Place:Swanscombe, Kent, England

Watchers
NameSwanscombe
Alt namesSwanscombesource: from redirect
Suanescampsource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 455
Suanescompsource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 455
Suinescampsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 149
Svinescampsource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 455
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates51.433°N 0.3°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoAxstane Dartford and Wilmington Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Dartford Rural, Kent, Englandrural district of which it was a part 1894-1926
Dartford District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality to which the parish was transferred in 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Swanscombe is a small town and former urban district in the Dartford Borough of Kent. It borders the Gravesham Borough and is located northwest of Gravesend. Prior to 1926 it was a civil parish in Dartford Rural District.

Cement industry

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

The southeast of England has abundant resources of clay and chalk. The first mining activity known in the area was for flint, a rock commonly found across the North and South Downs and in the Weald. This was used for tools.

Swanscombe was important in the early history of cement. The first cement manufacturing works near Swanscombe were opened at Northfleet by James Parker, around 1792, making "Roman cement" from cement stone brought from the Isle of Sheppey. James Frost opened a works at Swanscombe in 1825, using chalk from Galley Hill, having patented a new cement called "British Cement". The Swanscombe plant was subsequently acquired by John Bazley White & Co, which became the largest component of Blue Circle Industries when it formed in 1900. It closed in 1990. Between 1840 and 1930 it was the largest cement plant in Britain. By 1882 several cement manufacturers were operating across the north Kent region, but the resulting dust pollution drove the people of Swanscombe to take legal action against the local cement works. Despite various technological innovations, the problem persisted into the 1950s, with telegraph lines over an inch thick in white dust. Modern cement kilns in Kent using chimneys 170 m (550 feet) in height are now said to be the cleanest in the world.

Blue Circle

The Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers (APCM), later known as Blue Circle Industries, came to the area in 1900 and by 1920 owned four local factories located at Swanscombe, Northfleet, Greenhithe and Stone.

By 1970 the North Kent cement industry had evolved to become the largest centre for the production of cement in Europe, supporting a long tradition of research and development to perfect the processes used in the manufacture of chalk-based products. Since then the industry has declined considerably due to the potential for more economic manufacture elsewhere, and by 2007 only two operational kilns remained, both at Northfleet. As of 2014 all have been removed.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Swanscombe. Especially early and World War II history.

Research Tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Steve Archer has produced a very useful round-up of the available census records for Kent - and where/from whom they are available.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • Bishop's Transcripts for Kent parishes, 1558-1887, can be found on FamilySearch since February 2016
  • The Kent Family History Society and the North West Kent Family History Society are the most dominant, but there are also
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Swanscombe. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.