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St Martin of Tours church Chelsfield Kent.jpg
Parish church of St Martin
Grid reference: TQ482642
Location: 51°21’29"N, 0°7’40"E
Population: 14,507  (2011
(Chelsfield and Pratts Bottom Ward)[1])
Post town: Orpington
Postcode: BR6
Dialling code: 01689
Local Government
Council: Bromley

Chelsfield is a large village and ancient parish at the very edge of Metropolitan Kent, south-east of Orpington.


The name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Cillesfelle", meaning "land of a man called Cēol".[2]

The ancient parish includes Green Street Green and Pratt's Bottom and stretches as far as Cudham and Orpington. The civil parish was abolished in 1934 when it was annexed by Orpington.


In practice, Chelsfield is split into two very distinct areas: the historic Chelsfield Village sited to the east of the main Orpington bypass (the A224) and New Chelsfield, which grew up in the first half of the 20th century after the sale of some of the Waring family estates. Although only about a mile apart from each other, they are very different in nature.

The A224, known as Court Road, now separates the historic village from its Anglican church which is dedicated to St Martin of Tours and which dates back, in parts, to the 12th century.[3]


Chelsfield Village has a primary school, a playground, a village hall, an allotment and playing fields used by the local cricket club and the site of the annual Village Summer Fair. In the 1950s the village fielded a football team of sorts, and in the early 1960s a ladies hockey team had a pitch next to the village hall. This latter lasted but a couple of seasons. On one corner of the field there was also two tennis courts but unused, they 'disappeared' late in the 60s. There is a pub, the Five Bells, and the church Parish Rooms sited next to the 'new' (1970s?) Rectory in Skibbs Lane. There are no shops at all. Neal's Store - a grocer-cum-ironmonger - closed in the early 1960s. The post office closed at a later date. The privately operated Chelsfield Park Hospital is situated on the outskirts of the village, in extensive grounds. The house had a magnificent sweeping staircase going up in the entrance hall. Post-war (WWII) 'Chelsfield House' was used as a 'reception centre' (??) for families awaiting a council house. Certainly, one family moved from here to a council house at Kilnfields, in Hollybush Lane. The 1970s map shows Orlestone Gardens next to the village school, and this is the site of the 'old' rectory, and its large rambling gardens which shared a fence with the school playground. In 1962 the gardens were overgrown and neglected, sporting several decaying beehives - and soon after, the 'new' rectory was built in Skibbs Lane.

New Chelsfield, has a wide variety of shops along Windsor Drive ranging from a funeral directors and dentist to hairdressers, grocery stores, a betting shop, a fish & chip takeaway and an Indian restaurant. There is also a pub, The Chelsfield (also previously known as The Heavy Horse). Windsor Drive also has the Chelsfield Community Centre, a Baptist church and GP's surgery.


Chelsfield Station connects the area with National Rail services northbound to London Charing Cross via Orpington and Lewisham and southbound to Sevenoaks. Connections can be made at Orpington for London Victoria via Bromley South and Brixton, and at Sevenoaks for Hastings via Tunbridge Wells and to Ramsgate via Ashford International and Canterbury West.

Chelsfield is served by the Transport For London bus route R1 to St Paul's Cray via Orpington and to Green Street Green and the R7 to Chislehurst via Orpington. Connections can be made at Orpington for buses to Beckenham, Bexleyheath, Bluewater, Bromley, Catford, Crystal Palace, Dartford, Lewisham, Sidcup, Swanley and Woolwich.

Notable residents

  • Brass Crosby, 18th-century parliamentarian and one-time Lord Mayor of London
  • Edith Nesbit, Late 19th- / Early 20th-century author
  • Michael Oakeshott, philosopher and political theorist
  • Dora Jessie Saint, better known by her pseudonym of Miss Read, 20th-century author

Outside links


  1. "Bromley Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 21 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016. 
  2. Mills, A., Oxford Dictionary of London Place Names, (2001)