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Get a quote for a Building survey in Kent

Please click on this link to get a building survey quote in Kent or have a read of the facts about Kent.

 

Facts about Kent

Some interesting facts and further places to vist in Kent are listed below with their relevant contact details should you wish to visit:-

 

Ashford

Travelling south from Maidstone on the M20 towards Folkestone is the large town of Ashford with its interesting mix with the old and new parts of the town with 1960's buildings still remaining. The M20 links to the M25 London Orbital Motorway making Ashford a popular commuter town with the number of residents growing extremely rapidly with it more than trebling in the last forty years as well as having the International Eurostar terminal and great rail links to London stations. Ashford Kent is not to be confused with Ashford Surrey and is made up of several villages including Little Chart and Great Chart, Kennington, with the parish church of St Mary's, Appledore, Bethersden, to the south west on the A28, Willesborough with the William Harvey Hospital and delightful Grade II* Listed Windmill and Victorian cottage and Kingsnorth to name but a few. The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside with chocolate box villages and picturesque water meadows and ancient woodlands with the author H E Bates converting the old granary in Little Chart into a home and enjoying the surrounding area which was a great inspiration for many of his books including the Darling Buds of May. The area has many interesting buildings including Stocks Windmill which dates back to 1781 and the 17 th /18 th century timber framed barn and cart shed which houses Woodchurch Village Life Museum on Susan's Hill. The town is noted for several famous residents including the author Frederick Forsyth who was born in the town, poets Alfred Austin and John Fuller and the French philosopher Simone Weil who died at the sanatorium in Kennington in 1943. The town is one we frequently visit to carry out both residential and commercial building surveys and is twinned with Fougeres in France , Bad Munstereifel in Germany and Hopewell , Virginia in the USA .

 

Broadstairs

Leaving the M2 and joining the A299 heading towards Ramsgate on the coast then taking the A255 is the delightful Kent seaside town of Broadstairs with its attractive cliff top walks and rows of quaint fisherman's cottages. Broadstairs has been and continues to be enjoyed by many visitors and residents and is noted for the early 19 th century Bleak House which today is a luxury hotel but in the past was the summer home of Charles Dickens who enjoyed staying in this attractive part of Kent overlooking the North Foreland and Viking Bay. The town has many interesting buildings including Grade II Listed Pierremont Hall in the High Street where Princess Victoria who later became Queen Victoria stayed, the flint built water tower with the Crampton Tower Museum now housed within this building and the quaint cottage Thomas Crampton, who was a famous Victorian engineer who was the first to lay an effective telegraph cable beneath the English Channel, was born in - Prospect Cottage in what is now called Dickens Walk. In the distance you can see the North Foreland Lighthouse built to warn sailors of the Goodwin Sands which extend far into the sea and was the last of the manned lighthouses in the UK to transfer to automatic action in 1998.

 

Canterbury

The historic city of Canterbury with its stunning Cathedral, the oldest in England , and ancient walls that surround the city is a delight to visit. Whether taking a trip down the river Great Stour from the West Gate or walking along the city walls and admiring the avenue of lime trees you can certainly step back in time to admire the Roman buildings and the many winding lanes. The best way to visit is to park in one of the City's park and ride car parks either at Wincheap, New Dover Rd or Sturry Rd then you can shop in the Whitefriars shopping centre where you will find many of the leading retailers. If you are looking for a different shopping experience then The King's Mile has an atmosphere of its own and St Dunstan's, West Gate Towers and Northgate have more individual retailers and specialist shops. The city is reknown for its spectacular Cathedral which is the oldest in the country with its ancient 11 th century Crypt, 14 th century Perpendicular Nave and its many impressive medieval stained glass windows which depict stories and miracles linked with St Thomas for it is at this Cathedral in 1770 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered. The Cathedral is truly magnificent together with the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church and the Cathedral Gatehouse is very striking and as Surveyors when visiting the city to conduct structural building surveys we often marvel and the large number of historic buildings in the area including the late 14 th century timber framed Old Wealdon House in Ivy Lane, John Smith's Almshouses circa 1657 with their delightful Dutch gables, the early 17 th century leaning building at 28 Palace St which is the shop for Kings School, with delightful carvings and at 1-3 St Peter's Street the charming weavers house by the River which dates back to 1500.

 

Chatham

Travelling out of London on the A2 past Bexley and Dartford on the old Watling Street joining the M2 past Rochester is the Medway town of Chatham with Gillingham to its north and Maidstone to its south. Due to its position facing the Continent and on the ancient Celtic route having been established by the Romans Chatham grow to be an important dockyard with Queen Elizabeth I giving it Royal status in 1568. Chatham dockyards were at first a refitting location but it quickly grew into a shipbuilding yard with many hundreds of vessels being launched at its historic docks including HMS Victory and was a large employer making the town very prosperous and growing in size. Due to its growing importance several forts were built to protect the town from attack including Fort Amherst , Fort Pitt , Fort Luton , Fort Bridgwood and Fort Borstal . The area soon then grew into a military base with Army barracks built to accommodate the men and also emcompassing naval barracks too. During the Victorian era the area was at the height of its expansion with many terraced houses being built particularly between the High Street and Luton village which can still be seen today. Due to the decline in the UK's Navy and moving of operations to elsewhere Chatham dockyards decreased in size until in 1984 it was closed with today the area is designated a World Heritage Site with the Historic Dockyards preserved and run by the Dockyard Trust and a popular tourist attraction celebrating its naval and shipbuilding past. The town is noted for its links to well known past residents including Charles Dickens who as a boy lived in The Brook and Ordnance Terrace and later after leaving the area returned to a house in Gad's Hill nearby, Zandra Rhodes the fashion designer was born in Chatham in 1940, Richard Dadd the Victorian artist was born in Chatham as was the artist, poet and musician Billy Childish much later in 1959.

 

Dartford

Below the River Thames estuary with Bexley to its west and Gravesend to its east is the Medway town of Dartford in north west Kent surrounded by the villages of Crayford Ness to the north west, Stone and Bluewater to the east, Hawley and Darenth to the south and Crayford to the west. The town has good road links with M25 junction 1a, 1b and 2 close by and the A2 to Greenwich to the west and travelling east joins the M2 and a fast route to the coast which makes it a popular commuter town. The town has a railway station and there are fast links to London stations with the train journey a little over thirty minutes to either London Bridge, Victoria or Canon Street , Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge stations this again makes it a popular town for commuters. With the advent of Eurostar the Ebbsfleet International station is close by linking the area to St Pancreas International and Eurostar trains to Europe . The area boasts two large shopping centres nearby Lakeside and Bluewater with a wealth of High St retailers and plenty of car parking spaces a must for lovers of retail therapy with many cafes and restaurants to enjoy also. The town has several arts venues including the Mick Jagger Centre, in Shepherd's Lane, opened in 2000, (Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones, was born in Dartford in 1943), The Miskin Theatre, in Oakfield Lane and The Orchard Theatre, Suffolk Rd all popular centres with a wealth of events held each year. We have often carried out both commercial and residential building surveys and particularly admire some of the historic buildings in the town including the Grade II Listed Acacia Hall Manor house which today is a leisure and business complex and the delightful columned building of the Dartford Museum and Library in Market Street .

 

Deal

In between Dover to the south and Sandwich to the north is the seaside town of Deal , with The Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club to the north and the delightful villages of Sholden, Ripple, Ringwould and Kingsdown surrounding this historic town. The town boasts three Tudor castles although Sandown has only a few stones remaining, Henry VIII built Deal and Walmer castles between 1539-1542 due to threat of invasion by France and Spain which are spectacular and although not as big as Dover castle when seen from above resemble the Tudor rose in shape and have thick rounded walls built to defend against cannon fire. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports has their official residence at Walmer Castle with past Lord Wardens including the Duke of Wellington (his boots are on show in the castle), Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother. The town once had a Marine Barracks established in 1665 which was bombed in 1989 by the IRA killing eleven Marines and was later decommissioned in the late 1990s and today has buildings converted into apartments. As Surveyors we have carried out numerous structural building surveys in the town and surrounding villages and particularly like this town with its wealth of Georgian buildings and promenade with views, on a clear day, across the English Channel to France .

 

 

Edenbridge

 

The Kent town of Edenbridge is close to the M25, M23 and A21 making it a popular commuter town and has two Golf Clubs close by Edenbridge Golf and Country Club and Hever Golf Club set in the beautiful Kentish countryside. Edenbridge is on the border with Surrey and Sussex in the South West corner of Kent and was once an important area for the Wealdon iron industry in the Middle Ages. The town has many interesting buildings including its Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul which dates back to the 13 th century and has some delightful stained glass windows by Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Church Cottage a pretty mid 15 th century timber framed building. Further attractive buildings include a mid 15 th century building at 77 and 79 High Street which at first had a recessed centre (a Wealdon) and was jettied at each end, a late 18 th century mill Honours Mill which was erected on an earlier medieval water mill site, the impressive Great Stone Bridge built in 1834 which had its parapet stones numbered, removed and then carefully stored at the start of WWII in order for tanks crossing the bridge to be better targets. Taylour House in the town was built for Sir William Taylour who was Lord Mayor of London in 1468, his coat of arms together with the Grocers Company arts can be seen at the entrance door and has a Jacobean staircase and several Jacobean wall paintings making it a delight to view and another notable building has to be The Old Crown which was built circa 1375 with its elaborate moulded decorative timbers.

 

Folkestone

Travelling from London to the coast via the M20 and A20 you will reach the coastal town of Folkestone which lies between Dover to its east and Hythe to its west. The large sprawling town sits at the foot of the North Downs with beautiful picturesque countryside surrounding and the English Channel with views on a clear day of France which is only 24 miles in the distance. Due to its position in the past the town developed with fishing trade and became a significant trading port. Later the arrival of the railways Folkestone grow further and with the more recent Eurostar International train service it has become a popular town for commuters both to London and the Continent. The pier and harbour were built by the engineer Thomas Telford in 1809 this area grew but further expansion was held back due to the sand and silt from the Pent Stream which choked the harbour. The South Eastern Railway Company arrival developed the harbour site with later the decline in the ferry port eventually being managed by Folkestone Harbour Company with plans to develop this area with marina, seaside walks, new housing, shops, arts venue etc. The once popular amusement park at the seafront, The Rotunda, has now vanished with the progression of this site being hampered by the recession and flood protection procedures one plan is for The Remembrance Line Association wishing to keep the old harbour railway and harbour station as a Leaving for War museum. When in the town and the surrounding area as a Surveyor it is good to take time to enjoy walks along the greensand and gault clay cliffs taking in the Leas Cliff Hall, the grand hall by Norwegian architect Mr J S Dahl built in 1927, with its pagoda style box office, the early 19 th century Martello Tower on the cliffs above Copt Point and the imposing Grand Hotel which was frequented by King Edward VII and his mistress Alice Keppel in times gone by. The area was important during the War with Shorncliffe camp and Hawkinge Air Force Base where many were based with their service to this country being remembered at Capel-le-Ferne with a stone sculptured memorial of a pilot looking out to sea in a contemplative mood carved by Harry Gray.

 

Maidstone

Maidstone is not far from Leeds Castle which we always find interesting originally being from the North of England, it is said to be one of the most beautiful castles in England . Maidstone was the home of a large brewery which are no longer a brewery Whitbread and Fremlins beer and also their Shire horse collection where there is a history of brewing which we believe is still there. I can remember visiting the old brewery which was located right in the centre of the town, as so many are, and was told a story by one old surveyor about how they had to have wooden cobbles as opposed to stone cobbles to cut the noise down of the horses that pulled the drays in the morning, how true this is or whether it was a rumour I will never know.

 

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells is a beautiful Spa town with many of the old Georgian properties still remaining which we have carried out surveys on over the years. Like many Spa towns popularity was affected by new vogue said to be very healthy for you - sea bathing, other nearby Spa towns were Brighton and Bath, Tunbridge Wells being more of a winter resort, having said that Victorians had a big influence on the architecture in the area and over the years we have surveyed all types of property. The Pantiles is an interesting boutique and antique shopping area with bars and restaurants with an European, it did throw us when we first heard about it, Pantiles to us are a curved S' shaped roofing tile as found in Norfolk and Suffolk areas being transported over from the lowlands such as Holland - The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells are something quite different).

 

Druidstone Park www.druidstonepark.net woodlands and country park  

Planet lazer www.planetlazer.co.uk Lazer quazer  

Turner Contemporary art gallery www.turnercontemporary.org  

Canterbury navigation company www.crnc.co.uk river tours  

and for all your shop-a-holics out there:    Blue Water shopping centre www.bluewater.co.uk

 

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