Read the quasi-millenium long story about Dartford High Street

Dartford High Street has a long and interesting story to tell.  Some of the buildings located here were built hundreds years ago.  Lets start this short article about Dartford High Street by introducing the local church.

Holy Trinity Church in Dartford

The Church may have been build in the Anglo-Saxon period since features believed to be pre-Norman Conquest were revealed inside the bottom stage of the tower in 1996. The basic layout of the present church however dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Holy Trinity Church has a distinguished past.  In 1415, Henry V held a thanksgiving service here after the Battle of Agincourt. After his death in 1422 Henry’s body lay overnight at Holly Trinity for a required mass.

Near the altar is the tomb of Sir John Spilman, who founded the England’s first successful paper mill in Dartford in 1588. There is a dramatic wall painting of St George and the Dragon c.1470. At the Reformation this work was covered with whitewash but was revealed in 1830s. Important brasses include that of Richard Martyn and his wife from 15th century and of William D’eath founder of Dartford Grammar School dated 1590.

The Wat Tyler Public House located at Dartford High Street

Called the Crown and Anchor until 1966, this pub was commonly know as the Wat Tyler long before. The Wat Tyler Cycling Club was founded here in 1905. The timber framed building is medieval forming a part of a large house partially demolished in 1955.

Document dated 1416 was found hidden inside one of the roof joints, perhaps put there while the house was being built. This was a list of occupiers of land on Dartford Salt Marsh and is now on display in Dartford Borough Museum. If the building was constructed after 1416 it cannot be connected with Wat Tyler who died in 1381.

82 Dartford High Street

This timber framed 16th century town house next to the church is believed to have been built from a 15th century example, part of which still faces on to the High Street. From 1823 to 1930 the building was occupied by the Stidolph family who run it as various combinations of upholsterers, furnishers, decorators, undertakers and auctioneers.

Bullace Lane of Dartford High Street

This was one of the medieval town’s few streets. Bullace Lane (sometimes Bullis or Bullhouse) was an important thoroughfare until the 19th century. The name probably relates to the wild or semi-cultivated plum since the road led in the direction of orchards.

This post is based on the information collected by Dartford Removals from Dartford Library, Dartford Borough Museum and the interviews with Dartford Residents.

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