Bexleyheath
The Clocktower at Bexleyheath.jpg

The Clocktower in Bexleyheath
Bexleyheath is located in Greater London
Bexleyheath
Bexleyheath
Location within Greater London
Population31,929 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTQ485755
• Charing Cross12 mi (19 km) WNW
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBEXLEYHEATH
Postcode districtDA6, DA7
Dialling code020
01322 (eastern parts)
PoliceMetropolitan
FireLondon
AmbulanceLondon
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
UK
England
London
51°27′32″N 0°08′17″E / 51.459°N 0.138°E / 51.459; 0.138Coordinates: 51°27′32″N 0°08′17″E / 51.459°N 0.138°E / 51.459; 0.138

Bexleyheath is a town in south-east London, England, located in the historic county of Kent. It had a population of 31,929 as at 2011.

Bexleyheath is located 12 miles (19.3 km) south-east of Charing Cross, and forms part of the London Borough of Bexley. It is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in London.[2] Its wider definition is that of a small post town that takes in other surrounding neighbourhoods, including Barnehurst, much of West Heath and the former hamlet of Upton.[a]

History

Eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Rear of Red House, Bexleyheath
Rear of Red House, Bexleyheath

Until the early 19th century, Bexley heath was a broad rough pasture and scrubland with few buildings. Its windmill stood where Erith and Mayplace Roads now meet. The heath bordered Watling Street. In 1766 Sir John Boyd had Danson House built in his enclosed land ("park"). The core of this remains as Danson Park between the southern halves of Bexleyheath and Welling. In 1814 most of the rest of what was Bexley heath, north of Bexley, became enclosed (privatised) with a fund of money given in compensation to trustees for the poor of the parish.

In 1859 architect Philip Webb designed Red House for artist, reforming designer and socialist William Morris on the western edge of the heath, in the hamlet of Upton—before Upton became a suburb. The National Trust acquired the house in 2003. Morris wanted to have a "Palace of Art" in which he and his friends could enjoy producing works of art. The house is of red brick with a steep tiled roof and an emphasis on natural materials. It is in a brick-and-tile style to resemble cumulative generational additions. Its layout and geometrics are non-uniform and it is recognised and protected with highest category (Grade I) listed building status as it is avant-garde to influential Arts and Crafts architecture. Morris lived with wife Jane in the house for five years, during which time their two daughters, Jenny and May, were born. Needing to sell the house in 1865 to economise, Morris vowed never to return to it; he said that to see the house again would be more than he could bear.

The early to mid 19th century, Grade II listed Orchard House in Bexleyheath
The early to mid 19th century, Grade II listed Orchard House in Bexleyheath

Bexleyheath's parish church, Christ Church, dates from 1841; and the ecclesiastical parish from 1866; the building of the current church finished in 1877. Alfred Bean, railway engineer and one-time owner of Danson House, furthered the development of Bexleyheath as a London suburb by championing the Bexleyheath Line in the 1880s to support the growth of estates around Danson Park.

Twentieth century

The clock tower at the centre of the modern shopping area, built in 1912, commemorates the coronation of King George V.

Bexleyheath became the administrative base for the London Borough of Bexley when the borough was formed in 1965. The town centre shops and road layout were redeveloped in the 1980s and 1990s. The latter decade saw the pedestrianisation of the road adjacent to the shopping centre having built two minor bypass roads, Arnsburg Way and Albion Way.

Architecture

The 19th-century Christ Church, the main Anglican congregation in Bexleyheath
The 19th-century Christ Church, the main Anglican congregation in Bexleyheath

Bexleyheath has a slight architectural divide formed by Crook Log/Arnsberg Way/Watling Street: the DA6 postcode district, the south of this, as with Barnehurst to the north-east, has more architecturally elaborate homes and features Danson House and the Red House. The south-western limit is the eastern half of nearly rectangular Danson Park. Mainly facing, otherwise in part taken from the park to feature on the west side, Danson Road many large houses, of which a few have modernist elements.

In the west of DA7 (the north-west of Bexleyheath) houses are predominantly semi-detached and 1930s. This zone includes part of the Bostall Park Estate, built by the developers Feakes & Richards.

Town centre

The Clocktower in the main shopping street
The Clocktower in the main shopping street
Bexley Civic Offices

The vast majority of restaurants and eateries are on Broadway. The south side of the central, pedestrianised section of Broadway hosts Broadway Shopping Centre, a covered example completed in 1984, and a substantial supermarket four years later,[b] as in other urban places including New Towns. A cinema stands to the east facing a medium-sized supermarket.

A renovation in 2008 on "The Mall" gave the centre a more modern interior. The appending of "Bexleyheath Square" took place in the early 2000s, more retail units. Much of this investment provides local competition to Bluewater Shopping Centre, 5+12 miles (8.9 km) east in Greenhithe, Kent.

The statue outside the Broadway Centre is "Family Outing" by local artist John Ravera; it was commissioned by Norwich Union and unveiled in 1985.[4]

In May 2009 a major redevelopment scheme was approved by the local council following public consultation. This involved the redevelopment of the Bexley council buildings. The magistrates' court was to move to a new building where the library stands, which would be incorporated into the new development of 300 new homes. The work did not proceed as the shopping centre was sold.

In work commencing 2012, the Borough's Civic Offices were converted from the former main office of The Woolwich, which had been vacant seven years.[5] For the resultant vacant site in June 2018, housebuilder Bellway was approved to build 518 homes, of which 110 affordable. The development will include Bexleyheath's tallest building (13 storeys), public realm improvements and offices/retail.[6]

Given cumulative retail investment, Bexleyheath draws many customers particularly from Erith, Thamesmead, Plumstead and Woolwich which adjoin the River Thames.

Leisure and culture

Bexleyheath has leisure facilities including the Edward Alderton Theatre, Cineworld cinema, hotel, reference library, five-a-side football centre, bingo hall and ten-pin bowling alley (Ten Pin).

Bexleyheath and Belvedere Hockey Club are based in Welling, but play some home matches at Erith School.[7]

Cultural events include regular concerts by the Sidcup Symphony Orchestra held in the hall of Townley Grammar School. The town's theatre, founded in 1976, produces many amateur productions.[citation needed]

Education

There are four secondary schools in Bexleyheath, namely Bexleyheath Academy, St Catherine's Catholic School for Girls, St Columba's Catholic Boys' School and Townley Grammar School.

Places of worship

Trinity Baptist Church, Bexleyheath
Trinity Baptist Church, Bexleyheath

Transport

Rail

The town is served by Bexleyheath railway station, 34 kilometre (0.5 mi) north-west of the centre on Station Road. The station is on the Bexleyheath Line, the middle of three lines connecting London and Dartford. Rail services connect the station to London Victoria via Peckham Rye, London Charing Cross, London Cannon Street, Barnehurst, Gravesend and Dartford.

Buses

Bexleyheath is an important hub for Transport for London bus services. There are services connecting it with Bromley, Crayford, Dartford, Eltham, Erith, Lewisham, North Greenwich, Orpington, Sidcup, Thamesmead, Welling and Woolwich.

Notable residents

See also: List of people from the London Borough of Bexley

References and footnotes

  1. ^ Bexleyheath is made up of 3 wards in the London Borough of Bexley: Barnehurst, Brampton, and Christchurch. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)" (PDF). Greater London Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2010.
  3. ^ Map of parish of Christ Church, Bexleyheath: https://www.achurchnearyou.com/search/?lat=51.453&lon=0.138
    Map of parish of Saint Peter, Bexleyheath:https://www.achurchnearyou.com/search/?lat=51.465&lon=0.138
  4. ^ Public Monument and Sculpture Association National Recording Project, [1] (Accessed: 28 November 2011)
  5. ^ Fowler, Joshua. "Redevelopment of former Woolwich building in Bexleyheath approved". Bexley Times, 17 July 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  6. ^ Morby, Aaron (27 June 2018). "Bexleyheath's 518-home town centre scheme approved". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  7. ^ "BBHC Hockey Club". Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Allen, Marjory Gill (1897–1976)". Birth Control International. Archived from the original on 24 November 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Profile for Harry Baker". doverathletic.com. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Stunning Steph". Southern Daily Echo. Newsquest. 19 December 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  11. ^ "Jimmy Bullard - back to my roots". clubwebsite.co.uk. Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  12. ^ Flynn, Julia (30 October 2014). "Kate Bush's London house is for sale". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Surnames beginning with C". bexley.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  14. ^ "The Globe". 23 November 1889. p. 6.
  15. ^ Allen, Vivien (1 July 1997). Hall Caine: Portrait of a Victorian Romancer. A&C Black. p. 172. ISBN 9781850758099. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  16. ^ "David Daniels". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  17. ^ Poor Suffolk boy to Formula One billionaire Archived 10 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Eastern Daily Press, 3 March 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  18. ^ Henry, Alan (10 December 2004). "The Guardian profile: Bernie Ecclestone". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  19. ^ May, Luke (27 January 2017). "From Danson Road to Abu Dhabi - Bexleyheath's Bernie Ecclestone sells-off Formula One for £6billion - find out about his local links HERE". Bexley Times. Archant Community Media Ltd. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  20. ^ Haggith, John (27 August 2004). "Obituary: Frank Farmer". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Colin Gill (1892-1940) - British artist". Fascinating Facts of the Great War. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  22. ^ Cawley, Richard (13 November 2016). "Jake Goodman: FA Cup tie gives me another chance at achieving Den dream". London News Online. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Surnames beginning with H". bexley.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  24. ^ Schoeman, Chris (1 April 2013). "5". Angels of Mercy: Foreign Women in the Anglo-Boer War. Penguin Random House South Africa. ISBN 9781770225008. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  25. ^ Greenwell, Bill. "Mary Kingsley". billgreenwell.com. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  26. ^ 1881 United Kingdom census "Census records". The National Archives. Retrieved 4 September 2021.
  27. ^ "Neal Lawson". morebooks.de. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  28. ^ Marks, Kathy (6 August 1998). "East End send-off for a 'diamond geezer'". The Independent. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  29. ^ "Malone biography". Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  30. ^ "Surnames beginning with M". bexley.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  31. ^ John Cunningham (28 June 2005). "Melita Norwood ... Seemingly innocuous south London clerk..." The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  32. ^ Thompson, Tony (16 April 2000). "Noye linked to more killings". The Guardian. London.
  33. ^ Krueger, Christine L. (1 July 2014). Encyclopaedia of British Writers, 19th and 20th centuries. Infobase Publishing. p. 312. ISBN 9781438108704. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  34. ^ Bacon, Jake (4 December 2015). "Bexleyheath mum to cheer on son Liam Ridgewell in America's biggest football match - the MLS cup final". News Shopper. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  35. ^ Lezard, Nicholas (11 December 1999). "Profile Delia Smith: Simmer gently, do not boil". The Independent. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  36. ^ "Delia Smith: Television cook and food writer". cooksinfo.com. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  37. ^ "Player profile". Oz White LUFC. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
  38. ^ "Surnames beginning with T". bexley.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 14 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  39. ^ Buckner, Phillip (1998). "TUPPER, Sir CHARLES". In Cook, Ramsay; Hamelin, Jean (eds.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Vol. XIV (1911–1920) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
  1. ^ Competing definitions are, for instance, the sum of the separate parishes of Christ Church and St Peter, Bexleyheath,[3] or wards which change to ensure minimal malapportionment i.e. a fair level of councillor representation
  2. ^ Asda, opened 28 November 1988