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The flattening out of the terrain made
it a logical place for the building of a major east/west road linking London,
Maidstone and Hythe, which has been heavily used for centuries. Road
improvements became necessary in the 18th century due to increased trade.
Turnpike trusts were established to maintain and improve roads and they charged
travellers a fee to cover the costs. This stretch was turnpiked in 1752 and
became a major coaching route. By the 19th century it was considered to be one
of the most important roads in Kent.
In the 1930s a Saxon cemetery was
partially unearthed at Charton Manor revealing some fascinating objects such as
daggers, spears and other artefacts. It is generally thought that a riverside settlement
is buried the largest being Charton that was then owned by Ansgot of Rochester.
18 peasant families lived there, farming about 200 acres of land. By the 12th
century, the most important family in Farningham was the de Cheriton from
Folkestone; it is from their name that Charton come. Their eldest son, Odo de
Cheriton, is one of the few people of Farningham who has gained a mention in
the Dictionary of National Biography.
Road from Farningham to Maplescome.
Gas works site to the east
White Post Hill