Downswood is a community in the Borough of Maidstone in Kent, England. It comprises a housing estate situated to the east of Mote Park, and is in the parish of Otham. The area is served by a parade of local shops, a country pub (The Orchard), a doctors surgery, a community hall and Otham church.
Downswood has been parish in its own right since 1987. Before then it was known to be part of Otham. A corn mill was recorded in the Domesday Book on the River Len. A fulling mill was also established on the river but this was not until around 1550. To the south of Downswood lies St Nicolas's Church which has its origins in the 12th century and to the east stands The Orchard Spot, a local pub that was originally established in the 1500s as a farm house for local orchards.
Between the 1940s and 1970s the area was quarried for ragstone which is still evident from outcrops that appear in Spot Lane Nature Reserve and The Len Valley Walk. The easternmost ragstone quarry exhibits a series of cambered blocks, tilted down slope and intervening loess filled gulls. The site in Downswood provides the best cross section through a series of cambers and gulls that are currently visible in Britain. Due to this it has become a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).
The Parish Council website has plenty of information about the history of our Parish, news from Parish Council meetings etc.
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