Lessness  Kent


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Lessness like this:

LESSNESS, a hamlet and a hundred in the NW of Kent. The hamlet is in Erith parish; bears the name of Lessness-Heath; lies round Abbey-Wood r. station, 12 miles E of London-bridge; has become a favourite railway suburb of London; and has a post office under London SE, a church, an Independent chapel, two Baptist chapels, a middle-class school, and a charity school for girls and infants. ...

The church bears the name of All Saints-Belvidere; was built in 1853, by Sir Culling E. Eardley, Bart.; was enlarged after 1861; and is in the early English style. A section of the parish, containing about 1,000 inhabitants, was allotted to it. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Canterbury. Value, £200.* Patrons, Trustees. The pop. of the hamlet in 1866 was about 1,800. Lessness was the ancient name of Erith parish, and was originally written Loisnes. An Augustinian abbey was founded at the hamlet, in 1178, by Richard de Lucy, chief-justice of England; was given, by Henry VIII., to Cardinal Wolsey, toward the endowing of his new college at Oxford; went, after Wolsey's fall, first to William Brereton, afterwards to Sir Ralph Sadler; and passed, toward the end of the 17th century, partly to St. Bartholomew's hospital, and partly to Christ's hospital, in London. Some walls of the edifice still remain; and the ancient boundary-wall of the garden still stands. A modern house, called Abbey-Farm, stands on part of the foundation; and a market-garden is within the area.-The hundred is in the lathe of Sutton-at-Hone; bears the name of Little and Lessness; and contains the parishes of Erith, Crayford, Plumstead, and East Wickham. Acres, 11,659. Pop. in 1851,14.205; in 1861,32,584. Houses, 4,645.

Lessness through time

Lessness is now part of Bexley district. Click here for graphs and data of how Bexley has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Lessness itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Lessness, in Bexley and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 25th October 2021

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