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Supplementary submission on Ordnance Wharf submitted

Ordnance Wharf Flood Lane Faversham Kent ME13 7DY Ref. No: 23/502647/FULL

This is a supplementary submission on Ordnance Wharf submitted by the Faversham Soicity based on its work on the Local List for Swale

"Ordnance Wharf Complex

-              Docks to each side,

-              Flood Lane,

-              Flood Lane bridges,

-              Stonebridge Pond dam,  and Bennett's Mills,

The Purifier Building. Each of these is a non-designated heritage asset in its own right "

"These and the listed (g.11) red brick Home Works wall, still in their original setting, contribute to the character of the Conservation Area and form a group of great historic significance for Faversham as well as one of considerable importance nationally.

The head of the Creek is terminated by a number of historic structures and spaces etc. related to the adjoining site of Faversham's original Gunpowder industry, the Home Works, at one stage owned by the State.

These form a group and are as follows: ""Ordnance Wharf - yellow brick wharf walls, wharf top originally without any upstanding development other than at one point a crane. Intended for the outward shipment of gunpowder made at the adjoining Home Works.

First mapped in something like its current form c1815 when the Works was still in State hands. The Works was subsequently sold and continued to operate privately for many years thereafter. "

Docks to each side of Ordnance Wharf - Yellow brick sides. In their current form, these may date to 1830 when the Faversham Gas Works opened on the southwest of town, side of the Creek's head, or to 1843 when the Creek from Ordnance Wharf to the Brents bridge was remodelled to form a lock-gated basin.

Flood lane -┬ĚThe historic route across the head of the Creek, immediately below Stonebridge Pond dam. It. connects originally 'islanded' Ordnance Wharf (and the related historic main entrance to the Home Works site) to the south-west and north-east sides of the Creek head.

Flood Lane bridges - Shallow red brick arched structures to each side of the head of Ordnance Wharf and carrying Flood Lane. A. Percival dates one to 1803.

Stonebridge Pond dam - West of the listed Works wall within the current allotment site. Concealed today but part identifiable by its in situ gunpowder mill bed stones (see below) and the two surviving sluice-drops within it. It seems likely that an historic corn mill stood here before gunpowder manufcature moved to the site.

"Lower and Bennetts gunpowder mills - west of the listed Works wall within the current allotment site.

The Lower mills are south of the main works entrance from Ordnance Wharf, and Bennetts are to the north of it. Very significant and important evidence survives in the form of bed stones for 9 out of what had been in the C19th a total of 10 mills aligned along the top of the dam. Some of these, or their current sites, are likely to pre-date the c19. Evidence for one breast shot water wheel survives within the current southern pond sluice. Water power was superseded in the later c19 by steam - the base of the engine house survives. A number of runner stones remain distributed about within an area of the allotments close to the main Works entrance. "

Purifier building - One of only two Gas Company buildings to survive in the town. A different gas works building stood on this site in 1864. By 1896/97 this had been replaced by the current L-plan two storey yellow brick walled and slate and corrugated iron roofed building.

Brents bridge stone abutments, bridge opening machinery and machinery house,two bridge personnel shelters. he extant ashlared stone and brick bridge, and lock gate, abutments are likely to reflect more than one building and re-building campaign but they have not been professionally examined in detail for this. The first lock gates were erected during the 1842/43 Creek realignment works to contain water within the new Creek Basin. One source notes that prior to 1881 the Brents bridge here was only 3 feet 6 inches between handrails and could be horizontally withdrawn ( on four flanged wheels) to allow vessels to pass. The implication of this is that 18.81 saw the later swing bridge installed. Another source writing in 2004 notes that 'hydraulic accumulators and a hand-operated pump of 1878 still provide the means of lifting the (swing) bridge off its seatings '(2004 Conservation Area Appraisal). It is believed that this machinery still survives in the white rendered and slate roofed bridge house at the north east comer of the bridge. Two very small single storey 19th century yellow brick and slate roofed personnel shelters stand to east and west of the bridge on its south side. All the structures and features described, including the bridge control machinery, are of great interest historically and contribute to Conservation Area character.

"The extant ashlared stone and brick bridge and lock gate abutments are likely to reflect more than one building and re-building campaign but they have not been professionally examined in detail for this .

The first lock gates were erected during the 1842/43 Creek realignment works to contain water within the new Creek Basin. It is believed that this machinery still survives in the white rendered and slate roofed bridge house at the north east corner of the bridge"

"Two very small single-storey 19th century yellow brick and slate roofed personnel shelters stand to east and west of the bridge on its south side. All the structures and features described, including the bridge control machinery, are of great interest historically and contribute to the Conservation Area character. "

"The current basin was formed in 1843 1 as part of a wider upgrading exercise on the upper reach of the Creek.

New lock gates and a moveable bridge (see above) were provided at the lower end of the basin partly to allow access to the creek head for larger vessels and with the gates as a flushing measure to keep silt moving out of the basin and downstream.

Various sections of brick wharf wall survive on the basin's town side, relating to both the Shepherd Neame and Morrison sites. It makes a unique and important contribution to the history and character of the Conservation Area. "

July 20, 2023

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