North Cray Heritage

The village of North Cray was listed in the 'Domesday Book' of 1086, and was recorded as having seven villagers and six smallholders, who together with their dependents made a total population of 52. They farmed 60 acres of land plus an acre of meadow and three acres of pasture.

Some 250 years ago the slopes down to the River Cray were part of the Vale Mascal Estate, one of a number of wealthy estates in the Cray Valley, which included North Cray Place and Mount Mascal. Neither of these of these survive.

North Cray Place was the original Manor house. In 1823 a new house was built, and 10 years later the whole Estate was bought by Lord Bexley. His family, the Vansittarts, continued to own the house until 1918. North Cray Place was hit by an enemy bomb in 1944 and was finally demolished in 1961. Its remains can be seen in Footscray Meadows. Vansittart land extended to part (if not all) of Parsonage Lane, and probably included the nearby Manor Farm.

Mount Mascal was built circa 1600 and stood on the hillside overlooking the North Cray Road. It was named after the Mascal family, which had owned the property in Tudor times. Notable owners included Sir John Leman and Sir Robert Ladbroke, both once held office as Lord Mayor of London.

The North Cray Road was widened between 1967 and 1969, demolishing much of the historic heart of the village, and dividing it into two.

North Cray has a number of listed/old buildings and features that are tabulated to right of this introduction with either a picture or a link to Google Street View that can be viewed by selecting from the table.

Entries are classified :

*     Statutorily Listed

**   Locally Listed

*** Others that are unlisted but still old and of interest.