Thames Tributary, Darent - Chipstead

Thames Tributary Darent
The Darent continues flowing north east to the north of, and parallel to, the A25 passing under the A21, Sevenoaks bypass.

TQ 50043 56177

Pretty village with lakes and the river Darent. Housing in the old mill and various interesting farm buildings. Defunct station on defunct railway line.

Post to the south Dryhill
Post to the east Chipstead
Post to the north Chevening Sundridge Road

 Post to the west Chevening Ovenden

Brickfield Lane
Brickworks here from the 1880s ‘Chipstead Brick and Tile Field’ in which ‘Earl Stanhope had an interest, Closed 1920s.
Willow Farm

Chevening Road
Claypit Shaw
Brickfield Cottage. Frog Crossing.
Froghole Farm. Farmed by the Booker family into the 1980s but land bought by Marleys for sand extraction.
St.Botolph's Church of England Primary School. The school is built on the site of the Bull Public House, which was also the Post Office. The swimming pool was donated in the 1930s
15-21 old parish workhouse
65-75 plaque to say date is 1865
38-44 part of the Chipstead estate.
Recreation Ground. Provided by Walter Smith for their employees.
30 Bricklayers Arms
Bridge over the river with has steps leading down to the water
Mill House and mill separated with a cascade. Now pink painted render. The mill was a red brick four storey building which had been enlarged in the late 19th as could be seen from a ragstone lower floors, It worked until after the Second World War, but the machinery had been removed by 1950. The waterwheel was overshot and drove two pairs of French Burr millstones. A steam engine provided auxiliary power until it was replaced by a gas engine. Roller milling plant had been installed in the 1890s but milling continued until after the Second World War. During the war it was run by Prisoners of War. The mill building was standing in the 1980s converted into housing.
Houses around the former corn mill and mill race reflect their earlier use - 'Granary', 'Flour Store'.
Pottery and craft studios set up in what was the stables and outbuildings of a general store.
26 Working Men’s Club
4 Old Forge. Chipstead Football Club was founded there. The buildimg  was used as the distributor for St.Ivel cheeses from the 1930s-1960s,
Chipstead Green, land purchased and opened 1981.Was previously Pikey Mead.
Water channel - Leading to the lake is an artificial water channel, part of engineering to prevent flooding in Chipstead village. This channel is a continuation of the culvert taking the Darent from the Sundridge lakes under the road. The flow returns to the water-course via a grill-covered passage in the right bank of the channel, but when flood waters can be carried along the artificial channel into Chipstead Lake.
Windmill Farm
Windmill, gone

Chevening interchange.Junction 5.  Here the A21 leaves the M25 and, through a maze of slips, ends up going southeast wards as the old Sevenoaks Bypass.  The M26 enters the junction from the east and then vanishes. The M25 twists itself round the A21 slips and turns abruptly westwards.

Mill Lane
Moat Close
Moat Farm. 12th house where the manor courts were held. This was formed as a second manor in the Chevening area in 1274 with the manor house on this site. The Rye Road passed it and every main road since has taken some land. Farmed by the Dark family since 19th. Oast house with bricks dated from the 1790s. This oast was rectangular and looked like a barn and built as a barn. Said to be a moat there but it was also where the Mote was held. The farm is still used as housing and so are the outbuildings.

Sevenoaks By Pass
Road built by Kent County Council in 1964 and opened in 1967. Difficult to build because of unstable section of soil. Route ended up having to be altered.
The road between the Darent proper and the lake leads past the junction of the river and millstream with stone footways straddling each leg
Chevening Halt Station. 1906 Opened 16th April with unmanned concrete platform. Closed with the line 1961. The former station site is today a rough piece of overgrown scrubland bordering Junction 5 of the M25
Lone Barn Farm – south east of the halt. Bombed and destroyed in 1940.

SourcesBritish Listed Buildings. Web site
Bygone Kent
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter

Disused Stations. Web site
KCC. History of Kent County Council
Pevsner and Cherry,. Kent.
St.Botolphs School. Web site
Watson. History of the Parish of Chevening.
Wood. Lets Explore the River Darent


Anonymous said…
~Interested in your blog on Chipstead & mention of Froghole Farm. My grt grandfather Rayner Richard Booth is recorded as an Ag Lab living their in the 1881 census. He became a stone mason & lived in Chipstead Lane in 1891-1911 censuses.
Anonymous said…
Chipstead Mill building.

As children we used to visit this site in the late 1970's when it was used to store ex-MOD stuff. There was a conveyor installed from top to bottom, and piles of kit everywhere (parachutes, canvas bags, winter gear).
Anonymous said…
My uncle Gordon Wolff painted the Chipstead Mill House side passage - presumably in the 1979s or 80's. On a return visit to England. He had emigrated to Australia with his family as one of the many Ten Pound Pommies. There, he worked as an artist and art teacher. On hus return visits to England he often painted or drew particularly picturesque spots.

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