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Darenth Country Park, Dartford

#2 of 7 in Parks in Dartford
Darenth Country Park is in Darenth near Dartford, in Kent, England. On the site of a former demolished hospital site Darenth Park Hospital, also the site of a scheduled ancient monument and the site of ancient Saxon burials. Due to this protection it was turned into a millennium open-space park.HistoryIn 1954. General Post Office(GPO) engineers while digging a cable trench past the Hospital, cut through a Saxon grave and also recovered a late 6th century silver gilt square headed brooch and parts of a bronze howl. These finds were then given to the British Museum to research and store.In 1978, 'Dartford & District Archaeological Group' excavated a trench on the site, before a planning application was made by Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers Ltd. for chalk extraction on the site. This trench found an ancient Saxon burial ground (5th century), with 12 Saxon graves, as well as various artefacts (including a spearhead, brooches and a glass bowl) from the period. The glass bowl is now known as the 'Darenth bowl' (which is known to be dedicated to St. Rufinus of Soissons c.450 A.D.), is now in Dartford Borough Museum. The graves were then deemed important enough to be scheduled as an Ancient Monument.The hospital buildings were then demolished in 1995. The new Darent Valley Hospital was built on part of the site. Then a 'village' of 300 new houses was also built on a portion and the remaining 100 acres became the Darenth Country Park. The only surviving building is the former 'Darenth Park Hospital Farm', which is now used as a riding school. Arrow Riding School for the disabled.
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Darenth Country Park Reviews
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35 reviews
  • Ten minute, half hour or longer, what a lovely easy/taxing stroll for you and Mutt! So many friendly dogs and beautiful views. It is a Sunday morning must.  more »
  • Nice park, great for dog walking. Add in the history of theme hospitals, the orchard andvthe graveyards to make this a pretty cool pkace. Will go back.  more »
  • Darenth Country Park is a tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle of a very busy area. Many interesting places to explore. On a nice day you can't beat it for a lovely relaxing stroll.  more »
  • It's a park, plenty of space to walk your dog or child, half a dozen ingress portals in a 2 mile loop. Get out side and enjoy yourself!
  • Lovely accessible walk. It does have a lot of hills. Horses are kept on the site but they are well used to dogs and people
  • Primarily a dog walking area with long walks and wide open fields in which to run and play. There is a nice picnic area, picnic benches, war memorial, etc. There is a small dog-free play area for children with tree-trunks on their sides and balance bars, but no modern play equipment. There is also an orchard with over 150 varieties of apple, pear, plum, cherry and cob nut trees, which locals are encouraged to pick and eat. The park is also home to a Riding Centre for the disabled and in addition to watching horses in the paddocks, you can often spot rabbits basking in the sun, whenever dogs are absent. The paths are well maintained, flat and suitable for wheelchair users. A sculpture by Andy McKeown, can be found in this park (at the top of the hill), although there is no paved path to it. The large car park is totally free of charge and there is no admittance fee, just ensure you check the closing times on entry to avoid being locked in. Saxon graves and artefacts have been found here, including an intact glass bowl dating back to 450AD, although you wouldn't know it by walking around here. Sadly the park does look a little tired. Signs are worn or missing, and children's balance bars are loose and cracking. It is also worth noting that there are no facilities or shelter here, of any kind, and it is quite a distance to any public toilet should you be caught short. All that said, it is a great park and one we'll continue to return to frequently.
  • Lovely place to walk your dogs... n relax In the sun on the hill with a beautiful view.
  • Very peaceful, occasional dogwalkers but very quiet and calm. Would recommend for a picnic on a sunny day, definitely.

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