OS Grid Reference: TQ5474
The 1841 population was 5,619

"Dartford, anciently named Darentford, from its situation on the river Dart, or Darent, has been a place of consideration from the time of the Romans, occupying an important station at the crossing of the river by the Great Watling street from London to Dover, and having navigable access to the Thames by Dartford Creek, and water power in the upper Dart, and its feeder, the Cray. It is now a station on the North Kent railway. This town lies in a narrow valley, in Axton and Dartford Hundred, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, West Kent. It is the head of a Poor Law Union, to which it gives its name, comprising a large adjacent population. The parish contains 4,101 acres of land, and 185 of water. The population in 1801 was 2,406, and in 1851, 6,054. It is 15 miles from London east by road and 17 by railway, 2 from the Thames, 7 west from Gravesend, 3 from Erith, and 3 from Greenhithe. The trade is considerable. Dartford Creek exports the manufactured and agricultural produce, also chalk, lie and whiting, and imports coals and timber for the neighbouring district. On the river are important powder mills, and the extensive foundries and works of Messrs. Hall, the eminent engineers. It has also corn, paper and oil mills, and establishments for calico and silk printing. There is a manufactory for printing machines, where the 'Times' machine was made, also one for Bank of England note moulds; likewise brewery, malting, brickfields and manure works. It is a great market for the neighbouring district, and has a well-attended corn-market, held on Saturdays. A fair is held on the 2nd of August in each year. ... Here the process of paper-making was introduced by Sir John Spelman, a German, in the 16th century, and is now carried on extensively by Mr Thomas Harry Saunders; and in 1590 the process of rolling and slitting iron, by Godfrey Box, a Brabanter. ..."  1852?

Administrative Units

Dartford fell within the Hundred of Dartford & Wilmington. Its 19th century Registration District & Poor Law Union was Dartford.
Probate Jurisdiction was Rochester to 1845, PCC 1846-57.

Census Publications

  • 1851 Name Index and Page Images published on CD-Rom as part of CD8 (Dartford Registration District).
  • 1851 Name Index (only) published on microfiche as part of Volume V (Dartford Registration District).
  • 1891 Transcript published on CD-Rom as part of CD3 (Dartford Registration District).

For ordering details see Census Publications.

Churches and Chapels (pre-1910)

Church of England

  1. Holy Trinity (Ancient Parish church) 
  2. St Alban St Albans Rd.
  3. Christ Church Christchurch Rd, West Hill.

Roman Catholic


  1. Strict Baptist Zion Chapel, Priory Hill.
  2. Baptist: Brent Chapel, East Hill.  (c.1880). No information on registers
  3. Baptist Highfield Road.


  1. Independent: Zion Chapel, Lowfield St.  (1794); later (1819) Countess of Huntingdons Connexion.   Original registers from 1797.
  2. Independent: Lowfield St.  Chapel built 1819, later converted to offices & demolished for shopping centre.   Original registers from 1818.
  3. Congregational: Chapel.  (1818). No information on registers
  4. Congregational West Hill.


  1. Wesleyan: Waterside Chapel.  (1798).   Original registers from 1811.
  2. Methodist Spital St.
  3. Primitive Methodist East Hill.
West Kent map