Dunton Green History
Dunton Green has a population of approximately 2,500 inhabitants. It is about 26 miles from the centre of London and it lies two and a half miles north east of central Sevenoaks in Kent. Adjacent parishes are Riverhead, with which it is combined to form an electoral ward; Chevening, Halstead, Otford and Sevenoaks Town.
Dunton Green separated from Otford to become a parish in its own right in 1908.
Miners, rich industries and a busy main road have all shaped the history of Dunton Green. In the 1860s, miners left their mark on the village when they arrived to construct Polhill railway tunnel. Two houses were converted into The Miners Arms pub for their arrival, and the drunken 'navvies' often caused disorder in the village.A water-powered corn mill, brickfields and a chalk quarry make up Dunton Green's industrial past.
The clay soil was ideal for making bricks, and in the 17th century, it is recorded that the village supplied Knole house with tiles. Longford Mill once dominated the area opposite The Miners Arms, but the gushing water that once turned the wheel is all that remains of this ancient technology.
A lido, known locally as the lagoon, was built at the mill in 1930 and was enjoyed by villagers for 22 years.
The road that slices through Dunton Green has been a headache for villagers for the past century.In 1909, the parish council sent a letter to the Home Secretary calling for an army patrol to be stationed in the village to exert some control over the "illegal and reckless driving of motor cars". On another occasion, villagers campaigned for an 8mph speed limit. But the traffic through the village did please the traders, who thrived in Dunton Green.
London Road was lined with wheelwrights, blacksmiths, carpenters, bakers and shoemakers in the mid-19th century. The main road has also moulded the village's character over the centuries, with houses hastily built to accommodate Polhill miners and other settlers.
Dunton Green's collection of buildings once earned it the title of one of the ugliest places in Kent! But the village is also scattered with appealing architecture, including St John's Church, which was built in 1890 with local bricks, the 1851 village hall, which was once a school, and the grand, white brick Broughton House.