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Edenbridge Town Trail
Words by kind permission of Mr.
Alan Dell.
The Town Trail starts at the North end of the High Street at no. 11, Fox & Manwaring Estate Agents.
1. Fox & Manwaring, Corner of Croft Lane Barclays Bank and the Market Yard
A victorian building erected by Goodwins which has an interesting stained glass lantern at the apex of the roof. Corner of Croft Lane - Originally the Gas Showrooms. Built in 1935, as was the Post Office opposite. Barclays Bank' Passageway with ancient high boundary wall. Market Yard There has been a market in Edenbridge for at least 750 years with a number of annual fairs abolished in 1880. Site of a regular cattle market from the mid 1840's until 1928.
It also hosted the pre Christmas Fat Stock and Rootstock Show from 1869 until the late 1950's. A general market is held on Thursdays.
Fox & Manwaring

2. The Parish church of St. Peter & St. Paul

Most likely on the site of a Saxon church,
evidence exists for a Norman church. Largely rebuilt and extended in the Early English period, the double roof was originally entirely covered with Horsham Slabs.

The Clock with an hour hand only, the Font and the Jacobean pulpit are notable as are the Seyliard and Holmden family memorials together with the Jemet tombstone amongst others. Medieval Graffiti at the base of the 'squint pillar' and the Bume-Jones window at the East end are also worthy of seeking
out. 'The Lych Gate wasdesigned by a Mr. Sales, a local carpenter, and its erection a
co-operative effort.
St. Peter & St.

3. Church Cottage

A mid 15th century timber framed building,
evidently rebuilt circa 1600. Once known as the Kings Head it was part of the Market Yard boundary and the original front door opened on to it.

4. Library

Originally the Chequer Inn, it became the
Parish Poor House. Rebuilt as the Church
School (National School) in the 1850's.

The western half was demolished when it became the Library, which transferred from 'Doggetts Barn'
5. The Priest House

Originally an Open Hall House with a recessed centre (a Wealden Hall House), it is jettied to the right.
There may have been a bay to the left which would also have been jettied. Elaborate dais beam at the High end
of the Hall.
6. Nos. 2 & 4 Church Street

Built in two halves by a local family of builders named Goodwins, possibly from an early l9th century pattern book on Town Houses. Unusual brick and tile features which also appear elsewhere in Edenbridge.
Nos. 2 & 4 Church Street
Cafe Noir/Farringtons Jewellers/Edenbridge Bookshop

7. 77 & 79 High Street Farringtons Jewellers/Edenbridge Bookshop

A mid 15th century building which originally had a recessed centre (a Wealden) and was jettied at both ends. The entrance to the Bookshop is the original Cross passage at the Low End of the Hall.
Medieval loft at the north end. At one time this was the fire station. Horses were brought from elsewhere in the High Street when the Bell, which hung in the Gable, was rung.

8.Honours Mill

On the site of an early medieval water mill.
Built late 18th century. Two storeys until circa 1906 when an extra storage floor was added.
A Low Breast Shot Water Wheel drove two pairs of stones. Along Mill Leat to the west and, unusually, the Mill pond is at the rear. In use until the 1968 flood when the Great Pit Wheel fractured.
Honours Mill
Baptist Church
9.Baptist Church

Stanford family of Lingfield and Haxted Mill
joined other Baptist families in moving to
the town and gradually built their Church.

See Plaques on front wall.

See also Height Marker for flood warnings
against south side of building.
10. The Great Stone Bridge
Most likely in Roman times the then wider river would have crossed by a causeway and the first (wooden), bridge was then built by a Saxon Abbot called Eadhelm, which name eventually became Edenbridge, the name of the town, although not the river which is a tributary of the Medway, until some time later. A typical five arch pack horse bridge followed and was eventually replaced in 1834 by the present bridge. The Trust which looked after the bridge was probably formed in 1511 and received gifts for this maintenance from a deceased local's estate. Two Bridge Wardens, George Langridge and Augustus Corke are commemorated by an 1836 stone plaque together with a brass plaque which signifies yet another attempt in 1902, to install and retain, a sundial. A plaque on the opposite side indicates that the lamps were provided by the Great Stone Bridge Trust to commemorate the Coronation of
Queen Elizabeth II - 2.6.1953.
The parapet stones were numbered, removed and carefully stored at the outbreak of WWII so that Tanks crossing the bridge could be better targets!
The Great Stone Bridge
Riverside Walk
11. Bridge Garden/Riverside Walk

Beautiful Riverside walk or just relax and have a picnic on the Paved area with seating, illuminated at night.

The Riverside Walk is maintained by the
Great Stone Bridge Trust for public use under licence.

12. 94 and 96 High Street
(Thatchers & National Light Horse)

Two separate buildings in association but some 50 years apart in date of construction.
94 was a two thirds Wealden Hall House with an open hall, built c.1400. The filled in jetty (to the right) would have been similar to that of The Priest House.
It has two Crown Posts and two King Posts. When 'floored over' before 1550 two floors were inserted.
WWI memorial plaque to tannery workers on the north wall. 96, built c.1450, was a Public building, originally unheated. Jettied to the front it had a shop and workshop on the ground floor. Access to the first
floor 'enrobing room' was by a wide staircase at the rear. The 'meeting hall' had a wall painting at the west end. Note the 'ecclesiastical window' first floor north.
12. 94 and 96 High Street
Tannery Site
13. Tannery Site
The tanning of hides in Edenbridge dates back to at least 1447 when a William Beal, a tanner, left the tools of his trade to his son in his will. It is known that the Tanyard was in existence on the site in the reign of Charles 11 (1660-1685). It was greatly expanded by the Whitmore family from the mid l9th century and their product was much in demand, particularly during WWI and again in WWII.
The chimney and the distinctive smell vanished in the 60's and then the main part of the works to be followed by the 'Leather Market' redevelopment of the early 70's which included the current car park. Leather House (Tanyard House) Built circa 1400, a timber framed Open Hall house with an octagonal crown post, similar to one in '94'. The Cross wing is jettied on the
side (concealed) as well as the front, with the only known Dragon Post in Edenbridge.
14. Southdown House,
Mill Leat
and Eden Banks
Probably, the original building was late medieval, circa 1450. On the north side of the Mill Leat, it has 'The Chocolate Box' at the south end, formerly a Butchers. The building up to the beginning of the 19th century, probably included 'The Bull Inn'. It was extensively rebuilt in the 17th century as the north wall panelling and the internal roof structure indicate. It was again substantially 'refaced' this century.
Mill Leat Excavated about 1400, it begins way to the west at the confluence of the Eden and the Kent Brook where perhaps another mill stood? Both the river and the Mill Leat levels were controlled by weirs so that the requisite amount of water was available to drive the water wheel on the east side of the High Street. Eden Banks in Lingfield Road had 'Boating Rights' in 1908!! Following the l968 flood an extensive flood prevention scheme included 'chokes' which had the effect of reducing the water in the Race to a negligible amount. Various schemes are under consideration to make it a more attractive feature.
Southdown House
Restall Brown and Clennel/Taylor House
15. Taylour House

Built for Sir William Taylour, a member of' the
Grocers Company, who was Lord Mayor of London in l468. His coat of arms are in the right spandrel of the entrance door and that of the Grocers company in the left. At one time called "The Griffin" it has a fine inserted Jacobean staircase and a number of Jacobean
wall paintings on the first floor. The building in the adjacent lay-by was the Town's cinema (Negresco) until 1959.
16. The Old Crown

The sign across the road is unusual and of great antiquity. The building was originally end on the the High Street and erected circa 1375. It has a tall
octagonal crown post (visible) and very elaborate moulded decorative timbers. The bay nearest the High Street was replaced by the present crosswing
also with elaborate mouldings in the roof, ground and first floors. The furthest bay was rebuilt in brick in Victorian times.
The Old Crown
Doggetts Barn
17. Doggetts Barn

Now Edenbridge's Town Council Chamber and
Offices; - whilst derelict, it had a spell as
The Library in the 60's. Behind the Church House, formerly Doggetts Farm House, it was one of the barns for Doggetts Farm whose fields were to the west and north west and totalled some 200 acres, practically
all now contain housing.
18. Church House

Owned by a member of the Seyliard family in 1577, having been rebuilt by a Doggett, it has passed through many owners until a Miss Geraldine Rickards wished to benefit 'The Church' and transferred her ownership to locally appointed trustees in 1921. Subsequently it became the property of Rochester Diocese and the Church. Now the property of the Town Council, and housing the Eden Valley museum. Could well have been built in 1378. The brick facing dates from the 18th century. The farmhouse for Doggetts Farm within living memory it is (with the Crown next door) the oldest surviving building in Edenbridge.
The Church House
White Horse Inn
19. White Horse Inn

Timber framed building faced with brick in the 18th century. The date 1574 and two pairs of hand shears are carved into the first floor bressumer. Celebrates the union of Rafe Shears and member of the Holmden family whose father gave them the land on which to build. Daily coach to Westerham started here in the early 19th century - arrived too late for the connection with the London coach, stayed in Westerham all day and brought the passengers arriving from London to Edenbridge.
20. Ebenezer Chapel / Bridges Centre

Built in 1808 by John Tyler as an independent
place of worship, it was a Calvanist chapel. By 1991 the congregation had dwindled and the building was threatened with demolition. Community action resulted in 'Bridges' community Centre.
Ebenezer Chapel
St. Lawrences Presbytery
21. St. Lawrences Presbytery

A manorial site, the building beneath the tile
hanging is mainly 18th century with a 19th century 'facelift' when the yard was in use by a Timber merchant. At one time called Barnhawe it became in 1920 the first Edenbridge & District War Memorial
Hospital in memory of those killed in WWI.
The Hospital moved to the Mill Hill site in 1931 together with the War Memorial.
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