Hayes, Kent

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Baston Manor

Medieval wall paintings found. ‘Bestane’ 1240, ‘Boston’. ‘Bicstane’ 1254, ‘Bastane’ 1301, possibly from Old English "bxc-stan’ - "a baking stone, a flat stone used for baking'.

Croydon Road:

Oast House. Built in the middle of Hayes Common in 1873-4 by Philip Webb for the eccentric Lord Sackville Cecil. Not a large house, but as independent- minded as any by Webb and composed with a good deal more finesse than Red House, as one would expect fourteen years after that pioneering effort. Long and low, with a deep barn-like roof and the chimneystacks in four massive slabs.  The materials squared ragstone blocks and red-brick dressings, not always where expected.  White window-frames and a little white weatherboarding in the gables.  The entrance front rather like an enlarged school.  Webb's interest in Butterfield's schools in the 1850s is documented, ending in gabled wings of equal width but unequal projection.  The windows are wide and have his favourite segmental heads.  One or two window sills lowered slightly in recent years.  In the centre three evenly-spaced dormers of Queen Anne proportions.  Low, square porch running out the full depth of the wing.  The side has the memorable feature of four wide gabled dormers in a row starting up from the foot of the roof.  They impose a rhythm on a facade otherwise quite without symmetry.  The bow-window at the end not original.  The interior has been altered out of recognition.

Hayes Common

Large area of unimproved acidic grassland with impressive posh houses. The once open appearance of the common is only hinted at in an area of closely mown recreational grassland although some planting has converted this heath to scrub woodland. Conservators manage this like many ancient commons that survived c19th enclosure. In the 1920s grazing declined and ended in the next decade.  In 1954 the common was acquired by LB Bromley. 

The Wedge contains the opposing influences of modern ornamental planting and ancient earthworks. The area is now dominated by oak with some silver birch. A varied under storey of bracken, bramble and gorse allows wavy hair grass to grow, while the line of excavation for a gas pipe line across the common is now colonised by gorse. There is an Especially interesting patch of heather which contains rare dwarf gorse, cross-leaved heath and bell heather. The grassland supports lizards, grass snakes and adders.

Remains of 150 Neolithic pit dwellings church.


Preston's Road:

Hayes Grove. The first view, of a fine Georgian front, is misleading. The centre five bays are genuinely of, say, c. 1730. Two storeys. Pilaster strips at the corners, the centre window in a raised surround. Big doorcase with a segmental pediment. The wings however are a pastiche, and a very clever one.  The rainwater heads dated 1899.  Additions on the front too, doubling the canted bay to approximate to symmetry.  Original staircase, with three twisted balusters per tread.  Ernest Newton designed the additions.

The Knoll

24 resident and one other person killed as the result of V2 attack on 9th February 1945.

West Common Road:

Hayes Primary School, nineteenth century Church of England school, bell over the classrooms and the teacher’s house

Grandfield's nursery gardens sustained a direct hit by a V2 at 5 30pm, 9 February. 1945. The owner, James Grandfield, aged 62, and his son, Stanley, perished in the blast, great damage all around. 70 people were injured by flying glass and other debris. Ihe shock wave caused several dwellings to collapse. More than 300 properties were damaged,

The separate sonic wave may have been responsible for houses in the vicinity of Pickhurst Lane losing their windows, for they were  a  mile  from  the  blast,  while  some  streets  nearer  to  it were unaffected.



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