Back to top

T: 01795 503286E:

12 Market Place, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AE

Flood in 1891

Westbrook stream rose just south of Lorenden Park, Ospringe, helped to power Faversham's Chart Mills, and was the main source of fresh water for Faversham Creek, about 3 miles to the south.

In Ospringe, close to the A2, it flowed for about 600 metres down Water Lane, which was both road and river. It was reputedly a winterbourne, though between 1956 and the early 1960s, when the section along Water Lane was culverted, it flowed steadily. It dried up soon afterwards, doubtless owing to increased demands on the aquifer.

The water flow through Chart Mills is now from a short tributary, which dries up when precipitation is low. There is also a spring in the stream-bed in front of the Mills, and water from these two sources still flows into the Creek.

The flood occurred on the evening of 20 January 1891. From 20 November there had been a 'great frost' lasting 60 days, and then snow which had fallen in the stream basin, which extends much further S than its source, started thawing. On the 20th itself there was some rainfall - 0.52 inch. Houses alongside the stream in Water Lane were flooded to a level of about 3' above the footpath - i.e. to about 3' 3" higher than the normal stream level.

No casualties, but a local relief fund was launched. There are no records of any similar floods.