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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 126   2006 page 404

Researches and Discoveries

National School at Horton Kirby. If it was felt desirable to encourage the admission of the lower orders to Christian worship, albeit through a separate entrance, it was also felt advisable to ‘communicate to the poor, by means of a summary mode of education such knowledge and habits as are sufficient to guide them through life in their proper stations and train them to the performance of their religious duties by an early discipline’.15 The Vestry having acquired the site from the landlord, The Queen’s College, Oxford, Cresy submitted some rather perfunctory plans to the diocese in 1857 for a neo-Gothic structure typical of the many such schools built at that period under the auspices of the National Society.16 It is still in use, as a Field Centre.
   Cresy’s expertise in sanitary engineering led to his appointment by Edwin Chadwick as a Superintending Inspector under the 1848 Public Health Act, which resulted in the publication of Reports on his ‘Inquiries into the Sewerage, Drainage, and Supply of Water, and the Sanitary Conditions of the Inhabitants’ of sixteen towns and parishes in the South and Midlands. He also gave assistance to his friend William Ranger, who carried out the inquiry into Dartford in 1849, satirised in nauseating detail in the verses attributed to William Jardine or Richard Tippetts.17 These Reports initiated schemes that brought about massive improvements in mortality and morbidity rates, not to mention comfort and amenity. Another improvement with which Cresy was associated proved unsuccessful. He was recruited by his old friend George Taylor, consulting engineer to a railway company, to assist him in a survey for a Darent Vale Light Railway linking Dartford and Sevenoaks. However, Taylor’s eloquent advocacy failed to overcome local opposition.18
   Like many contemporary architects, educated in the Classics and the study of ancient monuments, Cresy had strong antiquarian interests. He joined the British Archaeological Association on its formation in 1843 although he did not attend its first Congress at Canterbury, to which he contributed a paper on Barfreston Church.19 His son’s paper, a translation with notes of the monk Gervase’s account of the burning and reparation of Canterbury Cathedral in 1174, was presented by Professor Willis. As long ago as 1820 Cresy and Taylor had contributed plans and sections to John Britton’s volume on Canterbury in his Cathedral Antiquities of England (1821-3). Cresy negotiated with Roach Smith, a founder of the Association, on behalf of his friend A.J. Dunkin, the Dartford printer, to undertake the editorship of the Proceedings. Cresy corresponded regularly with Dunkin, and advised him at length on his projected new edition of Hasted’s History of Kent.20 As well as archaeological papers, including an account of excavations at Eynsford Castle in 1835,21 Cresy produced a major illustrated study of Stone Church, near Gravesend, for the Topographical Society.22 This was important not simply as a record, but for its elaboration of his original theoretical speculations on medieval

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