Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Stone Lodge

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway runs eastwards

Post to the west Bow Arrow
Post to the east Stone
Post to the north Dartford Crossing and Crossways

Bow Arrow Lane
Cottage Hospital. In 1885 a detached isolation hospital was built as part of Stone House at the corner of Cotton and Bow Arrow Lanes. 

Cotton Lane
Fantaseas was a chain of indoor waterparks.  The first was opened in 1989 at Dartford on the west side of Cottons Lane. It had six American-style waterslides, an outdoor heated lagoon and a cafe and gaming arcade. In 1992, it was found the foundations were inadequate to support the building but it was also in financial trouble and shut down. The site was guarded and kept in good condition but the buildings were demolished in 2000 and the site used as a refuse dump
Kennels
Stone Lodge Farm and pit site
This large site is bounded by Cotton Lane to the west and London Road to the south.  An area to the east is in the next square. It consists of an infilled chalk pits to the north and to the south the area of Stone Lodge Farm.
Chalk pit. This pit was actively used for chalk extraction from the late 19th but was described as ‘old chalk pit’ from the 1920s. It appears to be the pit taken over by Atlas Stone inn 1928.  They also extracted gravel from the southernmost part of their area. In the 1930s a railway ran into the pit and appears to have been a connection to the adjacent Stone Court workings railway. In the 1930s the railway ran on to another chalk and gravel extraction side to the south west which continued into the 1950s. It has since been infilled with rubbish.
Dartford Judo Club. This is the first purpose-built Judo facility in the UK and it provides a programme of classes for children and adults, catering for players of all standards. It was the British Judo Performance Institute in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics. The site fronts onto Cottons Lane near the junction with London Road.
Dartford Stone Lodge Bowls Club. The site fronts onto Cottons Lane near the junction with London Road.
North Downs Steam Railway Co. This dated from 1980 with an interest in the old Gravesend West Line.  They moved to several sites and in 1987, came here, where, was am expanse of undeveloped land, was ideal for the storage of their stock fleet. In 1996 they moved to the Spa Valley Railway.
War memorial. Cross on a plinth on the edge of woodland. This is east of the derelict path running from London Road to the old farm buildings. It dates from before the Second Wrold War and at once time seems to have been south of a belt of orchard or similar woodland stretching to London Road.
Landfill gas station. This is served by. A gas pipeline.  Some of the gas is burnt on site and some piped to Northfleet as an industrial fuel.   There are a number of other installations around the site in connection with collection of gas from landfill.
Rifle Range. This was sited centrally on the eastern boundary of the site. This was owned by the Council. Now closed
Viewing area provided in connection with the construction of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.
Pylons. Eleven pylons which carry a 33,000 volt, two 132,000 volt and a 400,000 volt overhead power cables supported by eleven pylons.
Pipeline.A main Esso oil pipeline

London Road
Stone Lodge Farm. In 1887 Stone Lodge Farm and 107 areas of land immediately to the east of the Asylum were purchased by the City Corporation. The farm was used as a work place and a source of food for inmates at the asylum. It later became a children’s farm used as a tourist attraction. This closed before 2000.
Turnpike Gate. Presumably this was in the area of the junction with Tollgate Road. This was the Dartford and Strood Turnpike Trust and included a tollhouse.
131 Welsh Tavern. The building is from the 1870s but the pub dates from 1828. This was once called the Welch Arms. The current building was built around the 1870's. The pool room was once a separate shop.
Alamein Gardens. Small park attached to sheltered housing in Tollgate Road.
Electricity transformer station with other equipment.
Tunnel. On maps a tunnel is shown running under the road here. This may be the tunnel built before 1960 by APCM to connect pits north and south of the road
Stone House Hospital
Stone House Hospital. This was built after the Commissioners of Lunacy said that the Corporation of London provide its own asylum for pauper lunatics., It opened as  the City of London Lunatic Asylum  in 1866,  It was a yellow brick castellated structure in extensive grounds. There was a grand dining room and a Great Hall with a chapel above.  Dormitories in wards and single cell one for men and one for women. There was a water tower in the centre of the site.  The Medical Superintendent had his own house - 'The Hollies'.  Patients could enjoy the outdoors but the sexes were kept segregated. From 1892, private patients were admitted but kept in separate wards from the paupers. In 1901 St Luke's Chapel was built and the old chapel became a recreation hall with a stage.  A clock turret and belfry were put over the north entrance and a new boiler and engine house were built.  In 1909 a Nurses' Home was added at the southwest of the site.   By then almost half of the patients were private. It was never transferred to the LCC but remained with the City Corporation until 1948 when the NHS took control.  The Hospital was renamed Stone House Hospital.   In 1998 the Thameslink Healthcare NHS Trust decided it should be closed.  It finally closed in 2005 with 145 beds. It is the most complete example of a 19th hospital complex to survive in South East England and the main buildings and the chapel are Grade II listed.   The vacant buildings and surrounding parkland were transferred to English Partnerships as part of its Hospital Sites Programme. 


Sources
Bygone Kent
Dartford Council. Web site
Fantaseas. Wikipedia. Web site
Kent County Council. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Pevsner. West Kent
Pubs Galore. Web site
Stone Parish Council. Web site
Stoyel and Kidner. The Cement Railways of Kent
Turnpikes. Web site

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