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Farningham  &  Eynsford
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Publication Review
THE BRIDGES OF EYNSFORD AND FARNINGHAM
Wilf Duncombe
£3.00   A4, 25 pages, 2 sketch maps, 9 photos, published 2003

Wilf Duncombe has produced a fascinating history of the efforts to maintain these two bridges against the twin perils of too much water and not enough money! After tracing the history of fundraising and responsibility for the care of the bridges, there are detailed records of each bridge. Records of Eynsford bridge go back to 1613. Repairs were spasmodic and were arranged by the local Justices of the Peace (J.P.): Percival Hart J.P. of Lullingstone Castle being mentioned in this connection in 1708. By 1850 there was a County Surveyor directly responsible for the bridges. In 1935, following concerns about the strength of the bridge, the County Surveyor proposed to build a new bridge alongside. This idea was effectively opposed by the then Parish Council and changed to strengthening the old bridge, thus preserving its original form dating back some 500 years. Farningham Bridge however, being on the important London to Maidstone road, was rebuilt in 1774, and widened in 1833 to take the ever increasing traffic (What's changed?) until the bypass was built in the 1930s. There are good photographs and an Appendix with revealing old accounts. Another excellent publication from the Farningham & Eynsford Local History Society.

John Price
Review reprinted from The Trident, June 2003