeval hall house. It has a tile hung first floor with brick below. There is a large offset chimney with tumbled brickwork. And a jettied first floor with visible beam ends, to left  part. Inside is a lot of exposed large timbers. The site is thought to be named for John de Cepham who owned the manor under Edward III. The farm was painted by Samuel Palmer in 1828. In the grounds is a crinkle crankle wall and 18th stables. The site was used for cider production until recently.
Sepham Farm Oast. There are two oast houses associated with the farm, now converted to housing.
Sepham Farm Cottages
Polhill Bank Nature Reserve. This is chalk grassland with views of the Darenth Valley. Many common chalk grassland flowers grow here and there is a good place to see a wide variety of insects, including many species of butterfly. The rufous grasshopper is also found here. The scrub provides habitat for birds, including blackcap and willow warbler. Dodder, is an unusual plant which grows as parasite on rock-rose

London Road
This was the A21 London to Hastings Road. This stretch was superseded by a stretch of the M25 which runs parallel to it.
Sepham Heath. Area of farmland to the west of London Road.
Oaktree Farm
Calcutta Club.  Indian restaurant
Polhill Business Centre. Refurbished used car showroom
7 Diner. This cafe/motel has had many changes. It was in the 1970s The Aero Café   and then later called St Michaels and offered motel type accommodation.  Since then it has been greatly increased in size, painted bright pink and renamed again.
Polhill Arms. This pub is now closed.  It dated from at least the mid-19th and was a Fox Brewery house.
Air Shaft. Brick circular shaft to vent the Polhill railway tunnel below
Chalk pit. Small pit on the east side of the slope


Old Polhill
This is now a slip used as a layby and sometimes for fruit sales

Otford Lane
Polhill Place. Equestrian centre

Pilots Wood.
This wood was previously a Forestry Commission conifer wood but is now mixed with mature Beech, Birch and Sweet Chestnut trees amongst several other species. The area has wildflowers, orchids, butterflies and insects. Many paths are wide rides allowing light in and other species to flourish.

Polhill Tunnel
The tunnel was built to carry the South Eastern Railway under the summit of the North Downs, between Orpington and Sevenoaks. It is now part of Southeastern Railway’s main line to London.
The South Eastern Railway's main line from Charing Cross to Tonbridge opened in 1868. Peter Ashcroft, their engineer designed the 2.4km long Polhill Tunnel. It slopes down towards Sevenoaks at a gradient of 1:143 beginning north of Badger’s Mount and ends at Old Polhill. The twin-track tunnel is cut through chalk throughout; tts side walls are of exposed chalk although the roof is lined with a semicircular brick arch. The entrance portals are horseshoe-shaped and built of brick. During construction five shafts were sunk and the excavated material was used to construct the railway embankment between Dunton Green and Riverhead.

SourcesBritish Listed Buildings. Web site
Cycle club Bexley.  Web site
Engineering Timelines. Web site
Kent Wildlife Trust. Web site
Rooney’s Gym. Web site
Pub History. Web site
Taking a botanical walk. Web site

M25 Andrew's Wood Badgers Mount

Post to the north Badgers Mount
Post to the east Shoreham
Post to the south Polhill

Polhill Nurseries. The entrance to this site is in te square to the west. The garden cenrre was opened in a rundown nursery by father and son Jim and David Novell, when David was still at school. At first the grew on cut flowers for Covent Garden Flower Market and then expanded into tomatoes, bedding plants, shrubs and conifers. In 1968 the old wooden greenhouses were replaced to grove chrysanthemums and bedding plants but oil shortages led them to develop the site as a garden centre. In 1975 some of their land was uses a construction access road and this remains as their entrance. After the 1987 storm a third of the centre had to be rebuilt with parts shipped from Holland
Air shaft to the railway which runs below in the Polhill Tunnel. This is a small round  brick structure standing alone in a field.


Robsack Wood

Shacklands Road
Shacklands Cottages
Andrews Wood. Picnic area and access to the woodland and woodland walks, The wood is now cut in two by the motorway. A dry valley runs down the hillside between this and Meenfield Wood
Jenkins Neck Wood, This lies between Badgers Mount & the M25 and was acquired in 1991 by Sevenoaks District Council,from the Forestry Commission, It is ancient woodland.

Polhill Nurseries. Web site
Badgers Mount net. Web site

M25 Badgers Mount

Post to the north Shoreham Great Cockerhurst
Post to the south Badger's Mount, Andrews Wood

Badgers Road
This stretch of Badgers Road is an unmade byway

Barnetts Wood, deer, footpaths, dumped tyres

Longspring Wood. Illicit paint ball activities.  The wood name may refer to coppicing rather than to a water source


Shacklands Road
Timberden Farm
Whitegate Farm, sells produce and makes sausages

Badgers Mount Residents Association. Web site
Sevenoaks Council. Web site

M25 Shoreham Great Cockerhurst

Post to the north Lullingstone Parkgate
Post to the west Well Hill and Maypole
Post to the south Badger's Mount

Cockerhurst Road
Brent Farm

Firmingers Road
Fountain Farm. This was a nursery, which is now closed.

Junction 4. This junction only connects to a motorway spur which connects to Hewitts Roundabout on the A21 to the west.

Redmans Lane
The area around Great Cockerhurst has been of great interest to geologists, and Palaeolithic remains have been found in the area
Great Cockerhurst, House and Farm
Flint Barn – this is alongside the road and is now used as a residence
Cockerhurst Oasts. Twin round oasts and some of the stowage remains  dating from the 1850s now used as housing. A Georgian barn was demolished. These have been on TV,

Rock Hill
Woodyholme Nursery

Archaeologia Cantiana
Sabre. Web site
Sevenoaks Council. Web site
Well Hill Residents Association Newsletter. Web site

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

M25 Lullingstone Parkgate

Post to the north Daltons Road
Post to the west Well Hill
Post to the south Shoreham Great Cockerhurst


Park Gate Road
Park Gate was outside Lullingstone Park, providing access to it and to a drive running directly to Lullingtone House
Old Park Gate Farm, Oasthouses in 2 parallel ranges. They are early 19th with weatherboarded gables and two square oasts with tiled roofs retaining cowls and fantails. Now converted to housing. These are now separate from the house.
Park Gate House. This was the farm house at Old Park Gate Farm. It is an 18th house in red brick. It  was the home of Constance Spry, educationalist and flower arranger, from 1934 to 1947 and during the Second World War the gardens were a resource as providers of flowers and vegetables for use in collaborative London floristry and culinary enterprises. Students at Swanley Horticultural College were taught by her and came to help with the landscaping and nursery work. The gardens were then a showplace but there have, obviously, been changes in successive subsequent ownerships.
Lullingstone Park Golf Club. This is now run by a management chain. It was set up in the mid-1960s, when Kent County Council leased the park to Dartford Rural District Council, who created an 18-hole golf course here.. Later a 9-hole course was also added.

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Curnow & Laming.  Eynsford.  
Historic England. Web site
Parkgate House. Kent Gardens Trust. Web site
Pevsner. West Kent
Sensio. Web site

M25 Eynsford and Crockenhill

Post to the north Wested Crockenhill
Post to the west Daltons Road


Woodland and footpaths follow old parish and estate boundaries running east/west in this square.   Many large trees – oak, ash and field maple – can be found on these lines. There are also hedges which can be shown to date from the middle ages.

Bygone Kent

M25 Wested Crockenhill

Post to the east Crockenhill Lane
Post to the west Crockenhill
Post to the south Eynsford and Crockenhill

Cackethills Wood.
The wood is mentioned in a document of 1503. Today it has 19 species of tree, including beech and hornbeam. There is said to be a chalk pit in the wood –possibly on the southern boundary -  with white chalk and flints found at a depth of fifteen feet.

Eynsford Road
Football Ground. Crockenhill Football Club.In the 1920s there were two football clubs in Crockenhill and Crockenhill United played here, at Wested Meadows.   The present club followed a Boxing Day 1946 match between Mudhole Dynamo and Crockenhill Youth. Wested Meadows had no facilities but in the Second World War was used for barrage balloons and there was a Nissen Hut which became a clubhouse to which was added a loudspeaker and a grandstand. They also acquired an antique 19th turnstile from Thameside Amateurs.. In the 1987 storm the roof blew off the grandstand but it has been replaced in corrugated iron and some seating installed using oil drums.
Wested Farm. In 1908 the farm was leased by George Miller who had a lavender distillery in Mitcham. The farm then was mainly used for soft fruit growing and vegetables which were sold at Covent Garden. Miller also grew peppermint here commercially which was taken by steam lorry to Mitcham for distilling. . By the 1930s over 100 people were employed here. Many Miller family had died and the they left the farm in 1958.  In the 1990s the farm was again used for market gardening with a variety of businesses in farm outbuildings.
Wested Farmhouse. Early 18th red brick house.
Barn and Chaff House. The barn is late 17th and the  chaff house 18th  It is an aisled timber barn, clad in 20th bricks. There are two  waggon entrances.  There was also once an oast house which was bombed in the Second World War. .

Horncross Shaw
Woodland with 16 species of trees. Archaeologists discovered a minor medieval settlement here during trial trenching prior to construction of the M25 in 1984


British and Irish Archaeology Bibliography. Web site
Bygone Kent
Crockenhill Football Club. Web site
Historic England. Web site

M25 Crockenhill Lane

Post to the north Swanley Interchange
Post to the west Wested Crockenhill

Crockenhill Lane
Mast. mobile phone cellular transmitter station. It enables drivers on the M25 to make calls.
Capricorn Farm. Wholesale nurseries and dressage training and sales. There is a telecommununications mast at the farm


Wested Lane
Little Wested House
Wested Leather Co.  This was opened by Peter Botwright in the early 1980s originally calling it  “Leather Concessionaires” , In addition to this shop and works they have a London factory. They specialise in costumes for film companies and subsequent copies.

Capricorn Farm. Web site
Mast data. Web site
Wested Leather Co. Web site

M25 Swanley Interchange

Post to the north Swanley
Post to the south Crockenhill Lane

This square is dominated by the notorious Swanley interchange. A series of roads running from London to the coast pass through it – these are
1. London Road. This is now the B2173 coming from Swanley centre but had originated as an old main road from London (diverging from the A2 at New Cross)  to the coast passing through towns as it went – Lewisham, Eltham, Sidcup, Foots Cray and so on.
2. London Road continues beyond the interchange to Wrotham and Maidstone, but west of the junction it is numbered as the A20.
3. The Sidcup bypass. This road is numbered as the A20 east of the junction and it has originated at a junction with the older London Road in Kidbrook. It is a motorway standard road which runs forward to meet the junction where it becomes the M20
4. M20. This originates at the junction and runs eastwards to the coast.
5. M25 – the M25 London orbital motorway passes through the junction running north/south. It has slips to all the other roads.
Hope that’s all clear

The A20 running east, as the Swanley by pass,  goes under the interchange where it becomes the M20 on the other side.  The A20 however continues eastwards as a separate and parallel road. The road was first classified in 1922 diverging from the A2 at New Cross.  In Swanley, coming from Footscray Road it followed the route of the current London Road, B3173. From the interchange it followed the current A20, as it still does
Swanley By pass. This was built in in 1964 to Motorway standards and is now the A20

London Road
London Road B2173 is the old main road A20 which  runs east from Swanley up onto the flyover and back down to continue east parallel to the M20 as the A20.
Broomfield Hall.  This stood on the south side of the road
Southern Cross Trading Estate
Teardrop Recycling Centre. This is run by Kent County Council. The address is Farningham Hill – both road names are given on maps.

Slip off London Road.. Leaving Swanley to the east a small slip remains of the old A20 going straight ahead rather than curving up to the junction. This is lined with factories and warehouses. It may be called Horton Way.
Gateway Trading Estate
Moreton Industrial Estate
Kimber Allen. Broomfield Works. They make wind organ components. They were established in 1928 as an electrical engineering company and then in the 1930's moved into coil winding and thus began to work with organ builders Henry Willis & Sons. They have developed a range of electro-mechanical organ products.
Farningham Road County Primary School. This was built when Swanley was part of Farningham in 1873. It was a Church of England School.

Mark Way
Factory and trading units

Swanley Interchange. This Junction 1 on the M20.  This is junction 3 on the M25. It is the London Folkestone Motorway which begins here.  West of the junction it becomes the A20

The London Orbital motorway
Swanley Interchange.  This is Junction 3 on the M25. The junction currently handles the A20 (Swanley bypass) becoming the M20, the M25 and the London Road. It was built in 1980 to replace a 1968 built junction. In 1986 the M25 to Sevenoaks opened through here. It is Junction 1 on the M20
Balancing pond – this is south of the west side of the junction. Another balancing pond is in the square to the north

Railway line
Railway Bridge over M20

Wested Road
Cottages – these are apparently in London Road but have an address in Wested Road
Warehousing, haulage and scrap dealers
Railway Bridge – very narrow brick

Farningham Local History Society. Web site
Kent County Council. Web site
Kimber Allen. Web site
SABRE. Web site

Monday, 9 January 2017

M25 Swanley

Post to the east Button Street
Post to the south Swanley Interchange

Beech Avenue
Downsview Community Primary School. The school was built in the mid-1960s.

Beechenlea Lane
Olympic Driving Range. The Olympic has facilities for golf, snooker and bowls as well as a bar and related facilities. It is owned by the local Council.
Parkwood Convalescent Home. This was the second convalescent home to be built in Swanley. Following a large donation a trust was set ip and the trustees bought the Parkwood Estate.. The Convalescent Home opened in 1893 and used for patients from the London Hospital, St Thomas' Hospital, Guy's Hospital and the Middlesex Hospital, and the Westminster Hospital and St Mary's Hospital. The head gardener had his own cottage to look after the vegetable and flower beds.  There was a The Gothic chapel behind the main building. Patients were met at the station and not allowed to leave the grounds. during the summer, there were sports like cricket, quoits and athletic events took place. At the outbreak of the Great War it closed but took people made homeless by the Silvertown explosion in 1917. It then became a military hospital, for soldiers with facial injuries from the Queen's Hospital in Sidcup.  After the war it re-opened for convalescent patients. In the Second World War it became the Parkwood Auxiliary Hospital and Convalescent Home, run by the Red Cross. In 1948 the Home became part of the NHS and was renamed the Westminster Hospital (Parkwood) Convalescent Home, It continued to function until the early 1960s, when it closed. It was then the London Fire Brigade Training Centre for young recruits 1968-1970. In 1971 it became the Parkwood Hall School, hidden in private grounds.
Parkwood Co-operative Academy. Parkwood Hall School was opened by the Inner London Education Authority in 1970 using the old hospital set in 75 acres of woodland. After the abolition of ILEA, the school was taken over by the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who maintained it until 2015 when it became a co-operative academy. It is a special school, which takes some day students and students between 7 and 19, whose cognitive ability is low average to severe or complex.
Beechenlea Nursery, The nursery dated from before the Second World War. It grew bedding plants, chrysanthemums, and tomatoes in 15 greenhouses. The nursery was behind the last houses on the east side of the road and is no longer in operation.

Broom Hill
Stretch of open land at the east of Beechwood Lane. Now with planning consent for housing given by the Inspectorate

London Road
Swanley Bus Garage. Ir was was the last of the garages opened under an agreement between East Surrey Bus Company and the London General Omnibus Company. It opened in 1925 for 16 vehicles.
Kingdom Hall, Jehovah’s Witnesess

Balancing pond. This lies to the east of the motorway within the junction with the north bound slip from the M20.

Domesday Reloaded. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
News Shopper. Web site
North West Kent Family History Society. Web site
Olympic Swanley. Web site
Parkwood School. Web site
Pevsner. West Kent

M25 Button Street

Post to the north Swanley Village
Post to the west Swanley

Button Street
Canada Heights. Motorcycle Trials Circuit. This is owned by Sidcup Motor Cycle Club. It got the name of Canada Heights, during the Great War when Canadian troops were camped here. It has  been in regular use for off-road motorcycle sports for many years, and by the Sidcup Club since 1938. It has hosted many events, from Club level to International status. Including national TV coverage with the BBC "Grandstand Trophy" events during the 1960s. In 1985 the Club bought the site with the help of a Sports Council grant and sponsorship. After that access roads were laid, undergrowth was cleared a and a new track was created.
The Hop Pole.  This appears to have been a pub with a landlord said to have had a a tenure from 1816 to 1842. The Hop Pole.  In the mid 19th there was horse racing here. It was still open in 1900.
Broomhill. This is a business, probably used cars.

Farningham Woods
Ancient woodland with outstanding views over the Kent countryside.  This is a nature reserve opened by Sir David Attenborough in 1986, Farningham Woods Nature  It is also a  Site of Special Scientific Interest, and home to the Small-Leaved Lime, a rare tree which is only found on one other site in Kent, and several other unusual plants, including the largest British colony of the nationally rare Deptford Pink.


Dover Kent. Web site
Explore Kent. Web site
Farningham and Eysford Local History Society. Web site
Kent County Council. Where to see Wildlife in Kent.
Sidcup and District Motor Cycle Club. Web site

M25 Swanley Village

Post to the east Farningham Road. Homefield
Post to the south Button Street

Button Street
Button Street Business Centre. This is in what was Sevenoaks District Council Yard
Railway bridge over Button Street, which stands very slightly skew. It is assumed that it dates from 1860

Gildenhill Road
Gildenhill Farm


Rams Wood
This was also known as Hop Kiln Wood and Hop Kiln Cottages were in Button Street roughly under the site of the M25 Bridge.
Dene Hole

Ship Lane
A terrace of houses remains in a duplicate stretch of Ship Lane – the original line of the road before the M25 was built and Ship Lane had to lowered to run under it.

Swanley Village Road
Swanley Village Nursery. Wholesale nursery
Denehole. A circular shaft is said to have appeared on the  edge of a field here. It was thought to be a denehole.
Old College. This is 18th or earlier. It is thought that the building once belonged to Cobham College, near Gravesend,
Wesleyan Cottage. This was a Methodist chapel
The Lamb. Shepherd Neame Pub created from what were once two cottages.
The Priory. Built around 1820 probably by Edward Adams and originally called Upper Dalton. There is a coach house, now a separate house.

British Listed Buildings. Web site
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Kent Rail. Web site
KURG. News letter
News Shopper. Web site
Sevenoaks Council. Web site
Swanley Village. Web site
The Lamb. Web site

Sunday, 8 January 2017

M25 Farningham Road Homefield

Post to the north Clement Street
Post to the east Farningham Road
Post to the west Swanley Village

Homefield Road
Homefield House. This was originally a two storey timber framed house probably dating from the late 15th. In thr 16th there were additions using second-hand Tudor bricks and beams from a grander building.  There were more later additions with a brick ground floor, six more upstrairs rooms , a first floor loading bay and a brick oven
Homefield Cottages
Homefield Farm
The OId Bungalow
The New Bungalow


Ship Lane

Rediscovering Dartford. Web site

M25 Clement Street

Post to the north Burnthouse
Post to the east Sutton at Hone
Post to the south Farningham Road Homefield

Church Road
The Big Shoot. Pigeon Shooting facility.

Clement Street
Country lane with scattered nurseries and cottages


The Big Shoot;. website

M25 Burnthouse

Post to the north Hawley
Post to the east Hawley
Post to the south Clement Street

Roads on this square consist entirely of a network of roads between Burnthouse and Shirehall Roads. This presents an unresolved (by Edith at least) problem. On the 1868 OS map (the oldest we have) the western end of the area is laid out with what appears to be a building plan.  This is for something extremely large to be built here with a frontage on Burnthouse Lane. There seems to be a very very large rectangular building together with a parallel range of smaller, but still very large blocks.  Was some sort of institution planned?
After that the area seems to be let or sold in small plots, initially mainly as nurseries but latterly housing.  Today the area is almost entirely housing with every sign of a plotland development – random housing design, no facilities and unmade roads.

Burnthouse Lane
This lane once continued down to Hawley Road but is now cut off by the motorway and has become a footpath
Burnt House – this house, or houses, was at the corner with Shirehall Road and was still present in the 1930s

Mill Road
Hilltop Nursery 1930s


Shirehall Road
Yew Tree Farm and the Chalcroft Nursery
120 Hawley Gospel Trust.  This appears to be a Gospel Hall used by the Brethren at Hawley.

Chalcroft Nursery.  Web site

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..

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

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

Thursday, 5 January 2017

M25 Dartford Bob Dunn Way

Post to the east Dartford Crossing and Crossways
Post to the north Long Reach
Post to the south Bow Arrow

Abbey Mead Close
New built housing

Bob Dunn Way
This was previously University Way and is the A206. Bob Dunn was a Tory members of parliament for Dartford. It is a Dartford Bypass, the third to be built but the first to the north of the town..It was originally planned to build a University of Greenwich's campus here.
Littlebrook Interchange. This is also junction 1a of the A282 (in effect the M25. This dumbbell shaped junction was first built in 1988 as a unclassified junction for the opening of Crossways. In 1993, the A206, now Bob Dunn Way, was extended to here and crossed  the Tunnel Approach Roads to reach Crossways three years late and six years after that reached Bluewater. This is a very busy junction.

Ellingham View
Housing arranged around a lake on what was once marshland.

Halcrow Avenue
The Beacon Beefeater Pub and Premier Inn. Built 2011.

Henderson’s Drive
Temple Belle Pub. This is now a Tesco Express.  It closed as a pub in 2009

Littlebrook Manor Way
This is the old road going from the top of Temple Hill down into the marshes to Littlebrook Farm.
Littlebrook Farm. Marshland farm, with chalk and gravel extraction nearby. Site of a Second World War anti-aircraft battery.  The fields became a site for the power station.

Marsh Street
This is another old road going from the town into the marsh.  It now runs as a footpath through the Temple Hill Estate
Joyce Green Cemetery. This was the cemetery for the Joyce Green hospital, originally a riverside fever and smallpox hospital and latterly a general hospital. The cemetery is consecrated land, and there are 1039 bodies are in just 292 graves. Half of the burials are for children under 14 years of age. In 1994 University Way, the new northern by-pass cut the Hospital land in two leaving the cemetery on the southern side. None of the grave markers are left standing today, many have been buried by accumulated leaf litter. In 1977 the Department of Health offered to sell the Cemetery to Dartford Borough Council but this was not taken up. It is now owned by the Temple Hill Trust who bought it in 2009 for a nominal fee. The Trust want to maintain the flora and fauna and provide a green space for all to use.

Marsh Street North
A rebuild of the old pathway into the marsh. Now a wide road with new houses and industrial units

University Way
An elevated remains of University Way – presumably left for the benefit of the hotel
Holiday Inn Express. Hotel.

Dartford Council Web site
Dover,Kent.Archives. Web  site
Enchanted Woodland. Web site
SABRE. Web site
Wikipedia. Bob Dunn. Web site

M25 Dartford Crossing and Crossways

Post to the north Littlebrook and Purfleet Jetties
Post to the east Stone Marshes
Post to the south Stone Lodge
Post to the west Dartford Bob Dunn Way

Anchor Boulevard
Sculpture on the roundabout
Laing O’Rourke. Head office of international engineering and construction company. This is a family owned company dating to 1848.
Trading and Distribution units

Bridge Close
Trading and Distribution units

Edison Business Park.
British Gas Academy – gas industry training centre

Capstan Court
Trading and Distribution units

Clipper Boulevard
Campanalie Hotel

The area in this square to the east of the Crossing consists almost entirely of the Crossways business area which dates from the late 1980s. Crossways comprises five business areas :- Masthead, Newtons Court, Edisons Park, Admirals Park and Charles Park. It has hotels and a publ  in a landscaped park environment with lakes and seating areas.

Crossways Boulevard
A206 The road dates from the mid-1990s as an extension of a Thames side route connecting the Dartford Tunnel while bypassing central Dartford.
Regius Hotel
Double Tree Hilton. Hotel.

Dartford Crossing
The crossing spans the River between Dartford and Thurrock outside the Greater London boundary. The design capacity was 135,000 vehicles a day, but in practice it carries around 160,000.  It effectively takes the orebital M25 over the river but the approach roads are the all-vehicle A282. Southbound traffic crosses the by the four-lane Queen Elizabeth bridge, and northbound traffic uses both of the two-lane tunnels.

Dartford Tunnel Approach
Toll booths for payment of the crossing charge were on the south side for both. The Toll Booths have now been removed and a free-flow electronic charging system called Dart Charge is based on automatic number plate recognition.
Cycling crossing. In 1963 speical buses took cyclists through the Dartford Tunnel. These were not used for very long and cyclists now have to telephone for an escort.
Service area – a large area on the approaches to the tunnel appears to be devoted to services for the tunnel, bridge and motorway. It apparently includes a marshalling area for vehicles which need an escort, as well as police, fire and maintenance areas.

Galleons Boulevard
Cotton Lake. This is a carp fishing lake run by a syndicate with, apparently, a very long waiting list.
The Wharf. Shepherd Neame pub. Generic

Manor Road
This is a new road west of the Crossing
Sainsbury’s Depot Distribution Centre

This was first phase of Crossways completed in 1988.

Schooner Court
Cotton Farm was roughly in this area, and was the farm whose fields covered much of this area. It was demolished in the 1970s.

The Bridge
This is a newly developed area west of the Dartford Crossing. It is developed by ProLogis Developments Limited and Dartford Borough Council with office, science park and industrial space plus homes and facilities, a shopping centre, a hotel and a Learning & Community Campus.
Institute for Sustainability and SusCon. This will be a centre for independent sustainability research and knowledge.
North Kent College. This will be a construction training  centre
The Busway. The takes the Fastrack bus service which will eventually provide a network of express bus routes in this area often following new dedicated roads. At the western end of The Bridge a development allows Fastrack buses on Route 'A', and no other vehicles, to pass under the QEII bridge approach to rejoin the public road system on the Crossways Boulevard.  A blue coloured surface at the entrance to the busway emphasises that the road is for buses only.

British Gas. Web site
Carp Forum. Web site
Dartford Council. Web site
Kent County Council. Web site
Laing O’Rourke. Web site
SABRE, Web site
Wikipedia. Dartford Crossing. Web site

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

M25 Thurrock Dartford Crossing Approach

Post to the north West Thurrock
Post to the south Dartford Crossing

Bay Manor Lane
Road called after previous house on the site leading to industrial premises
Victor House. There have been a number of commercial firms in this premises over the past 20-25 years.  This has included construction accessories and heavy haulage.

Breach Road
Road with trading units

Channel Tunnel Rail Link
The Channel Tunnel Rail Link runs underground from London but it above ground between Dagenham and its tunnel under the river, At Thurrock the line crosses the London, Tilbury & Southend railway line and the Dartford Tunnel exit lanes, but then it goes under the approach to the Dartford Bridge and then down to its own tunnel. This section was built by UK Morgan Early Solutions Together and French Vinci Construction Grands Projects. Construction included the 0.68-mile long Thurrock Viaduct which was required to gradually lift the line over obstacles, beginning and ending at ground level – so it has an arched profile. It was formally finished in 2003 and the whole line complete a year later. The 23 spans of the Thurrock Viaduct are made of separate sections which were made on site.

Eastern Avenue
DHL Supply Chain. Distribution service
Big Blue Food Bus – double decker bus, with a restaurant on board.
Wincanton. More supply chain distribution services

London Road
The London Road, as the A1090 main road continues under the tunnel approach roads and then continues ahead. The main road A1090 turns south and follows St. Clements and Oliver Roads. This route dates from 2013.
Haulage firms, and aggregates works line the road on both the main road, and downgraded sections. There are some other works – shutters and roller doors, insurance – specialising in heavy haulage,, etc. and several industrial estate. One site consists of piles and piles of rotting pallets. There are signs to combat illegal street racing ‘cruising or spectacles’,  Up to the 1980s this area was a mass of tramway and rail lines accessing the chalk workings and cement works to the north  – with two road crossings one in a tunnel and the other on a level crossing. Where there are now trading estates were rail and tram depots and marshalling yards
London Road SPS. This is presumably still the Sewage Pumping Station shown from the 1930s and now tucked away under the motorway tunnel approach roads. It is now owned by Anglian Water but was built by Thurrock Urban District Council.
Crown House. Another big grey shed. They are an ‘all encompassing events and hospitality provider’.
Tunnel House. This was called Buntings in 1732.  It was extended converted to a garage after 1960, and demolished around 1970. It was on the south side, probably in the area of Breach Road.
Bay Manor. The manor house of Bayhouse was on the north side of London Road holding land between the house and the Mardyke. Bayhouse farm existed until  1959, but by that time much of the surrounding area was industrial.  Repairs to the manor house were recorded in 1408 and 1502 and in 1812 a new house was planned. It had disappeared by 1962.
Low House.  This was west of Tunnel House and was a substantial building in the 19th but had disappeared by 1930.
Stone House. This was opposite the junction with Stonehouse Lane and was demolished in the 1920s

London – Tilbury Railway
The railway through Thurrock was  part of what was known as the LTS or London, Tilbury & Southend railway. After Grays the line going towards London continues through Thurrock and Purfleet.
Sidings. There were many sidings between Grays and Purfleet to serve industry. There was a large sidings south of the railway and between the railway and London Road.

Oliver Close
This is now the main road between St. Clement’s Way and Oliver Road
Cosgrove Road – Eurocourt Trading Estate 
Victor Marine. They make Tank Washing Machines, Gas Freeing Fans, Oily Water Separators and Sewage Treatment Plants.
Paramount 26. Make roller shutters

Oliver Road
This is now the main road between Oliver Close and Stoneness Road (in the square to the east).. It is lined with identical grey big sheds petering out to an area of shipping containers and electricity pylons.

St Clements Way
This is now the main road between London Road and Oliver Close. It is mainly an elevated road.

Stonehouse Lane
UK Power Networks. Purfleet Grid

British History Online. West Thurrock. Web site
Crown. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
SABRE. Web site
Thurrock Council. Web site
Thurrock Rail. Web site

Monday, 2 January 2017

M25 West Thurrock

Post to the north Ship Lane
Post to the south Thurrock Dartford Crossing Approach

Canterbury Way
This is the A282 Dartford Tunnel Approach Road which extends the M25 replacing it over and under the river. Its six lanes run parallel onto the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.  It opened in 1963 with the original Dartford Tunnel.

Central Avenue
Gateway Data Centre

Dolphin Way
Thurrock Chalk Quarries . This set of pits – which lie west of what is now the tunnel approach roads – first appear on maps in the early 1920s in a rough clover leaf beginning from the south.  Each leaf had tramway access into it coming from the south and these tramways ran down to river jetties. It is assumed that they were worked by the Thurrock Chalk and Whiting Co.which was incorporated in 1921. There are records of their locomotives and river transport fleet.
Dolphin Chalk Quarry. This was the Metropolitan Works Quarry, situated between Stonehouse Lane and Canterbury Way and contains a cement works site and an industrial estate. The vertical chalk face on the western side shows regularly spaced bands of flint nodules representing cycles of climate change some 80 million years ago.
The Metropolitan Cement Company was established by a consortium of Vickers Armstrong and Balfour Beatty, to supplying the latter with cement. The plant was acquired by US company, Alpha, and was re-organised by them. It shared its chalk supply with the adjacent calcium aluminate cement plant, and the whiting company. Alpha became part of APCM  and was administered by Tunnel who used it as flexible capacity. It shut in 1941, but re-opening following air-raids on the West Thurrock Tunnel. It was shut again in 1944. In 1949 APCM took over and Kiln A1 was removed in 1952 but the remaining two kilns continued to be operated flat out. Facilities for oil firing were installed in the 1960s, but never used and the plant closed when the Northfleet plant started.
Dolphin Point. This is a modern purpose built development of 2004 with 14 units set around the central access areas. The units are steel portal frame construction with a single loading door and first floor offices.
Neptune Business Park. This is a terrace of 5 industrial/warehouse units completed in 2003. The site needed extensive remediation and was developed by Rosemound Developments.
Thurrock Distribution Centre Social Club
Tunnel under Dolphin Way goes to Tesco's distribution centre in the southern part of Greenlands Quarry (in the square to the west)
Kerneos. This plant was previously Lafarge Aluminates.  In 1908, Ciment Fondu was patented and made in France from 1916. The West Thurrock plant was opened in 1926, followed by many other plants and processes world wide. Kerneos started as a joint venture between subsidiaries of Lone Star Industries and Lafarge Coppée in 1970 and has constantly researched properties of calcium aluminates and developed innovative materials. Numerous ranges of high-technology calcium aluminate binders have been launched. Thurrock plant produces speciality cement clinker and bulk cement. Detailed maps of the area seem to indicate that the current plant is on a much reduced site.

M25 Junction 31
The Purfleet Interchange is junction 31 as the M25 becomes the A282.  Here it meets the old A13 which is now the A1306, Southend Arterial Road.  The junction dates from 1963 when the Dartford Tunnel opened.   It was rebuilt in 1980 when it was joined by the M25. It is also joined by new roads built that link Aveley and Purfleet and access to the Lakeside retail park and Thurrock services.  In 1999 the new A13 was extended westwards. This is a very busy junction.

Southend Arterial Road
This is the A1306 which follows the old route of the A13 in south Essex

Stonehouse Lane
Lowhouse Farm. From where the area was farmed before the factories were built.  Long gone.
Bluelands Pit. Flooded.
Sports ground, this was to the west of the road in the 1960s. It may have been Van den Bergh and Jurgens facility. The site is now a transport depot.
Greenlands Quarry, This is also called Dolphin Pit, is of critical importance in the sequence of events here during the middle of the Ice Age.  Sediments here cover three separate periods of early human occupation. The first is a  cold climate gravel followed by warm climate sediments and capped by gravel and a return to cold conditions. Geologists think that the warm climate sediments are thought to be be over 280,000 years old. Fossils include bones of deer, bison, monkey, beaver and straight-tusked elephant, and a hyena.
Lakeside Garden Inn. Derelict hotel.
Premier Inn. Thurrock

Western Avenue
Winds its way east of the Tunnel approach road, through trading estates and bleak ‘outlets’
Tunnel Farm. This farm dated from the 18th and was the site which the Tunnel Cement works took over, and from which they took their name. The farm buildings remained for a long time after the works was built. There were gun emplacements here in the Great War.
Tunnel Cement. This was the first plant of the Tunnel company, named after Tunnel Farm.. The plant had twelve wet process bottle kilns and six chamber kilns by 1885. The plant was further increased until 1907. In 1911 the plant was sold to F.L.Smidth which quickly transformed the plant into the largest in Britain as rotary kilns were installed. Over the next fifty years it became a showpiece plant in which pioneering plant designs were incorporated. This included the first “Unax” kiln and another kiln was the first to be fitted with a modern chain system. A kiln installed in 1934 was the largest kiln in the country and remained so until 1961. From 1934 until  1957 white cement was made and an asbestos-cement plant was installed to the north in 1936. The site had a rail link from the start but also had a barge wharf joined to a 2 km standard gauge railway. A deep-water jetty was installed in the 1930s. Inside the site materials were moved around by rail rather than conveyors, and there was a maze of rail track said to cover 20 km.. The jetty was used to receive fuel. There was considerable bomb damage in the Second World War but from 1962 a new kiln was again the largest in Britain and the plant was also the largest in capacity, and remained so until 1971. By the 1970s the narrow Essex chalk seam was becoming worked out and it was decided to close the plant. The site is now covered with light industry and warehousing and the jetty is still in use. The main quarry is now the Lakeside Retail Park.
The Juxon Thurrock Shopping Park
Waterglade Industrial Park
Barclay Way
Jodrell Way
Odeon Cinema. This 10-screen cinema opened in 1989 by AMC Theatres and was soon afer taken over by United Cinemas International, and re-branded UCI. In 2004 it was taken over by the Terra Firma Group and re-branded Odeon. It closed in 2012, and was demolished and replaced by three retail units.
Tunnel Estate Clock Tower. This is supposed to show the time digitally and temperature and has various antennae on the top. Does not seem to work.
Ibis Hotel
The Glade Business Centre

Cement Kilns. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
GeoEssex. Web site
Kerneos. Web site
MSA Architects. Web site
SABRE. Web site
Thurrock Council. Web site