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MPs pick Bexley's top tourist spots

PUBLISHED: 10:33 01 June 2011

Teresa Pearce at her beloved Erith pier which played a part in the life of the man who inspired the book Robinson Crusoe

Teresa Pearce at her beloved Erith pier which played a part in the life of the man who inspired the book Robinson Crusoe

Archant

As the Bexleyheath and Crayford MP got up in the House of Commons to persuade tourists to visit the borough, we asked the areas other MPs to pick their top spots.

David Evennett told his peers about the historic wonders of Bexley including Danson House, Red House, Hall Place, St Paulinus Church and Lesnes Abbey ruins.

He told the House last Tuesday: “Bexley has an awful lot to offer tourists both domestic and from abroad. I have highlighted just a few reasons for a visit, and I believe that we should develop tourism in the suburbs.”

Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce said her part of the borough can sometimes be overlooked adding: “As local historians will know Erith played a part during the reign of Henry VIII (1509 – 47). Henry is believed to have spent a night here on his way to France. Part of his naval dockyard was founded at Erith, and his famous warship, Henri Grace à Dieu or ‘Great Harry’, was fitted out here in 1515.

“Erith has a rich and varied history that is rarely discussed or celebrated. There is a fascinating history of smuggling in the 17th and 18th century, as well as the more recently uncovered role in the East India Companies trading and I am sure that many people moving to the area do not realise that the reason there are roads around the “pom pom ” area called Friday and Crusoe is because the real life mariner Alexander Selkirk, upon whom Robinson Crusoe was based, came back to UK after his shipwreck arriving at Erith on October 14, 1711.

“I think Erith deserves a permanent building to house a visitors and education centre to celebrate the history or Erith and the river.”

Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire said: “Obvious gems would be Danson Park with its range of attractions for a great afternoon out as well as Hall Place and its wonderful gardens. However, I’d also mark out the simple attraction of Bexley Village itself with the ‘Golden Acre’, St Mary’s Church, plenty of walks and plenty of places to eat and drink too.”

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