Downswood is a civil parish in the Borough of Maidstone in Kent, England. The population of the civil parish as of the 2011 census is 2,291. It is bounded to the north by the River Len and Bearsted, and to the south by Otham, and is 2 miles (3 km) from Maidstone, the county town of Kent. Downswood has been a parish in its own right in the past 1987. Prior to this it was allocation of the civil parish of Otham.
A corn mill was recorded in the Domesday Book upon the River Len. A fulling mill was then established on the river but this was not until going on for 1550. To the south of Downswood lies St Nicolas’s Church which has its origins in the 12th century and to the east stands The Orchard Spot, a local public house, that was originally time-honored in the 14th century as a farm home for local orchards.
Between 1940 and 1970 the area was quarried for ragstone which is nevertheless evident from outcrops that function Spot Lane Nature Reserve and The Len Valley Walk. The easternmost ragstone quarry exhibits a series of cambered blocks, tilted down slope and intervening loess filled gulls. The site in Downswood provides the best livid section through a series of cambers and gulls that are currently visible in Britain and is a site of special scientific interest.
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