Type Shaft , Marker
A square wooden post with chamfered edges, painted white, tapering up to a box-shaped rectangular sign bearing the village name on both sides. This is surmounted by a two-dimensional rearing white horse, the symbol of Kent, white with black outlining. The sign has a moulded wood surround and is supported by two plain brackets. The name Chelsfield is printed onto a plastic or metal plate with a slight shine to it, set into the frame on either side. The post is set in a cast iron black painted socket, in a base of mixed paviours and stone squares.
A timber sign following the design of the original sign located on the Orpington By-Pass. It was part funded by the Chelsfield Village Society.(1)
The rearing white horse is the traditional symbol of Kent. The horse faces to the left, and stands on its hind legs with the right leg extended forward and slightly raised. The two front legs are separated as if pawing the air, with the right one higher than the other. The horse is often accompanied by the motto 'Invicta', meaning 'unconquered', usually in a scroll beneath.
The white horse is supposed to be the horse of Odin and to have first appeared on the banner of the Jutes when they invaded the Isle of Thanet. They were led by the semi-legendary Hengist who, with his brother Horsa and son Æsc, were supposedly the first Saxons to arrive in Britain, in the fifth century, and founded the kingdom of Kent. Another tradition has it that it represents the horse ridden by Hengist.
The county of Kent always covered roughly the same area as the ancient bounds until the reorganisation of Greater London in 1965. Originally it extended as far as the Thames and even included North Woolwich on the other side of the river. In 1965 several metropolitan boroughs and UDCs in north west Kent were taken into the newly-created boroughs of Bexley and Bromley. Bexley, Sidcup, Erith and Crayford went to Bexley borough, and Bromley, Beckenham, Orpington, Chislehurst and Penge went to Bromley. The horse had featured in the coats of arms of the old local authorities and was likewise incorporated into the crests of the new London Boroughs to show the historic link with Kent
It is widely used throughout these areas, with or without the motto, as a decorative and symbolic motif.
Shaded lettering, red shadowed with black, printed on off-white background with red line border round:
CHELSFIELD / VILLAGE
PMSA recording information