A Virtual Museum - Your Town, the Borough and its History

At the corner of Forge Lane, which in older days extended southward to the extreme southern boundary of the parish, is the forge from which Charles Dickens drew some of the features of the forge in his novel, ‘Great Expectations’. Oscar Mullender, who used to operate the smithy, knew Dickens well. The last smith to operate the forge was A. Mann, who retired on 4 November 1953.

The Forge is one of only two surviving Kentish weather board buildings which before the 1940's were very common in Chalk. It stands on an ancient crossroads and has a mysterious story about human remains discovered under the kitchen floor during excavations in 1984.

References and further information:

"An A to Z History of Chalk" by Christoph Bull. First edition published 1984, second edition published - 1992.  Available at Gravesend Library for consultation.

"Chalk Church an Illustrated Guide", updated and re-written by Christoph Bull 1997.  Available at Chalk Church to purchase for £1.50.

"The Great Expectations Country" by W. Laurence Gadd 1929. Available for reference at Gravesend Library.

"A Historical Walk Through Gravesend And Northfleet" published by Gravesend Historical Society.

See the publications page for more information on these books and more.