"ORPINGTON, a parish in the hundred of Ruxley, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, county Kent, 4 miles S.E. of Bromley, its post town, 3 S. by W. of Foot's Cray, and 1 mile from the St. Mary Cray railway station. The village is situated at the source of the river Cray, and is chiefly agricultural. In consequence of the numerous springs attending the rise of the river Cray, the parish is subject to frequent inundations. Hops and fruit are grown extensively. The parish includes the hamlets of Orpington, Crofton, and St. Mary Cray. Brickmaking is carried on. Queen Elizabeth was entertained at the Manor House in 1573 by Sir P. Hart. The living is a vicarage with the curacy of St. Mary Cray annexed, in the diocese of Canterbury, value £372, in the patronage of the archbishop. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient structure, with an embattled tower containing one bell; the doorway is of ancient workmanship, and the interior of the church contains a brass to T. Wilkynson, bearing date 1511. There is a British school for both sexes, supported by J. C. Stapleton, Esq. Sir P. H. Dyke, Bart., is lord of the manor of Great Orpington, and J. G. Stapleton, Esq., of Little Orpington. A fair is held on Holy Thursday."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]