Joydens Wood

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Alfan Lane

7 open denehole entered through the roots of a tree


11, Small depression in corner of rear garden. Almost certainly a denehole.

Joydens Wood

This 320 acre hill top wood was once part of the Mount Mascal Estate and in 1956 it was acquired by the Forestry Commission and in 1987 the wood and the plantation were purchased by the Woodland Trust who also gained commoners rights in exchange for land taken for the A2 trunk road. The name comes from William Jordayne, a   16th Dartford resident, - and the wood has also been called ‘Jordans’.  over 240 species of plants, 50 different trees, many fungi, 270 species of moth, 58 species of birds in or over the wood, many butterflies and insects, plus a small number of animals and reptiles have been noted.  Forestry Commission which cleared much of the area and planted Corsican Pine, Larch, Maple and Western Hemlock for commercial purposes . Later, horse rides were established to separate riders and walkers..

bomb craters from the Second World War

Deneholes. in the 1880s Spurrell made a map of Joydens Wood and plotted the locations of the shafts. He descended many of them and made drawings of some, writing "Deneholes and Caves with artificial entrances" published in the Archaeological Journal. there are Roman remains in the woods and some of the pieces of pottery found their way down the shafts and Spurrell also claimed that fragments of human bone had been found. His map however showed that the shafts were nearly always associated with ancient the earthworks often next to them.  They are associated with mediaeval field systems which pre date the square earthwork. Of the 120 deneholes noted by Spurrell only 5 remained by 1966 and later there were only 2. Some of them including the square enclosure in the north east portion are now under a housing estate and were excavated in 1958.. The date of construction of the deneholes is therefore before 1280 and a date of around 1250 is suggested.

square earthwork located a few hundred meters to the west. Excavations here found the footings of buildings dated 1280 to 1320, and are thought to be part of the lost mediaeval manor of Ocholt. Ocholt was held, with Baldwyns, by Lesnes Abbey in the middle ages.

Earth banks excavated by H.A. Hogg. It was wartime and he seems to have laboured alone, shifting many tons of earth and drawing beautiful sections. He found that the bases of the banks were chalk and flint, while pottery gave evidence of the enclosures being built around 1250 to 1300. As noted above there is a discernable correlation between these earth banks and the deneholes. So that some of the excavations may be contemporary with the earth bank construction.

Anglo-Roman settlement

Memorial posts in Summerhouse Drive area

Keeper's cottage

Tump with Woodland Trust plaques

Faesten Dic a defensive earthwork,  Anglo Saxon, dated at about 450 AD. this ancient defensive ditch that crosses north to south and it is thought ditches like this marked the frontier of the last Roman power base in London and there was also local tribal warefare at the time it was constructed. The name means ‘The Strong Rampart’  and it goes across a sandy gravel slope of the Cray valley. It is 1.67 km long and is a series of connected zig zag ditches.  There is a layer of gravel on the east side of the dyke which may be a military walk way. 

Hollow Way – reference to an old road through the wood running north-south.

Roundhouses – sites of two iron age roundhouses have been identified plus four post granaries.

supposed site of the City of Caswallon  occupying this and Rowhill Woods. They were a tribe of Celts called the Cassii.

Summerhouse Drive

Entrance to the wood – Horticultural hut there

Kissing gate and electricity transformer

Denehole said to have been utilised by a 'self build' housing group as a storm drain. The shaft was 460 yards east of the Summer House.


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