Hotel plan offers chance for a dig
Following on your item in the Kentish Gazette for February 1 [£5.5 million project to turn manor into boutique hotel], readers will want to know that Bridge Place was built in 1638 by Arnold Braems, a customs collector in Dover, on the site of the Court Lodge of Bridge Hundred.
Part of the undercroft of that house was retained and was visible until a few years ago. Bridge Place as it stands now is however but one third of Braems’ original, the rest having been demolished 300 years or so ago, while many of the surviving original features of the house were unfortunately destroyed in a fire in 1971.
The proposed new build as illustrated, whatever its perceived merits as an adjunct to the house, seems to occupy the site of the demolished two-thirds, and to cover part of what was an elaborately landscaped garden, evidence of which can be seen in aerial photographs.
An opportunity arises now for a proper archaeological survey of the area before building commences, given that the whole of the Nailbourne valley has proved to be of archaeological interest.
Indeed, remains might even be found of the medieval water-mill that almost certainly graced the site. I wonder therefore if any thought at all has been given to this long history, and if not, why not? MM Raraty President and honorary archivist, Bridge & District History Society