Barnes Cray

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Barnes Cray

On the site of the medieval manor of Ellam. Named for the Barne family who owned the marsh area.  Marked thus on the Ordnance Survey map of 1876, earlier Barns Cray on the 1805 map, that is 'estate on the River Cray belonging to the Borne family'. This family owned land here in the late 18th century.

Laid out for the workers in the Vickers Ammunition Works, 1919. 1915-16 as Barnes Cray Garden Village. This 'garden suburb' with over 600 houses. Mostly concrete, was designed by Gordon Allen and built by Vickers 1915-16 to house munitions workers. It extends in a long rectangle between Iron Mill Lane, Crayford Way, stretching from Crayford town centre to Thames Road. Many houses have survived without major alterations, and despite later infill the estate retains a village atmosphere which is lacking in the other Vickers estates.  The houses are in pairs and terraces, and common themes include prominent gables, recessed open porches, and roofs sweeping down . Homes all have at least three bedrooms and half are built of rough cast concrete blocks.

All Saints iron church 1917 closed in 1960

Barnes Road

Groups of houses built as part of Barnes Cray

Craymill Square

Housing development of 1983 in an attractive vernacular style, with nice closes and pedestrian walks. Particularly attractive is the area in centre around Craymill Square, where terraces with swooping slate roofs punctuated, by rows of dormers face other terraces with slate facing between each storey.

Green Walk,

Iron Mill Lane

Named after the mill which made plate for armour.

7/13 Pims Almshouses, attractive composition. 19 consisting of a long one-storey building attached to a more substantial two-storey building to the west. Mr Pim lived at Martens Grove

8a, built as a public wash-house, but then became the rooms of the Young Men’s Friendly Society.

8a/20 a rather sombre Gothic group. 865. The centre of the group forms a sort of square.

12/16, Mrs. Stable’s Almshouses, forming two sides of the square.  Mrs. Stable was the niece of Charles Swaisland.

214/226 & 238/256 Two terraces of cottages with round-headed doorways, probably c1860, built to house workers at The Saw Mills

10, the Clergy House originally built by the Swaisland family as a cottage hospital


St Paulinus School. The section to the left is of 1974, the section to the right of 1983. The earlier part includes a strange building with roofs sweeping down almost to ground level; the hall has a narrow elongated stained glass window. Crayford Junior School. Tom Thumb House bombed,

Deneholes, near Eardmont,

Eardmont big house, called after Earde who founded Crayford

Barnes Cray Primary School. Modern Schools. When the foundations were dug Roman pottery found,

Iron Mill Place

Concrete retaining wall to hold subsidence,

Mayplace Avenue

Perry Street Farm.  Anti-Aircraft Battery Encampment.  Group of 7 brick buildings with asbestos roofs.  Standard military hutments from the beginning of World War II. Verandah to the Battery Office and Guardroom.  Used as a house with huts used for farming uses.

Palace Cinema.  Later The Astoria.  Opened as Bexleyheath Public Hall in 1870. Then a cinema from the early 1920s.  Fire and rebuilt 1934. Bingo in 1974.

May Place Road East

Golf Course

Crayford Manor House. This was part of the Place Estate and  is used as a  community centre This manor covering the western part of Crayford was known by the name of Newbery, in contrast to that of Howbery on the eastern side. For many years Newbery and nearby May Place have remained in the same ownership. It is linked to Barnehurst Golf Course. The earliest record of the Manor House is in the 14th century. May Place was built c1480 and usurped the position of the Manor House, which became a farmhouse but was still called the Manor House. It was rebuilt c1768 and in  c1816 with an elegant iron verandah and balcony for the Barne family, who moved away after 1847.The author Algernon Blackwood lived there as a child and the house is featured in his book 'A Prisoner in Fairyland' and described some of his boyhood memories and adventures in his book " Episodes Before Thirty part of the 1768 building remain at the east end. an elegant white mansion in the Italian style, erected early in the 19th century. ".  . Crayford UDC bought it in 1938 The and is now run as a very popular and successful adult education centre.


Observatory, constructed in 1960 from an old house; and a e prominent dome added in 1982.

Stable Block accessible through an archway . early 19th century though its appearance has been altered by modern doors.

From the rear of the stables a footpath bears left and leads to the tree avenue to May Place

Garden of Remembrance, In the grounds in memory of local men, women and children who lost their lives in the two World Wars.

Old Road

170 The One Bell


174 - 176  Listed Grade II, Conservation Area but once considered to be 'at risk'.  Probably a C17 timber-framed house, now hidden by later rendered and roughcast walls. Severely damaged after fire

St.Mary of the Crays.  A modern red brick Roman Catholic church 1972 with a small campanile; it replaced a church built by August Applegarth in 1842. Altar, font, lectern and tabernacle, of Cornish granite c1985.

St Joseph’s School, mostly modern, but incorporating small Gothic building, which was the original school building of 1866.

Perry Street

Hamlet increasingly industrialised through the 19th.

St. Paulinus’ church occupies an elevated site with tremendous views to the south. Paulinus was a Bishop of Rochester.There was an earlier church in Crayford, probably on this site, in Saxon times. The church is a puzzle - lot of odd bits on the outside. It is parish church of Crayford and is  extraordinary in that it has twin naves, with the chancel midway between them. It was rebuilt 1100, and the original Norman church forms todays’ north nave.  It was Enlarged in the 14th. There are Norman windows but some have been moved so it is difficult to find out where the Norman bit is and  Much of the flint walling has been re-laid and in it are many blocks of tufa, with a characteristically pitted surface. Tufa is a readily quarried chalk deposit which the Normans used as a building stone. traces of the lower part of aNorman doorway can be seen below a window.  Traces of Norman windows c1200, rather high up, can be made out.. The Tower was built in 1406 but some of it looks earlier.. Most of the windows were replaced in the 15th century, and these are the square-headed ones we see today – although some were destroyed in a powder explosion. A restoration in 1862, did not substantially alter the appearance of the church although the chapels were extended. The interior is of great interest and has many fascinating features, in particular monuments to the Draper family and to Elizabeth Shovel.  note the conjectural drawings of dates in the church's history on the wall of the porch. The font is 15th century. The dominant feature of the interior is the arcade which is 15th centur.. The handsome pulpit is 1630, as is the open timber roof. There is a 16th century parish chest. In the middle of the chancel is a painted altar-table, designed by James 1895; behind is the painted triptych of an earlier reredos. in the south wall is a stained glass figure of St Paulinus 1899; this, and another window ijs the only stained glass to have survived the war – but there are  Several windows of colourful modern stained glass by Hugh Easton 1955.  Note the Howbury Chapel and May Place Chapel. The most outstanding monument is the Draper Monument - large of black and white marble, with figures of the wife lying above and behind the husband, two children and right at the bottom, a still-born child in swaddling clothes.  Also outstanding is the large monument to Elizabeth Shovel, widow of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel, 1732 - it has much elegant detail - canopy, the putti, the sarcophagus. Others include: Blaunche Marlar cl600, with a knee figure; Margaret Collins 1732, a cartouche with inscription ending with an interesting verse,; Ro Mansel 1723, of grey-veined marble; Henry Tucker 1851; Elizabeth Barne 1747, with classical details; Robert Mansel 1723,  Large plain standing monument of grey-veined marble;  Margaret Collins f 1732.  Leathery cartouche with two putto heads;  Henry Tucker 1851. Several more tablets in the nave.

Churchyard . athe entreance is through fine Gothic lychgate of 1873, it is extensive picturesque and crammed with tombs; lying high above the road behind a brick stone retaining wall. tombstone to Peter Isnell, parish clerk for 30 eears with a now illegible verse inscription of 13 lines, 6 ending with 'Amen' and the other seven rhyming  'Amen'. table tomb of David Evans, the local textile printer, and his family. memorial stone to General Thomas Desaguliers, superintendent of Woolwich Arsenal for 32 years.

Iron Age settlement, west of the church. The settlement was discovered during building operations and appeared to consist of a series of storage pits and gulleys (possibly hut foundations) containing Iron Age A, B, and C pottery.  Crayford was probably the Roman Noviomagus, situated on the Roman road to Kent.

Manor House. The original manor house was north west of the church.

Shenstone, Applegarth's home, site of Iron Age settlement, owned by the council in 1947. Iron Age settlement, to the west of the church Roman tiles. All roads converge here.

Victoria Scott Court

Orchard House of Russell Stonham Hospital. The focal point of new housing development of  c1980 is a substantial and attractive Victorian Gothic building of 1868 (extended the left, probably in the 1890s). It was formerly the Russell Stoneham Hospital and was originally known as Orchard House.

Stonham's Pit. Old Stone Age finds. Possible flint mine and chalk mine. Just to the north at the end of Burgate Close Stone Age flint implements discovered 1880s under the brick earth.   Chalk was extracted on an outcrop west of the clay working and at the same time.  Also filled in at the same time.

Village Green Road

Dell open space near the junction of Maiden Lane and Crayford Way

Groups of houses built as part of Barnes Cray


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