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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ightham Manor, near Sevenoaks, Kent - Free Open Day. Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent open Day. Hoppers, Five Oak Green Heritage open days.St Margaret of Antioch's Church, Darenth Hill, Darenth, Dartford, Kent, Open Day

Ightham Manor, near Sevenoaks, Kent - Free Open Day:10Sept 2011.

© Copyright Oast House Archive and licensed for reuse
             under this Creative Commons Licence
Ightham Mote is a moated medieval manor house dating from the early part of the 14th-century with additions and alterations. The earliest building phase included the Great Hall, Crypt, Old Chapel and two Solars.

If your ancestors lived in the area this manor house would have had an influence on their lives. A Grade I listed building and in part a Scheduled Ancient Monument is now owned by the National Trust and is normally open to the public for a entrance fee. But on Saturday 10th September: 1030-1700 admission is free as part of Heritage open days Further details about Ightham Moat can also be found at History of Ightham Moat

Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent open Day. 

  © Copyright Stephen Dawson and licensed for reuse
     under this Creative Commons Licence

Also on 10 September Knole House will be open free to the public. Visitor centre, orangery, shop & tearoom 1030-1700 House open 1200-1600.

Another House that would have had an influence on the people of Sevenoaks  for the past 500 years. 13 rooms remain much as they were in the 18th century, when they were laid out to impress visitors with the Sackvilles' wealth.
The walls were built of hard Kent ragstone; housing a collection of exquisite, fragile furniture as well as silver, textiles and paintings collected over hundreds of years. Many of the objects in the state apartments tell the story of the royal houses, including the great, lost Whitehall Palace.  Knole is set at the heart of the only remaining medieval deer park in Kent.
Details can be found at Heritage Open Day: Knole  and National Trust: Knole
Hoppers, Five Oak Green Heritage open days:  Thursday 8th September: 1000-1600, Tour 1900 Friday 9th September: 1000-1500 Sunday 11th September: 1000-1600.

Not to far from Sevenoaks, at Tonbridge. Originally it was a row of farm cottages. The building has stood for 400 years set among the hop fields of Kent. In the19th century it was the Rose and Crown beer house, and had a bowling alley in the back hall. By 1910 the property was acquired by an East End charity and became the Little Hoppers Hospital.

Pre Booking is required for Thursday and Friday.  Details can be found at Heritage Open Days: Hopper and Hoppers

© Copyright David Anstiss and licensed for reuse
under this Creative Commons Licence.

St  Margaret of Antioch's Church, Darenth Hill, Darenth, Dartford, Kent, DA2 7QY: Open Day September 10th 2011. 10.00am-16.00pm
A Grade II listed, Anglo-Saxon building, dating back to 940 AD. Roman tiles in walls, internationally famous font and wall paintings dated 12th century. Heritage Open Day: St Margaret and NWKFHS Gazetter

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Derelict London. Revised opening hours for the London Metropolitan Archives. French Street Non-Conformist Cemetery MI's.

Derelict London.

An unusual but interesting site that may be of use in filling in the background of your family history. Though primarily dealing with London locations some former Kent areas, such as Woolwich and Greenwich are included.

The site is a photographic record of  derelict areas. 99% of these pictures were taken by Paul Talling during many miles of walkabouts around London. There are many categories with many photographs, e.g. Hospitals, Pubs, Waterways, Markets. Derelict London.com

Revised opening hours for the London Metropolitan Archives

Following the significant number of responses to our User Consultation, many of which expressed concern about the initial proposal to close on Saturdays, have announced that from 2012 The LMA is now planning to open the 2nd Saturday of each month, this will be reviewed after 12 months.

Due to major lift refurbishment works the last open Saturday in 2011 will be 22 October, preceding our stocktaking closure. The new Saturday opening schedule will therefore start in January 2012. From Monday 14 November 2011 (following our re-opening after stocktaking) there changes to the weekday openings. LMA will close on Fridays, but there will be an extra late night opening on Wednesdays (as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays) until 7.30 pm.

Full details can be found at City of London's Archives

New Project. French Street Non-Conformist Cemetery MI's.

Permission had been given to index this private burial ground with links to Bessels Green.  A plot plan has been prepared with an ordnance survey map comparison, MIs photographed and stones noted.  When completed the project will be published and available to purchase on  the NWK Family History Society Web site.

The details will be on the North West Kent Family History Society web site when the MI's will be available.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Plumstead Stories-including Woolwich & Districts. Archives for London seminar, 'London's Local Archives - the Shape of Things to Come'. London Footprints.

Plumstead Stories-including Woolwich & Districts.

If you have ancestors or family from the Woolwich, Plumstead this site will be of great interest. It consists of photographs and history of the areas plus individual stories of people who lived in Plumstead and Woolwich from the early 1900's onwards.

People are invited to send any early photo(s), of your family, friends, neighbours, of your local area, shop(s), street.  Also stories of childhood memories, of long summer days, of old school days, of friends and family, as told from ordinary folks early recollections.

Many have been published on the website, but a series of books have also been published entitled Common Folk, by Colin Weightman. Details can be found on the site of how to order the books.

It is a site that you can happily wander round and find information about the area and some of its inhabitants. It can be found at Plumstead Stories - including Woolwich and District.  (with thanks to the North West Kent Family History Society Journal Editor for information about this site).

Archives for London seminar, 'London's Local Archives - the Shape of Things to Come'.

The Archives for London is holding a seminar on September 8th, 6pm-7.30pm at at London Metropolitan Archives - Huntley Room, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB.

Entry is free to AfL members, or £2 for non-members (payable on the door). To book a place
e-mail  Jeff Gerthardt

London Footprints.

London-Footprints provides details of walks that you can take round various places in London that your ancestors may have lived in.  Woolwich, Sydenham, Eltham and Mottingham are just a few in the NWKFHS area.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Swanscombe, Kent, Community Forum with talk by local historian Christopher Bull-Free to attend. The Marriage Locator-Cracking the code of the GRO Marriage Index. Canterbury LDS Family History Centre to close for 8 - 12 months. Canterbury Cathederal Archives also to close for 7 months.

The Greening the Gateway Kent and Medway Innovation Centre is organising a Caring for Our Towns and Countryside Community Forum on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at Heritage Community Hall, Craylands Lane, Swanscombe DA10 0LP. Which includes a talk by Local Historian Christopher Bull  entitled An Armchair Guide to Swanscombe.

BOOKING IS REQUIRED: To reserve your free place, you can Email or phone 01634 337713

The event is supported by Kent County Council, Dartford Borough Council and Gravesham Borough Council.

The full Programme for the meeting is:

5.45pm-6.15pm:   Registration and refreshments
6.15pm-6.30pm:   Introduction to Swanscombe Heritage Park: Margaret Bull, Chair of the Friends of SHP
6.30pm-7.15pm:   Walking tour of Swanscombe Heritage Park: Led by the Friends of
Swanscombe Heritage Park
7.15pm-7.30pm:   Refreshments
7.30pm-8.15pm:   An Armchair Guide to Swanscombe: Local Historian Christoph Bull
8.15pm-9.00pm:   From Weeds to Green Flag in Four Years - How the Friends of Broomhill Engaged Communities and tackled Antisocial Behaviour: Odette Buchanan, Chair of the Friends of Broomhill Park, Strood
9.00pm-9.30pm:   Discussion and questions.

The Marriage Locator-Cracking the code of the GRO Marriage Index.

If you have the reference for a marriage quoting the reference (year, quarter, volume number and page) from the GRO Marriage Index this might help you save money.

This marriage locator can help you find the Anglican church where the marriage took place, and where the church Marriage Register has been deposited  in the local County Record Office. You can visit the appropriate CRO and look at the actual Marriage Register that your ancestors signed. Or if it is one of the Parishes available on Ancestry, findmypast etc and you have a subscription you can download the marriage certificate.          

Currently the present fee for ordering a marriage certificate from the GRO is £9.25 for each certificate. If you need more than one this site has the potential to save you a considerable amount. This is a developing site and more data is continuously being added, so far there are just under 270,000 records. So if your details are not yet covered it is worthwhile checking back on a regular basis. It can be found at The Marriage Locator

Canterbury LDS Family History Centre to close for 8 - 12 months. Canterbury Cathederal Archives also to close for 7 months.

The Canterbury LDS Family History Centre is to close at the end of August for 8 to 12 months to undergo refurbishment. The LDS Gillingham centre will remain open, their hours are now 10am - 2pm.

Canterbury Cathedral Archives & Library is to close to the public from 5th to 16th September 2011 inclusive. The closure is in order for them to undertake vital work on the collections. It will also close again on 31 January 2012 for approximately 7 months to carry out essential repairs. 


Saturday, 13 August 2011

Erith, Kent, Museum. Northumberland Heath, Erith, Kent. Centre for Kentish Studies and East Kent Archives Centre Closures and move to a microfilm/microfiche only service .

Erith, Kent, Museum.

If you had ancestors or family in the Erith area of Kent this site will be of interest. Managed by the Erith Museum Group on Behalf of Bexley Council it is an example of local people and volunteers working together to save an important resource.

 In 1998 it was feared that the Museum would be closed. A successful public campaign by the local community over  two years lead to the renewed support of the Local Council and the management of the museum being handed over to the present volunteer group. This has resulted in increase in the number of people using the museum. Erith Museum Website

Northumberland Heath, Erith, Kent.

At Northumberland Heath Village there are photographs and outline history of the area. Originally an agricultural area by the Victorian times it had grown and the coming of the railway in 1849 was to result in further growth.

Centre for Kentish Studies.

The CKS has announced the following  short term closures at the Centre for Kentish Studies and East Kent Archives Centre:

29/08/11 to 03/09/11
24/10/11 to 29/10/11
30/01/12 to 04/02/12

They have also announced that as part of the preparations for the move to the new Centre, they will be moving to a microfilm/microfiche only service at the Centre for Kentish Studies from 22 August 2011. If you have any questions, you can call the Centre for Kentish Studies on 01622 694363 or check for further details at CKS Website.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

HHARP, 19th century children’s hospital records Free to searh and view. Bromley Vaccinators' Registers, 1899-1930. Bexley, Kent Hospital-Indexing project of Minute books 1901-1939. St Alfege Hospital Greenwich, 1884. Stone House Hospital - Dartford Kent, founded 1862. Herb Garret of St Thomas Church, St Thomas Hospital-Oldest in Europe.

Health and our Ancestors.

Our ancestors health often seemed a matter of luck. Infectous diseases, high child mortality, poor living condition and diet were all part of the dangers they faced. To help them were comparitively sparse and poor medical help. Doctors costs were beyond many and the hospital facilities were not readily availbale to all. Where hospital care was available it often left a lot to be desired by our standards. The medical provision given by the Workhouses to the poor and destitute left even more to be desired. Mental Health was another problem for families and the care and help given was often very limited and more concerned with locking people up or keeping people away from the community.

It is almost certain that an ancestor or someone in the family suffered from disease or illhealth and that some of their children did not make it into adulthood. At the same time the hospitals provided work for many of our ancestors. Doctors, nurses, porters, gardeners, laboures and builders not forgetting those who provided food and materials for the hospitals.

HHARP, 19th century children’s hospital records.

The Database holds some 120,000 individual admision records of children between 1852 and 1914 at three London hospitals: the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street, the Evelina Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease. The records include children from Kent.

The records are free to search and are free to view. If you wish to search for more than 5 names you will need to register, but registration is free and you can search the records with no limit on the number of searches. There is also a collection of articles on the early history of the hospitals, pen-portraits of personalities who inhabited them and a gallery of images.

The site has an expanding database and has grown to include the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow from 1883  to 1903.

The site can be found at  HHARP 19th Century Children's Hospital Records

Bromley Vaccinators' Registers.

The NWKFHS CD of Bromley Vaccinator's Registers is of interest if your ancestors lived in the Bromley, Kent area from 1899 to 1930. They or their children might appear in the six registers, ranging from 1899 to 1930. They contain the names & addresses of approximately 3000 persons of all ages vaccinated in the local Union building (not inmates).

Full details of the CD and how to order can be found at NWKFHS Miscellaneous Publications

Bexley, Kent Hospital.

The NWKFHS are in the process of Indexing Personal names extracted from the minute books 1901-39 of Bexley Hospital (which was closed some time ago and the site re-developed). The originals will be deposited at Bexley Local Studies. These are not patients records but of the staff and contractors employed by the hospital. There is a brief outline of the project at Hospital Records 

At Bexley Hospital there is a short history of Bexley (Kent) Mental Hospital (built 1898) which gives details of  a Victorian through to the 21st century Asylum. There are also photographs of the surviving buildings. At London County Asylums there are more photographs plus a link to an aerial photograph taken in the 1970's.

St Alfege Hospital Greenwich, 1884.

At St Alfege Hospital there is a also a short history and details of the Hospital which gives some interesting background to the hospital, especialy if one of your ancestors worked or was treated there.

Both of these pages are part of the Lost Hospitals of London site and give details and photograph of hospital not just within NW Kent but for the whole of London.

Stone House Hospital - Dartford Kent. Founded 1862. City of London Asylum.

At Stone House are details and photographs of this Asylum originaly built to receive Paupers.

Herb Garret of St Thomas Church, St Thomas Hospital-Oldest in Europe.

At Herb Garret St Thomas Church is a site which will give you a lot of information about what a hospital was like from the 1700's. Including  the surgical ward constructed in the 1820's.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Science Museum-Help to create a Gallery of your Ancestors. Free to search British Coastguards 1841-1901. Lighthouse Personnel in England, Wales and the Channel Islands, 1841-1910. Help to solve a Maritime mystery dating back to 1816.

Science Museum-Help to create a Gallery of your Ancestors.

Later this year the Science Museum is opening a temporary exhibition that will explore the relevance of their collections to family historians. They are looking for people who could help to develop it.

The Science Museum wants this part of the display to be a ‘co-creation’ with collaborators playing a big part in developing the content of the case. They would need contributing label text, helping select relevant objects from the Museums collections, but also bringing to the display personal objects, images and anecdotes relating to your ancestor’s work to really bring their story to life. They give some examples of what they are looking for:

Scientists and research workers, Communications workers – telegraphist, cable layer, messenger boy or postal worker, Medical workers, Miners, Manufacturing workers, Textile workers, Domestic servants – did they have to come to grips with the new ‘labour saving’ technologies?, Transport workers, Agriculture and food production workers.

Full details and how you could contribute can be found at Science Museum - help create a gallery of your Ancestors

Free to search British Coastguards 1841-1901.

The sea has always played an important part in the history and the life of people in Kent. Our Kentish ancestors can be found in various places in Kent and elsewhere in the country and abroad working either on vessels or in someway connected with the sea.

At British Coast Guards hosted on Genuki is a detailed index to coastguards found mainly in census records. This index was provided by Stan Waight and colleagues and is free to search. Listed in these records are men born or who served in Kent, plus details of any family. You can search by surname or browse the index.

Lighthouse Personnel in England, Wales and the Channel Islands, 1841-1910.

Also free to search at Lighthouse Keepers tables that have been produced in the course of the project are an alphabetical Table of Keepers and a Table of by county. They are accompanied by a Location map of the lighthouse stations by county. Once again where details are known the wives and children are also included. You will find people born and or serving in Kent amongst the records. These indexes have also been compiled by Stan Waight and colleagues and are on the Genuki site.

Help to solve a Maritime mystery dating back to 1816.

Though not connected with Kent the Norwegian Archives are appealing for help to solve a mystery.

The National Maritime Museum has passed on a plea for help by The Regional State Archives in Trondheim. They have a number of letters that were found, washed ashore in a box, at Orlandet, Norway. The box contained clothes and books, and had at one time been on board the British ship Mercator and belonged to John Lambeth and his son. Aside from what little information can be gleaned from the manuscripts themselves, nothing more is known about the Lambeth family or the Mercator.

At English Letters Mystery are full details, plus one major clue. an envelope with the address to John’s son Charles among the letters. Charles was in charge of John’s company back in London. His address in 1816 was 16 Britannia Street... full address can be seen on the original letter at Address on Letter