Hartley Bottom Road is the ancient highway which links Longfield, Hartley and Ridley along a dry valley, and thence to Wrotham. Its early existence can be assumed from the many old houses along the road. In 1554 when the rebels against Queen Mary fled the field of battle at Wrotham to Hartley Wood, presumably along Hartley Bottom Road. One early traveller along this road was John Sampson in 1746 who lost his pocket book while travelling this way betwen Trosley and London (London Evening Post 31.7.1746).
Hartley Bottom Road is still very much the country lane as it wends its way through the rural part of Hartley. But the area has an industrial past too. In Ash Parish behind the farm shop is Westers Chalk Quarry, while by the railway is the former Borough of Southwark Rubbish Tip, now grassed over. Since 1996 the road has a weight limit for lorries of 7.5 tonnes laden weight. Before then the railway bridge had a 22 ton weight limit imposed in 1967. Recent concerns about the structure of the bridge have further reduced this to 3 tonnes.
Historically only 3 houses fell in the parish of Hartley - Goldsmiths Cottage, Skips Cottage and Hartley Bottom Farm. However boundary changes in 1987 which made the railway the boundary between Hartley and Longfield have added another half a dozen, including the ancient Red Cow Farm (formerly called Middleton Farm).
Hartley Bottom was the venue for the earliest known cricket match to be played in Hartley between Gravesend and a Hartley/Meopham team:
"This day was a cricketing match at Hartley Bottom, between Gravesend and Meopham and Hartley: Gravesend beat. There was also a donkey race." (Diary of Thomas Pocock 31.7.1812)