Youth Action Diversity Trust

The History of Hurst Community Centre

*Notes used on this page are based on Manorial Surveys, Bexley Rate books and other papers

at Hall Place that provide an insight into the origins of Hurst Community Centre. 

The name ‘Walter atte Herst’ occurs in a subsidy role of 1348, but this is not evidence for the existence of any particular house at the time.

The Manorial Survey of 1608 mentions 40 acres of

arable and woodland at Herst, also a Herst Field,

Herst Spring, Great Hurst and Little Hurst, but

there is no suggestion of a house such as

Hurst Place.

The survey of 1681 states that one Elizabeth Cooper, widow, owned a house and other property at Hurst. It stood on the

south side of the highway from Bexley to Halfway Street; there was a barn on the opposite side of the road. This

was opposite the Oast Houses, which were on the

other side of Penfold Lane adjacent to Hurst Place.

The earliest map of Hurst Farm,

- dated 1854.

Hurst Place was used as a

convalescent home in the

1914 - 1918 war.

1925 Aerial view of Hurst Community Centre

looking from the rear of the building

towards Hurst Road.

The rate books at Hall Place do not continue after 1931.

 In 1939 - 1945 Hurst's cellars were used

as Air Raid Precaution (A.R.P) headquarters

and as a bomb shelter.

From the tape on the windows we think

this photo was taken during the war.

The Council bought it in 1946 and housed bombed

out families in it. It has been used as a

Community Centre since.

We believe this photo to be dated

from the early 1950's.

The Oast Houses were demolished in the late 1950’s,

the central hop store having housed the local

cobbler and finally being home to the

Hurst Horticultural Society.

June 1971.

We believe this photo to be dated from the 1990’s.

In 2014 we secured the lease to Hurst Community Centre for 25 years! Since then, the Centre has been revamped;

fixing the roof, redecorating the exterior, as well

as repairing or replacing any of the windows! 

Previous Owners of Hurst Community Centre

The name ‘Hurst Place’ does not occur in any records before about 1860, but one can trace back from the first occurrence of names with some confidence. This means we learn that there were 12 different occupiers during the above period including:

  • 1808 - 1823 J Littlewood
  • 1823 - 1827 Joseph Watson
  • 1827 - 1842 W.A. Meriton
  • 1842 - 1848 Lt. Col. Dickson
  • 1855 James Brown
  • 1855 - 1857 Major Rutherford
  • 1857 - 1885 G.G. Newman
  • 1885 - 1888 Mrs Newman,
  • 1888 - 1894 Charles Carrington
  • 1894 - 1899 Robert Moore
  • 1899 - 1909 Alfred Henry Houlder added the billiard room (Small Hall)
  • 1909 - 1923 J. A. Kinnison built a servants wing, 3 bedrooms and an observatory, which was destroyed by fire in the late 60’s
  • 1923 - 1931 Clive Kinnison

On the High Road between Eltham and Bexley, 11 miles from London and Westminster bridges comprises a commodious family residence with study, dining room, two spacious drawing rooms, seven best bedrooms, two kitchens, dairy, extensive offices, conservatory, flower and kitchen garden and four acres of rich pasture land, to be let unfurnished for £70 per annum to an unexceptionable tenant only.

The Times Newspaper - 1907

(A copy of the original newspaper can be found in the entrance hall at the Centre.)

If you have any information about the History of Hurst, please contact us on 020 8300 2076

or email Hurst Community Centre using our Contact page.