Before opening as a riverside park Davy Down had a history of farming, dating back to at least 1730. Farmed by the Davy family the surrounding hills have been historically classified as downland, hence, Davy Down. More recently the area was used for market gardening but this was abandoned when the new A13 road was built, splitting the land in half.
Stifford Pumping Station
Stifford Pumping Station is an impressive building with beautiful arched windows. It was built by the Essex and Suffolk Water Company in the 1920s to extract water, which lies in an underground store. Known as an aquifer, this lies approximately 40 meters below the ground.
Originally diesel engines (still housed in the pumping station) were used to pump over 3 million gallons of water a day. These have been replaced by an electric pump which still provides over 1 million gallons of water a day to surrounding households. The lower building, next to Back Lane is the Filter House. The pumping station is open to the public when the warden is on site and during Discover Davy Down open days.
The arches of the railway viaduct frame the valley and date from 1892. Known locally as the Fourteen Arches, the viaduct carries trains between Ockendon and Chafford Hundred.