Woodsgate Corner

  This little exercise demonstrates how to compare old and new maps to determine locations of old sites.
  I often rant about the problem with local historians giving vague and woolly descriptions of the buildings in their
  narratives.  The 'old green house with hanging baskets' means nothing a few years down the line.
  Woodsgate Corner is mentioned in all the old writings on Pembury, but the old manor house was demolished in
  1960 and the road junction was widened when the bypass was built.
  The following maps were generated to determine the precise location of Woodsgate House / Woodsgate Hotel /
  Woodsgate Coaching Inn  for the Pembury pub and retail projects in 2013.

  A map of c2009 is being compared with a map of 1868.  With all the clutter and non-essential detail removed  
  from both maps it is easy to identify the plot of land housing Woodsgate House.
  Buildings come and go over the years, but plots of land stay on maps for centuries. Many go back to the shapes
  of the fields and pastures of ancient times. Property developers often buy a field or a parcel of land that was
  once a field and hack it away into smaller plots. If fields are developed one at a time, over several years their
  overall outline can still be identified on a map many years later. When several fields are purchased at the same
  time their identities can be lost in the combined development.

1868  3 way road junction, narrow roads
Click image for a larger view

c2009  4 way road junction, wide roads
Click image for a larger view
1868  Unnecessary clutter removed.
Property identified in yellow.
Woodsgate House identified in green
Common outbuilding identified in red.
Click image for a larger view
2009  Unnecessary clutter removed.
Property identified in yellow.
Modern buildings identified in beige.
Common outbuilding identified in red.
Click image for a larger view
   The shape of the plot is easy to identify, as well as the location of an existing out-house, shown in red.
   In 2013 the buildings on the left, and the out-house were occupied by Pembury Auto Centre.
   Texaco and a convenience store occupied the buildings on the right..
   The location of Woodsgate house can quite confidently be placed on the forecourt of the Texaco filling station.
   To get greater resolution within a plot it is possible to generate lines from trusted corners or features.
   When placed on both maps it will create imaginary reference points to aid navigation of the inner space.
   From the intersections of these reference lines you may generate fresh vectors.
   If a convenient anchor feature is not present select a fresh point half way along an existing feature or line.
   As long as the same process is adopted on both maps a good spacial comparison can be realised.
   This also applies to a horizontal - vertical grid created from single features or anchor points.
   A common grid on both maps would do the same job, but a few simple vector lines can get the result a lot   
   quicker without clogging up the whole space with a grid structure.

vectors created from two anchor points

vectors created from single anchor points

1936 map of Woodsgate featuring the swimming pool.
The projection of Cornford Lane points at the location of the pool.
It would appear to be under the houses between Woodsgate Way and Woodhill Park.
The notation MS indicates a milestone. It is still there - next to the bus stop, behind a green, steel cabinet.

The 1936 map modified to show greater detail of the swimming pool, cafe & nightclub.
The later entrances to Woodsgate Way and Woodhill Park are shown for navigation assistance.

The 2009 map of the same area to help locate the site of the pool.
Some common, trusted features and boundaries have been emphasised.
Using trusted features on both maps it is possible to generate vector lines common to both maps.
With some patience, enough lines, and a few more generated from intersections of vectors,
it is possible to make a fairly good assessments of the target location.

The intersections of the original vector lines are used as origins of the new green lines -
one running horizontal from an intersection and the other running vertical from a different pair of lines.
It helps narrow down locations within a given space.


The business part of both maps showing the common vector lines.
Rumour has it that the pool is still intact - just filled in.

Tony Nicholls  2013