Another in the occasional series on “Far-Flung Lost London” …
North Cray was first recorded in the “Domesday Book” of 1086 as Craie, and in c. 1100 as Northcraie, meaning northern estate on the River Cray (an Ancient British or Celtic name), a tributary of the Thames. It remains an essentially rural village to this day – although it is now bisected by a dual carriageway!
A fifteenth-century yeoman’s cottage from the village may be seen in the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex.
Church of St James
The church of St James was originally built here sometime before 1120 (possibly in Saxon times), although it was subsequently substantially rebuilt in the late nineteenth century (and had to be repaired in the late twentieth after sustaining bomb damage in the Second World War).
The font survives from the Medieval period, and the pulpit from the post-Medieval (to 1637). Some memorials also survive from the post-Medieval and later periods, including those to William Wiffin (d. 1636) and his wife; Dwine Josias Bull, “painfulle pastor of the parish” (d. 1650); Elizabeth Buggin(s), nee Bowes, daughter of William Bowes, Lord Mayor of London (d. 1659); and Octavia, Lady Ellenborough (d. 1819).
The church in the nearby village of Ruxley was closed down by Cardinal Pole in 1557, and the parish was united with that of St James’s.