Hayes (Kent) History

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Hayes (Kent) History

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Palaeolithic (to 8,000BC)

The remains of reindeer, mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, horse, hand axes and flints were discovered in the 1880s in a deep pit in Hayes. It was located close to Tiepigs Lane and was a source for extracting gravel for use on roads and during the construction of the railway to Hayes which opened in 1882. It has now been filled in and is covered by housing.

Flint blades, scrapers and hand axes have also been found on Hayes Common and flint tools in Hayes Lane and Alexander Close.

Mesolithic (to 4000BC)

An axe, core, flint blades and scrapers have been found on Hayes Common near Baston House School and a tranchet stone axe at Hayes Street Farm.

Neolithic (to 2000BC)

Numerous flints and pottery have been found on Hayes Common, in the Gravel Pits, in the Pickhurst area, in Hayes Lane and near Hayes Court.

When a large and significant Neolithic settlement was excavated near Baston Manor by the West Kent Border Archaeological Group in 1964 the finds included flints, knives, blades, scrapers, axe and arrowheads. Amongst the 225 pottery sherds, it was possible to identify 50 different vessels.

Bronze Age (to 700BC)

Evidence of human activity continues in the succeeding centuries when our ancestors started to use metal tools. Flints, pottery sherds, loom weights and fragments of quernstones exist from a farmstead excavated to the south of Hayes Court. It dates from between 1000 to 700 BC and suggests that late Bronze Age farmers were rearing sheep and growing corn in Hayes.  A bronze socketed winged axe has also been discovered in the north of the parish on land formerly part of Fixted Farm.

Iron Age (to 43AD)

There are very few Iron Age finds but pottery was discovered during the building of Hayes Primary School, George Lane, in 1935 and near Barnet Wood when a gas pipe was installed in 1964. It has been claimed that the 500-metre linear earthwork to the east of Hayes Court may be from the late Iron Age period but no dateable finds have been recovered to confirm this suggestion.

Roman (to 410AD)

There are considerable signs in the areas around Hayes of settlement in Roman times but at present in Hayes evidence is limited to:

  • a Roman Bathhouse near Baston Manor excavated in 1964
  • pottery found in Malling Way where excavations indicated a small farmstead in 1993
  • a cremation urn discovered at Hayes Court and a small cup and a bronze coin of the Emperor Antoninus Pius (AD 138-161) in 1923
  • 300 coins from between AD 296 and AD 309 were found in a pottery vessel near Ravensbourne School in 1953
  • Roman tiles were inserted in the walls of Hayes Church.
Saxon (to 1066AD)

A bronze sword ring, part of a pommel, was found in Hayes Lane in 1934 and is the only Saxon artefact discovered to date in Hayes. By the 11th century, charters reveal that much of the land belonged to the monks of Christ Church Canterbury but no evidence has yet been found of whether Hayes was occupied at the time.

  • Mark Newman,  A survey of the Archaeology of the Parish of Hayes, Kent 1983
  • B J Philp,     Excavations in West Kent, 1960 -1970
  • Brian Philp,  The Discovery of Archaeological Sites at Hayes, Kent 1960 – 1997
  • M.C.Watts  Anglo-Saxon Charters of Bromley, Kent, Bromley Local History Number 4, 1979