ALBANY TERRACE Early 19th century,erected to house officers of Trinity House. A notable resident of No. 15 was Mr C Wills, baker, the Grand Old Man of Bridge, a member of the Fire Brigade for 51 years, of the church choir for 68 years and secretary of the Gas Works Co. for 42 years (1848-1942).
AUNT BETSY'S HILL Named after her Tea-rooms in 'Sunnyside'. The steepness of the road is a consequence of the grading of the main road (like Bridge Hill) to facilitate traffic in 1829. Here were also the old undertaker's store (destroyed 1987) and a WWI alehouse.
BIFRONS ('Two Fronts') Sadly demolished immediately postwar (1949), was the most significant house for Bridge. Originally built by John Bargrave in 1634, with two wings, as the name implies, it was rebuilt in contemporary style in the 1770's by Edward Taylor. It was sold in 1820 to Marquis of Conyngham, a favourite of George IV and notable benefactress to the village 'fat, handsome, kindly, shrewd and extremely fond of jewels'.
BRIDGE PLACE Built in mid-17th century by Sir Arnold Braems, first Chairman of Dover harbour Board. It was originally the largest house in east Kent, other than Chilham Castle, but was partly demolished by John Taylor of Bifrons in 1709, leaving only one corner of the original nine by seven bayed house with a central courtyard.
CONYNGHAM LANE Formerly Laundry Lane, when the only buildings comprised the laundry to Bifrons. The road also gave access to Bridge from Bifrons. The old brick gateway just above the road is a relic of Olivers Court, a mansion demolished in 1931. Beechmount lawn is on the site.
'DADDY FAGG'S FARM' Named after its most recent owner, was a 15th century Wealden hallhouse and great thatched barn, demolished in 1962 for the sake of housing development (Western Avenue Estate on three fields). Possibly the oldest vernacular building in Bridge, it was replaced by a Neo-Georgian terrace. It was once owned by the Rev R.H. Barham (Thomas Ingoldsby) Other possible 15th century houses in the High Street are Nos. 33/5 & 49 (the old forge).
DR HUNTER'S HOUSE Rosedale Villa, now No. 24. 18th century timber framehouse, hung with mathematical tiles to resemble brick. Roger Hunter practised from here from 1939-1970 (surgery at the side), having bought the practice and the house from his predecessor Arthur Wilson, who came in 1906 and who was in his turn like his predecessors Arthur Wilson, who came in 1906 and who in his turn, like his predecessors, MO to the Union. Both were graduates of Trinity College Dublin.
FORGE Probably 15th c. Conveniently adjacent to the posting house, where horses would be changed. One of two former smithies; later (1970s) Mrs Turner's greengrocery.
GAS WORKS Erected by Marchioness Conyngham in 1859 on land behind the present 'High Beech' to supply gas to Bifrons and eventually to provide street lighting to Bridge in 1906 and then to the rest of the village and Patrixbourne. Closed in 1928. Oddly, the coal yard was behind houses beyond the Old School. Electricity was brought to the village in about 1935/6.
METHODIST CHAPEL Built 1894 of Corrugated Iron at a cost of just under £140 at purely local expense. The Chapel Committee in Manchester had wanted brick, so refused a loan. This Wesleyan foundation followed that of the Primitive Methodists, who had already erected a wooden chapel in 1868 in Dering Road, demolished 1951 when it was a private house.
MILL Bridge has had a mill since at least 1596 (one of 39 then in Kent), originally a post mill but later a smock mill. By 1930 it was derelict and merely used as a store, but was demolished only in 1954. The miller's house stands facing it, end-on to Union Road.
NAILBOURNE The name 'bourne' indicates that this is an intermittent stream, only flowing at intervals. Frequently dry, more so nowadays than formerly, because of increased extraction from the chalk aquifer, the Nailbourne is yet capable of surprise. It upset work on Bridge bypass in the 1970's, and ten years later made Brewery Lane impassable. Time for another flood?
OLD ENGLAND'S HOLE An old tradition states that the last stand of the Britons against Caesar's invasion with the 7th legion in 54BC took place here, after their flight from defeat on Barham Downs. Roman burials have been found in Bourne Park, and in 1771 more than 100 tumuli were recorded in the adjacent field. The Hole is however probably no more than an old chalk quarry.
OLD SCHOOL Built in 1872, was superseded by the new school in Conyngham Lane in January 1971. From 1871 to 1911 teaching was in the exclusive hands of the Wye family. Prior to 1872 the National School was in the Workhouse.
PLOUGH AND HARROW Built in 1692, originally as two dwelling houses, converted into a malthouse 1782-89. It became an alehouse in 1832, known by 1860's by its present name. To the rear the former headquarters of Bridge Fire Brigade (since ca 1907), established by Marchioness Conyngham, and garage for the Engine. The funeral of fireman J Fenn in 1910 attracted 5000 mourners.
OLD POST OFFICE The former Post Office, now a Pharmcy, from which Lord Kitchener sent his first dispatches at the start of WWI. But the Post Office has been variously located; in 1823 at the White Horse; in 1873 in a cottage near the newsagent (perhaps No. 72), in 1896 at Mr Perry's grocers (now Skippers restaurant), in 1955 at Mr Roberts' (perhaps no 37). Only since then in this location and lost to the village in 2018.
RED LION INN Built in 1593 around a central chimney core, it was already called by this name by 1632. Used to have extensive stabling and carriage business. Housed the fire engine until ca 1904. Mr Jack Friend (1888-1936) was a noted publican in WW I Note that there are two inns, one on each side of the river, for travellers in both directions.
'SHIP INN' Also late 15th century timber frame house with brick infilling. In the 19th century a row of four cottages ('Primrose Alley'), converted in mid-20th century. There is an oast inside the pink-washed portion.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH The church was traditionally viewed as a chapel to St Mary's, Patrixbourne (Bridge is not mentioned in Domesday Book). It retains some Norman features (in the West door, for instance), but was largely rebuilt with grotesque insensitivity' (Pevsner) by Scott in 1859-61 through the generosity of Mrs Gregory of Bridge Hill House. It has three bells and several local memorials.
'TEMPERANCE HOTEL' Now River House. Mid-late 18th century.. Formerly residence of TL Collard, auctioneer & valuer, Clerk to the Board of Guardians. Auctioned at the Red Lion in 1904, failed to sell at £380. Subsequently a Temperance Hotel.
THE BRIDGE The reason for the village's existence, it marks the village centre. It is the first river crossing out of Dover, about half a day's march away, and provides a convenient stopping point. The core of the present bridge consists of a double arch, built in the mid-18th century, still visible from the river-bed. There was a water-splash on the NE side until the mid-20th century. One old railing survives.
'THE UNION' Bridge Union Workhouse. Hence Union Road. The Union served 22 parishes around Canterbury. Built in 1835 at a cost of £4376 by TF Cozens of Canterbury, the house was ready for its first inmates within 9 months (February 1836). It was designed to house 200. South side: women and boys under 13, North side, men. Became a home for the elderly in 1934, converted to individual dwellings in 1982, when the New Close by the new school was opened.
VILLAGE HALL Built by Marchioness Conyngham and originally known as the Reading Room and extended in 1878. Presented to the village by the Marquis of Conyngham on the coming of age of his son. Used as a canteen in WW I for soldiers camped in Bourne Park.
WHITE HORSE INN The Posting House, though Bridge is only half a stage from Dover. 18th century exterior, with late mediaeval core. Early 16th century inscription on fireplace lintel. The house is visible in Schellinks' 1661 drawing of the High Street. Cathedral archives record a brawl here involving Christopher Applegate, a Marlowe contemporary. First meeting of the workhouse guardians was held here, 22 April 1835.
Research and text by Maurice Raraty