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Message started by Frances on Oct 19th, 2007 at 12:33pm

Title: Riddlesdown Recorder - pits on common
Post by Frances on Oct 19th, 2007 at 12:33pm
Re article in Riddlesdown recorder - my daughter came home from a choir practice last night shrieking "Which pits did you mean? Did you mean the bomb craters?" Apparently a long-standing local resident had firmly assured her that all those pits along the hill-top (by the drinking fountain, for example) are bomb craters - "they held the victory party in the largest one".

The interesting thing is that I'd always assumed they were craters, until an archaeologist member of the Bourne Society explained that this was probably not the case and discussed roadstone pits, dew ponds and similar phenomena. I went on calling them "craters" when my kids played in them, but dutifully referred to them as pits on all other occasions (as when cajoled into writing a piece for the Recorder). I'm rather pleased to find they really are craters!

Could all you Riddlesdowners out there please send in corrections for the next issue of Riddlesdown Recorder, so we can set this straight? I'm an incomer from Kenley, so pretty ignorant...



Title: Re: Riddlesdown Recorder - pits on common
Post by Rod on Oct 19th, 2007 at 6:33pm
Re:craters/pits-We live close to the common and were told by people who had been here during the war that they were bomb craters. In fact,we were also told that the blast from a bomb had blown the tiles off our roof,that being the reason that the houses nearest the common had different tiles to the rest of the road(Riddlesdown Rd.).Also I believe that the some of the pits are in a straight line,which would seem unlikely if they were just the source of flints. I would be interested to hear what other people know.

Title: Re: Riddlesdown Recorder - pits on common
Post by Frances on Oct 23rd, 2007 at 1:35pm
Error!! error!! - I've finally read the copy of the Recorder: should anyone have got that far, please take a pen and correct my date for the Godstone Road from 1891 to 1791...

Still wondering vaguely about the bomb craters,

a) I remember a picnic in an identical crater on the South Downs (above South Harting, Chichester way) - that surely wouldn't have been a bomb crater (or would it?) so how did it get there?

b) How come there are none on Kenley common, despite it having the aerodrome? (Filled in on the airfield itself, I guess, but around it?) Plenty of bombs fell all over both Kenley and Riddlesdown, but the only crater I can remember in Kenley (apart from the dried-up pond at the turning for the Watendon, which really is just a dried-up pond, and the occasional lime-pit that's unquestionably just that) is one I always assumed was a bomb crater in the woods between Welcomes Road and Kenley Lane. Yet Riddlesdown has that long line of them - as you say, it does rather look as though someone just offloaded a whole batch (did the road look like a runway?)

c)... and were the two in Coombe Wood bombs as well, or are they older?      

Title: Re: Riddlesdown Recorder - pits on common
Post by Alan on Apr 9th, 2008 at 8:48pm
The Riddlesdown Common wardens know about these and on one of their historic walks said these craters were not related to bombing. Apperently there is photographic evidence of their presence before the war(s). It is believed they are either chalk pits, which were used to treat alkaline soil, or perhaps flint pits to aid the building of the Roman Road. Any other information ?

Title: Re: Riddlesdown Recorder - pits on common
Post by Bruce on Apr 10th, 2008 at 4:17pm
A very interesting topic.  Looking forward to a further update when the information is available.

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