Thursday, 21 January 2010

Thames Tributary -Cray flowing to Darent. North Cray

Cray Tributary to Darent, itself a Thames Tributary
The river continues flowing north east

Post to the west Foots Cray Meadows
Post to the north North Cray
Post to the east Joydens Wood and Gattons

Bedens Road
Bedensfield Estate. Built in the 1950s.
Romano British Bath house. Found while the Bedensfield Estate was being laid out in 1956. Excavations were carried out in Bedens Field and the foundations buildings were uncovered - which suggested that a Roman villa had stood here in the 1st and 2nd A.D. implements for cattle and sheep farming were found

Cray Meadows
The meadows host many species of waterfowl – including a colony of parakeets. Along the river are plants rare in the London area.
Five arch bridge over the Cray. Designed by Lancelot Brown with a weir under the arches. Built c. 1781 of brick and flint to link the Foots Cray Place and North Cray Place.

North Cray,
North Cray. Owned in 12th by John de Rokeslee. In 14th passed to the Poynings through marriage.

North Cray Estate
On the site of North Cray House.
North Cray House. Dismantled in 1968 because its site was needed for road widening. The timbers were offered to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, near Chichester, where it has been re-constructed

High Beeches and The Spinney. avenues with attractive grass verges and a backdrop of well designed 1930s “styled” developed on part of the North Cray Place Estate which was sold to ‘Capital & Counties Construction Co. Ltd.’ In 1934 the architect, William Alexander Harvey, and his partner, Herbert G. Wicks, were commissioned to design, houses and bungalows, to be built on the grounds of the estate. The architects were based in Birmingham and utilising the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style, designed much of Richard and George Cadbury’s now famous Bournville, a pioneering model worker’s village community near Birmingham. Harvey and Wicks designed many of the original 315 houses, which former the residential core of Bournville. They also helped develop the Workers’ Housing Co-operative which developed a further 398 houses.

Roman pottery found during the building of a new water main east of the river. About 40 years earlier Roman pottery and tile had been found on the allotment site. It seems likely that this was a farm.

North Cray Road
North Cray Place. This was an ivy-covered house near the church; which was pulled down following bomb damage in 1962. It was the original manor house inherited by William Coventry in 1782 with grounds laid out by Capability Brown.
141 Cray Hall. House from 1830 but set back from the road. Used to be called Honeyden. Listed
181 denehole shaft found by the front door
North Cray Poultry Farm. Historic garden site.

Parsonage Lane
Forest View Stables
1/3
8 Gattons
Home Wood
Manor Farm
Cemetery. Churchyard extension to the closed burial ground of St, James. Part is used as a memorial garden for interment of cremated remains

St.James Way
1 Lodge for Manor Farm
77 Lodge for Cray Hall
St.James. It was probably founded in Saxon times but little is known of its early history. In 1557 the parish was united with Ruxley. At the end of the 18th it was a “small mean building ", but during the 19th it was enlarged by Edwin Nash. The nave dates from 1850-2 with the chancel rebuilt in 1871. It was bombed in 1940 and 1941. It is in ragstone and has a tower of 1857 with a shingled spire. The pulpit is dated 1637. The reredos has panels in relief of the Adoration of the Magi and the Flight into Egypt while the stalls have reliefs of the Adoration of the Magi, of the Shepherds and the Visitation and Circumcision. Behind is a 15th relief of the Seven Acts of Mercy. There is a painting of a Crucifixion by Gessi. Memorials: monument to Elizabeth Buggin 1650; tablet to William Wiffin, c. 1652; Octavia, Lady Ellenborough, 1819 by Chantrey of a kneeling woman with a wreath of flowers at her feet; Alice Morris 1894, signed by J. Nelson MacBean as an airborne woman in Grecian draperies. The Victorian tenor, Sims Reeves, was organist here while a boy.
Churchyard - Walls and gates from North Cray Place. The churchyard fits in to a corner of the park of North Cray Place beside the kitchen-garden walls which run along the road for a distance. An early 18th wrought-iron gate leads into the park.

3 comments:

Rachel said...

Herbert Graham Wicks is my grandma's great uncle. This is so interesting to learn about my family! How did you find out this information?

Edith said...

Years and years of reading local history books, and essays, and articles. Trouble is I sometimes didn't note where I found something - so I don't always kmow

Jm said...

Hi Edith

We live at 104 North Cray Road and our cottage has been standing since 1740 and yet there is no pictures or information about our house...i can date back to 1890 of who lived there but that's it, all the info came from Bexleyheath library. any info would be much appracited or if someone is reading this get in touch.