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Author Topic: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley  (Read 7767 times)

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Offline delboy

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 19:44:53 »
You may find this interesting  quicksilver, its from a news site. delboy


At the end of the 19th century a pumping station was built at Drellingore which supplied water to the Folkestone and District area. However, in 1931 it was decided to dig another well and that is when the white art deco style building on the bend of the valley road was constructed. A ten foot diameter well was dug 172 feet into the chalk and 12 feet above the bottom, shafts totalling 543 feet were dug to the east and the west. During the drought of 1933 the adits were extended by another 185 feet. At that time the well could produce 2 million gallons in a 24 hour period and because of the purity of the water it was not treated.

Just to the west of the housing development at Hawkinge is the Terlingham reservoir which is filled from Drellingore and there is a satellite station at Lower Standen. Today it is able to produce over 3 million gallons a day although the water is now treated.

The high porosity of the chalk provides the volume of water, which as locals will know also accounts for the dyke through the village of Alkham and the occasional flooding of the village green.
© Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2012

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 08:22:10 »
I can't say for that pumping station quicksilver, but I know the well at Dover Waterworks has a tunnel leading off it to another well. My dad took me down the well when he was painting it over 50 years ago and it has a system of platforms and ladders to get down it. There's a thread on Dover Waterworks on the Forum.

Offline quicksilver

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 20:13:45 »
Can anyone tell me if there is a tunnel for a water course, running from Drellingdore Pumping Station, towords the downs at the Folkestone end, as I have heard it said there may be. quicksilver

Offline Far away

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Re: Drellingore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 11:27:20 »
The farm at Chilton almost certainly had a stage on the river along with Wolverton and Drellingore but most are probably long since buried by overburden slippage from the sides of the valley.

Ah, to think that one day they may be rediscovered.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2013, 16:56:07 »
Thankyou for the interesting article delboy. I can't recall the river and ponds ever being dry in the Bushy Rough area when we went out there in the 1950s. There was a pond on the opposite side of the road to Bushy Rough with a little waterfall and the stream going under the road to the pond on the Bushy Rough side. It can be seen on the current Bing Maps Bird's Eye.

Also for interest there was a plan to put the Dover to Folkestone railway line along the Alkham Valley with a tunnel at the Folkestone end and a junction near Kearsney Station.

Offline delboy

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Re: Drellingore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2013, 16:14:02 »
I think that because of the increase in water extraction in the valley it will only run after excessive rainfall. I was at Chilton farm in October,metal detecting, and the owner of the farmhouse has been arguing with the water company for a long while about their pond that disappeared over the years due, in their opinion, to water extraction at Drellingore.  Its back for now. I have copied an extract from the Alkham Valley Archaeology site, written by Vince Burrows, concerning the valley that you may find interesting as it refers to it as the Nailbourne. I believe that the name, Nailbourne , is now used to describe any of the underground streams in East Kent.   delboy

 Leaving the northern end of the Town and Port of Dover, the Alkham road (B2060) meanders through Kearsney Abbey and the small hamlets of Chilton, Wolverton, Alkham, South Alkham and Drellingore before joining the A260 & A20 near Folkestone. The route of the Alkham road hugs the lower slope contour just above the base of the valley following for the most part, the northern escarpment before traversing to the southern side of the valley just past Drellingore. In travelling through this mainly green undulating and picturesque landscape, notable are the numerous coomb nooks along its course. Here in ancient times, many of these glacially cut locations would have offered sheltered and well-drained surfaces to settle. One of the most important features to our ancestors would have been a readily available supply of fresh water for themselves and their livestock. Through the centuries in areas without reasonable access to running water, wells were sunk to great depths through the chalk bedrock but this required much labour and danger. Although difficult to imagine in modern times, an ancient river once flowed through the Alkham Valley rising to a depth of ten feet in winter, before entering the River Dour and out-falling into Dover Harbour some 4 km distant. It is believed the source of the river is located near Drellingore, and once provided enough water for at least two corn-mills. Over a thousand years ago, the Alkham river was likely to have been very wide, deep and navigable to small vessels, at least as far as Drellingore if not beyond. Nowadays, the Alkham River, now known as the Nailbourne, for most of its course runs below ground and only surfaces in the valley in times of severe rainfall as flooding across the fields. What remains of this once large river can now only be seen as a small section of dyke running into the pond at Chilton Farm, before flowing into the man-made brick lined ponds at Kearsney Abbey and thence onto the sea.

The main reason for the loss of these rivers over the centuries is due to the constant rise in sea levels. These days, sea levels are around 2-3 metres higher than in Roman times causing a knock-on effect that slows the river flows. In this instance, the silts normally washed downstream and eventually into the sea basin, builds-up on the bottom of the now slowly moving river until, it becomes choked. Reed beds, vegetation and agricultural developments have all added to the demise of our rivers.

Until the annexing of Britain to the Roman Empire, and the subsequent construction of their extensive road network all over Britain, our ancestors communicated with other settlements via at best, dusty pitted tracks in summer and impassable churned-up mud tracks in the depths of winter. For these reasons, the river systems provided important inland transport for goods throughout Kent and were a much easier, cheaper and safer way to travel. Even after the roman’s enormous road building projects, many of Kent’s rivers were still used to carry the bulk of commodities inland from Europe, the Mediterranean and Rome itself. Landing stages would have been commonplace along the banks of our rivers near to settlements or major road arteries, very few can now be identified however; the name “slip Lane” in the village of Alkham may indicate a small long-lost dock access. The farm at Chilton almost certainly had a stage on the river along with Wolverton and Drellingore but most are probably long since buried by overburden slippage from the sides of the valley.

 

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2013, 12:28:40 »
Have them all the time now JW! What does the old tale say about this stream running again?Was it 7 years of doom and gloom  to look forward to?

I think it was something like that.  I believe that on average it used to take 7 years for the 'cistern' to fill further up the valley and then it would run until the 'cistern' was empty.  If the stream didn't run on the 7th year then look forward to 7 years of doom and gloom.  I think the saying needs to be re-written to match our new weather systems - it's all over the place now.

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 11:42:08 »
Have them all the time now JW! What does the old tale say about this stream running again?Was it 7 years of doom and gloom  to look forward to?

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 10:50:09 »
Hi delboy

Excellent pics.  I remember the last time it flowed. Must have a trip out to have a look.  Does this become the Nailbourne further down?

Just realised my error above - don't know why I thought it joined the Nailbourne - having a senior methinks  :)

Offline TowerWill

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 08:13:35 »
Yes excellent pics delboy! We'd wondered if it was running again going by the depth of the water in the River Dour. I wonder now if the water has started jetting out again from the foot of the cliffs at Lydden Spout? Also I expect the stream in the Elham Valley is running again.

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 19:29:51 »
Hi delboy

Excellent pics.  I remember the last time it flowed. Must have a trip out to have a look.  Does this become the Nailbourne further down?

Offline delboy

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Drellingdore Running Again in Alkham Valley
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 19:07:38 »
Here are a few pictures I took today of the Drellingdore running through Alkham Valley again. I think it was 12 or 14 years ago that it flowed like this, I have a video tape of it somewhere from then. Delboy

 

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