The London Borough of Bexley i/ˈbɛksli/ is an Outer London borough in south-east London, England. It has common borders with the London Borough of Bromley to the south, the Royal Borough of Greenwich to the west, across the River Thames to the north it borders the London Borough of Havering, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and a small boundary with the unitary authority Thurrock in Essex to the north east, to the east it borders the Dartford borough in Kent and to the south east a boundary with the Sevenoaks district of Kent. The borough is within the Thames Gateway, an area designated as a national priority for urban regeneration. The local authority is Bexley London Borough Council.
Prior to the 19th century the area now forming the Borough was practically unoccupied: very few of the present settlements were mentioned in the Domesday Book, although the village of Bexley has a charter dated 814CE. Erith was a port on the River Thames until the 17th century; the opening of the sewage works at nearby Crossness in the late 19th century turned it into an industrial town.
Today’s settlement pattern is the result of the gradual extension of the London influence. Until the 19th century it was an area with a few isolated buildings: examples being the Georgian Danson House and the Red House on Bexley Heath built for William Morris in 1859. With the coming of the railways building began apace, although the area is still composed of many disconnected settlements, interspersed with area of open ground and parks.
The London Borough of Bexley was formed in 1965, under the London Government Act 1963 from the Municipal Boroughs of Bexleyand Erith; Crayford Urban District: and part of Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban District.
The Council now styles itself the “London Borough of Bexley” in common with its formal name, although it previously styled itself “Bexley London Borough” until 1999 (possibly to maintain the link with its predecessor, Bexley Municipal Borough), and “Bexley Council” from 1999 to October 2007, when it reverted to its full formal name in conjunction with the adoption of a new Council logo bearing this name alongside the 1965 Coat of Arms.
The town of Bexley, Ohio, a suburb of the city of Columbus, was named at the suggestion of an early resident, Mr. Kilbourne, in honour of his family’s roots in Bexley, England. In addition, a suburb of Sydney, Australia bears the name of Bexley, New South Wales. Also, a suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand is named Bexley.
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