Pembury History

Localities - Woodsgate

Woodsgate Corner is mentioned in all the old writings on Pembury.  The old manor house was demolished in
1960, the road junction was widened, a bypass was built, and much of the old landscape is long gone.
The following maps were generated to try and determine the precise location of the Woodsgate features –
Woodsgate Hotel,   Woodsgate Coaching Inn,   Woodsgate Swimming Pool, Woodsgate Transport Cafe ……..

The following maps highlight various aspects of the Woodsgate Corner.
Colour has been added to visually promote certain buildings or features.
Colour also helps to show common plots of land on maps of different ages.

A map of 2010 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.


Left – 1868, Right 2010.   The 1868 map shows a 3 way junction and narrow roads.
The maps below have had the unnecessary clutter removed to highlight Woodsgate.

The shape of the plot is easy to identify, as well as the location of an existing out-house, shown in red.
Property plot identified in yellow.    Woodsgate House identified in green
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.

Woodsgate Swimming Pool

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 is modified to show greater detail of the swimming pool, cafe & nightclub.
This reflects the assumed condition between the 1930s and the 1950s.
Picture Postcards show tea gardens at the side of the main house.

This is assumed to be the large blank area to the left of the pool and its car park.

Ken Isaac has been in touch with the following information regarding the swimming pool area.
The map has been enhanced to show the features in the mid 1960s.

The following key identifies features on the map.

A      Boys changing huts.
B      Girls changing huts.
C      Fountain.
D      Power and Pump House.
E       Entrance & Exit turnstiles to and from the pool area.
F       Cafe and social area.  Entrance door at footpath.  No entrance from pool area.
G      Bar for night-club use.
.         E, F, G  –  roof terrace above ground floor rooms.  Used for sunbathing.
H      Grassed area for sunbathing.
I        Pathway from steps to pool entrance.
J       Steps leading down from car park to path,  pool entrance & cafe/nightclub entrance.
K      Car park for swimming pool.
L      (removed)
M      Arched portico with “Woodsgate Lido” above arch.    Iron gates within arch.    Toilets.

Fenced perimeter marked in red.
Woodsgate Way did not exist at this time –  shown for reference purpose only.
Woodsgate House  was demolished in 1960 and is shown here for reference only.
Diving boards at the left side of the pool – the boys changing huts end.
Swimming pool ownership     –   Frank Holden in the 1960s.  (KI)
                                                      –   Mr Hemsley,  then Mr Gervadi    (JM)


The map above shows Woodsgate Corner after the demolition of Woodsgate House in 1960.
The Pool area remains.
There is little evidence of what else was on this site.
The outbuilding marked in red is shown on this map because it, or a rebuilt replica, is still in place. It is behind the Texaco building but is owned and managed by the Pembury Autos business.


The map above shows the development of Woodsgate Way and Woodhill Park housing estates.
Woodsgate Way is bounded by  Z1 ,Z2, Z3, Z4, Z5, Z6, Z7, V, Y.
Housing was developed on the east (right-hand) side of Woodhill Park.
Jane Mulvihill reports that Woodhill Park was built by Gough Cooper and Woodsgate Way was built by Normans.
Plot ‘KK’ is reported as rough, unused ground.
There is an aerial view of Woodsgate from the 1906s (see link lower down the page).
The photo shows Woodsgate Way developed before Woodhill Park.


The map above is  around 1970 after the closure and demolition of the swimming pool.
The map shows the old location of the pool.
A few extra houses were added to Woodsgate Way, and new houses added to the west of Woodhill Park.
This map also shows the new garage buildings.


A modern map of the Woodsgate area showing the plot previously occupied by the pool its buildings and land.
Interesting to see the new housing plots structured from the old pool and tea gardens plots.


A small portion of a 1963 map showing a part of the pool site.
Note the small building on the left approach into Woodhill Park.
This piece of land is noted as ‘KK’ on one of the maps above.
The building has been noted by Jane Mulvihill as a wooden shack, thought to be used as an ice-cream kiosk.


Above 1892 – 1905 map with an enclosure or a field at the location of the future swimming pool.

If you have any further updates, corrections or arguments over this data please quote the reference number
in the lower-right corner of each map.  ( ie   310, 314, etc)


Tony Nicholls   2017

Below:  Two images of Woodsgate and the swimming pool from a 1940 aerial survey

The following maps do not have much historical significance.
They are intended to show how trusted features on old and new maps can help determine the locations of the lost features on old maps.

The example here feature the Woodsgate area.

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.
The pool has been planted in the 2010 map to show the result of such tinkering.
It has been rumoured that the pool is still intact – just filled in.


Earlier identified Woodsgate Plot

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.

Vector lines created from sets of two anchor points


Vector lines created from single anchor points.

In 2019 Edward Gilbert produced an article for his web site  about the swimming pool. Much of the information was derived from this site.

The articles for the Edward Gilbert web site are only present for one month then taken down, to be replaced with fresh articles.

Here is a copy of the Swimming Pool article from January 2019 —   Link to Ed Gilbert’s Article.


Contributors to this page

JH           Jill Hickmott

KI                  Ken Issac

KM       Jane Mulvihill

MC         Melvyn Cole

Tony Nicholls  2017

Localities -  Woodsgate

IMPORTANT !!!     This needs your help.  All contributions will be credited.  If you have any further information or corrections please contact me –
Tony Nicholls      email:   or