The Driver Fountain to Luton Arches
This walk starts at Chatham Cemetery on Palmerston Road where the Driver Fountain (A) currently resides. It used to stand in front of Luton Arches providing drinks for people and horses. It was moved in 1960. Just across the road, in the other side of the cemetery that runs along Kitchener Avenue you can find burial areas for the Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish communities in Chatham (B).
Continue down to Magpie Hall Road where in a house at number 288 in 1938 Mr William Mason built an aeroplane in his back room (C) (though we don’t know if it ever flew). The plane was called The Chatham Manor.
Turn around and walk back in the direction of Fort Luton which sits close to the Coney Banks and Daisy Banks, which are some of Medway’s hidden beauties. If it’s the right time of year, it’s a great place to go berrying.
Walking down Magpie Hall on the right you will see Fort Luton (D) where pre-Roman and Roman burials have been discovered. The smallest of Chatham’s forts, when it’s open it provides a fascinating glimpse into Chatham’s role in various wars.
Between Fort Luton and Victory Academy (E) is path (known by some as ‘the Cinder Path’) that runs directly down into Luton. Continuing down Magpie Hall Road you will see the Great South Allotments on your left. Should you wish, you can turn right onto Shipwrights Avenue which will take you to Millennium Green, a former allotment converted in 2000 to a green space with amphitheatre.
Continuing down Magpie Hall Road we get to the All Saints Sure Start Centre, on the site of the All Saints Hospital (F) which began life as a workhouse in 1859. It is now largely a housing development although one building remains. Opposite the former hospital is the St Paul with All Saints Church and Community Centre (G) which contains the Magpie Centre Café. This building used to be the Magpie Hall pub where soon-to-be fathers were sent from the hospital in the days when they weren’t invited to hang around.
You will pass Listmas Road where we found a bill of sale from the 18th century for three cottages known as “Magpie Hall” which may be the origin of the name of the road. Continue down to the end of the road to Luton Arches (H). Should you wish you can make this a circular walk. Turn left after the Arches onto the A2.
Turn left onto Otway Street (which is quite steep) and go to the top. If you go left onto Sydney Road you can see the Sikh Sangat Gurdwara (I).
If you wish to get back to the start, double back along Sydney Road, turn left onto Hilda Road, right on to Albert Road then left back onto Palmerston Road. This will take you back to the Driver Fountain (J).
The 164 bus serves this road and will take you back into Chatham should you wish.
Depending on how direct a route you take this walk should take between 45 minutes and an hour.