Dartford

OS Grid Reference: TQ5474
The 1841 population was 5,619

"Dartford, anciently named Darentford, from its situation on the river Dart, or Darent, has been a place of consideration from the time of the Romans, occupying an important station at the crossing of the river by the Great Watling street from London to Dover, and having navigable access to the Thames by Dartford Creek, and water power in the upper Dart, and its feeder, the Cray. It is now a station on the North Kent railway. This town lies in a narrow valley, in Axton and Dartford Hundred, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, West Kent. It is the head of a Poor Law Union, to which it gives its name, comprising a large adjacent population. The parish contains 4,101 acres of land, and 185 of water. The population in 1801 was 2,406, and in 1851, 6,054. It is 15 miles from London east by road and 17 by railway, 2 from the Thames, 7 west from Gravesend, 3 from Erith, and 3 from Greenhithe. The trade is considerable. Dartford Creek exports the manufactured and agricultural produce, also chalk, lie and whiting, and imports coals and timber for the neighbouring district. On the river are important powder mills, and the extensive foundries and works of Messrs. Hall, the eminent engineers. It has also corn, paper and oil mills, and establishments for calico and silk printing. There is a manufactory for printing machines, where the 'Times' machine was made, also one for Bank of England note moulds; likewise brewery, malting, brickfields and manure works. It is a great market for the neighbouring district, and has a well-attended corn-market, held on Saturdays. A fair is held on the 2nd of August in each year. ... Here the process of paper-making was introduced by Sir John Spelman, a German, in the 16th century, and is now carried on extensively by Mr Thomas Harry Saunders; and in 1590 the process of rolling and slitting iron, by Godfrey Box, a Brabanter. ..." 1852?

Administrative Units

Dartford fell within the Hundred of Dartford & Wilmington. Its 19th century Registration District & Poor Law Union was Dartford.
Probate Jurisdiction was Rochester to 1845, PCC 1846-57.

See NWKFHS publications West Kent Sources and School Records for further information.

Dartford Kent Map North West Kent Family History Society

Census Publications

  • 1851 Name Index and Page Images published on CD-Rom as part of CD8 (Dartford Registration District).
  • 1851 Name Index (only) published on microfiche as part of Volume V (Dartford Registration District).
  • 1891 Transcript published on CD-Rom as part of CD3 (Dartford Registration District).


For ordering details see Census CD-ROMs on the Publication List page.

Church and Chapels (pre 1910)

Dartford, Holy Trinity

Ancient Parish church.

Original Registers

These date from 1561.
Transcript published by Rob Cottrell (Microfiche Ref. C8,10,68) See Thames & Medway Riverside Parish Register Publications.
Images published by NWKFHS (CD-Rom Ref. OR1-4) See Parish Register Publications.

Holy Trinity - Jul 2006
Holy Trinity Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Dartford, St Alban, St Albans Rd

Church built 1880, rebuilt 1902; parish created 1903 from Holy Trinity.

Original Registers

These date from 1903.
Images published by NWKFHS (CD-Rom Ref. OR21-23) See Parish Register Publications.

St Alban - Jul 2006
St Alban Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Dartford, Christ Church, Christchurch Rd, West Hill

Church built 1909; parish created 1910 from Holy Trinity.

Original Registers

These date from 1910.
Images published by NWKFHS (CD-Rom Ref. OR20) See Parish Register Publications.

Christ Church - Sep 2006
St Alban Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Roman Catholic: Dartford, St Anselm, West Hill

Mission opened 1866; church built 1900, demolished 1975 for Priory shopping centre; rebuilt 1973-5 on West Hill.

Original Registers

These date from 1866.

St Anselm - Sep 2006
St Anselm Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Strict Baptist: Dartford, Zion Chapel, Priory Hill

Built ??.

Zion Chapel - May 2000
Zion Chapel Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Baptist: Dartford, Highfield Road

Church built 1867-8.

Baptist: Dartford Highfield Road - Sep 2006
Baptist Highfield Road  Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Baptist: cont.

  • Baptist: Brent Chapel, East Hill, (c.1880). No information on registers.

Congregational: Dartford, West Hill

Church built 1882, later United Reform Church. Closed 2000 and converted to flats.

Congregational: Dartford - Sep 2006
Congregational Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Independent/Congregational cont.

  • Independent: Zion Chapel, Lowfield St. (1794); later (1819) Countess of Huntingdons Connexion. Original registers from 1797.
  • Independent: Lowfield St. Chapel built 1819, later converted to offices & demolished for shopping centre. Original registers from 1818.
  • Congregational: Chapel. (1818). No information on registers.

Methodist: Spital Street

Built 1844-5.

Original Registers

These date from c1845.

Methodist: Dartford - Sep 2006
Methodist Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Primitive Methodist: Dartford, East Hill

Built 1874, now Emmanuel Pentecost.

Primitive Methodist: Dartford - Sep 2006
Primitive Methodist Dartford North West Kent Family History Society

Wesleyan/Methodist cont.

  • Wesleyan: Waterside Chapel. (1798). Original registers from 1811.