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This urban settlement is best known today as the home of the Dartford Tunnel, which runs for roughly one mile beneath the River Thames, re-emerging on the Essex bank near West Thurrock. Dartford is a place of some historical significance: it stands on the old London to Dover road at the crossing of the River Darent, which is how it got its name Darent Ford.

Whether you are looking for relaxation and the chance to unwind or for something more active including great hand's on fun for the younger family members then Kent is the place for you. With many award winning attractions featured together with the best known places to visit and many smaller less well known attractions.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Dartford Shopping
Bluewater: Europe's largest indoor shopping centre is set in an old quarry close north east Kent. It's modern design is bright and appealing, and its circuit on either upper or lower levels from wherever you park. Just about every leading retailer has a store here, but there are also a good number of interesting and unusual independent shops.
There are hundreds of independent retailers situated in the Kent, offering an array of worldwide brands to locally sourced products. Each and every one of them offer a customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Dartford Directory
Dartford
Local legend has it that Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasant’s Revolt, was from Dartford. The revolt was supposedly sparked off by an indecent assault by a tax collector on Tyler’s daughter. Deptford, Colchester and Maidstone also lay claim to Wat Tyler. However the historical sources are unreliable and the legend is perpetuated in Dartford, which even has a Wat Tyler Inn.In the 20th century Dartford changed from Victorian market town to sprawling commuter land with 80,000 residents. Most of the town’s older buildings have disappeared down the centuries, victims of war, modern transport systems or the dead hand of urban planning. Holy Trinity church,mainly 18th and 19th century with a Norman tower, a few cottages nearby and a couple of 18th-century buildings on the High Street,including the galleried Royal Victoria andBull Hotel, are among the few survivors of old Dartford. The church has a memorial tothe railway pioneer Richard Trevithick, who died in poverty at the Royal Victoria and Bull(then just the Bull) in 1833. He had been working nearby on new inventions, and his colleagues clubbed together to provide him with a decent funeral.
Dartford Market
Dartford Farmers' Market began in November 2005 at the request of Dartford Borough Council and has been running since then. The regularity of the Farmers Market has now been agreed by Dartford Borough Council as taking place on the 3rd Friday of each month.
The Farmers Market is held in the Pedestrian area of Dartford High Street and is open to the public between 10am and 2pm on the 3rd Friday of the month.
There's a variety of produce available include meat, bread, plants, preserves, fudge and much more.
For Directions see the Interactive Map
Dartford Dining
When it comes to eating out, food lovers prepare to be seriously spoilt for choice in Dartford, from global to local, there are a wide variety of international and English cuisines on offer in Dartford.
Check the Dartford Directory
Dartford Museum
The main display cases in Dartford Borough Museum run anti-clockwise around the gallery and follow the chronological story of the Borough of Dartford as revealed by archaeology, with additional social history items for more recent periods:
Dartford
In prehistory, the first people appeared in the Dartford area around 250,000 years ago: a tribe of prehistoric hunter-gatherers whose exemplar is called Swanscombe Man.
Many other archaeological investigations have revealed a good picture of occupation of the district with important finds from the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
When the Romans engineered the Dover to London road (afterwards named Watling Street) it was necessary to cross the River Darent by ford, giving the settlement its name. Roman villa were built along the Darent valley, and at Noviomagus (Crayford), close by. The Saxons may have established the first settlement where Dartford now stands. Dartford manor is mentioned in the Domesday Book, written after the Norman invasion in 1086. It was owned by the king.
During the medieval period Dartford was an important waypoint for pilgrims and travellers en route to Canterbury and the Continent and various religious orders established themselves in the area. In the 12th century the Knights Templar had possession of the manor of Dartford; the National Trust property at Sutton-at-Hone, to the south of the town, is a remaining piece of that history. In the 14th century, a priory was established here, and two groups of friars — the Dominicans and the Franciscans — built hospitals here for the care of the sick. At this time the town became a small but important market town.
Wat Tyler, of Peasants' Revolt fame, might well have been a local hero, although three other towns in Kent all claim the same, and there are reasons to doubt the strength of Tyler's connection to Dartford though the existence of a town centre public house named after him gives some credence to Dartford's claim.
The gatehouse of Henry VIII 's Royal Manor
In the 15th century, two kings of England became part of the town's history. Henry V marched through the town in November 1415 with his troops prior to fighting the French at the Battle of Agincourt; in 1422 Henry's body was taken to Holy Trinity Church by Edmund Lacey, Bishop of Exeter, who performed a funeral. In March 1452, Richard the Duke of York camped on the Brent with ten thousand men, waiting for a confrontation with King Henry VI. The Duke surrendered to the king in Dartford. The place of the camp is marked today by York Road.
The sixteenth century saw significant changes to the hitherto agricultural basis of the market in Dartford, as new industries began to take shape. The priory was destroyed in 1538 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries and a new manor house constructed by King Henry VIII. In 1576 Dartford Grammar School was founded, part of the Tudor emphasis on education for ordinary people.
Many Protestants were executed during the reigns of Queen Mary (1553–1554) and Philip and Mary (1554–1558), including Christopher Waid, a Dartford linen-weaver who was burnt at the stake in front of thousands of spectators on the Brent in 1555. The Martyrs Memorial on East Hill commemorates Waid and other Kentish Martyrs.
In the 20th century Dartford changed from Victorian market town to sprawling commuter land with 80,000 residents. Most of the town’s older buildings have disappeared down the centuries, victims of war, modern transport systems or the dead hand of urban planning. Holy Trinity church, mainly 18th and 19th century with a Norman tower, a few cottages nearby and a couple of 18th-century buildings on the High Street, including the galleried Royal Victoria and Bull Hotel, are among the few survivors of old Dartford. The church has a memorial to the railway pioneer Richard Trevithick, who died in poverty at the Royal Victoria and Bull (then just the Bull) in 1833. He had been working nearby on new inventions, and his colleagues clubbed together to provide him with a decent funeral.
Originally a Roman settlement, Dartford is an old market town with a rich industrial heritage. The Borough has been revitalised since the arrival of Bluewater. The regions green belt boasts wild marshlands and green country parks that form part of the Garden of England! Dartford is the principal town in the borough of Dartford. It is situated in the northwest corner of Kent, England, 16 miles (26 km) east south-east of central London.

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Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.

Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View and even old Ordnance Survey maps with a modern day Google map overlay, Cycle routes and much more.

Wansunt Pit

This site provides exposures in the Dartford Heath Gravel, a deposit which has been the subject of considerable controversy since the turn of the century. It has been variously attributed to the Boyn Hill Terrace, part of the Swanscombe sequence or to an older, higher terrace. The presence or absence of archaeological material in the gravel itself is questionable, but a working floor of Acheulian age has been discovered in loam overlying the gravel in Wansunt Pit. The question of whether or not the Dartford Heath gravel is equivalent to any part of the Swanscombe sequence, and what its relationship is to the Thames Terraces, is one of the more burning issues in the Thames Pleistocene studies, and therefore the exposures here are of considerable importance.
Where's the Path? See the link below
Wansunt Pit Maps

Farningham Wood

This site is representative of woodland in Kent on Eocene deposits overlying Chalk. The ground flora is particularly rich and there is also a varied invertebrate fauna. A series of ponds in the centre of the wood supports several species of amphibian.
Thanet sands, and Woolwich and Blackheath Beds cap the Chalk giving rise to a range of soil conditions which, combined with the continuity of woodland cover, has resulted in the presence of a rich ground flora. Bramble Rubus fruticosus and bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta are generally dominant, but a number of species uncommon in Kent occur including lily-of-the valley Convallaria majalis, Solomon’s seal Polygonatum multiflorum and bird’s-nest orchid Neottia nidus-
avis. There is also a colony of the nationally scarce Deptford pink Dianthus a??ria.
The canopy and shrub layers are similarly varied. Trees present include pedunculate and sessile oak Quercus robur and Q. petraea, hornbeam Carpinus betulus and ash Fraxinus excelsior, although some areas consist almost entirely of planted sweet chestnut Castanea sativa coppice, especially on the more acidic soils. Shrubs are best represented on the more chalky soils and include spindle Euonymus europaeus, wayfaring tree Viburnum lantana and guelder rose V.
opulus. Amongst the invertebrates, a number of species indicative of ancient woodland occur including certain beetles and the hoverfly Brachypalpoides lanta. Therationally rare fly Volucella inanis has been recorded recently.Additional habitat variety is provided by the ponds in the centre of the wood. Although there is little aquatic vegetation, the ponds support 3 species of newt including the uncommon great crested newt Triturus cristatus.
Where's the Path? See the link below
Farningham Wood Maps
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Kent Parishes

Kent Parishes
Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales 1894-1895

DARTFORD PARISH

Dartford, a town and a parish in Kent. The town stands in a narrow valley, between two steep hills, on Watling Street, and the river Darent, and has a station on the S.E.R., 16 miles from London. It was known to the Saxons as Darentford, and at Domesday as Tarentford, and it got its name from a ford or ferry-passage on the Darent, which was a great thoroughfare till the building of a bridge at it in the time of Henry VI. Isabella, the sister of Henry III., was married in the parish church in 1235 to theEmperor Frederick. Edward III. held a tournament here in 1331, and founded an Augustinian nunnery here in 1355. Wat Tyier commenced his insurrection here in 1381, by beating out the brains of the poll-tax collector. Henry V., the conqueror of Agincourt, was brought here after his death. The body was met at the porch of the parish church by the Bishop of Exeter.

Dartford consists chiefly of one spacious, well-built, picturesque street. The nunnery, founded by Edward III., stood at the west end, became the retreat of a daughter of Edward IV. and many noble ladies, was converted after the dissolution into a royal palace, passed for a time to Anne of Cloves, was inhabited two days in 1573 by Queen Elizabeth, passed by barter to Sir Robert Cecil, was held on life-lease by Sir Edward Darcy, and got then the name of Place House. The edifice appears to have been very extensive, and a small part of it, not .earlier than the time of Henry VII., still stands, and is now used as a farmhouse. A chantry chapel, dedicated to St Edmund the Martyr, and situated in a cemetery of its own on the opposite side of the town, belonged to the nunnery, and was in such great repute by pilgrims to Canterbury that the reach of Watling Street leading to it often took the name of " St Edmund's Way," but it has entirely disappeared. The pilgrims resorted chiefly to St Thomas a Becket's chapel at the north aisle of the parish church, which was used for that purpose until the time of Henry VIII. There is an interesting room which was formerly used as an armoury after the dissolution of the chantry. This is situated over the vestry. The parish church is a spacious ancient edifice with a Norman tower, was repaired or much altered in 1793, and thoroughly restored in 1877. It has remains of a decorated screen, a mural monument to Sir John Spielman, Queen Elizabeth's jeweller, and some interesting brasses and effigies. There are two mission churches and four chapels for dissenters. The Martyrs' Memorial Hall is an edifice of brick erected in 1890, and contains a library, reading-room, refreshment-room, and gymnasium. A Conservative club was opened in 1894. There are some large charities. The London Pauper Lunatic Asylum is a large erection, with a lofty central tower, and forms a prominent object for a considerable distance. There are also a workhouse, an endowed grammar school, and alms-houses. The town has a head post office, two banks, two chief inns, and is a seat of petty sessions. Markets are held on Saturdays, and a fair on 2 Aug. A large export trade is carried on in country produce, chalk, lime, and manufactures; and an import trade in coal and timber, the Darent, under the name of Dartford Creek, affording good navigation hither to the Thames, and there are powder and paper mills of great extent. One of the earliest paper mills was built by Sir John Spielman.

The parish comprises 4251 acres of land and 198 of water; population, 11,962. The manor belonged to the Crown, and was given by James I. to the Whitmores. Part of the area adjoining the river is marshy, and part above is chalk down. Numerous remarkable ancient excavations exist in the chalk, and fine views are had from the heath, a mile south-west of the town. Eichard Plantagenet encamped on the heath in 1452, and Fairfax in 1648. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury; value, £540 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Worcester.

Dartford Parliamentary Division, or North West Kent was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, and. returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 79,853. The division includes the following:-Dartford-' Ash-next-Ridley, Crayford, Darenth, Dartford, Erith, Eyns-ford, Farningham, Fawkham, Hartley, Horton Kirby, Kings-down, Longfield, Lullingstone, Ridley, Southfleet, Stone (near Dartford), Sutton-at-Hone, Swanscombe, Wickham (East), Wilmington; Bromley (part of)-Orpington, St Paul's Cray, Foots Cray, St Mary Cray, North Cray; Greenwich, parliamentary borough ; Woolwich, parliamentary borough. D1 Davington
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Kent Place Names
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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
Kent Place Names
Kentish Dialect
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
Kentish Dialect

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