Swanley
Overview
 
Swanley is a town and civil parish in the Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks (district)
Sevenoaks is a local government district covering the western most part of Kent in England. Its council is based in the town of Sevenoaks. It was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the Sevenoaks Urban District, Sevenoaks Rural District and part of Dartford...

 District of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It is located on the south-eastern outskirts of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, north of Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks is a commuter town situated on the London fringe of west Kent, England, some 20 miles south-east of Charing Cross, on one of the principal commuter rail lines from the capital...

 town. The town boundaries encompass the settlements of Swanley itself, Hextable
Hextable
Hextable is a leafy village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. It lies to the north of the villages of Farningham, Otford and Eynsford, west of the villages of South Darenth and Horton Kirby and south of the village of Wilmington....

 (Hextable recently voted to become an independent parish council) and Swanley Village
Swanley Village
Swanley Village is a small village to the east of the town of Swanley in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England.Swanley Village was originally known as Swanley but with the arrival of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway line, specifically the junction between the Chatham Main Line and the...

. Swanley has a population of 20,986
In 1066, Swanley only consisted of a few cattle farms, surrounded in oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

, sycamore
Sycamore
Sycamore is a name which is applied at various times and places to three very different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms....

 and ash (Fraxinus) woodland.
Because Swanley only consisted of a few homesteads,so it was not mentioned in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

.

The name Swanley developed from the Saxon term 'Swine-ley', "Ley" meaning a clearing in the woods and "swine" meaning pigs.
Encyclopedia
Swanley is a town and civil parish in the Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks (district)
Sevenoaks is a local government district covering the western most part of Kent in England. Its council is based in the town of Sevenoaks. It was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the Sevenoaks Urban District, Sevenoaks Rural District and part of Dartford...

 District of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It is located on the south-eastern outskirts of London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, north of Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks is a commuter town situated on the London fringe of west Kent, England, some 20 miles south-east of Charing Cross, on one of the principal commuter rail lines from the capital...

 town. The town boundaries encompass the settlements of Swanley itself, Hextable
Hextable
Hextable is a leafy village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England. It lies to the north of the villages of Farningham, Otford and Eynsford, west of the villages of South Darenth and Horton Kirby and south of the village of Wilmington....

 (Hextable recently voted to become an independent parish council) and Swanley Village
Swanley Village
Swanley Village is a small village to the east of the town of Swanley in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, England.Swanley Village was originally known as Swanley but with the arrival of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway line, specifically the junction between the Chatham Main Line and the...

. Swanley has a population of 20,986

History

In 1066, Swanley only consisted of a few cattle farms, surrounded in oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

, sycamore
Sycamore
Sycamore is a name which is applied at various times and places to three very different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms....

 and ash (Fraxinus) woodland.
Because Swanley only consisted of a few homesteads,so it was not mentioned in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

.

The name Swanley developed from the Saxon term 'Swine-ley', "Ley" meaning a clearing in the woods and "swine" meaning pigs. So originally it was a Saxon pig farm. This later developed into what we now know as Swanley. In the 6th and 7th Centuries, there were probably two homesteads. After the Norman Conquest, these portions of land were turned into manors, which were then often divided among the monks at Ghent
Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

 Abbey
Abbey
An abbey is a Catholic monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.The term can also refer to an establishment which has long ceased to function as an abbey,...

 and Bermondsey
Bermondsey
Bermondsey is an area in London on the south bank of the river Thames, and is part of the London Borough of Southwark. To the west lies Southwark, to the east Rotherhithe, and to the south, Walworth and Peckham.-Toponomy:...

.

The town developed from a crossroads with very few no buildings, to a town with a population of 16,588 (in 2001) in one and a half centuries.
It had only three houses before the advent of the railway in 1861. The newer settlement grew up around the railway junction and was originally named Swanley Junction, it became Swanley, and the original Swanley became Swanley Village, in the 1920s.

The arrival of the railway changed life in Swanley. The town became an important horticulture centre, its green farm fields became an attraction for London doctors seeking a cure for sick Londoners, escaping the smog
Smog
Smog is a type of air pollution; the word "smog" is a portmanteau of smoke and fog. Modern smog is a type of air pollution derived from vehicular emission from internal combustion engines and industrial fumes that react in the atmosphere with sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine...

 of London.

Three hospitals were established, the Kettlewell (or Alexandra) Hospital in 1885, Parkwood Hospital in 1893 and White Oak Hospital in 1897.
The Kettlewell stood on the site of Asda
Asda
Asda Stores Ltd is a British supermarket chain which retails food, clothing, general merchandise, toys and financial services. It also has a mobile telephone network, , Asda Mobile...

's car park and was for poor patients from London who needed to recuperate after major surgery. The Parkwood hospital was similarly used and White Oak was originally for children with eye diseases.
During both World war
World war
A world war is a war affecting the majority of the world's most powerful and populous nations. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theaters....

 I and II, Kettlewell and Parkwood were used as military hospitals, Parkwood become part of the Sidcup
Sidcup
Sidcup is a district in South East London in the London Borough of Bexley and small parts of the district in the London Borough of Greenwich.Located south east of Charing Cross, Sidcup is bordered by the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bromley and Kent County Council, and whilst now part of...

 Hospital for facial injuries.
After 1948, and the creations of the National Health Service
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

, meant these old London Hospitals became redundant - Kettlewell and White Oak
closed in 1959 and Parkwood ceased being a hospital in the early 1960s.
Currently, the gates of White Oak can still be seen opposite Swanley Police Station in London Road, the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 in Bartholomew Way
is on the site of Kettlewell's chapel
Chapel
A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...

 and Parkwood still exists in its entirety in Beechenlea Lane as Parkwood Hall School (a residential and day school).

As Swanley developed as a railway town, the success of Swanley Horticultural College (which opened in 1887), led to horticulture becoming the predominant industry. The college originally only catered for male students. Then in the early 1890s the first female students were admitted. Local Nurseries and florists’ outlets blossomed, while casual farm labouring job opportunities on farms became in short supply.
Some properties in Swanley still have apple and pear trees in their gardens from the original orchards.

The parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 of Swanley was created in 1955 from neighbouring parishes of Farningham
Farningham
Farningham is a village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks District of Kent in England. It is located on the River Darent, south of Dartford, and has a population of 1,289...

 and Sutton at Hone reflecting the developments of the town and increase in population. In 1974 the parish council became a Town Council
Town council
A town council is a democratically elected form of government for small municipalities or civil parishes. A council may serve as both the representative and executive branch....

 and included the settlements of Hextable, Swanley Village and the main town of Swanley. In 1988, Hextable was formed into a separate parish council.

Location

The A20
A20
A20, A 20, A.20 or A-20 may refer to:* A20 line, a microprocessor connection* British NVC community A20 , a plant community-Vehicles:* A-20 Havoc, a U.S.-designed attack aircraft used in World War II...

 London Road
London Road
-England:There are countless London Roads in the UK. Only those significant outside their local area are listed here:* London Road, Brighton; for which a railway station is named* London Road, Guildford; for which a railway station is named...

 continued to pass directly through the town (the by-pass was discussed in 1938). It was finally built in the 1960s. The majority of housing development took place from the post-war peroid to late 1980s. A new fire station was opened in 1962, and new post office two years later. Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 houses and shops were demolished to create a new town centre.
Its 1960s shopping centre was then re-modelled in the 1990s when the Asda
Asda
Asda Stores Ltd is a British supermarket chain which retails food, clothing, general merchandise, toys and financial services. It also has a mobile telephone network, , Asda Mobile...

 supermarket was extended and is one of the larger Asda
Asda
Asda Stores Ltd is a British supermarket chain which retails food, clothing, general merchandise, toys and financial services. It also has a mobile telephone network, , Asda Mobile...

 stores.

Swanley boasts excellent transport links with easy access to the M25
M25
M25 or M-25 may be:* M-25 Dromader Mikro, a variant of the Polish PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader agricultural aircraft* M-25 , a road connecting Port Huron and Bay City* the engine of the Mercedes-Benz W25 GP race car...

, M20
M20
M20 or M-20 may refer to:In transportation:* M-20 , a state highway in Michigan* M20 motorway , a road in Kent* M20 motorway , a road, part of the N20 national primary road* M20 highway...

, A20, being on the M25 junction 3 interchange.
The A2
A2
A2 is a letter-number combination.The terms A2, A02, A002, A², A.II or A-2 may refer to:-Media:Gaming :* A2 Racer, a 1997 Dutch racing computer game series...

 is close-by and the town has very good train links to London or the Coast. The train journey from Swanley to London Victoria Station takes about 25 mins.
It is a 15 minute drive to the Bluewater Shopping Centre and Ebbsfleet International Eurostar
Eurostar
Eurostar is a high-speed railway service connecting London with Paris and Brussels. All its trains traverse the Channel Tunnel between England and France, owned and operated separately by Eurotunnel....

 station.

Today, Swanley is essentially a commuter and distribution centre, home to a mainly lower-middle and working class population, trading on its rail links to London and its proximity to the M25 motorway.

Politics

Between 1974 and 1999 Swanley Town Council was Independent controlled, from 1999 the Town Council was Labour controlled with Conservative/Independent minority but in May 2011 the Conservatives took control with 10 councillors to the 6 held by Labour. At County Council both ward councillors representing Swanley and area are Conservative and at Sevenoaks District Council the Town is represented by three Labour councillors and three Conservative [one gained from Labour in 2011].

Facilities

Local business sponsor the floral displays, while the Town Council maintains the grass verges and open spaces.
The residential is a mix of private housing with social housing on two main estates at St Mary's and White Oak largely provided by West Kent Housing Association based in Swanley Centre.

Swanley Park (which covers 60 acres of countryside) was previously known as New Barn park as it was previously New Barn Farm until various fields and orchards were bought by the Town Council to protect the green belt
Green belt
A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and land use designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges which have a linear character and may run through an...

 between Hextable and Swanley.
There remains acknowledgement of the former use (as a farm) with an avenue of fruit trees remaining and new avenues of trees linking the car parks to the central area of play areas, cafe and paddling pool and water play and boating lake. The Town Council has maintained old hedgerows and trees around the outside of the park and has created allotments and an environment area that is now managed by local volunteers. The park is home to Swanley Athletics club and hosts a number of county cross country races and other events each year. Around one of the large fields is Swanley New Barn Model railway (running on 800 metres of track) operated by a group of volunteers throughout the summer. A classical music and firework event - called the '1812 Night' - is held on the Friday before the August bank holiday.

At the Western boundary of Swanley was the 'Bull Hotel' which had a long history at the site serving the passing trade, during the 1980s to 2000 this changed to Hickorys Nightclub (1st Leisure Group) and then was renamed 'Deja Vu Nightclub' after a refurbishment in the middle 1990's, and in 2011 was rebuilt to create a hotel and restaurant operated by Premier Inns.
Due to the recession of 2009-2010, the 'Birchwood Pub' closed leaving only 'The Lullingstone' in Swanley Centre, 'The Lamb' and 'Red Lion' in Swanley Village and 'The Olympic' in Beechenlea Lane, the latter operated by the Council and providing a bowls green, a snooker hall and a golf driving range. There is no lunch.

Other Facilities;
  • In Swanley Park (New Barn Park) is the Swanley New Barn Railway
    Swanley New Barn Railway
    The Swanley New Barn Railway is a gauge railway located in Swanley Park, Swanley, Kent, United Kingdom. It has eight steam locomotives, with five more currently being built on site. In addition to this it also has ten diesel locomotives...

     and boating lake.
  • Swanley Indoor Bowling Club
  • White Oak Sports Centre - With flumes and large swimming pool, gym, squash courts.
  • Several Schools - 3 Primary and 1 College (Orchards Academy).
  • The Woodlands Conference and Wedding Centre
  • The Alexandra Suite and Clocktower Conference and Wedding centre
  • The Swanley Recreation ground - otherwise known as the Rec which has a skate park, football pitches and tennis courts.
  • As well as the large Asda supermarket there are also several other shops including Superdrug, Pie & Mash shop, Boots, Aldi, Peacocks, Wilkinsons, Needlework Shop, Holland & Barrett, Beauty Salon, a couple of bakers and several Estate Agents and Betting Shops and nail bars (2010). Banks include a Barclays and a NatWest. There is also a Post Office/Sorting Office.
  • Dispensing Chemists x 3
  • Fire station
  • Police station
  • Two Health Centres (The Cedars and The Oaks)
  • Birchwood Golf Club
  • The Olympic Golf Range Conference Centre
  • Swanley Outdoor Bowls Club (Olympic)
  • Tourist Information Centre/Cafe
  • Library
  • Dominos Pizza
  • Parkview Vets
  • Petrol Garages x 3
  • 5 Indian Takeaways
  • 4 Kebab/Fish & Chip shops


Moose International
The Loyal Order of Moose in Great Britain
The Grand Lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose in Great Britain is a fraternal service organisation, which has been run by the Grand Council since 1926. The current Grand Governor is Malcolm Parrott....

 meets as the Swanley Swanley Invicta Lodge and Circle at the Five Wents Hall, as do several other organisations such as the Royal British Legion and the Swanley Light Opera Group. There are many clubs for elderly at the Alexandra suite and other centres and the Town Council offers trips and entertainment for over 60s who are residents of the Swanley Parish.

Education

Swanley Technology College is the local secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

. It is a technology college
Technology College
Technology College is a term used in the United Kingdom for a secondary specialist school that focuses on design and technology, mathematics and science. These were the first type of specialist schools, beginning in 1994. In 2008 there were 598 Technology Colleges in England, of which 12 also...

, a status achieved in January 2005. The vocational centre was opened in September 2006. The school has a partnership with Hextable Secondary School and Wilmington Enterprise College
Wilmington Enterprise College
Wilmington Academy is a mixed high school specialising in business and enterprise and a vocational centre for land-based learning located in Wilmington, Kent...

.

Sport

Alma Swanley F.C.
Alma Swanley F.C.
Alma Swanley F.C was an English football club based in Swanley. They were founding members of the London Spartan League in 1975 and joined the Kent League in 1982. They won the title in 1986 but resigned from the league in 1994 and folded...

 were a popular local side but went bankrupt. Swanley Furness F.C.
Swanley Furness F.C.
Swanley Furness F.C. is a football club based in Swanley, England. They won the Kent League title in 1996 and changed their name from Furness F.C. to their present name in 1997. In 1998, they dropped to Division Two of the Kent League due to the absence of floodlights....

 are the town's new team, though many support nearby Crockenhill F.C.
Crockenhill F.C.
Crockenhill F.C. is an English football club based in the village of Crockenhill near Swanley in Kent. Previously they were members of the Kent County League Division One West after being relegated from the Premier Division in the 2007–08 season, a poor season in which the club was plagued by...

 as they are more successful. Cricket is also a very popular sport, with many playing it on the village green in summer.

Swimming is also popular as there is White Oak leisure centre and White Oak swimming club training there. Swanley Sub Aqua Club meet at the pool on Monday nights. SSAC is an independent club that has been training people to dive safely since 1967. Since 2009 it has been offering FREE PADI training for its club members.

Hexley Rangers F.C. is a FA Charter Standard (Hextable/Swanley) community based junior football club that play at Downsview Primary School.

Petham Park Panthers (www.ppp.com) is a FA Charter club whom boasted a fine talent of players during the mid 90's.

Sidcup and District Motor Cycle Club owns the spectacular Canada Heights International Motocross Circuit at Button Street, Swanley. The venue was first used in 1948 and was purchased by the Club in the 1980s. The Club became a Limited Company in 2007, but all Directors are unpaid and all profits go to improving facilities at Canada Heights.
A round of the British Motocross Championship is run each year as well as Open Motocross, Enduro and Trials events for all types of motorcycles.

The motor racing circuit Brands Hatch
Brands Hatch
Brands Hatch is a motor racing circuit near West Kingsdown in Kent, England. First used as a dirt track motorcycle circuit on farmland, it hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986 and currently holds many British and international racing events...

 is situated 5 miles away from Swanley.

Notable people

  • Janice Hadlow
    Janice Hadlow
    Janice Hadlow is a British television executive. She is the current controller of the BBC television channel BBC Two, taking over this position in November 2008 having previously been controller of BBC Four....

    , controller BBC 2, went to school in Swanley.
  • Alan Knott
    Alan Knott
    Alan Philip Eric Knott is a former Kent County Cricket Club and English cricketer, as a wicket-keeper-batsman....

    , Kent
    Kent County Cricket Club
    Kent County Cricket Club is one of the 18 first class county county cricket clubs which make up the English and Welsh national cricket structure, representing the county of Kent...

     and England cricketer, spent his childhood in Swanley.
  • Crispian St. Peters
    Crispian St. Peters
    Crispian St. Peters was an English pop singer-songwriter, best known for his work in the 1960s, particularly his 1966 hits, "The Pied Piper" and "You Were on My Mind."-Early career:...

    , singer and guitarist, born Robin Peter Smith in Swanley.
  • Mark Steel
    Mark Steel
    Mark Steel is a British socialist columnist, author and comedian. He was a member of the Socialist Workers Party from his late teens until 2007.-Early life:...

    , columnist
    Columnist
    A columnist is a journalist who writes for publication in a series, creating an article that usually offers commentary and opinions. Columns appear in newspapers, magazines and other publications, including blogs....

     and comedian
    Comedian
    A comedian or comic is a person who seeks to entertain an audience, primarily by making them laugh. This might be through jokes or amusing situations, or acting a fool, as in slapstick, or employing prop comedy...

    , born and grew up in Swanley.
  • Mike Stock, songwriter
    Songwriter
    A songwriter is an individual who writes both the lyrics and music to a song. Someone who solely writes lyrics may be called a lyricist, and someone who only writes music may be called a composer...

     and record producer
    Record producer
    A record producer is an individual working within the music industry, whose job is to oversee and manage the recording of an artist's music...

    , came from Swanley.
  • James Dickson Innes
    James Dickson Innes
    James Dickson Innes was a British painter, mainly of mountain landscapes but occasionally of figure subjects. He worked in both oils and water-colours.-Biography:...

    (painter) died of Tuberculosis in 1914, aged 27 in Nursing Home in Swanley.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK