Hawley’s Corner

Hawley’s Corner, Bromley

The southernmost and most elevated distinct settlement in Greater London, situated at the junction of five roads, halfway between Biggin Hill and the M25

The cottage was rethatched in April 2012
Spin­ning Wheel Cot­tage

Accord­ing to David Mill­s’s Dic­tio­nary of Lon­don Place Names, this tiny ham­let was first record­ed in the lat­ter part of the 19th cen­tu­ry, when it was spelt as Hor­ley’s Cor­ner on one map and Haw­ley’s Cor­ner on anoth­er. Prob­a­bly named after a local fam­i­ly, it lay at the south-west cor­ner of the parish of Cud­ham and of the ancient hun­dred of Rux­ley.

Miss Thor­n­ey­croft, the daugh­ter of a local farmer, set up a Chris­t­ian mis­sion in a cot­tage at Hawley’s Cor­ner in 1877. After the Thor­n­ey­crofts moved away and the lease expired a new chapel was estab­lished in near­by South Street.

For­mer tea­rooms at the apex of Grays Road and Buck­hurst Road were extend­ed to become the Spin­ning Wheel pub­lic house, now con­vert­ed into an Indi­an restau­rant.

A minia­ture thatched cot­tage marooned in the restau­ran­t’s car park may be the cutest lit­tle struc­ture in the whole of Greater Lon­don. This author is unsure whether or not this was the cot­tage that accom­mo­dat­ed the Chris­t­ian mis­sion.

The south-west­ern quar­ter of Hawley’s Cor­ner, which includes West­er­ham Heights gar­den cen­tre, was trans­ferred to the care of Sevenoaks dis­trict coun­cil in 1993. East of Main Road, Broom­cocks Wood remains part of Lon­don (click here to see the bound­ary on Streetmap).

Between Broom­cocks Wood and the south­ern end of Main Road the ter­rain ris­es gen­tly above the 800 feet and 245 metre con­tours, mak­ing this the high­est place in Lon­don. It’s labelled as ‘West­er­ham Heights’ on the map below. Just a few hun­dred feet to the south-west, Bet­som’s Hill is the high­est point in Kent, at 823 feet above mean sea lev­el.

Postcode area: Westerham, TN16
Blog post: Diamond Geezer visits Hawley’s Corner
See also: Southernmost point in London


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