An artist's impression of Bexleyheath when it was heath land.
Less than 200 years ago Bexley Heath was a tract of rough open land, unfit for cultivation, with a bad reputation as a haunt of highwaymen.
It was a wild, deserted place, so bare that 'the tree on Bexley Heath' was a landmark used in a printed table of distances published by the New Cross Turnpike Trust in 1738.
One of the few buildings on the Heath was the Bexley Heath windmill, which stood at the junction of Mayplace Road and Erith Road and can be seen in the distance.
Photograph of a painting by John E. Tennant, 1841.