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Historic Kent

Took another run down to Kent and environs yesterday. This trip was a bit of an experiment, as I forsook my beloved maps, and trusted to printed route directions from Autoroute.

Never again! The circular route included several sites, as well as some shops that Mikki wanted to visit. From home, we planned to head through the Blackwall Tunnel to Bromley, across to Oldbury, up to Chatham, then Gravesend, Swanscombe|4229 and back through Plumstead to check out the barrows in that area. Even before we'd hit Bromley we'd taken the wrong turn, following the instructions. Moral? Don't trust software to plan routes for trips!

Chislehurst Caves were inviting, as we were in the area, but we had other fish to fry today.

I spent some time walking around Oldbury Hillfort before trying to find the Rock Shelter. This proved almost impossible to photograph due to the lack of light (I'm off to Jessops to invest in a monopod today!). Despite trying to follow the site plan, I got slightly lost returning across the fort to the car park, and had to double back on myself a couple of times. I have to say the western aspect of the fort (from the car park) is pretty steep, and you'd feel fairly safe living up here.

Eventually moving up toward Chatham, I somehow managed to pass through Trottiscliffe (see Coldrum) and Addington (damn those route instructions!), but we eventually did manage to arrive at Swanscombe to see the concrete block memorial at this historic site.

Barnfield Pit, Swanscombe — Fieldnotes

Am I an enthusiast? From Juamei's entries, and the fact I'm here, I guess I must be.

I had problems finding this, despite Juamei's directions. I had a couple of false starts, stopping when I saw Footpath signs in Milton Road. The trick is to keep going, over the speed bumps which do nothing to deter the local boy-racers, past a Cost Cutters supermarket, across a couple of mini roundabouts. Milton Road eventually comes to a T junction (mini roundabout, so you can swing back round easily), the required footpath is on the right, as Juamei says, as you approach this final junction. The entrance to the site is some 30yds along the footpath, on the right.

The site itself could be wonderful. Dragonflies and butterflies buzzed and fluttered during my visit, but sadly, despite being designated a Nature Reserve, it is quite dilapidated. Rubbish is strewn around, I heard a gang of kids making a 'camp' of an old fridge and car bonnet off in the bushes somewhere. Firepits are strewn around the area, and the memorial block is now only a tribute to the freedom of expression and artistic talents (or lack thereof) of the local youth population.

A historic site, deserving of more attention.

Barnfield Pit, Swanscombe — Images

<b>Barnfield Pit, Swanscombe</b>Posted by ocifant<b>Barnfield Pit, Swanscombe</b>Posted by ocifant

Winn's Common Mound was next. A lump among football pitches, I'm amazed it's survived! The views from here must have been spectacular before the houses were built around the common.

Finally, it was a visit to the Shrewsbury Tumulus. A magical place, despite the mundane urban surroundings. If only the others around here had survived too...

We finished the day with a nice 'All you can eat' Thai in Welling before heading for home.

Autoroute suggested 4 hrs for the route. We were out for over 12 hours, accounting for approximately 5 hours of stops for various reasons. Where did the other three hours go??
ocifant Posted by ocifant
3rd August 2003ce
Edited 29th September 2003ce

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