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Although situated just a mile to the south-east of St Mary Cray, this is a rural hamlet (also spelt Kevingtown), with farms, nurseries and old cottages. The name may come from the Old English, meaning ‘place on a small hill’, or it may relate to a landowner named Cyfa. The Ordnance Survey map of 1876 shows Kevingtown and Kevington as two separate places, the former at the top of the hill, the latter on its western slope. The manor of Kevington was in the hands of the related Manning and Onslow families from the late Middle Ages to the mid-eighteenth century, when Middleton Onslow sold it to Herman Behrens, a City merchant from Amsterdam who commissioned the construction of Kevington Hall, completed in 1769 by Sir Robert Taylor and currently being restored by its present owners. Behrens’ descendants held the property until the Second World War, when the government requisitioned it to accommodate Canadian troops. Afterwards, Kent County Council used the hall as a primary school until the early 1980s. It is now privately owned, newly restored and available for conducted group tours (and private functions) by arrangement. Next door, the former Shawcroft special school, built in 1974 in a woodland setting on Crockenhill Road, has been renamed Oak View and is a commercially run, medium-secure, mental healthcare unit for adolescents. The hamlet lacks any amenities for residents and the former Kevington Arms is now Blueberry Farm.

click for area map (opens in a new window)
There's not much to Kevington, but what there is is pretty

Postcode area: Orpington, BR5

Kevington Hall website

Brewer's London Phrase & Fable

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