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 This stretch was superseded by a stretch of the M25 which runs parallel to it.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

M25

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

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