History and name
The name of Lessness Heath has changed over the centuries. It was recorded as Leosne in the mid 11th century, Lesneis and Loisnes in 1086 in the Domesday Book, Hlosness in the late 11th century and Lesnes in 1194. At around 1762, Emanuel Bowen recorded the place as Leesing on one of his maps, then in 1805 an Ordnance Survey map recorded it as Lesness Heath. It has been suggested the name may be from an Old English word hlēosne, the plural of hlēosn meaning 'Burial mound' or 'shelter', later possibly adding the word næss meaning 'headland' to the end.
Lessness Heath gave its name to the ancient hundred, the Hundred of Lessness, and was the meeting place for residents of the hundred to discuss matters. In 1178, the Abbey of St Mary and St Thomas the Martyr at Lesnes, Lesnes Abbey, was founded near Lessness Heath and named after it.
- For education in Lessness Heath see the main London Borough of Bexley article
- Hundred of Litlelee entry in the Domeday Book accessed from OpenDomesday.org
- Lessness entry in the Domeday Book accessed from OpenDomesday.org
- A Dictionary of London Place Names (2001), by A.D. Mills p. 147 "Lessness Heath" ISBN 978-0-19-956678-5
- An Historical Atlas of Kent, edited by Terence Lawrence & David Killingray (2004) ISBN 1-86077-255-2 - Map and description of meeting places & hundreds p. 30