Crayford

Rail station, existing between 1866 and now

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Crayford

MAP YEAR:1750180018301860190019502020Remove markers
Rail station · Slade Green · DA1 ·
MARCH
5
2017

Crayford was combined with other local areas to form the London Borough of Bexley in 1965.


Crayford has a long and interesting history. The area was first mentioned in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle (c.891 - 924), which states that the Britons fought the Jutes at the Battle of Creganford in 457. The Domesday Book (1086) records that in Crayford "there is a church", implying that there was a well established settlement in the area by that time. The Norman Church of St Paulinus, which still stands on top of Crayford Hill overlooking the town, was built in 1100.

The original stimulus for settlement in the area was the fact that the River Cray could be forded at this point - and "Cray-ford" became the settlement’s name.

Crayford Manor House stands just to the north-west of St Paulinus Church, probably in roughly the same position as the first manor house, which was established in the 14th century. Crayford actually contained two manors, those of Howbury and Newbury.

Several large houses once stood in the area, including Oakwood, Shenstone and May Place. Little evidence remains of these, although part of the last house called May Place is now incorporated into the clubhouse of Barnehurst Golf Course.

The house was for many years the seat of the lord of the manor and between 1694 and 1707 was the home of Sir Cloudesley Shovell (1650 - 1707), Commander in Chief of the Navy who took part in the capture of Gibraltar in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Three years later, after his ship the Association was wrecked off the Isles of Scilly, he was strangled for the rings he wore, by a fisherwoman.

The presence of the river in the town led to the growth of industries such as tanning and silk-making, which need a constant supply of free-flowing fresh water. The tannery has long since gone, but the silk-printing works of David Evans Ltd, established in 1843, remain in the town. Swaislands was another long-established local printing firm. It was taken over by GP & J Baker who closed the works only in 1961.

In the early years of the 19th century the huge armaments firm Vickers, originally from Sheffield, moved into the area. In the few short years of the First World War Vickers’ workforce grew from 300 to 14,000. Vickers built an estate, the Crayford Garden Suburb, to the east of the town to house the armaments workers. Whilst all that remains of the Vickers factory today is the clocktower, surrounded by modern retail development, the houses are still very much in evidence and are sought after as homes because of the quality of construction. This area, which borders on Dartford and the County of Kent, became known as Barnes Cray after a prominent local family (the Barnes).

Other industries in the area included barge building in Crayford Creek, brickmaking and motor-car production by the Siddeley Autocar Company, which had its registered works at Crayford in 1902.

After the First World War the production of armaments was reduced, but industry continued to thrive and the local community prospered on the trade brought to the area as a result of the influx of workers during the war. The Princesses Theatre, opened in 1916 on the riverside, was built specifically to entertain these workers but unfortunately burnt to the ground within six months. It was subsequently rebuilt to exactly the same specifications but presumably with improved fire-protection measures!

In 1920 Crayford became an urban district. As in most other local areas, the 1930s saw a period of busy housebuilding, although this was perhaps not as extensive in Crayford as it was elsewhere. Houses were built mostly by local builders such as New Ideal Homesteads and W.H. Wedlock.

The population in the urban district almost doubled in the 20 years to 1951, from 15,896 in 1931 to 27,950 in 1951.

Housebuilding was interrupted by the Second World War, which affected Crayford badly because the presence of the Royal Arsenal nearby (see Thamesmead) and of the armaments works in the town made Crayford an obvious target for enemy bombers.

The town of Crayford today revolves around the retail trade, and has a large Sainsbury’s hypermarket at its centre. It is home to a substantial commuter population, who travel to London and nearby business and retail centres such as Bexleyheath and the newly opened Bluewater shopping park near Dartford.


Main source: Ideal Homes: Suburbia in Focus | Ideal Homes
Further citations and sources



Crayford Manor House, reconstructed in 1816

Crayford Manor House, reconstructed in 1816
Steve Thoroughgood

THE STREETS OF CRAYFORD
Alderman Close, DA1 Alderman Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Alfriston Close, DA1 Alfriston Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Appledore Avenue, DA7 Appledore Avenue was built as part of the ’Barnehurst Park Estate’ of New Ideal Homesteads Ltd.
Ashen Drive, DA1 Ashen Drive is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Barnehurst Avenue, DA7 Barnehurst Avenue runs north from Merewood Road up to the Erith Road.
Barnehurst Close, DA8 Barnehurst Close is a road in the DA8 postcode area
Barnock Close, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
Bascombe Grove, DA1 Bascombe Grove is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Bath Road, DA1 Bath Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Beechcroft Avenue, DA7 Beechcroft Avenue is one of a series of north-south roads named alphabetically.
Bowmans Road, DA1 Bowmans Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Broomhill Road, DA1 Broomhill Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Carnet Close, DA1 Carnet Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Castleton Avenue, DA7 Castleton Avenue is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Chastilian Road, DA1 Chastilian Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Cheviot Close, DA7 Cheviot Close is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Chiltern Close, DA7 Chiltern Close is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Clive Avenue, DA1 Clive Avenue is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Colyers Lane Primary School, DA7 Colyers Lane Primary School is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Coniston Close, DA7 Coniston Close is a small cul-de-sac lying off of Coniston Road.
Coniston Road, DA7 Coniston Road was laid out by the W H Wedlock company in 1932.
Cortland Close, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
Cotswold Close, DA7 Cotswold Close is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Crayford Creek, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
Crayford Road, DA1 Crayford Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Cumbrian Avenue, DA7 A street within the DA7 postcode
Dale Close, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
Dale End, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
Dale Road, DA1 Dale Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Dartford Bypass, DA1 Dartford Bypass is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Dartford Road, DA1 Dartford Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Denton Road, DA1 Denton Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Denver Road, DA1 Denver Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Downbank Avenue, DA7 Downbank Avenue is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Edendale Road, DA7 Edendale Road is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Edendale Road, DA8 Edendale Road is a road in the DA8 postcode area
Fairford Avenue, DA7 Fairford Avenue is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Falstaff Close, DA1 Falstaff Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Galloway Drive, DA1 Galloway Drive is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Gloucester Road, DA1 Gloucester Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Grasmere Road, DA7 Grasmere Road runs from Erith Road to Merewood Road.
Havelock Road, DA1 Havelock Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Heath Road, DA1 Heath Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Heather Drive, DA1 Heather Drive is a road in the DA1 postcode area
heatherbank Close, DA1 heatherbank Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Heathlands Rise, DA1 Heathlands Rise is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Heathlee Road, DA1 Heathlee Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Heathview Avenue, DA1 Heathview Avenue is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Helen Close, DA1 Helen Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Hilary Close, DA8 Hilary Close is a road in the DA8 postcode area
Hill Brow, DA1 Hill Brow is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Hillcrest Road, DA1 Hillcrest Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Hillside Road, DA1 Hillside Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Homer Close, DA7 Homer Close is a road lying off of Grasmere Road.
Hurstwood Avenue, DA7 Hurstwood Avenue is a road in the DA7 postcode area
James Road, DA1 James Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Knole Road, DA1 Knole Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Laurel Close, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
Lower Station Road, DA1 Lower Station Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Marcus Road, DA1 Marcus Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Melrose Avenue, DA1 Melrose Avenue is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Mendip Road, DA7 A street within the DA7 postcode
Mount Road, DA1 Mount Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
North Road, DA1 North Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Northumberland Way, DA8 Northumberland Way is a road in the DA8 postcode area
Old Bexley Lane, DA1 Old Bexley Lane is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Peartree Close, DA8 A street within the DA8 postcode
Pennine Way, DA7 Pennine Way is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Quantock Road, DA7 Quantock Road is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Ranworth Close, DA7 Ranworth Close is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Ranworth Close, DA8 A street within the DA8 postcode
Ridge Avenue, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
Ridge Way, DA1 Ridge Way is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Rochester Way, DA1 Rochester Way is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Ross Road, DA1 Ross Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Royston Road, DA1 Royston Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Saltcote Close, DA1 Saltcote Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Seaton Road, DA1 Seaton Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Shepherds Lane, DA1 Shepherds Lane is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Shepherds Lane, DA2 Shepherds Lane is a road in the DA2 postcode area
Somerset Road, DA1 Somerset Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Station Road, DA1 Station Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Sullivan Close, DA1 Sullivan Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Swallow Close, DA7 Swallow Close is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Swallow Close, DA8 Swallow Close is a road in the DA8 postcode area
Swan Lane, DA1 Swan Lane is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Thirlmere Road, DA7 Thirlmere Road runs between Coniston Road and Grasmere Road.
Tudor Close, DA1 Tudor Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Valley Close, DA1 Valley Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Valley Road, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
Venners Close, DA7 Venners Close is a road in the DA7 postcode area
Waltham Close, DA1 Waltham Close is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Wentworth Drive, DA1 Wentworth Drive is a road in the DA1 postcode area
West Heath Close, DA1 A street within the DA1 postcode
West Heath Road, DA1 West Heath Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Western Terrace, DA1 Western Terrace is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Windsor Drive, DA1 Windsor Drive is a road in the DA1 postcode area
Woolbrook Road, DA1 Woolbrook Road is a road in the DA1 postcode area


Slade Green

Slade Green was originally called Slades Green.

The area was sparsely populated and Slades Green had only 66 people in 1848 but in 1849 the North Kent Line was built. Slades Green gained a National School in 1868 and St Augustine’s Church opened in 1899.

Sladesgreen Farm was the centre of a market gardening area known locally as ’Cabbage Island’ located between Moat Lane (formerly Whitehall Lane) and Slade Green Road.

Slade Green railway station was opened on 1 July 1900 to serve the developing local community following the construction of a rail depot designed to service steam locomotives for South Eastern and Chatham Railway. It was at first called ’Slades Green’ and it was not until 1953 that this was changed to Slade Green.

By 1910 a complete ’railway village’ of 158 houses had been built. The significance of the village had increased by 1905 and that it had absorbed historically important Howbury Manor.

Explosions at a former Trench Warfare Filling Factory caused the death of 13 workers on 19 February 1924. A mass grave at Northumberland Heath stands in memory of the victims. Explosives operations ended in the 1960s.

During the Second World War, Slade Green was subject to a series of air raids, notably the night of 16 April 1941.


LOCAL PHOTOS
Martens Avenue, Barnehurst (1934)
TUM image id: 1557161730
Mayplace Road East (1900)
TUM image id: 1574088030
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