Hersden History

History of Hersden

Hersden Village was planned and constructed by the Chislet Colliery Company to house the coal miners and their families who had moved to Kent mainly from Wales, Scotland and the North to work nearby Chislet Colliery and were living in Ramsgate and the coastal towns. The Village was built in as a self contained community providing its own utilities, electricity for the houses and street lights and its own sewage farm. The Company put forward several schemes for the new village, the first record was for 200 houses in 1917, another in 1919 for 800 but by 1926 only 6 had been built, in 1928 work started on another 100 and these were completed by October 1929, it was at this point that the name of the Village was changed, formally the Village was known as Chislet Colliery Village, but as the name had been causing some confusion with the Village of Chislet being some 2 miles away, A new name has to be found . For some time the name Hersden was thought to have been suggested by Mr Griff Davies the colliery secretary he reportedly found the names of Haseden and Hersing in J k Wallenberg’s “place Names of Kent” and to avoid mispronunciation had combined the first Syllable of Hersing and the last of Haseden creating the name Hersden, on closer examination the name Hersden appears on the mp of 1877 relating to a farmstead later known as Walnut Tree farm (now the sewage farm) and on a field to the west of the farm sloping down to Westbere as Hersden Hill, whether this is coincidence or not may ever be known. In 1950 Bridge Blean Rural District Council built another 90 houses on the North side of the original Village, apart from a few bungalows built off The Avenue no further building work took place until after the closure of the colliery in 1969. In its prime the Village boasted 3 Churches the first a Methodist Church then St Albans (Church of England) and St Dunstans (Roman Catholic) the Methodist Chapel has now become an excellent Neighbourhood centre and an occasional Churches together place of worship and only St Dunstans remains as a fully functioning Church, St Albans was demolished in 1978 in preparation for the St Albans Housing Project. There were three general stores one incorporating a butchers, a drapers shop, Post office, and a fish shop, as with all Village other Villages all but the general store incorporating the post office have disappeared, the Chislet Colliery Welfare Club is now the only link with the colliery and the one Public House “the Black Horse” built in 1931 in an agreement with the colliery company and in early years the social centre of the Village is now a Chinese Restaurant. The 1970s saw the construction of St Albans council housing project and the 80s and 90s Maple Gardens Private housing. The major change has come in the new millennium, with the construction of the Chislet Gardens to the west of the Village with a build of almost 300 Private houses.

Ross Llewellyn

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