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Locksmith Dartford Cliffside Court Dartford EN DA1 2EF
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Halfords Autocentre Barking Abbey Retail Park, London Rd, Barking, Essex IG11 7BL, United Kingdom
+44 20 8591 8589
Craig Outram Prestige 94-98 London Rd, Stone, Dartford DA2 6AX, United Kingdom
+44 1322 287678
Prestige Nursing + Care Dartford 37 Highfield Rd, Dartford, Kent DA1 2JS, United Kingdom
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Archery House Bow Arrow Lane, Dartford, Kent DA2 6PB, United Kingdom
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Clifton & Co Estate Agents 2 High St, Dartford, Kent DA1 1BY, United Kingdom
+44 1322 227700
O and P Clinic Osteopathy and Physiotherapy for Adults-Children-Babies, Bowmans Court, Swan Lane, Dartford, Kent DA1 3QL, United Kingdom
+44 1322 551681
Robinson Jackson 22 Market St, Town Centre, Dartford DA1 1EZ, United Kingdom
+44 1322 281281
Twin 3-4 Copperfields Shopping Centre, Spital Street, Dartford, DA1 2DE, United Kingdom
+44 1322 286128
The Rising Sun Dartford 105 Dartford Road, Dartford, Kent, Kent County DA1 3EP, United Kingdom
+44 1322 220063
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About Dartford

Dartford

 

 is the principal town in the Borough of Dartford, Kent, England, situated 16 miles (26 km) east south-east of central London. The town is situated on the border of Kent and Greater London, bordering the London Borough of Bexley. It also borders the Borough of Thurrock, Essex, via theDartford Crossing of the River Thames and Gravesham to its east.

The town centre lies in a valley through which the River Darent flows, and where the old road from London to Dover crossed: hence the name, fromDarent + ford. Dartford became a market town in medieval times and, although today it is principally a commuter town for Greater London, it has a long history of religious, industrial and cultural importance. It is an important rail hub; the main through-road now by-passes the town itself..Dartford is twinned with Namyangju, South Korea among other cities abroad.

 

 

Dartford
Dartford3799.JPG
Holy Trinity Church, Dartford High Street

 

 

History

 

In prehistoric times, 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 villas 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, compiled in 1086, after the Norman conquest. It was then owned by the king.

 

The Library and Museum with the war memorial in front

 

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.

 

 

It is probable that Dartford was a key meeting point early in the Peasants' Revolt with a detachment of Essex rebels marching south to join Kentish rebels at Dartford before accompanying them to Rochester and Canterbury in the first week of June, 1381. Although lacking a leader, Kentishmen had assembled at Dartford around 5 June through a sense of county solidarity at the mistreatment of Robert Belling, a man claimed as a serf by Sir Simon Burley. Burley had abused his royal court connections to invoke the arrest of Belling and, despite a compromise being proposed by bailiffs in Gravesend, continued to demand the impossible £300 of silver for Belling's release. Having left for Rochester and Canterbury on 5 June, the rebels passed back through Dartford, swollen in number, a week later on 12 June en route for London.

 

The gatehouse of Henry VIII 's Royal Manor

 

In the 15th century, two kings of England became part of the town's history. Henry Vmarched through Dartford 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 LaceyBishop of Exeter, who conducted a funeral. In March 1452, Richard, Duke of York, camped at the Brent allegedly 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, Dartford.

 

 

Geography

 

The quarry at Bluewater, showing the underlying chalk

 

Dartford lies within the area known as the London Basin. The low-lying marsh to the north of the town consists of London Clay, and the alluvium brought down by the two rivers—the Darent and the Cray—whose confluence is in this area. The higher land on which the town stands, and through which the narrow Darent valley runs, consists of chalk surmounted by the Blackheath Beds of sand and gravel.

As a human settlement, Dartford became established as a river crossing-point with the coming of the Romans; and as a focal point between two routes: that from west to east being part of the main route connecting London with the Continent; and the southerly route following the Darent valley. As a result the town's main road pattern makes the shape of letter 'T'. The Dartford Marshes to the north, and the proximity of Crayford in the London Borough of Bexley to the west, mean that the town's growth is to the south and east. Wilmington is to all intents and purposes part of the town to the south; whilst the almost continuous Thames Gateway development means that there is little to show the town boundary in an easterly direction.

 

 

Economy

 

 

Low cost shopping units in the Priory shopping centre

 

 

Some of Dartford's most prominent industries suffered extreme decline in the 20th century, causing redundancies and unemployment. Brewing, paper-making, flour milling and the manufacture of cement were the main industries to suffer extinction or significant decline. Nearby Swanscombe Cement Works (now redeveloped into Bluewater shopping centre) was closed by Blue Circle in 1990. This industry had brought great prosperity to the companies involved in cement manufacture, but left a legacy locally of despoiled derelict land and pollution. In 1990 Dartford contained some 1,700 acres (6.9 km2) of spoiled land resulting from extractive industries. Cement-dust pollution from local cement works was a regular subject of complaint in the local press throughout the 20th century..

 

 

Culture and community

 

The River Darent in Central Park

 

Dartford has two major buildings concerned with performance art. The Orchard Theatre, located in the town centre, is a fully professional theatre, providing audiences with a large range of drama, dance, music and entertainment. The Mick Jagger Centre (built in the grounds of Dartford Grammar School) in Shepherds Lane was completed in 2000 and provides facilities for community arts across a wide region. The local museum in Market Street is housed in the same building as the library..Central Park is a formal park in the town centre. It is used for various community events. It comprises 26 acres (110,000 m2) of land..

 

 

Education

 

Dartford houses several secondary schools, which largely operate within the county council-run grammar school system:

 

 

 

Places of worship

 

The ford, now Dartford Bridge over the River Darent, and Holy Trinity Church

 
Richard Trevithick memorial at St. Edmund's Park.

 

The Parish Church, Holy Trinity, is situated on the western bank of the River Darent, from where a hermit would conduct travellers across the ford. The church was originally a 9th-century Saxon structure, but gained later Norman additions. In the 13th century a Royal Wedding was celebrated there; thus today the choristers are entitled to wear scarlet cassocks. Also on display within the church is a brass plaque commemorating the work of Richard Trevithick, the pioneer of steam propulsion, who lived, worked and died in the town.

The graveyard is situated in St Edmund's Pleasance on the summit of East Hill (the place where Richard Trevithick is buried), which gave rise to a traditional and derogatory rhyme of Dartford's people: "Dirty Dartford, peculiar people, bury their dead above the steeple." The church actually has no steeple; it has a tower featuring a ring of eight bells.

 

 

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dartford


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