About Petts Wood
The name appeared first in 1577 as “the wood of the Pett family“, who were shipbuilders and leased the wood as a source of timber. William Willett, a campaigner for daylight saving time, lived in nearby Chislehurst for most of his life, and is commemorated by a memorial sundial in the wood.
The Jubilee Country Park is located to the northwest of the main shopping area. Before this park was created, the area was known as ‘The Gun Sites’, as it had been the location for anti-aircraft guns in WW2, and was the home of the 1st Petts Wood scout group. The area between Petts Wood and Bickley sustained heavy bombing during World War II because of its proximity to an important railway junction.
Most of Petts Wood was built in the early 20th century by the developer Basil Scruby together with Master builder, Noel Rees, as a high quality estate in a rural setting only a short train journey from the city, with the east side being built first: it is often quoted in sociological textbooks as a classic piece of 1920s town planning, as the first building in place was the station, and the rest of the town developed from there.
The wood itself survives and is managed by the National Trust. Originally just 88 acres (36 hectares) were bought by public subscription and donated to the Trust in 1927. This asset expanded when the neighbouring Hawkwood Estate and Edlmann Wood, comprising a further 250 acres (100 hectares), were donated to the Trust by landowners Robert and Francesca Hall in 1957.
Petts Wood and District Residents’ Association
The Petts Wood and District Residents’ Association exists to conserve and develop the amenities of Petts Wood, to promote an active interest in the community and local government and to generally promote or pursue the development and enhancement of the local community for the benefit of the residents