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Coldblow

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Bexley

A semi-rural neighbourhood linking Old Bexley with the settlement of Joydens Wood via Baldwyn’s Park and Tile Kiln Lane. The latter name refers to the making of clay roof tiles here from the 16th century. The kiln was owned by Lesnes Abbey prior to its dissolution in 1525, but the production of tiles continued until around 1700. In the early 1880s, Bexley’s growth as a prosperous suburb prompted the construction of a dozen or so substantial houses on Dartford Road and Wansunt Road. This enclave was much rebuilt and extended in the years before and after World War II and only two of the original properties survive. Some of the 20th-century houses are well-appointed and Wansunt Road is now the second most expensive street in the borough, with average prices close to 600,000. However, only one property in Coldblow is of architectural significance: a modernist 1930s house at 7 Hill Crescent.

Coldblow is shielded from the A2 to the north by Churchfield Wood, a detached portion of Joydens Wood. A small area of the wood is dominated by field maple, a characteristic indicator of ancient woodland. The wood is privately owned but a public footpath runs along its length.

There are deneholes south of Dartford Road. These medieval shafts, unique to north Kent and south Essex, were probably dug to extract good quality chalk to use as fertilizer, although some have argued that they were hiding places.
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The former home of the singer Dorothy Squires, seen in 1971, now replaced by flats on Wansunt Road

Just across the present borough border, the inventor and engineer Hiram Maxim worked on the construction of biplanes in Baldwyn’s Park in the late 1880s and the 1890s. In an 1894 test flight he lifted that century’s largest flying machine off the ground, albeit briefly. Maxim lived at Baldwyn’s, a mansion situated in what became the grounds of Bexley Hospital.

Postcode area: Bexley DA5

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

 
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