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The History of Kent

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History of Strood

Strood comes from the Old English word ‘strōd’ meaning ‘marshy land overgrown with brushwood’. The Textus Roffensis records Strood as Strodes.

Strood parish church is a Grade: II listed building, dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra. Originally, a small wooden Chapel-of-Ease to All Saints, Frindsbury, stood on the site; however, in 1170 Bishop Gilbert de Glanville constituted Strood as a separate parish. Rebuilding in stone took place in the 14th century, with additions in the following centuries. In 1552, there is a record of four bells and a Sanctus in the tower. By 1765, the bells had increased to five, with an unknown founder augmenting them to six in that year. In 1797, Edward Hasted described St Nicolas’ church as a ‘spacious building, consisting of a nave and two isles, and the great chancel, with a tower steeple at the west end, in which is a clock and six bells, one of which was added in 1765. On the north side of the chancel is a vestry room, and underneath it an antient charnel house. In the south isle is a small stone chapel, built in 1607’. Sir Robert Smirke rebuilt a large part of the church in 1812. A fire destroyed much of the tower in 1898. Ten tubular bells replaced those broken in the fire.

In 1778, engineers suggested a canal be excavated from the Gravesend Marshes, through to
Strood, providing the Thames and Medway Rivers with a far more direct connection from London. In 1800, that excavation commenced, with the canal reaching Higham in the following year. However, a chalk cliff, over two miles thick, stood between Higham and Strood, and would be another eighteen years before engineers were able to overcome the obstacle. In 1819, engineers commenced boring a 35 foot wide tunnel through the chalk face, which when completed, in 1824, became England’s longest tunnel.

Unfortunately, the canal did not support the financial return originally envisaged, and the 'Gravesend & Rochester Railway' opened a line through the tunnels from Denton to
Strood on 10 February 1844.

Having received Parliamentary approval for the construction of the North Kent Line, the 
South Eastern Railway purchased the route at the end of 1845. They drained the canal, within the tunnel, filled the eight feet deep bed, laid a double-track and demolished the terminus at Denton, although the original station at Strood remained…. more

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