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TQ994424 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Joseph Smith (18/07/2010)

'The ford goes crosses the Great Stour which flows through Ashford. I'm not sure how crossable it is because the river looks pretty deep and fast flowing at this point. There are definite concrete ramps on each side and no obvious restrictions. The Southern exit does cross a cycle lane and footpath but it then emerges straight onto clockhouse which is a public road so I would assume that it is a legal right of way. I can't imagine the bed is very stable because the concrete ramps have been pretty badly eroded just below the water line.'

TR194555 (3*) Suitable for All
Image sent in of the ford at Old Palace Road by Ian Bowman (Image 1: 14/05/2002) and Joe Smith (Image 2: 23/03/2010)

TR191524 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Dave Taylor (14/05/2002)

'An Irish Bridge near an inviting looking pub!'

TR180541 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Stephen Burman (01/09/2003)

Description by Paul Manners
'Very small ford on the south of the village, 5 cm deep, 2 m wide'

Chart Sutton
TQ806505 (1*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Alan Pett (11/05/2010)


I came across your 'Wet Roads' site completely by chance, and had a real laugh when I spotted the Chart Sutton 'ford' entry.

The image shows the 'ford' as it is now and a copy of the e-mail below that identifies the origin of the 'Ford' signage. The signs appeared about 3 months after the incident. (Somewhere, I have conventional photos of the flooding at the time of the incident, but they are not to hand at the moment.) The current photos do not show the drainage ditches on either side clearly, as they are currently 'filled' visually by the flush of spring weed growth, but they are about knee deep, something of which I was aware as I floundered about 'blind' in the deluge of muddy water.'

RE: Norton Road, Langley/Chart Sutton, Maidstone

Following a diversion from the A229 last night, I had cause to travel down the A274 to Langley and then elected to travel along Norton Road to Chart Sutton, Cross at Hand and so back to the A229. This is a route that I have used before, but not one with which I am totally familiar.

It was raining and after dark. I was riding a motorcycle at maybe 35mph (it is a National Speed Limit Road), as the surface of this road is pretty awful and the rain moderately heavy. Surface water was streaming across the road at a number of places in the course of my journey. It was not surprising to see what appeared to be the same in Norton Road.

Mistake. I was instantly deluged in a torrent of brown water, completely preventing any vision. Though slowing because of the drag of the water and because I had closed the throttle, I was still moving forward 'blind' for long enough to worry about whether I was still travelling along the road, or veering off, or whether I would hit another vehicle.

I returned to site this morning. This revealed a 'trough' of water, probably over 30m long and probably higher than my Wellington boots, so I didn't venture far in to confirm. The water stretched across the whole width of the road, the surface being level with that in the drainage ditches at either side of the road. There is nowhere for the water to go. The only solution is to raise the surface of the road.

I write because the lack of signage, indicating 'Flood', or 'road liable to flooding' (of which I was not previously aware) and my inability to see this hazard under the circumstances, despite keeping a reasonable look-out on this unlit road and travelling at a reasonable speed under the conditions for a properly maintained road, meant that I was placed in a position where I might have suffered serious injury or death.

Quite clearly, the Highway Authority is under a duty to see that the road is properly drained and to take steps to ensure that users are aware of exceptional hazards. I believe that KCC Highways have failed to maintain this highway properly or provide adequate warning.

You will no doubt take steps to put matters right promptly. I look forward to receiving confirmation of this.

Alan Pett

'I hope that you appreciate the 'phantom ford', generated by the imagination of a KCC Highways engineer somehere!'

'Despite the look, Image 2 shows the 'ford' 50' long and at deepest about 8-10 inches. It lasted about 2 weeks and looked as though it was a run off from the fields either side' Tony Dowdeswell

TR205494 (2*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Sent in by Colin and Karen Leonard (27/8/2012)

'Derringstone ford was dry, and appears to run along the bottom of the valley. It seems that when it appears it crosses the road at a crossroad junction and goes under a small footbridge. It then seems as though when it emerges from the small bridge it is in a narrow gully beside the road (The Causeway) which then in turn disappears and I am assuming that it runs along the tarmac road for a short distance before again reverting to a grassy gully and dissapearing through a grating into a culvert. It might be worth another look when it's wet.'

Link to geograph
Link to geograph

TQ708579 (3*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Nicholas Woollett (21/03/2003)

'This a delightful ford in Ditton which is a suburb of Maidstone in Kent. It is a bit unusual because it is fairly narrow and forms an S bend and features railings on one side, the water being clear and fast running about 1 foot deep at the time of my visit.'

'Following pressure from the Parish Council Kent Highways have placed a temporary closure order on the ford (TRO for 6 months). There are large concrete blocks at both ends now and signs along the entry roads in Bradbourne Lane and The Stream (Image 4). The plan is for them to process a permanent TRO while the temporary Order is in place. Kent Highways view is that the ford is too deep to allow cars through, they keep getting sued for damages, upgrading the ford to a shallower concrete bed would cost upto 50,000 and such work would make it too popular increasing traffic flow. Most normal cars get stuck because the entry/exit ramp has broken away and there is a 6-12" step down to the firm sandy river bed.' Richard Dickenson (08/07/2008)

'Kent CC have now actually made a permanent Order but not told anyone or put up notices. Richard Dickenson (25/02/2010)

TR202507 (1*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Paul Devall (Image 1: 04/09/2005; Image 2: 13/04/2010)

'The water, when it flows, follows the road and is really a glorified ditch nowadays and flows across the road and through a bridge opening on the opposite side. Kent County Council have cleverly placed a drain right in the way of any potential water flow though!'

TQ540655 (5*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Ian Bowman (Images 1 & 2: 14/05/2002), Xavier Gosselin (Image 3: 28/02/2004) and Simon Holland (Image 4: 15/02/2006)

'Take care with this one, the depth gauge reads significantly lower then it actually is!' Image 1 mouseover and video sent in by Colin Leonard (07/11/2004)

Video Footage

Image 5 sent in by Adrian Bailey showing Eynsford circa. 1960

Image 6 sent in by Jim Deadman showing Eynsford circa. 1960

Grain Tower
TQ898760 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown and Colin Hargreaves (31/01/2004)

'A causeway links this abandoned Napoleonic War defensive structure, built on the tidal flats at the mouth of the Medway, to the Isle of Grain. For description and photo (including part of causeway) see here. The causeway is shown on the OS 1:25K and older i:50K, but not on the current 1:50K. It is built of stone setts, which look as if they are suffering.' Image 1 is at the end of an unsurfaced road to the left of Smithfield Road & Image 2 is a sign hanging on a large gate at the end of Smithfield Road

TR218582 (1*) Irish Bridge
Sent in by Colin and Karen Leonard (27/8/2012)

'Ickham ford (along Drill lane) was dry on our visit and looked as if it is most of the time, the road has a gentle dip with a concrete strip along the bottom. The neighbouring fields also have a shallow but dry and grassy channel'

Link to geograph

Lower Garrington
TR202563 (3*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by John Walton (19/11/2013)

'This is another Nail Bourne ford found on the road to Lower Garrington Farm close to the Well Chapel remains and Howletts Wild Animal Park.'

Patrixbourne (x2!)

TR191551 (2*) Suitable for All
TR191552 (2*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Stephen Burman (03/08/2003, 01/09/2003)

TQ518610 (4*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by John Walton (18/11/2013)

'Another ford on the River Darent at Water Lane.'

TQ800535 (1*) Suitable for All
Sent in by Nicholas Woollett (10/01/2010)

'The road although marked as a bridle path on my map is surfaced and access does no seem to be restricted'

TR127568 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Nicholas Woollett (29/04/2003)

'I saw Tonford Lane on the right leading to Tonford Manor and drove down it past houses directly to the grassy bank of the river with distinct signs of an old ford but no restrictions, marker poles or other paraphenalia that accompany a "normal ford". There were however some old railings on both sides of the river. The river is quite fast flowing with a clear gravelly bottom and would still be OK for 4 x 4 vehicles. It obviously hasn't been used properly for some time but the roads face each other on both sides and there is no good reason for it's state of disuse.'

'This ford across the Great Stour is still technically passable with a good gravel bed and indeed though fast flowing only 9" to 12" deep after some rain - though the access and exit ramps are steep, deeply rutted, muddy and thus probably for 4x4s only. However, it really doesn't go anywhere now: Ahead a tarmac path leads to a pedestrian only railway crossing although a road can indeed be seen some way beyond this; a fenced and gated cycle path is currently under construction (Oct 2010) to go in both directions parallel to the river. The path is elevated on the bank opposite Thanington with a new culvert/storm drain feeding from underneath it directly onto the small grassed area accessing the ford. (Already barely space to turn around, in future likely to be soft to boggy, too...) Pretty spot with parking for 3 or 4 vehicles on the Thanington side at the end of Tonford Lane, wooden footbridge across but no longer any rails, nor any signage apparent to indicate presence of a ford. A pity.' Kay Rouse

TQ680531 (2*) Restricted Access
Sent in by Nicholas Woollett (14/06/2004)

'Pretty country ford with footbridge, depth gauge and warning signs. Hard cobbled bottom about 6" deep and 8' wide.'

West Peckham
TQ653524 (2*) Off-Roaders Only!
Sent in by Nicholas Woollett (08/02/2004)

'I found this ford while out testing the Dellow last March and investigating RPPs - won't be allowed soon ! You will find it at 188/ 653 524. The track going to the ford is OK from Forge Farm but is very rutted for a while as it ascends the hill and then flattens out to a deep quagmire after which the track narrows and is very cambered making any further vehicular progress a No No. OK for walkers and mountain bikers. It's pity because the ford is OK.'

'To my amazement the track to this ford has recently been improved with a decent surface so although narrow it is now passable but of course the ford itself was not altered.'

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