Other Works

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School Lane Limekiln

Approximate location marked by the red circle. © OpenStreetMap Contributors.

In the 1869 ordnance survey map, a lime kiln is shown near School Lane, between Free School Farm and the potato picker's cabins (now dog kennels). By the 1896 map, it is marked as "old lime kiln".

Very little appears to be known about this, but 1831's Registrar General Census mentions that Wouldham had 19 labourers working in chalk pits and S.Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England of 1844 mentions that lime burning was taking place in Wouldham.

Wouldham Road Chalk Pit & Tramway

This site was located in Wouldham Road, on the way to Borstal, not far before you reach Starkey's Castle. There was no cements works here, just the chalk pit and a tramway/pipeliner leading towards the river.

Very little information seems to be available about this site, but J.M Preston's Industrial Medway tells us that the quarry was linked to a dock and wharf at the river by a tramway, which had nine sidings. Alongside the tramway was a 6-inch diameter cast iron pipeline, which was used to pump through the chalk as a wet slurry.

Rochester Road Chalk Pit

Approximate location marked by the red circle. © OpenStreetMap Contributors.

A chalk pit can be found on old ordnance survey maps just up the hill beside Rochester Road, near the Knowle Road junction.

No information has been found to date on the history of this site, but it is marked as an "old chalk pit" by 1896.

Old Newspaper Reports

The following old newspaper reports make reference to cement works, but I am unsure which works they refer to:

Maidstone Telegraph - Saturday 14 September 1861

STROOD.- FATAL ACCIDENT FROM BURNING. - On Saturday night, the 31st ult, a distressing accident, who as we reported in out last had been engaged as labourer at the cement works, at Wouldham, a few days previous to the accident. From particulars that have reached us it appears that three tents had been erected to afford sleeping accommodation for the workmen, and Day occupied one of them. About half-past nine o'clock on Saturday night he was observed by a policeman to enter his tent, and in about ten minutes after an alarm of fire was made. Police constable Watson, K.C.C., hastened to the spot, and found the centre tent nearly burnt down, and the unfortunate deceased was seen crawling out of his tent frightfully burnt and enveloped in flames, which were speedily extinguished. Mr. Farr, the foreman of the works, ordered some of the men to convey him to Mr. Bell's surgery in High- street, Rochester, where, on his arrival, his wounds were dressed and every attention paid to him, and Mr. Bell considered it necessary that the poor sufferer should be at once taken to Union-house, in Cage- lane, Strood, which place he reached a few minutes before midnight. Here there appears to have been some demur on the part of the porter to his admission, but after some time he was admitted shortly before one o'clock in the morning, where he remained until Thursday evening, when death put an end to his sufferings. He is thought to have been a native of some place in Herefordshire.

Maidstone Telegraph - Saturday 5th April 1862

WOULDHAM.- ACCIDENT.- A serious accident occurred to a labouring man named William Sillett, aged 40, who was at work in a chalk pit, when a mass of earth fell in upon him and broke his leg. He was conveyed to West Kent Infirmary, where, we are glad to learn, he is going on favourably.

The Maidstone Telegraph - Saturday 26th April 1862

WOULDHAM.- SERIOUS ACCIDENT.- On Tuesday afternoon, about 5 o'clock, a young man named Geo. Burton. aged 22, living at Borstall, near Rochester, was engaged at the cement works of Mr. Gamble, Wouldham, in filling a barrow, beneath a projecting mass of rubbish, when a large portion of the earth suddenly gave way, and falling upon him, bent him double. The poor fellow was quickly extricated, and conveyed on a cart to the West Kent Infirmary, Maidstone, where it was found that he had sustained a compound fracture of the right thigh, his left arm being also broken. The limbs were very successfully set by Mr. W. Hoar, assisted by Mr. G. Sealey, house surgeon, and the sufferer is doing as well as from the nature of the injuries could be expected.

Maidstone Telegraph - Saturday 26th December 1868

FATAL ACCIDENT AT THE CEMENT WORKS.- An accident by which two men were killed occurred at the Cement Works on Saturday. The unfortunate men, whose names are James Musselwhite and John Baker, were employed in the chalk pit when a slip of earth took place, throwing them over the cliff, a distance of 60 feet. Baker was killed instantaneously, and Musselwhite was taken to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where he died from the injuries he had received. An inquest was held on Musselwhite at Wouldham, on Monday, before T. Hills, Esq., held an inquest at St. Bartholomew's Hospital upon the body of Baker, when a similar verdict was given.

Sunderland Daily Echo - Tuesday 17th June 1890

DISPUTE SETTLED. The bargemen's dispute at Wouldham, Kent, is settled, and work was resumed to-day.


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