Blendon

Blendon, Bexley

A pleasant suburban locality situated midway between Bexleyheath and Sidcup

Hidden London: Blendon Road

This was Bladin­don in 1240, prob­a­bly ‘hill asso­ci­at­ed with a man called Blǣ­da’. The first known res­i­dent was Jor­dan de Bladin­don, who built a house here in the 14th cen­tu­ry. In the 1650s the house’s Roy­al­ist own­ers had to mort­gage the estate to pay a fine imposed on them after the Civ­il War, but they regained pos­ses­sion fol­low­ing the Restora­tion.

The house lat­er came into the hands of Jacob Saw­bridge, an MP and direc­tor of the South Sea Com­pa­ny, whose col­lapse in 1720 owing to spec­u­la­tion mania caused a nation­al finan­cial cri­sis.

A new Blendon Hall was erect­ed in 1763, accom­pa­nied by sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments to the 90-acre grounds.

Marked with a pink pin on the map below, Jays Cot­tages were built at the end of the 18th cen­tu­ry or the begin­ning of the 19th. This small row of ele­gant­ly sim­ple homes is the old­est sur­viv­ing group of build­ings in Blendon and is grade II list­ed.

The Three Black­birds pub­lic house has been in exis­tence since at least 1832. Most of the pub was destroyed by fire c.1890 and it was after­wards rebuilt much as it had been before.

Like most of the sur­round­ing area, the con­struc­tion of the Rochester Way was the cat­a­lyst for Blendon’s sub­ur­ban­i­sa­tion. Blendon Hall and grounds were put up for sale in 1929 and bought for £29,000 by DC Bowyer, a promi­nent local builder.

Bowyer’s homes attract­ed mid­dle-class buy­ers, but the new res­i­dents were not rich enough to ful­fil his hopes of con­vert­ing Blendon Hall into a pri­vate school, so the 20-bed­room man­sion was demol­ished and replaced by more hous­ing.

The Blendon and Pen­hill ward has a high pro­por­tion of mar­ried, Chris­t­ian own­er-occu­piers, who are over­whelm­ing­ly of white British ori­gin.

Postcode area: Bexley DA5
Population: 10,910 (Blendon and Penhill ward, 2011 census)
Further reading: Roger Mayo, Blendon: From the Earliest Times, Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre, 2002
Website: Blendon Archaeological & Historical Research Group