diamond geezer

 Friday, November 21, 2014

Primrose Hill is not a village.
Wimbledon Village is not a village.
Stratford's new East Village is absolutely not a village.

But London does have proper villages, because in some areas the suburban sprawl doesn't quite stretch as far as the Greater London border.

So here's my attempt at a schematic map of London's villages.
Click on the name for more information from the excellent Hidden London website.
And click on the postcode for a map.

Hill End [UB9]
Mount Pleasant [UB9]
Harefield [UB9]
South Harefield [UB9]
Barnet Gate [EN5]
Rowley Green [EN5]
Arkley [EN5]
Monken Hadley [EN5]
Totteridge [N20]
Botany Bay [EN2]
Crews Hill [EN2]
Bulls Cross [EN2]
Havering-atte-Bower [RM4]
Noak Hill [RM4]
Newyears Green [UB9]GREATER
Hacton [RM14]
North Ockendon [RM14]
Wennington [RM13]
Harmondsworth [UB7]
Sipson [UB7]
Longford [UB7]
Petersham [TW10]
North Cray [DA14]
Hockenden [BR8]
Kevingtown [BR5]
Chelsfield [BR6]
Maypole [BR6]
Malden Rushett [KT9]Little Woodcote [SM5]Keston [BR2]
Leaves Green [BR2]
Downe [BR6]
Berry's Green [TN16]
Luxted [BR6]
Pratt's Bottom [BR6]
Cudham [TN14]
Hazelwood [TN14]
Horns Green [TN14]

The largest concentration of London villages is to the southeast, in Bromley, across several square miles that probably ought to be in Kent. Several more villages run across the top of London along the outer edge of Barnet and Enfield. Meanwhile the county of Surrey generally begins before the houses stop, hence to the southwest there are barely any villages inside London at all.

But what precisely is a village?

I've plumped for settlements disconnected from London's built-up area, generally surrounded by fields or undeveloped land. I've included hamlets if they have an identity, but not mere clusters of houses. But I haven't done that religiously, I've also used judgement and common sense, which means you'll probably disagree with some of my choices.

Isn't Harefield big enough to be a town? Is Arkley more a suburb than somewhere rural? Do Luxted and Horns Green technically exist - their woefully brief Wikipedia entries suggest not. And where's [insert name of village here], shouldn't that also be included?

You may well have some comments to make about my selection, and how it should be tweaked, reduced or increased. If so, please let me know, and we'll try to make this as definitive a list as possible.

Because Notting Hill, Marylebone and Highgate are not villages, whatever the property-thumping media try to claim. The real thing is readily available within London's borders, so let's not pretend.

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