Two Forced Fords And A New Bridge

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Lowland and Hill Walks
May 01
2021

1 people attending

11 places left

Your price
£12.50
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Easy Moderate Very Hard
11.5 mile walk through marshland with a hill to contend with in the middle, 232m of ascent.

A friend at work said " Have you heard about the the bridge they've built North of Snodland?" "No, why would they want to build a bridge there?"I replied, I've cycled on both sides and the river and knew there was nothing on the East side of the Medway except for the village of Wouldham and the derelict site of what had once been the biggest cement works in the world.

Snodland is on the Pilgrims Way from Winchester to Canterbury but no one has been able to cross the river there since the ferry closed well before my time.  The Roman Emperor Caudius' legioaries had crossed the river there after his Batavian cavalry caused a diversion downriver in 43 AD, suddenly I had a walk coming on.

Snodland church is old, it has a market cross in the graveyard, nearby is the old ferryman's cottage. The path towards the bridge follows the railway through the Holborough Marshes, a nature reserve. The bridge marked only on the newest maps has an exciting clean and modern design. From the bridge you can see Peter's Village newly built on the site of the cement works. Following the river bank we eventually come to the Roman Invasion Memorial though the main Roman army crossed the river at Cuxton downriver. 

Nearby Burham Court Church is old and interesting, a pleasant gothic design. Heading South we'll take footpaths to Eccles, passing the site of a Roman villa on the way. Our route though Eccles will pass the Red Bull pub which may be open.

 We will be head for Kit's Coty a neolithic monument, tradition is that Catigern (Welsh: Cadeyrn Fendigaid) (Kit) was buried there in 544 AD after the Battle of Aylesford. A short walk to the South East, under the A229 and past the Shell garage is the White Horse Stone the grave of Horsa a Saxon/Jute chieftain and the brother of Hengist (later to become King of Kent), Horsa died of wounds following the battle of Aylesford and is the origin of the Kent white horse flag.

This part of Blue Bell Hill is said to be haunted, ghosts from the battle and more recently ghostly hitchhikers being seen here particularly on damp October nights.

Going back through the subway we'll head for the village of Aylesford, site of the Battle of Aylesford in 544 AD, Vertigern's son's Vertimor and Categern deposed him and fought off his mercenary Jutes/Saxons led by Hengist and Horsa. There was no written record of this battle for 400 years and no one really knows what happened.  Vertigern had became king by poisoning the true king, the true king was King Arthurs uncle.

The village has many old and interesting buildings, we will leave via the medieval C14th bridge and follow the river north seeing the Friars at Aylesford Priory over the river. The next part of the walk is through the old Reeds Paper Mill site, if you use toilet paper it may have been made here. The path goes through Larkfield Lakes, former quarries but now a country park, and finally returns to Snodland.

 

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  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
  • All are required to practice social distancing – staying 2m (not 1m) apart at all times, including the lunch stop.
  • Unfortunately, there won’t be any planned pub / café stops en route or at the end, and please don’t share sweets or snacks with others – we’re sorry!
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Aylesford Bridge
Snodland Church
wind blown rushes
Roman Invasion memorial, river medway
Kit's Coty, Bluebell Hill
White Horse Stone, Bluebell Hill
SPQR Roman standard
Pendragon Flag
Kent Flag
Aylesford Bridge
Snodland Church
wind blown rushes
Roman Invasion memorial, river medway
Kit's Coty, Bluebell Hill
White Horse Stone, Bluebell Hill
SPQR Roman standard
Pendragon Flag
Kent Flag

Location

51.330289861299, 0.44820785522461