Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Thames Tributary, Darent - Sundridge

Thames Tributary Darent
The Darent continues flowing east parallel to and north of the A25.


Post to the west Brasted
Post to the east Dryhill
Post to the north Chevening Ovenden


Chevening Road.
Mill stream.
Sundridge Mill was on a Domesday mill site where corn had been milled until the 18th. It became a red brick paper mill, producing paper for the Bank of England until its closure when the work was transferred to Eynsford Mill. It included long building with facilities for drying the paper and seems to have included the use of steam power. By the 1959s the mill buildings were rebuilt as the West Kent Laundry, the waterwheel was removed c1914 to be replaced by steam power and the wood used to make coffins. The mill was demolished in October 1969. There was also an: L shaped 18th mill house against the road. Upstream was an elongated mill pond made out of a mill leat and with a channel in an iron trough between the two buildings where the wheel was. There was a brick chimney.
Sluice Wood, opposite the Lamb.
Big pond in the wood filled by the little stream off the river
Earthworks from the pond parallel to the road for 100s of yards. Filled in 60 years ago. Sluice still there
.
Stone retaining wall below the railings at the pavement edge.

Combebank is named after an ancient camp from which Roman remains have been recovered.

Combe Bank now a private girls' school. The estate was owned by the Isley family and then Ash who then sold it to the Campbells. The mansion was built in 1761 by Roger Morris for John Campbell, Duke of Argyll. It is a Palladian villa plus extensions built for the convent and the school. Saloon with decorations by Walter Crane for Spottiswood. In 1913 it was taken over by Robert Mond, industrial chemist, who used to test explosives in the grounds.
Sundridge Airfield. Mond agreed for wooden hangars to be built in a field near the mansion in c.1913 by Serge de Bolotoff. For some years they produced Voisin aircraft there,Bolotoff married one of the Selfridges and the reception was held at Coombebank. The whole enterprise failed around 1919.In the 1930s it was used by Alan Cobham and the air circus, and also local Tom Worsell and his home made aircraft. In the Second World War No. 86 Maintenance Unit, R.A.F. was stationed at Combe Bank dumping in the grounds a great heap of wrecked aircraft salvaged from all over Kent.
Aircraft hangars. Built around 1910 for manufacturing aeroplanes by Polish Prince de Bolotoff. They are timber framed, covered in corrugated iron sheeting. To the south is a concrete structure of 2 bays wide and 9 bays long added in 1927 when the complex became a garage for West Kent Motor Services. They have most recently been used for housing sheep
Folly. For bats
Ice House. For bats
Lodge. Canted ashlar.
Little Coombe Bank
Manor House. Sandstone
Coronation Gardens at the junction with the main road

Chapman’s Road
Mond flats. Said to have been designed by a Pole. Semi detached with a double flight of central steps. 1913

Church Road
The Old Rectory.19th stuccoed.
Oast Hill Farm
94 timber framed
96-104
11 weather boarded
Martyr’s Cottage1-3 Sakers Cottages
40 The Gate House. Was the stables of the Manor House
24-34 Mond Court
Wood west of the church. Contains a pit which could have provided ragstone for the church

Main Road
Old Hall. 15th house converted to three cottages. Professor Beresford Pite, F.R.I.B.A., did it up in 1923 using Kentish craftsmen and materials, which took two years. A circle of stones still in the floor of its Great Hall once formed the central hearth, smoke going through a hole in the roof. Then a huge fireplace was built with a squint and a vast, tapering brick chimney to take the smoke up the apex of the roof. It is said the addition at the west end was necessary as a prop when a chimney subsided. There is an original floor of trodden down chalk. The Lamb. Now offices
Bishop’s Court together with Bishop’s Cottage
Bishop’s Cottage. Extended in Victorian times and in 1972 but date from the mid 18th. Bishop Beilby Porteous, Bishop of Chester from 1776 and Bishop of London from 1783, lived there until his death in 1809; he is buried in an imposing tomb in Sundridge Churchyard
White Horse. At the cross roads
Parish Hall
War Memorial

Sundridge
Sundridge means private enclosed park from Old English – or something split or sundered. Less than a mile from Brasted. May have been a stopping place for herdsmen from Greenwich and Woolwich on their way to Chiddingstone. In 1066 it was taken by Bishop Odo; it had previously been a church possession in the power of Earl Godwin, and was then passed to Lanfranc.
Sundridge Waterworks. Kent Waterworks Co. Engine house demolished 1936. Modern pump house on site


Sources
Osborne. Defending London

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