- Hoo Peninsula
The Hoo Peninsula is a
peninsulain Englandseparating the estuaries of the rivers Thames and Medway. It is dominated by a line of sand and clay hills surrounded by an extensive area of marshland composed of alluvial silt. The name "Hoo" is the Old English word for "spur of land".The Place Names of Kent,Judith Glover,1976,Batsford. ISBN 0905270 614 ]
The Romans have been credited with the first two attempts at building a
sea wall. The subsequent draining of the marshes had a twofold benefit in that pastureland was created which supported sheep; and the local malaria-bearing mosquitoes were deprived of their breeding grounds.
The area is rich in archaeology.
Bronze Ageimplements and Jutishcemeteries have been found on the peninsula, and Roman pottery at Cooling. It was once the point of departure across the ancient Saxon fording point over the River Thamesto Essex.
Much of the peninsula lies in one of the Saxon divisions of England called 'hundreds': here it is the 'Hundred of Hoo'. To be precise, the Hundred comprised the parishes and churches of Hoo St Werburgh, High Halstow, St Mary's Hoo, Allhallows and part of Stoke. The
Isle of Grain, then a complete island, was in the Hundred of Gillingham; the remainder of the parish of Stoke was in the Hundred of Shamel. (Notes from "The Hundred of Hoo" (Ralph Arnold, Constable 1947)) ] William the Conquerorgranted his half-brother, Odo, the large estate of Hoo.
The Peninsula's marshlands are part of the
North Kent Marshesand now form the a major part of two protected areas: the Thames Estuary and Marshlands, and the Medway Estuary and Marshes. The Thames Estuary area covers the 15 miles (24 km) from Gravesend to the Isle of Grain; the Medway Area 15 miles (24 km) from Rochester to the Isle of Grain: a total of 38 square miles (98 km²) of marshlands. Both are Sites of Special Scientific Interest ( SSSI) and Special Protected Areas (SPA). They include coastal grazing marsh, intertidal mudflats, saltmarsh and lagoons. On the line of hills lies the Northwood Hill National Nature Reserve.
The Thames and Medway Canal
The Rivers Thames and Medway were joined by the eight-mile long
Thames & Medway Canal, the construction of which started in 1805. With basins providing ports and access to the two rivers at Gravesend and Strood, the canal passed through a two-mile Higham tunnel, broken in the centre by a shaft to allow boats to pass. Construction was difficult and expensive and it was not completed until 1824. Shortly afterwards, the tunnel became part of the railway linking Higham with Strood. The line of this now-silted canal can be considered a convenient boundary marking the landward edge of the peninsula.
Engineers and surveyors both governmental and private undertook a consultation and subsequent construction of the recently introduced Medway Towns bypass, which drove a link route directly over the tunnel, causing geological instability. New housing built along the line of that route has further affected its stability. As a result, the tunnel was closed to trains for the duration of 2004 for re-lineing and has now re-opened.
The only main road is the A228, which crosses the old Roman London Road (also called
Watling Street, now the A2) at Strood and then follows the high land eastwards. It meets the Medway Towns Northern Bypass (A289) at the bottom of Four Elms Hill and climbs to Chattenden, bypassing Hoo St Werburghand High Halstow, before crossing to the Isle of Grain. Within the Peninsula this road is named the Ratcliffe Highway.
The other principal route on the peninsula, the B2000, heads north to Cliffe on the edge of Cliffe marshes, part of the
North Kent Marshes. This is a winding country road, much used by industrial transport serving the larger farms, including Mockbeggar Farm, and the industrial jetties onto the River Thames. The B2000 passes through Cliffe Woods under the name of Town Road, and enters Cliffe, where it becomes first Station Road, from the location of the now vanished station of the Hundred of Hoo railway, and then Church Street. At the northern edge of the village the road becomes Pond Hill and leads down the cliff to an unmetalled track on the marshes.
The B2000 is extensively rural in nature with several interesting old buildings along its route. There remain a Grade II-listed red brick farmhouse dating from the 17th century and its barn, 25 yards (25 m) south of the farmhouse, and a Grade II building but timber-framed and weatherboarded. Another Grade II-listed farmhouse is Fenn Street Farmhouse, timber-framed and medieval in origin, with parts dated to the 15th century. Its age may be judged by the fact that in 1760 the building was refaced.
There are numerous other minor roads on the higher land, and a number of roads and trackways across the marshes, some of which eventually reach the sea walls.
The Hundred of Hoo Railway
In 1878, Henry Pye with a deputation of other local farmers met the South Eastern Railway Company with a request for a new railway to be built in the area. From this meeting a new company was established, the Hundred of Hoo Railway Company. The SER saw it as part of the development of continental traffic, and the ferry terminal at what was named Port Victoria was built as terminus of the line. The traffic did not materialise and that section of the line and the line beyond Grain closed in 1951.
The first part of the line to be opened was in March 1882, from Cliffe to Sharnal Street. This was later extended east to the Isle of Grain. Sharnal Street was the larger of the two original stations and was provided with good sidings, where the local farmers were able to load their produce to be transported directly to the London markets. It was also at Sharnal Street that telegram and mail collections were effected.
14 May 1932a branch railway was opened to the Thames estuary beyond the ancient village of Allhallows. It was intended to become a riverside resort of some size, and grandiose plans were formed. The new area was given the name of Allhallows-on-Sea. Little came of the scheme, and today all signs of that branch have disappeared, save for the water tower which supplied locomotives at the terminus -it is now a listed building. There is a holiday village on the site where the resort was intended to be."Isle of Grain Railways", Adrian Gray, Oakwood Press, 1974. ]
The peninsula is home to many land-hungry industries, including three power stations (Grain, Kingsnorth and Damhead Creek), a gas import plant and a container terminal. Most of these are on the
Isle of Grain, but Kingsnorth lies on the south edge of the peninsula, up the River Medway from Grain. It opened in 1967 and burns coalor oil according to the economics of each. As with others in this area, the site has proved challenging. During building the reclaimed marshland was found to have poor load-bearing properties. Kingsnorth's ground level was some four feet below the highest tide even then, and tide levels are expected to rise another three feet in coming years. For the planners, these disadvantages were outweighed by the proximity to London, the availability of cooling water from the River Medway, and deep-water berthing for oil tankers and colliers.
Villages in the Hundred of Hoo
* "Kingsnorth", Public Relations Branch, Central Electricity Generating Board SE Region, c1979
* [http://pressreleases.eon-uk.com/blogs//eonukpressreleases/archive/2008/03/31/E.ON-enters-UK-Government_2700_s-Carbon-Capture-and-Storage-competition.aspx EON press release] On future plans for the Grain and Kingsnorth powerstations.
* [http://www.multimap.com/map/photo.cgi?client=public&X=580000&Y=170000&width=500&height=300&gride=573377&gridn=175662&srec=0&coordsys=gb&db=&pc=&zm=0&scale=200000&up.x=190&up.y=7 Multimap] Satellite image of the peninsula
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Look at other dictionaries:
Hoo — is used in placenames in the east of England to indicate coastal peninsulas and promontories. It appears in:* Fort Hoo, a fort on an island in the River Medway, Kent * Hoo St Werburgh and Cliffe at Hoo on the Hoo peninsula in Kent * Hoo, Suffolk… … Wikipedia
Hoo Junction — is a rail yard on the North Kent Line, operated by EWS. The yard is situated between Gravesend and Higham, at the junction with the freight only single track line to the Hoo Peninsula (the Hundred of Hoo Railway). An up and down staff halt… … Wikipedia
Hoo St Werburgh — infobox UK place country = England latitude= 51.4233 longitude= 0.5583official name= Hoo St Werburgh civil parish = Hoo St Werburgh static static image caption = Hoo seen from across the Medway population = 7356 unitary england= Medway… … Wikipedia
Hundred of Hoo Railway — The Hundred of Hoo Railway is a railway line in Kent, following the North Kent Line from Gravesend before diverging at Hoo Junction near Shorne Marshes and continuing in an easterly direction across the Hoo Peninsula, passing near the villages of … Wikipedia
Hundred of Hoo School — Infobox UK school name = The Hundred of Hoo Comprehensive School size = latitude = 51.42172 longitude = 0.55018 dms = dms motto = motto pl = established = 1956 approx = true closed = c approx = type = religion = president = head label =… … Wikipedia
St Mary Hoo — infobox UK place country = England latitude= 51.4667 longitude= 0.6083official name= St Mary Hoo civil parish =St Mary Hoo population = 244 unitary england= Medway lieutenancy england = Kent region= South East Englandconstituency westminster=… … Wikipedia
High Halstow — Coordinates: 51°27′00″N 0°34′30″E / 51.45°N 0.575°E / 51.45; 0.575 … Wikipedia
Isle of Grain — For the peninsula sometimes mistakenly called the Isle of Grain, see the Hoo Peninsula .infobox UK place country = England latitude= 51.46 longitude= 0.73 static static image caption=Grain church official name= Isle of Grain civil parish = Isle… … Wikipedia
Allhallows, Kent — infobox UK place country = England latitude= 51.4735 longitude= 0.6562official name= Allhallows civil parish = Allhallows static population = 1649 unitary england= Medway lieutenancy england = Kent region= South East Englandconstituency… … Wikipedia
Medway — This article is about the Medway towns in England. For others, see Medway (disambiguation). Medway (Unitary Authority) Geography Status: Unitary, Borough Region … Wikipedia