|Governing body||Woodland Trust|
Joyden's Wood is an area of ancient woodland that straddles the border between the London Borough of Bexley in South East London and the Borough of Dartford in Kent, England. It is located 2.7 miles (4.3 km) north west of Swanley, 3.3 miles (5.3 km) south east of Bexleyheath and 3.6 miles (5.8 km) south west of Dartford. It is one of over 1,000 woodlands in the United Kingdom looked after by the Woodland Trust. The first records of a wood on this site go back to the year 1600. It is also the name of a housing estate to the east of the woodland itself.
In spring, various flowers grow on the woodland floor such as bluebells, sunny yellow celandines and lily of the valley. Autumn sees a range of fungi grow from deadwood and the floor. Amethyst deceiver and lilac bonnet, and the fly agaric. In the winter months, conifer trees grow in abundance.
There are traces of settlements in the forest that are over 2,000 years old, and deneholes have been found. Faesten Dic, ‘the strong dike’, is a boundary feature built around 1,500 years ago by Saxon settlers; it runs for over a kilometre through the forest.
Archaeological investigation during the 1950s has also revealed that a medieval hall flanked by two smaller buildings was present in the area, now underneath an area of housing that is east of Summerhouse Drive and south of Joyden's Wood Road. The hall was likely constructed out of timber with a tiled roof, and the period of occupation has been dated to between circa 1280 and 1320 through an analysis of the pottery found at the site. This reflects the likelihood that the site was inhabited for about two generations, but no longer. It is possible that this building was the Manor of Ocholt, which is known from historical records to have been located nearby and which was owned by Lesnes Abbey. Some of the pottery sherds found were identified as belonging to grey ware produced in the Limpsfield area of Surrey; such Limpsfield ware was supplied to London and northern Kent, having also been found at nearby sites Cray House and Eynsford Castle.
The likely source of fresh water for the hall's inhabitants was a nearby well. A number of earthworks surrounded the hall, although the exact date of these has not been ascertained. Why the hall was abandoned is not clear, but possibilities include a failure in the water supply, a rapid impoverishment of the sandy soil found in the surrounding fields, or the impact of the Black Death. There was no archaeological evidence suggesting that the house might have been devastated by fire.
During the Second World War, two RAF Hawker Hurricane fighters crashed in the wood and some hollows visible in the wood are bomb craters. A wooden sculpture of a crashed Hurricane lies just west of Faesten Dic, carved by local sculptor Peter Leadbeater.
Joyden's Wood Estate
Joydens Wood Estate is home to several thousand people. Amenities include a post office, butcher, pharmacy, library, petrol station as well as local infant and junior schools. Community groups that meet at the Joydens Wood Community Centre in Birchwood Drive include a pre-school, a Women's Institute and a table tennis club. St Barnabas' Church in Tile Kiln Lane has a multi-purpose building used both by the church and community groups. The scouts and guides have a hall; there is also a Freeholders' Association. Local authority administration of the estate is split between the London Borough of Bexley within Greater London and the Borough of Dartford within Kent.
According to the 2011 census, 86% of the population is White British.
Joyden's Wood borders Dartford to the north, Wilmington to the north east and east, Hextable to the south east, Swanley to the south, Ruxley to the south west, North Cray to the west and Bexley to the north west.
- Trust, Woodland. "Joyden's Wood - Visiting Woods". Woodland Trust. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
- "Faesten Dic, a medieval frontier work in Joydens Wood". Historic England. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
- Tester & Caiger 1958, p. 18.
- Tester & Caiger 1958, p. 19.
- Tester & Caiger 1958, p. 38.
- Tester & Caiger 1958, p. 25.
- Tester & Caiger 1958, p. 37.
- Tester & Caiger 1958, p. 24.
- Trust, Woodland. "Joyden's Wood - Visiting Woods". Woodland Trust. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
- Services, Good Stuff IT. "Joydens Wood - UK Census Data 2011". UK Census Data. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
- Colvin, H. M. (1948). "Excavations in Joydens Wood, Bexley" (PDF). Archaeologia Cantiana. 61: 133–134.
- Hogg, A. H. A. (1941). "Earthworks in Joydens Wood, Bexley, Kent" (PDF). Archaeologia Cantiana. 54: 11–27.
- Tester, P. J. (1979). "A Re-Assessment of Some Features of the Medieval House in the Joyden's Wood Square Earthwork" (PDF). Archaeologia Cantiana. Kent Archaeological Society. 95: 289–290.
- Tester, P. J.; Caiger, J. E. L. (1957). "New Discoveries in the Joyden's Wood Square Earthwork, near Dartford" (PDF). Archaeologia Cantiana. Kent Archaeological Society. 171: 233.
- Tester, P. J.; Caiger, J. E. L. (1958). "Medieval Buildings in the Joyden's Wood Square Earthwork". Archaeologia Cantiana. Kent Archaeological Society. 172: 18–39.
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