Betteshanger

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Coordinates: 51°13′30″N 1°19′12″E / 51.225°N 1.32°E / 51.225; 1.32

Betteshanger
Betteshanger Park.jpg
Betteshanger Park
Betteshanger is located in Kent
Betteshanger
Betteshanger
 Betteshanger shown within Kent
OS grid reference TR3352
District Dover
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Deal
Postcode district CT14
Dialling code 01304
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
List of places
UK
England
Kent

Betteshanger is a village near Deal in East Kent, England. It gave its name to the largest of the four chief collieries of the Kent coalfield.[1]

Before the coal mine[edit]

Betteshanger parish (with variation 'Betleshangre'[2]) has existed at least since Domesday times. It remained a small scattered parish until the advent of the Kent Coalfield. St Mary's church sits almost alone in woodland in the centre of the parish. At 'Little Betteshanger' a cluster of houses surround Betteshanger Farm and are very close to Northbourne Primary School.

Mining in Betteshanger[edit]

Betteshanger colliery opened in the late 1920s and was the largest of the Kent collieries. It had two shafts of almost 2300 feet, plaques can still be seen where the shafts were once sunk. Betteshanger had a tradition of union militancy; it was the first pit to come out on strike during the second World War and took active part in the miners' strikes of 1972, 1974 and 1984/5. It was the last Kent colliery to close, closing for good in 1989. The colliery was served by a railway branch which left the main line between Deal & Sandwich.[3]

The village is also on Miner's Way Trail. Linking up the coalfield parishes of East Kent.[4]

Village layout[edit]

The miners' houses were laid out in three streets: Circular Road, Northway, and Broad Lane. Circular Road, often known simply as 'the circle' is in fact oval in shape and is a one-way street. Houses have even numbers on inside of the circle, and odd on the outside. Northway connects the circle with the rest of the world and is a short two-way street. As a road Broad Lane predates the coal mine and has miners houses on just one side. Additionally, the former village shop is now a domestic dwelling and although numbered as part of Circular Road, sits on an unnamed stub-road which used to serve as the entrance to the colliery itself.

Betteshanger Park Development[edit]

With support from South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), as part of the National Coalfields Programme (NCP)[5] a children's play area, including play equipment and a skateboard ramp, and more recently an industrial park, have opened on the site of the former colliery. Also Fowlmead Country Park has been developed on a former spoil tip (on the north of the site). Current plans for Betteshanger Industrial Park is the proposal from Hadlow College to set up the agricultural centre, creating more than 1,000 jobs. But this is still yet to be confirmed. Local opposition to this proposal, wants to turn the site into a chairtable trust with the development of free enterprise formulas and continued growth of the site. [6]

Betteshanger Sustainable Parks[edit]

Launched on 6 November at the House of Commons,[7] this £40m scheme will re-develop the site of the former colliery and create approximately 1,000 jobs in the local area.

It is planned that Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, a scheme bringing together Hadlow College, Dover District Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and Kent County Council will generate green energy [8] together with a Mining Heritage Museum, Visitor Centre and Sustainable Education Centre. In total, the Betteshanger Sustainable Education and Business Incubation Centre will provide 2,000 square metres of internal space [9] and provide an incubation service for fledgling businesses. The Business and Commercial Park will comprise 6,700 square metres of internal space.[10]

The development which, prior to launch in November 2013, took four years of preparation is planned to be a UK first and aims to help regenerate Dover district, as well as the wider East Kent communities. It is planned that the project will start on site in April 2014 and open in 2015 [11]

Betteshanger Summer School[edit]

Betteshanger occupies an important place in the history and development of organic and biodynamic farming. It was the bridge between these two forms of agriculture. The 'Betteshanger Summer School and Conference on Biodynamic Farming' was held in July 1939. It was the first biodynamic agriculture conference to be held in Britain. Ehrenfried Pfeiffer travelled from Switzerland to be the lead presenter at the summer school which was held at the farm of Lord Northbourne. The following year Northbourne presented and expanded on these ideas for a British audience in his book 'Look to the Land' in which he introduced the term 'organic farming'.[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Betteshanger at Wikimedia Commons