Meadow Bungalow, off Weir Lane

Meadow Bungalow, Weir Lane  (off Powder Mill Lane, opposite Ramhurst Manor drive)

Around 1935, two young men [NAMES MAY BECOME AVAILABLE IF SUE JULIAN PROVIDES THE DEEDS] bought around 3-4 acres of land at the west of Weir Lane,  which abutted the millstream of the old Powder Mills.  The seller was a farmer, before Lord Kindersley acquired the land.

The young men then built a bungalow of wood and a wooden garage.  They apparently started a small holding.  They later sold it to another family who then sold to Mr and Mrs Parkes.  In 1978 the Parkes sold it to Mrs Betsy Julian, who had two daughters.  (One, Sue Julian, has provided this information).  The Julians acquired an extra field from Lord Kindersley which took the total to 4 ½ acres.  There was a strip of woodland at the bottom of the land along the edge of the millstream, the field, a cob plat (for nuts), and orchard and, most unusually, the old firing range in a long sunken hollow dating from the earlier days of the Powder Mills in the 19th century.  (See “The Lost Powder Mills of Leigh” by Chris Rowley).

For forty years Betsy lived in this eccentric house “held together with sticky tape”, as she used to say.  She looked after the small holding, including its flora and fauna and its wide variety of wild animals and birds, with great care and knowledge.  She was one of the first volunteers at Ightham Mote; and a dedicated member of the Kent Wildlife Trust, volunteering at the Bough Beech Reserve for over thirty years, receiving a national award in 2010 for her long service to nature conservation.  .

Information from Sue Julian, her daughter (October 2018)