Jason Coulls 18 Jul 2007
1. Does anyone know if the road/lane that used to run east/west just north of the Stone Chapel between the chapel and the present-day railway (it's long gone now) before bending round south to meet the A2 near the top of Beacon Hill ever had a name?
2. Do any maps exist that show precisely where the "beacon" was on Beacon Hill? Would I be correct in saying that it was very near the perimeter of Sandbank Wood?
Now that Google has updated the satellite imagery to something more useful, I have been trying to determine the precise line of sight of the optical telegraph. I've just corrected one of my errors (changing my "Gads Hill" from Gads Hill, Gillingham, to Gads Hill, Higham, near Rochester) and now I am working on the Faversham location again.
I'm currently working on the assumption that the optical telegraph would be located in approximately the same place as the earlier fire-based beacon, even though I've no idea where that was, or where the "chain" of those beacons went from and to.
In looking at the possible lines of sight, I am thinking the telegraph station building was here, next to Sandbank Wood and far away from the A2, as depicted in this simulation:
In this picture the yellow line is running straight to the next point at Perry Wood. The hills are also multiplied in height by a factor of three – to make it easier to see all the bumps and valleys when viewed at such shallow angles...
Arthur Percival 20 Jul 2007
At least when Henry Hatch made his will in 1534 the old road past Stone Church was known as 'the Sumpter way'.
It's not clear whether at that time it was actually a fully fledged highway, as the term sumpter is a generic one meaning 'pack-horse'. The name has been perpetuated in a short stub road at the end of Lower Road.
As to the beacon location, I thought we'd been here before, but some time when I get a moment I'll refresh my memory.