The name Chislehurst literally means a stony place in the woods. These woods are very much apparent today. Chislehurst is surrounded by National Trust woodland, Scadbury Park and the unique central feature of the Chislehurst Commons, which is conserved as open space in perpetuity by Acts of Parliament. The Chislehurst Caves, where many thousands of Londoners sheltered during the Blitz of the Second World War, are also a key tourist attraction. The arrival of the railway in 1865 sparked the beginning of a housing boom and the village became home to wealthy East India merchants, lawyers and bankers. Chislehurst has seen change and development across the generations. However, overall, Chislehurst remains a special place of distinctive character, where busy commuters enjoy the charms of the Kent countryside. It is, indeed, 'no ordinary suburb'.
The Chislehurst Society was formed in 1934 as a residents association, and is now a charity with over 3,500 members. The History Group is a sub-group working to produce information on the rich heritage of Chislehurst. The society supports this publication and welcomes questions, comments and information at all times. www.chislehurst-society.org.uk. Joanna Friel is a history graduate from The University of Sheffield in 1981. Joanna has now rekindled her interest in local heritage by leading the History Group of the Chislehurst Society. Taking a particular interest in Sir John Lubbock, after whom the road she lives in is named, along with other eminent Victorians, Joanna is keen to bring the past alive for the next generation. Maureen Johnson is our technical organiser. She has lived in Chislehurst for 27 years, residing in the house where Sir Malcolm Campbell was born. Maureen is keen to research the life of a famous Methodist who once lived next door, George Chubb, 1st Baron Hayter, member of the well-known firm, Chubb Locks. Don Drage is an active and keen amateur photographer, and a member of the History Group, Don is a lifelong resident of Chislehurst.