Friday, 3 April 2015

Railway line from London Bridge to Gravesend. Knockhall

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues eastwards

Post to the west Greenhithe
Post to the east Swanscombe
Post to the north Ingress Abbey


Abbey Road
Sure Start Children’s Centre

Alexander Road
Greenhithe Community Centre


Alkerden Lane
Western Cross Farm.All that remains of this farm is a series of buildings perched on an island surrounded by cliff faces.The buildings were bombed in 1944 and there is now no sign of a farm house. There was once an oast here
Millennium Milepost - The Cockerel
Tunnel under the road for the J.B.White Cement Works railway built as the pits extended south.
Barnfield Pit to the north of the road. This was owned by J.B White and Bros., and dug from the early 20th. A conveyor belt ran parallel to the road in the 1950s

Barnfield Pit
The pit is 39 metres deep of which 60% has been backfilled with Thanet sand and 40% partially backfilled with Whiting Dross This is slurry from the production of White Portland Cement. In the past it has been has been used as filler for medicines, toothpaste and as an additive in the manufacture of bricks give the illusion of a handmade brick through imperfections.
Footpath from Craylands Lane to Knockhall Road.
Swanscombe Heritage Park is in the old Barnfield Pit. Flint tools dating back 400,000 years to the early Stone Age have been found in Swanscombe along with the remains of the animals they killed.  Three different pieces of the Swanscombe Skull were found in 1935, 1936 and 1955. These fragments came to be known as the remains of Swanscombe Man, that they had belonged to a young woman.  These were the oldest human fossils discovered anywhere in the UK, until the 1990s discoveries at Boxgrove. The pit site was given in 1954 by APCM to the Nature Conservancy. There is a sculpture inspired by a Palaeolithic hand axe
Craylands Gorge, an area of open space carrying the pipe from Eastern Quarry to Swanscombe Marshes.  It was a tramway linking the Eastern Quarry with the cement works. The tramway ran along the floor of a narrow man-made gorge, cut into the chalk bedrock. The precipitous slopes are cloaked in dense scrub and woodland and it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest
Bridge which crosses over the deep cutting of the gorge.

Craylands Lane
Craylands Lane is an ancient roadway linking the hamlet of Milton Street with the Gravesend to Dartford road at Swanscombe Cross. The west side of the road was the site of J.B.White’s Barnfield pit.  South of the pit was an area used for gravel extraction. To the east, and in the next square, was the New Craylands Lane Pit.
Swanscombe Cross - The cross roads on London Road was crossed by a cement works tramway the route of much of which is still visible
Council Yard. This now derelict site was on the west side London Road corner.
Coopers Arms. This pub was on the east side of the road and is long gone. Coopers Arms It was known local!y as the 'Bottorn House').
Springfield Lodge Day Nursery
Craylands Primary School. This is a new school which opened in 2003.
The Swanscombe Centre. Sports and similar facilities opened in 2013. A previous Swanscombe Centre including the Swanscombe & GreenhitheTown Council offices was opened in 1989.
Craylands Square
This was redeveloped from 1969, replacing 19th and early 20th housing

Eynsford Road
Knockhall Community Primary School. This school is now an ‘academy’. The school opened in 1901 when it was 'Swanscombe Knockhall Council School’. In 2011, a commemorative mosaic was made based on designs drawn by pupil and is in the school library.
Greenhithe Community Market Garden. Opened around 2005 in the grounds of the school and managed by volunteers.

Knockhall Chase
Knockhall Clinic. Demolished and site sold.

Knockhall Road
Barnfield Pit. This lay on the east side of the road. Dierden’s pit was to the west.
Passing loop in the railway in the pit near Knockhall House.
1 Flint Cottage. This is a 19th castellated Gothic lodge built of knapped flints. It has a crenulated parapet and at the front is a half octagonal tower with lancet windows.
Ingress Vale Chapel. This building is hidden between No2. And the railway. It dates from 1861 as an independent chapel, becoming Congregational in the early 20th and later United Reform.
Manse in house next to the chapel
5 Ingress Tavern. This dates at least from the 1870s.  It is closed as a pub but there is still a Greene King sign outside it.
Entrance to the playing fields and to a footpath to the leisure centre. A large rock is displayed here.
Playing Fields. This is a field from Fields in Trust set up by King George V as the National Playing Fields Association
Empire Sports Ground. Now disused factory sports field with an old changing room and very overgrown vegetation.
25 Empire Bowls Club
Knockholt Farm. This was roughly on the current site of Jubilee Gardens and was gone by the early 20th.
Knockhall Lodge. Convalescent home in the Great War and it was later used as a library. The site is now housing.

London Road
Swanscombe and Greenhithe British Legion Club
Greenhithe Library. This is a Kent County Council Library.
Swimming Pool. This was next to top of Knockhall Road – where the cobbles on the frontage of the flats which replaced it mark the old entrance.  It was opened in 1936 and built slightly above the level of the road. The site is now housing.
Railway
Transhipment siding at Craylands for interchange with the railway at White’s works. This ran north of the London Road to the east of this square.


Sources
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Cox Kent
Dartford Council. Web site
Knockhall Academy. Web site
Pevsner. West Kent.
Stoyel and Kidner. The Cement Railways of Kent
Swanscombe Heritage Park. Web site

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