The mansion sacrificed to quarrying industry

Much of the countryside around the Medway towns has fallen victim to the building industry’s insatiable demand for chalk over the centuries. So, too, have a number of buildings. Perhaps the most notable is Quarry House, Frindsbury, demolished in 1897. It had been dilapidated for at least a decade.

The house, which bears a resemblance to Eastgate House in Rochester High Street, was built near Frindsbury Church about 1611 on ground owned by the Bridge Wardens and on the site of what was believed to be a Roman villa. Its position near the quarry made life there uncomfortable, not to say precarious.

Quarry House lived precariously

One of its inhabitants was the thrice-widowed Ellinor Thompson, whose most recent husband, John Woodgreene, owned manor lands nearby. Ellinor was in constant dispute with the wardens over the right to quarry chalk for the bridge near the house and eventually lost her case — and her lease on the property. The last tenant before demolition was a Henry Miles.

Other historians say the lands had been granted to the church at Rochester by King Offa in 764. A number of flint instruments were discovered on the site in 1925.

Later industrial ground nearby was used for a “discharge pit” for the Kent Electric Power Company’s power station, which provided the electricity to run Rochester’s tram system. The company — better known as the KEP — was based at Star Hill before it was nationalised and became part of Seeboard.

Rochester & Strood
Medway villages
Medway at war
Crimes that Shocked the Medway Towns

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