Baldwyns Manor


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Below map dated 1799 - courtesy of the British Library - showing Baldwins Manor House

Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Below - OS Map1800s - courtesy 'A Vision of Britain through time'
www.visionofbritain.org.uk/

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Below - Baldwyns Manor c1894 showing the rails on which Sir Hiram Maxim's aeroplane once ran


Baldwyns Manor c1894



Baldwyns Manor now stands in Calvert Drive in the new Bexley Park. The original building has now been converted into a multi occupancy residence. The renovations have been sympathetic and the building still retains its Regency appearance. This has been the family seat and residence of some heavyweight occupants.

Records as far back as the reign of King John (c 1200) show that some of the lands in the locality, including those of Baldwyns Manor (The site of where Bexley Hospital once stood) were possessed by the Abbots of Lesnes (Erith / Belvedere area). The name BALDWYNS appears to originate from one of it's early owners - Sir John BAUDE and the adoption of the name BAUDIWINS. However, little appears to be known of the man himself.

Taken fromThe History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2
Author Edward Hasted
Year published 1797
Pages 286-328
'Parishes: Dartford', The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2 (1797)

"BALDWINS is a seat and reputed manor, situated at the extremity of this parish, at the south-west corner of Dartford heath. This place was antiently in the possession of Sir John Baude, a man of an honorable family in this kingdom, of whom it acquired the name of Baudiwins, which it keeps at present, the difference of the language of the times only excepted. This place afterwards came into the possession of the abbot and convent of Lesnes, who were possessed of lands in this parish as early as king John's reign; (fn. 41) they in the 1st year of king Henry VIII. held it with other lands adjoining, of the manor of Temple Dartford, by the yearly rent of 2s. 5d. and fuit of court.

In the 16th year of king Henry VIII. on the suppression of this abbey, the revenues of it were granted to cardinal Wolsey, for the better endowment of his college, vulgarly called Cardinal college, in Oxford. But four years afterwards, when the cardinal was cast in a præmunire, this, among the other estates of that college, which for want of time had not been firmly settled on it, were forfeited to the king, and became part of the royal revenue, where it did not continue long; for that king, in his 23d year, granted it, by the name of the manor of Baudwyns, and other lands and premises thereto belonging, in exchange for other lands, to Eton college, near Windsor, to which the inheritance of this seat and manor now belongs. (fn. 42)

The Adams's were formerly lesses of this estate under the college, it was afterwards held by Lovelace, and then by Sir Edward Hulse, bart. who being eminently distinguished in his prosession, as a physician, was so created in 1739. He was the eldest son of Edward Hulse, M. D. by Dorothy, daughter of Thomas Westrow, esq. and married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard Levett, lord mayor in 1700, by her he had three sons, Edward, who succeeded him in title, and settled in Hampshire; Westrow, who died before him; and Richard, of whom further mention will be made hereafter; and a daughter Elizabeth, married to John Calvert, esq. of Hertfordshire. Several years before his death he retired to Baldwins, where he died in 1759, and was buried in Wilmington church-yard, bearing for his arms, Argent 3 piles, one issuing from the chief between the others reversed sable, being the arms likewise of the families of this name in Cheshire, Kent and Berkshire. At his death he bequeathed his interest in this estate, with the freehold lands adjoining, to his second son, Richard Hulse, esq. who resided here, and added much to the improvements his father had made to this seat, and the grounds belonging to it, which he inclosed with paling as a paddock in 1768. He served the office of sheriff in 1768, but on his removing to Blackheath in 1783, he sold his interest in it to Arnold Nesbit, esq. who resided here, and in 1791 alienated it to Simon Frazer, esq. a director of the East-India company, who is the present possessor, and resides in it. Mr. Fraser's daughter married Alexander lord Selton, who died here in 1793".

Records show that, some two hundred years later, BAUDIWINS was still owned by the Abbey in 1509 - the first year of the reign of King Henry VIII. In the 16th year of his reign he dissolved the Abbey and all revenues from it's lands etc.. including Baudiwins went to Cardinal WOLSEY (1525). Following disagreement 4 years later with the Church all revenues went to the crown. 3 years after that King HENRY VIII granted the lands in the name of the MANOR OF BALDWYNS ( in exchange for others near Windsor ) to ETON COLLEGE. I can find no reference at this stage to a Manor House or other such seat of Manorial power in the lands of Baldwyns.

The lands known as the 'Manor of Baldwyns' have been leased by that college to various owners including ADAMS, LOVELACE and Sir Edward HULSE. The latter became the Kings physician in 1739 and was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Richard LEVETT, who was Lord Mayor in 1700. Records show that he retired to BALDWYNS in 1759 - "several years before his death "- indicating a reference to an actual constructed Manor House.HULSE was buried in Wilmington Churchyard. It appeared that he owned BALDWYNS, as his will shows that he bequeathed the lands to his second son Richard HULSE who also resided at the Manor. Richard served as SHERIFF in 1768.

Below - Sir Edward HULSE

Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


In 1783 he moved to Blackheath, London and sold his interest to Arnold NESBITT Esq. who then took up residence there. It is interesting to note that in 1791 the Manor was 'alienated' to Simon FRAZER Esq., who was a director of the EAST INDIA COMPANY. (See the chapter on the 'Toxophilites' re BOWMANS LODGE) The information above 13 showing the history between the time of Sir John BAUDE and the time of FRAZER was written contemporaneously to the life of the latter, as it showed him still in residence. FRAZERS' daughter married Alexander Lord SELTON who died at the Manor in 1793 - presumably whilst FRAZER was still alive. A map of Kent dated 1769 (HASTED) shows the Manor House of 'BALDINGS' as the family seat of Richard HULSE Esq. This is the first record that I have seen referring to an actual MANOR HOUSE.

The MINET period

Link to the early MINET / Dover connection

Isaac MINET became owner of BALDWYNS - probably about c1810. Records show that his four children were not born at Baldwyns. They were born between the years 1803 - 1807 and their registrations of birth showed an address of 13 Austin Friars. Isaac became High Sheriff of Kent in 1827 and died at Baldwyns on 14th March 1839 aged 72 years being buried at Westerham some 8 days later. This is a reference to an actual MANOR HOUSE.

Baptism record of Isaac MINET 6th December 1767

Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

We are reliably informed that the below Isaac portrait is of the original Isaac - the original Huguenot immigrant Isaac Minet 1660 - 1745.

Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Of Isaac's children, Charles was the eldest - being born on 27th June 1803. The Wilmington Tithe map of 1842 shows that the lands were in the possession of Thomas MINET. There is reference in the Dartford Reference Library to an incident that occurred in 1846 when a Mr Richard SALMON took issue with Susan MINET about her closing a pathway across her land that led from Wilmington to Bexley. Mrs MINET's pathway can be seen clearly on a map in the British Museum dated 1799. He calculated the extra distance to walk was now 257 rods. The original being 158. The path was opened up and is now called Tile Kiln Lane. Charles died at Baldwyns on 27th February 1874 - some 3 years after the death of his wife Leah. He was buried at Wilmington Churchyard - even though his wife was buried at St. Leonard's, where she died.

A recent discovery on the internet reveals a Separation Petition by Leah MINET against Charles for his adultery in 1860. Presumably this led to divorce and why Leah was buried elsewhere. See below images.

Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath



There is a loose reference to the sale of Baldwyns by the MINET family to a consortium in about 1850 which may indicate financial problems for them - this information comes from a sketchy, and unqualified, brief history manually typed and produced by an unknown author for Bexley Hospital.

Another famous connection to the Baldwyns Estate was Sir Charles William Dunbar Staveley. He married Susan Millicent MINET - the daughter of Charles MINET in 1864. They had several children, including Admiral Cecil Minet STAVELEY father of Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Doveton Minet Staveley. STAVELY's army career was long and distinguished. He fought in the Crimean War at The Alma and Balaclava. He later commanded the troops in the western district for five years from 1 January 1869, and in the autumn manoeuvres of 1871 round Aldershot, one of the three divisions was under him. He was Commander-in-Chief at Bombay from 7 October 1874 to 7 October 1878, with the local rank of lieutenant-general, which became his substantive rank on 29 April 1875. On 1 October 1877 he became general. He was given the colonelcy of the 36th foot on 2 February 1876, and transferred to his old regiment, the 44th (which had become the first battalion of the Essex Regiment), on 25 July 1883. He received the GCB on 24 May 1884. He had been placed on the retired list on 8 October in the previous year. He died at Aban Court, Cheltenham, on 23 November 1896, and was buried at Brompton Cemetery, London on 27 November.

Below - Sir Charles STAVELY

Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Below - extract from the South Eastern Gazette March 28th 1874 reporting on the loss of Charles MINET

Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Probate of Charles MINET
(If money doubles in value every ten years (rule of thumb) then his estate at just under £40,000 would now be worth over £80,000,000 at today's value).


Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Further Probate in 1923


Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath


Owen Fortrie PARKER born 1879 in New Zealand was the son of Delia Jane PARKER nee MINET and Orfeur George PARKER and the grandson of Charles and Leah MINET. George died in 1922 so it may well have been in trust until Owen's father died ?




In 1874, just following his death, Charles MINET was hailed by the local press as the 'Champion of the People of Dartford'. At the time of his death he was in the middle of a Civil Court action whereby he challenged Lord TREDEGAR and his manorial rights to remove, at will, any amount of natural resources from the Heath. The land was being scarred and littered by such excavations. He won the case posthumously and, no doubt, was responsible for preserving much of the beauty of the heath for a further 50 years until its' dissection by the building of the A2 Rochester Way c.1926 and the eventual scarring made by the newer A2 (M) in 1970. The court case itself must have been expensive as the newspaper reports show many witnesses / affidavits (78 recorded in the cutting) were sworn. The pamphlet showing the auction of the Manor of Baldwyns indicates that it took place on Friday 26th May 1876 at ‘2 O'clock precisely’, at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, near the Bank of England. This auction occurred as the result of an order of the High Court of Chancery and with the approbation of the Judge in MINET v TUBBS 1874 M.70. It was as a direct result of the death of Charles. This could have been the result of a mixture of death duties, debts and/or contracts with the defendant TUBBS - see indented paragraph below. In this instance in 'MINET v TUBBS', TUBBS was the married name of one of Charles' daughters,. Fanny Celia MINET. She was born on 3rd April 1831. and married a Robert TUBBS on 26th September 1861. Robert came from St Leonards. It was 10 years later, and at St. leonards, on 5th November 1871 that Celias' mother, Leah, died and where she was buried. It seems strange that the only MINET buried at Wilmington churchyard was the last head of the Baldwyns Manor - Charles in 1874. He lies buried in a solitary and ( for his status in life ) a somewhat insignificant grave. Without confirmation, it would appear that there was some disharmony, or contract, perhaps, in the family. It may have been that there was a contract of financial status existing between Robert TUBBS and his father in law that had to be settled out of the estate upon the death of Charles or just as likely the probate of his will. As stated his wife lies buried in the home town of TUBBS - presumably the plaintiff (and son in law).


The pamphlet describes the Manor of Baldwyns as comprising three lots. These were headed 'BALDWYNS - MAYPOLE FARM and ROWHILL WOOD/ROWHILL FIELD'. It appears that the sale was not successful on this day due to the fact that not all three lots were sold on the day of Auction. The reserve price was £34,000 The manicured grounds of Baldwyns Manor finally fell from grace when the construction of the Asylum began c1896. In my memory, and certainly from the 1950s, this imposing Manor House has always been called 'The Mansion' and had for most of the time been used by the Occupational Therapy Unit of Bexley Hospital. The view from this house before the hospital was built must have been very gracious. The surrounding land of the Manor House was laid out as park land spilling away from the front, eastwards towards the direction of Wilmington and Rowhill. From its' pillared front door, the hill of Rowhill must have been very obvious to any visitor or resident of Baldwyns Manor at the time. There was a long drive from the current gates of the hospital sweeping round to the Manor House. The Manor House was adapted for hospital use after 1898. From an O.S. map of around this time it appears that the original house had an adjoining / closely situated additional building to the north - to the right as you view facing the front. Presumably this was the location of the 'Out Offices' referred to in the pamphlet. These 'Offices' comprised of a dairy, with a store room over, a wash house, with a laundry over, a brew house, a well house and a knife house. There were detached stables with five stalls, a harness room with hay and store rooms over and a coach house for three carriages.


Extract from the Dartford Express dated 25th July 1874

"In Chancery: MINET v. TUBBS-Kent-The beautiful Freehold Residential Estate, distinguished as Baldwyns, extending over about 841 acres in the parishes of Dartford, Wilmington and Bexley, a short distance only from the ancient and interesting market town of Dartford, about a mile away from Bexley and Crayford and only 14 by road from London, in a neighbourhood proverbially healthy and picturesque, and with excellent railway facilities by the North Kent Line, by which the City and West End are reached in little more than half an hour. It comprises a capital Mansion, with suitable attached and detached offices of every description, desirable for the occupation of a family of distinction, approached by a carriage drive, with ornamental entrance lodges, beautiful pleasure grounds, gardens, and orchards, surrounded by a richly timbered park, ornamental woods , plantations, and adjacent meadow land, through which are delightful walks of considerable extent and immediately adjoining is the farm known as Stonehill, farm buildings, and numerous enclosures of productive land, also several cottages for labourers. The woodland, which includes the well known Ruxley-Heath, Rowhill and Joydens Woods, is well adapted for the rearing of preservation game, and affords excellent shooting, and several packs of hounds hunt the district. The property presents unusual attractions as the site of the ancient city of Caswallon, and from the interesting remains of encampments and excavations made by our Celtic ancestors found thereon; while in addition to its present residential advantages, it possesses extensive frontages of Dartford Heath and the high road, immediately available for building purposes, and by a judicious widening of the intersecting road leading from Bexley to Wilmington, a further very extensive building element would be developed, and many sites for the erection of residences which, from the beauty of the situation, the close proximity to Bexley and Dartford, and the facility of railway access, must sooner or later be required".

A further advertisement of auction:-

THE SOUTH EASTERN GAZETTE, MONDAY, MAY 15, 1876

“I n t h e H i g h Co u r t o f J u s t i c e , C h a n c e r y D i v is i o n : M i n e t v. T u b b s .”

KENT. The beautiful FREEHOLD RESIDENTIAL ESTATE distinguished as B a l d w y n s , extending over about 750 acres, situate adjoining Dartford-heath, in the parishes of Dartford, Wilmington, and Bexley, a short distance only from the ancient and interesting market town of Dartford, about a mile from Bexley and Crayford, and only 14 miles by road from London, in a neighbournood proverbially healthy and singularly picturesque, and with excellent railway ■ facilities by the North Kent Line, by whioh the • City and West-end are reached in little more than half-anhour. I t comprises a capital mansion, with suitable attached and detached offices, desirable for the occupation of a family, approached by a carriage drive, vwith entrance lodges, beautiful pleasure grounds, gardens, and orchards, surrounded by a richly-timbered park, ornamental woods, plantations, and adjacent meadow land, through which are delightful walks and drives of. considerable extent, also a bailiff’s house and several cottages for labourers. The woodland, whioh includes the well-known Ruxleyheath, Row-hill, and Joyciens Woods, is well adapted for the rearing and preservation of game, and affords excellent shooting, and several packs of hounds hunt the district. The property presents unusual attractions, as the site of the ancient city of Caswallon, and from the interesting remains of encampments and excavations made by our Celtic ancestors found thereon, while, in addition to its present residential advantages, , it possesses extensive frontages to Dartford-heath and the high road, immediately available for building purposes, and by a judicious widening of the intersecting road leading from Bexley to Wilmington, a further very extensive building element would be developed, and many sites created for the erection of residences, which from the beauty of the situation, the close proximity to Bexley and Dartford, and the facility of railway access, must sooner or later be required.


MESSRS. N O R T O N , T R I S T , W A T K E Y , & Co. R E in stru c te d to offer the above PROPERTY for SALE by AUCTION, a t the M a r t , L o n d o n , on F r i d a y , M a y 26 , at Two o’clock precisely, in lots, under a Decree of the High Court of Chancery made in the above cause, and with the approbation of the Judge to whose Court the cause is a ttached. L o t 1 will comprise the MANSION, pleasure grounds, gardens, woods, and plantations, containing together about 565 a . 2 r . 5 p ., the principal portion of which is in hand. , , - L o t 2 .—MAYPOLE FARM, opposite lot l, and bounded by Dartford-heath, comprising bailiff’s house and outbuildings, three c o tta g e s , and several enclosures of undulating land ornamented, with a thriving wood, containing altogether about 5 2 a . Or. 2 0 p ., and presenting a beautiful site for the t rection of a residence. L o t 3 — ROW-HILL WOOD and ROW-HILL FIELD , comprising some capital wood land and acc o m m o d a tio n arable land, close to lot 1 , adjoining lands belonging to Capt. Sawyer, General HaLe, and others, and containing together 1 3 3 a , Or. 1 2p ., let to Mrs. S. M. Brooks. P a r tic u la r s and plans may be had of Messrs. D a w e s and S o n s , Solicitors, Angel-court, Throgmorton-street; Messrs. M a r s h and D a w e s , Auctioneers, Devizes; Messrs. M u r t o n and W e b b , Tunstall, near Sittingbourne ; at the Bull Hotel, D artford; at the M a rt; aud of the Auctioneers, 62, Old Broad-street, London, E.C.
BALDWYN’S MANSION, DARTFORD HEATH. About a mile from the Bexley Station, on the Loop Line to Dartford. 50 valuable Oil Paintings, Landscape, and Copper Plate Engravings, principally by old masters, and will include pictures by Rubens, Holbein, Morland, Nasmyths, Wouseman’s, Rysdale’s, Zuccarelle, D. Roberts, R.A. M r. D A N N H AS received instructions to SEL'Ij by AUCTION, at the M a n s i o n , on W e d n e s d a y , 7th J u n e , 1876, and two following days, at Twelve for One o’clock each day, rare OLD CHINA, bronzes, clocks, elegant Indian screen, cabinets, workB of art, 500ozs. of plate and plated articles, 18 dozens of fine old Port, 6 dozens old E ast India Madeira, drawingroom suite, contents of dining, morning-rooms, and library, linen, books, the appendages of 13 bed chambers. May be viewed the day previous to the sale, by catalogues only, a t 6d. each, to be had'of Mr. J a s . H i c k - e o r d , New City-chambers, No. 121, Bishopsgatestreet, London ; and of the Auctioneer, E state, and Land Agent, Bexley. Note.—F irst day, bed-chambers and linen ; second day, pictures, ‘prints, plate, old china hird day, reception-rooms, wine, glass, books.


Remainder of lots not originally sold - extract from South Eastern Gazette May 14 1877 Sale of Maypole Farm etc

Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

I n t h e H i g h C o u r t o f J u s t i c e (C h a n c e r y D i v i s i o n ) .— M i n e t v . T u b b s .

KENT. The Remaining Portions of the B ALDWYNS ESTATE, situate in the parishes of Dartford and Wilmington, adjoining Dartford-heath, about a mile from Bexley and Crayford, and only a short dit-tance from the maiket-town of D artford; the whole comprising about 185 acres. MESSRS. NORTON, TRIST, W A TN EY , & Co., Having disposed of the principal portion'of the Estate, A RE in s tru c te d to offer th e above PROPERTY for SALE by AUCTION, a t the M a r t , L o n d o n , on F r i d a y , J o n e 8th, a t Two o’clock precisely, in two lots, under a Decree of the High Court of Chancery, made in the above cause, and with the approbation of the Judge to whose Court the cause is attached :•— L o t 1.—MAYPOLE FARM, a very attractive little Freehold Property, situate opposite the Baldwyns Estate, and bounded on one side by Dartf’ord-heath. I t comprises a compact dwelling-house, with outbuildings, garden, two good cottages, and several enclosures of undulating land, ornamented with a thriving wood, and presenting a beautiful site for the erection of a residenoe. I t has also an extensive frontage to the high road, immediately available for building purposes, and contains altogether about 52 acres, with possession. L o t 2 —ROW H ILL WOOD and ROW H ILL FIELD , situate near to lot 1, comprising some capital wood land, well adapted for the rearing and preservation of game and affording exoellent shooting, '’also an enclosure of accommodation arable land, having an extensive frontage to the road, adjoining lands belonging to Capt. Sawyer, General Hulse, and others, and comprising about 133 acres. Particulars and plans may be had of Messrs. D a w e s and Sous, Solicitors, - 9, Angel-court, Throgmortonstre e t; Messrs. M a r s h and D a w e s , Auctioneers, Devizes; Messrs. Mu r t o n and W e b b , Tunstall, near Sittingbourne; a t the Bull Hotel, Dartford ; at the M a r t ; and of the Auctioneers, 62, Old Broad-street, E.C

1882 - sale of Clayton Croft and Freehold Property known as MAYPOLE
South Eastern Gazette

THE SOUTH EASTERN GAZETTE, MONDAY, MAY 1 1882
CLAYTON-CROFT, DARTFORD-HEATH, A proverbially healthy looality near to Hulsewood, H eatheide, Broomfields, and W ilm ington-hall, a convenient distanoe from Bexley, Crayford, and D artford Stations on the N orth K en t Railway. M r . D A N N H AS received instructions to SELL by AUCTION, on M o n d a y , the 5th day of J u n e , 1882, a t Twelve for One o’clook, a t the A u c t i o n M a r t , near the B ank of England, London, E .C. F R E E H O L D PR O PE R T Y , comprising a handsom e Residence, suitable for a fam ily, having all neoessary aocommodation, coach-house and stabling, and su rrounded by about three aores of land laid out in pleasure grounds, law ns, and p lantation in full bearing, kitchen garden, &o. ; together w ith about three acres of plantation land adjoining, having a frontage of about 680ft. to D artford-heath and peculiarly adapted for the ereotion of first-class residences. F R E E H O L D PR O PE R T Y , known as M a y p o l e , im m ediately contiguous to B a ld w in 's P ark, being a valuable enclosure of building land, on the w est aide of D artford-heath, com prising 9a. 2r. 26p. of arable land w ith a cottage, and having an im p o rtan t frontage of about 1,330ft. to D artford-heath and Bexley-roads, su itable for the ereotion of first-class residences. Clayton-oroft may be viewed seven days previous to th e sale, between the hours of Eleven and F our o’olock, by orders only to be obtained a t the Auctioneer’s offices. P artioulars, w ith plans, m ay be obtained of F . G i b s o n , E sq., Solioitor, Sittingbourae ; a t the plaoe of sale ; and of the A uctioneer and E sta te A gent, Bexley, K ent.___________________ __




The original gatehouse(s) presumably were on or near the site of the current (and enlarged with the new housing development) Lodges. The pair of gate houses that exist today (and redeveloped) are isometric and were most certainly originally built as part of the hospital and the original (s) demolished. There was still an outbuilding right up to c.1994 - detached from the East Lodge - that I suspect dated back to the original gatehouse to the manor. The Planning Application for Hiram Maxims Flying Machine rails, dated 1894, shows one gate house on the site of the current East Lodge with an outbuilding. This original outbuilding appeared to be constructed to a design that is not replicated in any other part of the hospital and to be made from older materials. (However there was a similar building in the original enclosed 'Gardens' area near the Manor House used as a potting shed.) This gatehouse outhouse was constructed mainly from timber with a central brick chimney. The brickwork appeared much older than any other within the hospital complex. It is possible then that this outbuilding dated back to the early 18th century and to the time of the original gatehouse. I can remember in the 1950s that the hospital still had the status of an Asylum and had very large, tall green iron gates that were closed when not in use.





Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

Baldwyns in state of dereliction 1996
Baldwyns Manor - History of Maypole, Dartford Heath

photo taken from internet of Baldwyns during renovation.
and as it looks now

Picture 1

The gatekeeper sat in the (now demolished) central, purpose built gatehouse. This building was made of a similar design and materials as the two lodge houses. All comings and goings were recorded there. The heath and other neighbouring lands had lain unchanged in appearance for centuries until Dartford Heath eventually became owned by Lord TREDEGAR. The heath occupied some 350 acres. The Law of Property Act 1925 (which allowed the public to use commons for air and recreation) resulted in Lord TREDEGAR finally selling it to Dartford Urban District Council in 1925 for the sum of £1000 on 1st April 1925. During ownership by the TREDEGAR family, and probably between the dates 1820 - 1874, the heath was extensively excavated for it's natural resources (gravel, sand and turf). The O.S. map dated 1869 shows smaller and older pits. There are still large excavations in evidence today. I believe that the family seat of Lord TREDEGAR (Family name of Morgan) was Wilmington Manor and originally situated at Barn End, Wilmington
. The O.S. Map of 1897 shows a large Victorian House (Previously called Heathside) in Parsons Lane called ‘Wilmington Manor’. This newer ‘Wilmington Manor’ now forms part of the complex of the ‘Grammar school for Girls, Wilmington’.