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Ruxley was an ancient hundred, a land division in the north west of the county of Kentmarker, Englandmarker. Its area has been mostly absorbed by the growth of Londonmarker; with its name currently referring to the Ruxleymarker district. Its former area now corresponds to a majority of the London Borough of Bromleymarker, a large part of the London Borough of Bexleymarker and a small part of the Kent District of Sevenoaksmarker. The hundred was within the Lathe of Sutton-at-Honemarker, in the west division of Kentmarker.

The hundred was approximately fourteen miles (22.5 km) at its longest north to south and about eight miles (13 km) and its widest east to west. The River Craymarker was the largest river in the hundred of Ruxley flowing northward through six of its parishes, four of which are named after it. The River Cray rises in Orpington then flows through St. Mary Cray, St. Paul's Cray, North Cray, Foots Cray, and Bexley before crossing the northern border and Watling Street into the hundred of Lesnes.

As almost all the area of the Ruxley hundred is now within Greater London, and as civil parishes were abolished in Greater London, Knockholtmarker which was in the south of Ruxley is the only parish of the Hundred that is a civil parish today. Knockholt is also the only part of this Kent Hundred that is in Kent today, although both would not have been true whilst Knockholt was in the London Borough of Bromley between 1965 and 1969.

Parishes

The parishes that were recorded as being wholly within the Ruxley hundred were Chelsfieldmarker, Cudhammarker, Downemarker, Farnboroughmarker, Foots Craymarker, Hayesmarker, Kestonmarker, Knockholtmarker, North Craymarker, Orpingtonmarker, St. Mary Craymarker, St. Paul's Craymarker, and West Wickhammarker.Also more parishes were recorded as being partly or sometimes within the hundred, they were:Bexleymarker, Chislehurstmarker, Chiddingstonemarker, Hevermarker, and Ruxleymarker. The Parish of Chislehurst was partly within the hundred of Blackheath, and the parish of Bexley was partly in the Codsheath hundred. Some records show that Ruxley, at least for a time had an exclave to the south containing parts of two parishes, Hever and Chiddingstone, which are in the geographical area of the Somerden hundred and usually included in it. The settlement of Ruxley itself had its own parish until 1557 when it was absorbed into North Cray parish.

Boundaries and neighbours

Ruxley occupied a central northeast area within the Sutton-at-Hone lathe, its position gave it borders with all but perhaps one of the other hundreds in the lathe. Ruxley was bordered by the hundreds of Little and Lesnes to the north, Dartford and Wilmington to the northeast, Axtane to the east and northeast (sometimes the hundred of Dartford and Wilmington and the hundred of Axtane were recorded as one hundred), Codsheath to the east and southeast Westerham and Edenbridge to the south, Ruxley's southwestern border was part of the Kent border with Surreymarker; Bromley and Beckenham bordered to the west and finally Blackheath to the northwest. The only hundred of the Sutton at Hone lathe that would have not shared a common border with Ruxley was Somerden, the southern most hundred of the lathe. However the exclave to the south containing parts of Hever and Chiddingstone parishes lies geographical area of Somerden and if included would give Ruxley a border with it, and thus give Ruxley borders with all other hundreds in the lathe.

When Greater London was created in 1965 what was previously Ruxley's eastern and southern border with the hundreds of Dartford and Wilmington, Axtane, Codsheath, and Westerham became roughly part of the border between the counties of Greater London and Kent being the border between the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley with the Kent Districts of Sevenoaks and Dartford. Although Knockholt left the London Borough of Bromley and became part of the Kent district of Sevenoaks in 1969 moving part of the Border in that area. Watling Streetmarker ran past the north side of the Bexley Parish and part of it formed some of Ruxley's northern boundary with Lesnes.

District replacement table

Parish Districts 1894-1934/35 District 1934/35-1965 Districts 1965-today Notes
Knockholtmarker Bromley Rural Districtmarker (1894-1934) Orpington Urban Districtmarker (1934-1965) London Borough of Bromleymarker (1965-1969) Sevenoaks Rural District (1969-1974) Kent District of Sevenoaksmarker (1974-) Knockholt was in Greater London from 1965 to 1969
Cudhammarker London Borough of Bromleymarker (1965-)
Downemarker
Farnboroughmarker
Kestonmarker
Orpingtonmarker
St. Mary Craymarker
St. Paul's Craymarker
West Wickhammarker
Hayesmarker Municipal Borough of Bromleymarker (1934-1965)
North Craymarker Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban Districtmarker (1934-1965) London Borough of Bexleymarker (1965-) Ruxleymarker was its own parish but was absorbed into North Cray parish in 1557
Ruxleymarker North Cray Parish (1557-1894) Bromley Rural District (1894-1934)
Foots Craymarker Bromley Rural District (1894-1921) Sidcup Urban Districtmarker (1921-1934) Footscray parish was later called Sidcupmarker parish
Chislehurstmarker Bromley Rural District (1894-1900) Chislehurst Urban Districtmarker (1900-1934) London Borough of Bromley (1965-) Chislehurst parish was also recorded as being partly in the Hundred of Blackheath
Bexleymarker Bexley Urban Districtmarker (1894-1935) Municipal Borough of Bexleymarker (1935-1965) London Borough of Bexley (1965-) Bexley parish also was recorded as being partly in the Codsheath hundred
Chiddingstonemarker Sevenoaks Rural District (1894-1974) Kent District of Sevenoaksmarker (1974-) Chiddingstone and Hever were within an exclave to the south and partly in the hundred of Somerden
Hevermarker


References

  1. Mills, A., Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names, (2001)
  2. Vision of Britain map shows old boundaries map
  3. Streetmap,co.uk shows present boundaries
  4. Nicholson Greater London Street Atlas Comprehensive Edition (2003) ISBN 0-583-33291-9 shows present boundaries
  5. An Historical Atlas of Kent (2004) ISBN 1-86077-255-2 - Maps front cover and back cover inlay
  6. Vision of Britain - Hundred of Ruxley - Divisions and changes
  7. The Hundred of Ruxley at British History Online.
  8. North Cray and Ruxley, British History Online
  9. North Cray history at www.idealhomes.org


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