Blue Bell Hill is situated between Maidstone and Rochester, on a chalk
hill overlooking the upper part of the River Medway. The picnic site
gives a spectacular panoramic view over the Medway Valley and paths
lead off along the North Downs Way. Bring binoculars and camera.
View left (south)
View ahead (south-west). Overgrown quarry in foreground – with
binoculars you will see rabbits.
View right (west). The dark field centre is a
quarry reclaimed by plant life.
Metal fence at bottom of grassy slope. Do not let
children climb it – sheer drops into quarry, hidden by foliage.
Camera over the fence to get view of hillside quarry,
worked in 18th and 19th centuries.
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Bends in the infant River
Medway. The hamlet front right is Burham and far side of the river
is Snodland, which appears to derive its name from a settler called Snod or Snodda.
Artist capturing the view. Follow the path for .
. . . the North Downs Way, with simple
plank benches at intervals.
Well maintained gates, to deter bikes
and other wheels destructive to plant life, and soil which is
generally thin on chalkland.
There is room for about 20 cars at the picnic site. This is a very
The stone is a memorial to three members of
Kent Air Ambulance Service who lost their lives in a helicopter
crash near the village of Burham in 1998. The men's dedicated service with Kent
Air Ambulance saved the lives of many people.
Place Name No bluebells here but this website
www.aerialsandtv.com/bluebellhilltx.html gives a hint as to the
possible origin of the name, info gained from one George Wise,
"It refers to a Blue Bell which used to summon the horses to draw
the vehicles up the hill between Maidstone and Chatham."
Another site mentions an Upper Bell and Lower
Bell rung to indicate a carriage going up or down the narrow road.
The Upper Bell Inn has now been demolished, the loss of a centuries
Upper Bell Inn 2009, now gone
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