Monday, 24 August 2009

The London/Surrey boundary. Whyteleafe Hill

A SQUARE BY SQUARE LOOK AT LONDON
TQ 33 59 An area of suburban housing on the west slope above the A22 and skirting Kenley Common and the airfield

Boundary London/Surrey/Croydon
Having crossed Godstone Road the boundary follows the railway line south until just before Whyteleafe Station. It then turns south west and skirts the ends of Hornchurch Hill to the south and Mosslea Road, Beverley Road and Hilltop Road to the north. It continues south west curving round the northern edge of Kenley Common, running between it and the airfield and turning south with it.

Post to the north Rose and Crown Pit
Post to the south Kenley Common

On the Surrey, Tandridge side of the border
Godstone Road
A22. this is the old Lewes Road the ancient road into Sussex.
121 Electricity sub station 1924 11Kv receiving supply from Wandsworth
The Bourne crosses from the east side to the west side of Godstone Road opposite the football ground. It is in a culvert but there is a small open section before it reaches the railway, which it crosses
Kenley Common
80 acres of common land, open but including woods. It runs along the west flanks of the Caterham Valley. It is the smallest of the commons managed by the City of London. It is is marked as ‘common’ on Rocque's map of 1765.

Station Road St.Thomas RC Church. 1961 with aluminium spire.

Whyteleaf Hill
The Bourne crosses the road having crossed the railway in a culvert. It briefly appears in an open channel west of the station. It then re-crosses the Godstone Road. It then passes under a house and a garage in pipes.Coal Tax Post In Well Farm . Road at bottom of bank on north side just below viaduct. Almost completely buried.
Whyteleaf station. 1900. Between Kenley and Whyteleafe South on Southern Trains In a quarry. Neolithic flint bits found there. Small brick station with level crossing on the Caterham Railway. Built 1855 to run from Caterham to Godstone Road in Purley.
Coal Tax Post a few metres north east of junction with Hornchurch Hill. It is a rusty post with an intact inscription and not too far from the former Greater London Boundary.
Small Concrete War-Time Structures of Unknown Purpose. These are small rectangular concrete structures with peepholes and wooden doors. Until 1993 there was a site in Whyteleafe Hill adjacent to the still standing coal tax post.
St. Luke's church.Font made of a block of chalk from the quarry
Churchyard. This contains war graves with memorial stones of the type designed for the War Graves Commission on the western front. The graves are of airmen from Kenley and a significant proportion died in the Battle of Britain year 1940. There are other types of head stones mainly to airmen who died before WWII as the result of accidents
Whyteleafe House Hostel
Library
School

Whyteleafe Residential district and station named from a field recorded as ‘White Leaf Field’ in 1839, apparently so called from the aspens that grew there.

On the London, Croydon side of the border
Kenley
The name uses the same personal name found in ‘Kennington’ although probably not the same actual person. It is ‘Kenele’ 1255, ‘Kente’ 1403. ‘Kenelee’ 14th century, ‘Kenley’ 1548, that is ‘ woodland clearing of a man called Cena'. It is part of the medieval parish of Waddington - or Watendone or Wattenden - where Kenley was just the name of a lane and a farm.

Kenley Aerodrome. part of Kenley Common was compulsorily acquired under the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) in 1917 despite public protest. At first it was an Aeroplane Acceptance Park - parts were delivered in crates from the nearby rail stations and planes were assembled and tested before delivery for service in France. between 1931 and 1934, it was rebuilt by local contractor, J B Edwards as a fighter station. Concrete runways had been laid by 1939 and used in the Battle of Britain in 1940 when it was HQ B sector in No II fighter group covering the area from London to Shoreham and to Pevensey. It was badly bombed on 18 August 1940 by low flying German Dorniers and junkers Ju88 dive-bombers. After this the sector operations building was transferred to Spice and Wallis's butcher's premises at 11 Godstone Road. The aerodrome received information from Stanmore if necessary. "Blitz". Fighters flew from here to meet enemy raids heading for LondonAfter the war the runways were too short for jet fighters and it was closed in 1959 except for use by the Air Training Corps for gliding but remained the property of the Ministry of Defence. It is the last Battle of Britain station to survive in World War II form. There is a grass bank for blast bay for spitfire shelter. The officers’ mess and ops huts are still there but the sector operations building was demolished in 1980 and much of the open space was transferred to the City of London for public access.
The officers mess closed in 1974 but taken over in 1980 by the Home Office. Because it is an area of relatively low electrical interference it was become converted to a Radio Technology Laboratory by 1982 and handed to the Board of Trade.
The Station HQ stands and the parade ground with a flagpole base still in place.
Officers married quarters
Flying butts
Fighter pen


Mosslea Road
Whyteleafe Business Village

Stumps Lane
Pit

This material is compiled over many years and from a wide variety of sources

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