Print-friendly version of this page Swanley is a town in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, some 24 km southeast of central London.
A street within the BR8 postcode
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Swanley dates back to before the Domesday Book. The name might derive from the Saxon ’Swine-ley’ - ’swine’: pigs and ’ley’ meaning a clearing in the woods.
The town developed from a crossroads with only three houses before the advent of the railway in 1861 to a town with a population of over 16,000 at the turn of the millennium. A new settlement grew up around the railway junction and was originally named Swanley Junction, before becoming known as Swanley, and the original became Swanley Village in the 1920s.
The town became the location of Swanley Horticultural College which opened in 1887 and led to horticulture becoming the predominant industry. Three hospitals were established. After 1948 and the creation of the National Health Service, these old London Hospitals became redundant – Kettlewell and White Oak closed in 1959 and Parkwood ceased being a hospital in the early 1960s.
Up until 1974 Swanley was a part of the Dartford Rural District.
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