Wallington Hill and Broadcut

Once the important path through to the industrial estates, these two roads no longer form a continuous route.

Wallington Hill

Documented throughout its life as being too steep for large vehicles and learners, this road starts at a wide turning on the High Street, being the main access in to Wallington. It was used a lot by army vehicles accessing the fortresses during the war, and in 1957 it was briefly closed having been declared redundant without a war to support it.

After closing for real in 1981, the bottom of the hill having been cut off by Wallington Way, business parks became attracted to the space around the road.

Wallington Bridge

Wallington Bridge and the River WallingtonBroadcut running along the river on the left, and the bridge on the right. The house in the centre was a barn at the time. The pub has since been extended. The tanary is on the far left. (1905, library photo)

Wallington Bridge was built in 1715 as a red-brick crossing of the river at its highest tidal point, providing access to the central region of the village. In the 1970s it was due to be rebuilt to reduce flooding, a local village organisation was formed to stop this and in 1976 it became a listed structure. The organisation still runs and the village still stands, as both a symbol of the village and, at high water, its flooding problems.

Narrow in width, the bridge was accompanied by a wooden footbridge which was removed in the 1980s when the main bridge was disconnected from Wallington Hill. To the left us evidence of the original fording point, and the reason Wallington formed. It now serves as only a footbridge.

Broadcut

Originally a small side-turning at the bottom of the hill, this junction is now consumed by the ramps for the footbridge over Wallington Way, as is most of the bottom of the hill. The original alignment of the road can broadly be traced by that of the footpath along the river. For much of its length Broadcut was a dirty track which ran level with the river. Now busier and cleaner, the latter point is still true but difficult to appreciate given the huge flood defence which was built alongside it. For many years the water coming onto the road was unheard of, but recent changes to the river bed mean it now comes up through the drainage.

The start of the road is now diverted to meet the A32, before forming the access to Sainsbury's. The next unit, Staples, was once a series of 1950s houses and waste site which lied derelict for many years - the dropped kerbs can still be seen in the pavement today. Some cottages were pulled down here in the 1950s to make way for the new industrial estates, including the Schweppes factory, White & Loch Ltd and a concrete plant.

Wallington Tannery was the first point of interest on the road, the access point being the access in to Luckett's coach yard. Shortly before here the road 'changed sides': as the river sprouted a small tributary, the road dog-legged to cross it. Now only a small stream which lies underground you would be forgiven for not noticing it, but crossing it was once a feat in itself. A pathway on this side of the stream was once known as Watery Lane, and is perhaps the pre-motoring route of the road. Another stream climbed the hill by Sainsbury's and is entirely built over.

The 1950s saw various industrial units come to use here. Wallington's permanent village hall was built in 1995, replacing the tin hut. By here, Broadcut begin to run out of energy and went back to being a quiet lane, until the industrial units sprouted up in the 1980s - the initial ones were so popular they were expanded, and many eventually moved to Whiteley. The ones nearest Broadcut saw the urbanisation of The Watermeadows. The actual end of the road at Standard Way sees a footpath continue beyond, and the former Watery Lane appear on the far left. These together form a straight-line route which merges with Pook Lane and heads towards Wickham.