The Borough of Bexley was created in 1965 when the old Kent boroughs of Bexley and Erith were amalgamated with Crayford Urban District and parts of Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban District. Bexley, in the southeast of London, is bordered by the boroughs of Greenwich to the west, Dartford to the east, Bromley to the south, and the River Thames to the north.

Population change

1966:215,180 people
1998:217,200 people

Until the 19th century, Bexley was made up of small, rural villages along Watling Street, an ancient route from London to Canterbury. The coming of the railways brought a rise in population and by the 20th century the villages had expanded, many houses being built during the 1920s and 30s. Bexley's most important 20th-century housing development is Thamesmead, a massive new town built by the Greater London Council on marshy land by the River Thames. The first stage of Thamesmead opened in 1968 and it was completed in the 1970s. The estate was constructed in modernist style, using pre-fabricated panel systems faced with white marble. The whole development was built on massive concrete slabs as a precaution against flooding.

Away from the riverside districts, much of Bexley is green and in fact the name means 'clearing in the box wood'. There are many open spaces such as Lessness Heath, Footscray Meadows and Danson Park.

Historic sites include Lesnes Abbey, which was founded by Richard de Luci in 1178, Hall Place, a fine 16th house built Sir John Champney and Danson House.

Places in Bexley

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