A stroll through the old Bifrons estate and back through Patrixbourne


A stroll through the old Bifrons estate and back through Patrixbourne
Duration: 1hr 30mins. Difficulty: Easy. Pub stop: No. NOT SUITABLE FOR DOGS
A stroll through the old Bifrons estate
and back through Patrixbourne village
3. Walk straight across the grass towards a
corner which juts towards you. At the
hedgerow circle right a little then enter
between the trees to a field. Continue on
your way as if you had carried on in a
straight line across the recreation ground
and head for trees bordering the A2.
4. Arriving at a style, cross it then turn
left and follow the path along beside the
busy A2. Now the main route between
London and Dover, this replaces the route
through Bridge, which lies on Watling
Street, the old Roman Road to London.
Starting at the Red Lion
Public House in Bridge
1. Walk up the High Street towards the
centre of the village. The first building
you pass (it has a shop frontage) will be
what was the Post Office at the time of
the first world war, and it is from here that
Lord Kitchener, who lived not far away,
sent orders to the front. Walking on you
will cross the Nailbourne using the bridge there are many places in Britain with
which gave the village its name. Although Bridge in the name, this is the only one
simply called Bridge.
2. Continue up the High Street towards
the The White Horse Inn. In times past
this was the main coaching house for the
village. Just before the inn, turn right and
follow the path through The Shambles.
Cross Riverside Road in the modern
housing estate and continue along the
footpath until you arrive at the recreation
ground football pitch.
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5. At the next style, cross then go through
gates and under the A2 bridge. Next, turn
sharp left and continue along on the other
side of the A2. This is not well marked.
6. As you approach the edge of the field
you will meet a track going ahead and to
the right. Follow it right.
7. You are now approaching the site of
the old Bifrons House, once one of the
largest country houses in the area. It was
built in the 17th Century by a John Balgar
(or Balgrave) after he inherited a large sum
of money from his father. During the late
18th century the fine Jacobean house,
shown below in a contemporary painting 7,
was replaced by a rather more plain 18th
century one 7A. However, even this did
not stand the test of time. The house was
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Duration: 1hr 30mins. Difficulty: Easy. Pub stop: No. NOT SUITABLE FOR DOGS
Bifrons House in Jacobean times in
a painting now at the Yale Museum
The Street to the quaint St Mary’s church.
Originally constructed in the late 11th or
early 12th century, this church, though
extended and restored several times over
the years, still retains some of the unique
construction detail of the original build.
The tower is a late 12th century addition.
Some of the fine detailing on the building
requisitioned by the army during the Second
World War and suffered an unexplained
fire which destroyed it.
8. As you approach barns on the right,
look for a style on your left. You can cross
into fields to follow the footpath, but it
actually follows the track round, so for
convenience, you can stay on the track if
you prefer.
As you walk you may notice large buildings
behind trees on your right. These are the
stable blocks of the old house.
9. Approaching a white painted gate lodge
ahead, the footpath rejoins the track. Follow
it to the lodge.
10. At Middle Lodge, admire the ornate
brickwork of the chimneys, then turn right
and walk past a mini roundabout down the
road into the village of Patrixbourne. This
historic village was thriving at the time of
the Norman invasion of Britain, although
at that time it was called Born. The manor
was then taken by a rich Norman family,
probably called Patric, from the Calvados
region of France, hence Patricsborn.
11. Proceeding down The Street you will
notice a series of quirky buildings, some
with unusual construction. Look out for
the appropriately named Elephant and
Lion Cottage with its ornate wooden
carvings. Barton and Court House are
Tudor houses and another of interest is
Sondes House with its rather unique
Dutch gables.
12. At the junction with Keeper’s Hill,
notice the ford and, to the left, Old Palace
Road which leads to what was once the
home of the Archbishops of Canterbury,
but now only the gate lodge remains.
13. However, our walk continues round
is worn and damaged, possibly even
deliberately, by Cromwellian troops who
attacked the Archbishop’s Palace, just
along the road at Bekesbourne in 1641.
14. Leaving the church, continue on this
road back towards Bridge.
You may wish to pause to admire the
ornate bridge in fields on your right. This
once formed part of the drive to the old
stately home.
Continue back to the Red Lion at Bridge and
we hope you have enjoyed your walk.
What you see will of course depend on
the season, so it is a good idea to repeat
the walk at different times of the year.
If you have any suggestions or comments
you would like to make about this guide
please email us at the address below.
Email: [email protected]