Rail station, existing between 1866 and now

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Rail station · Slade Green · DA1 · Contributed by Scott Hatton
Crayford Manor House, reconstructed in 1816
Credit: Steve Thoroughgood

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.

Source: Ideal Homes: Suburbia in Focus | Ideal Homes

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The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
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The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
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The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
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The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.


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105, DA1 · 106, DA1 · 117, DA1 · 118, DA1 · 121, DA1 · 122, DA1 · 181, DA1 · 247, DA1 · 249, DA1 · 98, DA1 · 99, DA1 · Acorn Road, DA1 · Alberta Road, DA8 · Alcock Crescent, DA1 · Alfriston Close, DA1 · Ambrose Close, DA1 · Andrew Close, DA1 · Arran Close, DA8 · Ashurst Close, DA1 · Avenue Road, DA8 · Badlow Close, DA8 · Barnehurst Avenue, DA8 · Barnehurst Close, DA8 · Barnes Cray Road, DA1 · Bascombe Grove, DA1 · Beech Haven Court, DA1 · Beech Walk, DA1 · Beechfield Road, DA8 · Beult Road, DA1 · Bexley Close, DA1 · Bexley Lane, DA1 · Bexley Road, DA8 · Birling Road, DA8 · Bourne Road, DA1 · Bramley Place, DA1 · Brendon Close, DA8 · Broadoak Road, DA8 · Buckley Close, DA1 · Burgate Close, DA1 · Buxton Road, DA8 · Cedar Road, DA8 · Chapel Hill, DA1 · Cheswick Close, DA1 · Chesworth Close, DA8 · Christchurch Avenue, DA8 · Church Hill, DA1 · Claremont Crescent, DA1 · Claston Close, DA1 · Clive Avenue, DA1 · Cloudesley Road, DA8 · Clydon Close, DA8 · Colyers Close, DA8 · Colyers Lane Primary School, DA8 · Colyers Lane, DA8 · Colyers Walk, DA8 · Coniston Close, DA8 · Coniston Road, DA8 · Courtleet Drive, DA8 · Cray Close, DA1 · Crayford High Street, DA1 · Crayford Industrial Estate, DA1 · Crayford Road, DA1 · Crayford Way, DA1 · Craymill Square, DA1 · Dale Road, DA1 · Dartford Bypass, DA1 · Dartford Road, DA1 · Detling Road, DA8 · Doyle Close, DA8 · Drummond Close, DA8 · Ducketts Road, DA1 · Eardemont Close, DA1 · East Holme, DA8 · Eith High Street, DA8 · Elm Grove, DA8 · Elmstead Road, DA8 · Elmsted Crescent, DA16 · Ely Close, DA1 · Emes Road, DA8 · Erith Road, DA8 · Erith School, DA8 · Eversley Avenue, DA8 · Falstaff Close, DA1 · Farm Place, DA1 · Frinsted Road, DA8 · Gable Close, DA1 · Gascoyne Drive, DA1 · Glebe Way, DA8 · Glebelands, DA1 · Green Place, DA1 · Green Walk, DA1 · Greyhound Way, DA1 · Grovebury Close, DA8 · Halstead Road, DA8 · Hardwick Court, DA8 · Heath Way, DA8 · heatherbank Close, DA1 · Heathlee Road, DA1 · Heathview Avenue, DA1 · Heathway, DA8 · Hemsted Road, DA8 · Highstead Crescent, DA8 · Hilary Close, DA8 · Hind Crescent, DA8 · Hurst Road, DA8 · Hurstwood Avenue, DA8 · Iron Mill Lane, DA1 · Kennet Road, DA1 · Kings Close, DA1 · Lambert Court, DA8 · Larner Road, DA8 · Lea Vale, DA1 · Lea Vale, DA7 · Lesney Park Road, DA8 · Lesney Park, DA8 · Ling Road, DA8 · London Loop; 103, DA1 · London Road, DA1 · Lower Station Road, DA1 · Maiden Lane, DA1 · Manor Close, DA1 · Manor Road, DA1 · Mayplace Avenue, DA1 · Mayplace Road East, DA1 · Medway Road, DA1 · Melrose Avenue, DA1 · Meyer Road, DA8 · Mill Place, DA1 · Moreton Court, DA1 · Mortimer Road, DA8 · Myrtle Close, DA8 · Newbery Road, DA8 · Normandy Way, DA8 · Norris way, DA1 · Northend Road, DA1 · Northend Road, DA8 · Northumberland Heath Minor Injuries Unit, DA8 · Northumberland Way, DA8 · Oak Close, DA1 · Old Road, DA1 · Orchard Hill, DA1 · Park Crescent, DA8 · Parkside Avenue, DA1 · Peareswood Road, DA8 · Pennine Way, DA7 · Penny Farthing Bridge, DA14 · Queens Road, DA8 · Ramsden Road, DA8 · Randall Close, DA8 · Ranworth Close, DA7 · Rectory Close, DA1 · Ridge Way, DA1 · Roman Way, DA1 · Ron Green Court, DA8 · Royston Road, DA1 · Russell Close, DA1 · Saltcote Close, DA1 · Samas Way, DA1 · School Crescent, DA1 · Searle Place, N4 · Selkirk Drive, DA8 · Shearwood Crescent, DA1 · Shenstone Close, DA1 · Shuttle Road, DA1 · South Road, DA8 · St Paulinus Primary School, DA1 · Stadium Way, DA1 · Stanham Place, DA1 · Star Hill, DA1 · Station Road, DA1 · Stelling Road, DA8 · Stour Road, DA1 · Stuart Mantle Rise, DA8 · Stuart Mantle Rise; Caernarvon Court, DA8 · Stuart Mantle Way, DA8 · Swaislands Drive, DA1 · Swale Road, DA1 · Swallow Close, DA8 · Tanners Close, DA1 · Thames Road, DA1 · Thanet Road, DA8 · The Homestead, DA1 · The Marlowes, DA1 · The Rise, DA1 · Thomas Road, DA1 · Tower Park Road, DA1 · Twigg Close, DA8 · Valence Road, DA8 · Victoria Road, DA8 · Village Green Road, DA1 · Walker Close, DA1 · Ward Close, DA8 · Waterhead Close, DA8 · Wessex Drive, DA8 · west Holme, DA8 · White Hill Road, DA1 · Willow Road, DA8 · Wolsley Close, DA1 · Woodfall Drive, DA1 · Woolbrook Road, DA1 · Wyatt Road, DA1 ·

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Edith’s Streets
A wander through London, street by street
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British History Online
Digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources.
Time Out
Listings magazine


South Essex and North Kent (1805)
Ordnance Survey First Series. The first completed map was of the county of Kent in 1801. The first use of the term Ordnance Survey in manuscript was in 1801, but it did not appear on an engraved map until 1810. William Mudge was the effective head from the start and actual head of the Survey from 1804 to 1820.
Reproduced from the 1805 Ordnance Survey map.

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

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