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     Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 73 - 1959 page 167
More Notes on Kentish Roads. By F. C. Elliston-Erwood, F.S.A.

(1)   THE RECONSTRUCTION OF DEPTFORD
                       BRIDGE. 1787-1797.
A transcript of the original contract of 1789, with some illustrative extracts from the Minute Books of the New Cross Turnpike Trust.

DEPTFORD Bridge over the River Ravensborne carries the great highway into Kent from London to Dover; its importance is therefore obvious, but unfortunately it is situated in two counties., Surrey and Kent, Kent that is, before the inclusion of the north western portion in the administrative area of the London County Council. Normally all such bridges are the responsibility of the County but here divided ownership opened the door to evasion, and the Road Trust found itself saddled with the cost of upkeep and maintenance. The following extracts from the Minutes of the Trust tell the main outlines of the story.
   1787. June 30th. Deptford Bridge is reported damaged and in need of immediate attention. It is maintained that it is 

a County Bridge and an examination and report is to be made to the Quarter Sessions. Meanwhile the Trust will carry out temporary repairs.
   1788. Mar. 20th. It is reported to the Trust that the Bridge is NOT a County Bridge. An enquiry is ordered.
   1788. Apr. 27th. Legal opinion is to be obtained as to the status of the Bridge as the Trust had previously widened it and kept it in order and thereby assumed responsibility. Richard Martyr a local surveyor was asked to make a survey of the Bridge and give an estimate for its thorough repair.
   1788. May 31st. Martyrís estimate was approximately £200 for repair Widening was to be further considered.
   1788. June 28th. The estimate for widening the bridge by six feet was £500 exclusive of any excavation work. The Trustees were anxious to know whether this meant they were to maintain the bridge in perpetuity.
   1788. July 26th. John Corbett a local builder was asked for his opinion and estimate for work, specifications of which were given.

Page 167   

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