York Road Dartford lies to the east of the town, off East Hill which is the continuation of Watling Street. The road is now lined with mainly inter and post-war properties, alongside a school formerly known as York Road Junior School. In February 2015 the school joined St Albans Road Infant and Nursery School to form Dartford Primary Academy. The school also includes a specialist Language Unit provision and forms the biggest primary in Dartford.
In fact, Dartford was named after the ford crossing of the River Darent created as the Romans made their way to London from Dover. So, the main road engineered by the Romans from the south coast to the capital. It is now known as Watling Street. It was thought that Dartford was a small Saxon settlement, although following the Roman roadways, the town developed an importance of its own over the centuries.
Although to twenty-first century eyes, it is an unremarkable suburban street on the outskirts of Dartford, York Road holds a special significance in English history.
Since in March 1452, Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, camped at the Brent after finding the gates of London barred against him on the orders of King Henry VI. Although not bidding for kingship himself, York wanted power and to be recognised as Henry VI’s heir apparent. Whilst also trying to destroy his rival, the Earl of Somerset. Although it is alleged that York awaited the confrontation with Henry with ten thousand men. So, York was outnumbered, and after presenting his complaints to the King, he surrendered at Dartford. York Road marks the place of the Duke of York’s camp. Nowadays, York Road is a quiet street where residents can enjoy proximity to an excellent primary school, and there is a pub named the Woodman at the junction with East Hill for a local drink.
You can read more about Dartford’s history on the your Local Plumbing Dartford’s blog.
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