Petts Wood

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Petts Wood
Petts Wood.jpg
Petts Wood is located in Greater London
Petts Wood
Petts Wood
Petts Wood shown within Greater London
Population 13,651 (2011 Census. Petts Wood and Knoll Ward}{[1]
OS grid reference TQ445675
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district BR5
Dialling code 01689
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
51°23′19″N 0°04′34″E / 51.3885°N 0.0760°E / 51.3885; 0.0760Coordinates: 51°23′19″N 0°04′34″E / 51.3885°N 0.0760°E / 51.3885; 0.0760

Petts Wood is a suburb of south east London, England and is a part of the London Borough of Bromley. It lies north west of Orpington.


The name appeared first in 1577 as "the wood of the Pett family", who were shipbuilders and leased the wood as a source of timber. William Willett, a campaigner for daylight saving time, lived in nearby Chislehurst for most of his life, and is commemorated by a memorial sundial in the wood. The Daylight Inn in the suburb of Petts Wood is named in his honour. Petts Wood has a second pub (The Sovereign of the Seas) and a railway station. It is situated between Orpington and Bickley. The Jubilee Country Park is to the northwest of the main shopping area. Before this park was created, the area was known as 'The Gun Sites', as it had been the location for anti-aircraft guns in Second World War, and was the home of the 1st Petts Wood scout group.

Most of Petts Wood was built in the early 20th century by the developer Basil Scruby together with Master builder, Noel Rees, as a high quality estate in a rural setting only a short train journey from the city, with the east side being built first: the first building in place was the station, and the rest of the town developed from there.[citation needed]

The generally higher quality of large homes built to the east of the railway line, as compared to smaller and more dense to the west, gave rise to the local references of "Half Crown" or "Five Bob" sides.

Noel Rees's name is still used as a selling point by estate agents; his houses can be found in Great Thrift, The Covert, Prince's Avenue, Wood Ride, Kingsway, Chislehurst Road, The Chenies and many other roads in Petts Wood.
The area between Petts Wood and Bickley sustained heavy bombing during Second World War because of its proximity to an important railway junction.[2] Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French and future President of France, lived in Petts Wood, at 41 Birchwood Road, for part of the Second World War. Another prominent resident of Birchwood Road was the Welsh Baritone Sir Geraint Evans, and the toastmaster Ivor Spencer also lived nearby.

Many residents of Petts Wood worked in Fleet Street, as it was the most affordable area with the latest last train for them to catch home after putting the morning's papers to bed (see Keith Waterhouse, "Streets Ahead").[citation needed] The Petts Wood Cricket Club was established in 1834.[citation needed]

In 2009, the local Woolworths had the privilege of writing the last word in the history of that chain in the UK, when its manager, realising his was the last one to close, gathered the remains of the Pick-and-Mix sweet section and auctioned the bagful of sweets, which would normally have retailed for a couple of pounds, for £14,500 ($20,000).

The woods

The wood itself survives and is managed by the National Trust. Originally just 88 acres (36 hectares) were bought by public subscription and donated to the Trust in 1927. This asset expanded when the neighbouring Hawkwood Estate and Edlmann Wood, comprising a further 250 acres (100 hectares), were donated to the Trust by landowners Robert and Francesca Hall in 1957. The woodland features oak, birch, rowan, alder, ash, hornbeam and sweet chestnut.

Notable people

The William Willett memorial sundial

Nearby Areas

Petts Wood borders Chislehurst to the north, St Paul's Cray to the north east, St Mary Cray to the east, Orpington to the south east, Locksbottom to the south, Bromley Common to the south west, Southborough to the west and Bickley to the north west.


Petts Wood station serves the area with services to London Victoria via Herne Hill, London Charing Cross via Grove Park, London Cannon Street via Lewisham, Orpington and Sevenoaks. Petts Wood is served by several Transport for London bus services connecting it with areas including Bromley, Biggin Hill, Catford, Chislehurst, Hither Green, Lewisham, Orpington and St Mary Cray.

Sports facilities

  • Petts Wood Recreation Ground
  • Willett Recreation Ground
  • Petts Wood Snooker Club (above Morrisons)
  • Orpington Ojays Swimming Club

Blue Plaques


  1. ^ "Bromley Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Only three bombs landed on the town centre itself, and those by accident as a German aircraft returning from bombing the docklands unloaded them on the end of Fairway, beside the former Embassy Cinema building since re-developed as a supermarket, and on the site now occupied by the Library. The sites were derelict until the early 60s, which is why these buildings are much more recent. Prior to that, the library was located in a shop on Queensway, near the junction with Lakeswood Road
  3. ^ "Major's million pound promise". News Shopper. Retrieved 13 April 2018. 
  4. ^ Giving, Just. "Page 'philsmillion' has been cancelled". Retrieved 13 April 2018. 
  5. ^ "Welcome to the official Phil Packer website". Retrieved 13 April 2018. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Petts Wood & District Residents' Association – About Petts Wood". Retrieved 13 April 2018. 
  8. ^ "De Gaulle Dead (main story) The year of exile in Salop [i.e.Shropshire] (sub-story).". Shropshire Star. 10 November 1970. p. 1. 

External links

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