Inventory Site Record

St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Hayes

St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Hayes (Bromley)

Brief Description

The oldest building in the village of Hayes is the medieval parish church of St Mary the Virgin that dates from the C13th, although extended in subsequent years. It was restored in the C19th when Roman stones were discovered. The churchyard is bounded on the roadside by a flint wall, which matches the construction of the church, and contains an ancient yew tree.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Hayes Parish Church
Site location:
Hayes Street, Hayes
Type of site:
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: Hayes. Bus: 119, 146.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2012
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

There are C13th remnants of the old church in the tower and west wall, and the nave roof dates from the late C15th. The church was renovated and enlarged in the C19th, with extensive work in 1856-62 by Sir Gilbert Scott. The chancel was redesigned in 1904/5 and the south porch was built in 1963. In 2005 an extension to the vestry was built. During its C19th restoration a number of Roman stones were found and the site was reputedly once that of a Roman temple. Among those associated with the church are two Prime Ministers, William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham, and his son William Pitt the Younger who was baptised here, whose family owned Hayes Place. Bruce, the 'African traveller', who was married here. Memorials in the churchyard include that of Sir Everard Hambro of Hayes Place (d.1925), and General Alexander Mackenzie Fraser (d.1809), and there is also the grave of 9 year old John Panis of the North American Panis tribe, who was brought to England as a slave in 1763.

Today the churchyard is laid to grass, some of which is left unmown and it is described on a notice as a 'sanctuary for wild life, i.e. Birds, Butterflies and flowers', the grass said to be cut 'at the end of June'. A yew tree to the north of the porch is certified by the Conservation Trust for Country Living as being 1300 years old.

Sources consulted:

On-site information; Edward Walford 'Village London, The Story of Greater London Part 3: South East and South', first published 1883/4; B Cherry & N Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 2: South' (1983, reprint 1999) p185/6; 'A Brief History of the Church' on parish website.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ405663 (540598,166308)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Diocesan of Rochester
Site management:
C13th onwards
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance I
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

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