Bromley Historic Collections

Bromley Historic Collections Bromley Local Studies Library and Archives collects, preserves and makes available current and historic materials on the area of the London Borough of Brom

Local studies library and archives Bromley Historic Collections collects, preserves and makes available current and historic materials on the area of the London Borough of Bromley. The collections and records form a unique resource for information about the people, places and events that make up Bromley's history. Bromley Historic Collections is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, who wants to find out about local and family history, related to the Bromley area, and they are welcome to visit or contact us.

Operating as usual

16/09/2020
A Walk in the Park

We have had a lot of customer enquiries looking into Crystal Palace Park lately, which has given us a great excuse to look through some of the incredible maps and plans we have, both of the Park as it was at various points throughout history, and of what it could perhaps have been!

Here you can take a tour across a 1994 plan for restoring and developing the park. Enjoy!

#bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #historiclondon #crystalpalace #crystalpalacepark #mapsandplans #localhistory #history #london #archives

Penge was one of the places most affected by bombing in WW2, especially hard hit by the V1s of 1944-45, so a bomb site, ...
10/09/2020

Penge was one of the places most affected by bombing in WW2, especially hard hit by the V1s of 1944-45, so a bomb site, such as this one on the corner of Anerley and Palace Roads, was a common thing in the late 1940’s.

Puritan Soap and Farne Brand fish paste are long gone from British shops while it is clear that modern heath and safety concerns were way in the future! The site was soon filled with a set of flats known as Brunswick Court.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #historiclondon #ww2 #ww2history #TBT #localhistory #throwbackthursday

This week we feature one of Bromley’s more famous lost houses. Hayes Place, home to two Prime Ministers. Taken from the ...
03/09/2020

This week we feature one of Bromley’s more famous lost houses. Hayes Place, home to two Prime Ministers. Taken from the west on a wintery day from near to the present day junctions of Everard and Hambro Avenues, the spire of St. Mary’s Church can be seen in the background.

There had been a house on the site since the 15th century but in 1754 William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, Prime Minster from 1766-68, moved in creating the house we see here. His son, Pitt the younger was born here and was twice Prime Minster, from 1783 to 1801 and again for the period of 1804-6. The Pitts sold up in 1785 and the house passed through several owners until the Hambros, of banking fame, arrived in 1880.

In 1925 Eric Hambro inherited the estate and by 1927 decided to sell it for development. Initially bought by a local man, most of it soon passed to the Sheffield based developer Henry Boot. At first he intended to preserve the house but, following his death in 1931, the company policy changed and despite attempts to interest the National Trust, and suggestions that it could be used as a branch library, it was demolished in 1933.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #historiclondon #TBT #localhistory #ThrowbackThursday #historicphotography #historichomes #losthouses

This week’s picture is from 1896, showing the ancient ceremony of ‘Beating the Bounds’. Originating in Anglo-Saxon times...
27/08/2020

This week’s picture is from 1896, showing the ancient ceremony of ‘Beating the Bounds’. Originating in Anglo-Saxon times, the original purpose of the ceremony, usually on Ascension Day in May, was, in the days before maps were readily available, to pass the knowledge of the boundaries of the home parish from one generation to the next, by walking the entire length of the boundary with both men and boys taking part. The sticks were used to beat the boundary markers as an aid to memory.

Town Court farmhouse straddled the boundary between Orpington and Chislehurst, so to follow the Orpington boundary, as closely as possible, the walkers would walk through the house, in the front and out the back.

The site of the house, demolished in the 1920’s as the Petts Wood development began to expand, is between Kenilworth Road and Queensway Petts Wood. Towncourt Crescent is some distance away but on land that was part of the Town Court estate.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #localhistory #historicphotography #history #london #londonhistory #historiclondon

Our picture of the week is another of Bromley's 'Lost Houses'. This time it's Bromley Lodge!Built around 1792, this hous...
20/08/2020

Our picture of the week is another of Bromley's 'Lost Houses'. This time it's Bromley Lodge!

Built around 1792, this house was at the centre of a large estate at the southern end of the High Street. For many years it was the home of Charles Devas, the first chairman of the Bromley Local Board. It ceased to be the family home around the 1880's and became the headquarters of the Bromley Conservation Association. At around the same time, the adjoining areas of the High Street became lined with shops and were renamed as The Broadway.

Throughout the 19th Century the estate was sold off, piecemeal, but the house itself survived until the late 1960's when it was replaced with a branch of C&A, later to be a Woolworths, and currently a Poundland.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #localhistory #losthouses #tbt #throwbackthursday #throwbackthursdays #history #historicphotos #historicphoto #historicphotography #archives #archive #bromley #bromleyhistory #london #londonhistory

Our picture of the week this time is one of Bromley's "lost houses": Kelsey Manor, Beckenham.Records show that a house b...
13/08/2020

Our picture of the week this time is one of Bromley's "lost houses": Kelsey Manor, Beckenham.

Records show that a house bearing the name Kelsey was present as early as 1408, but the one from this image was first built around 200 years ago, and developed and grew steadily until the 1890s, by which point it was as we see it in this photograph.

At the time this picture was actually taken, around 1905, the house was in use as a girl's school. During the First World War it was commandeered by the military and, unfortunately, returned to its owner's possession in such a poor state it was demolished in 1921.

The side is now occupied by residential houses on the east side of Manor Way, near the junction with Kelsey Way. The Kelsey Lake is behind the house as we see it here.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #localhistory #bromley #historichomes #manor #manorhouse #photo #tbtphoto #tbt #throwbackpic #throwbackthursdays #historicphoto #photography #beckenham

11/08/2020

It's been a long time coming, but we are finally able to get back into the archives and get our hands on the records again!

Everything is still safe and sound, no disasters while we have been away, and no librarians snuck in and occupied our accrual space!

We are not yet ready to safely open the searchroom to the public yet, but we are working on it and can't wait to see you all again soon.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #archivistsofinstagram #archivesofinstagram #archivist #archives #history #localhistory #bromley #bromleycentrallibrary #bookshelves #bookshelf #records #historicrecords

Today's picture big the week is of an area in the borough that has changed more than once in the last century!Market Mea...
06/08/2020

Today's picture big the week is of an area in the borough that has changed more than once in the last century!

Market Meadow was the site of the St. Mary Cray (or South Cray) market in medieval times. But by the time the market hall was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1703, the market itself was virtually moribund.

On the right of the shot lies Manor Farm, and the path in the foreground follows the line of what would later be Cray Avenue.

In the 15 years after this shot was taken in 1927, this area filled with factories, including that of Morphy Richards. Later it became an industrial park, and now is the site of Nugent Retail Park. It is still possible to cross the river here, however.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #localhistory #photooftheday #PhotoOfTheWeek #history #historicphotos #photo #tbt #ThrowbackThursday

Our picture of the week this time features the shops at Mottingham, around 1980. We are looking at the crossing of Kimme...
31/07/2020

Our picture of the week this time features the shops at Mottingham, around 1980. We are looking at the crossing of Kimmeridge Road and Beaconsfield Road. The Co-op has since moved to the other side of the road, where we see the hut in this shot, and the corner site is now a dentist.

Can anyone identify the model of sports car in the centre of this photo? Let us know in the comments if you can.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #localhistory #photooftheday #photooftheweek #history #historicphotos

For anyone looking to cool down on a sunny day like today, this week's picture is a wintery shot of Bromley Common from ...
23/07/2020

For anyone looking to cool down on a sunny day like today, this week's picture is a wintery shot of Bromley Common from around 1900. This shot looks towards Lock's Bottom from the site of today's Hastings Road, and centre right you can see the Plough pub, built in 1733, whilst on the left is the Sawyer's Arms.

Almost nothing in this photo survives to this day, and those two pubs are now a Majestic Wine Warehouse and a drive through McDonald's, respectively.

#bromleyhistoriccollections #bromley #bromleyhistory #throwback #tbt #ThrowbackThursday #photo #photooftheweek #history #historicphotography #localhistory #pubs #historicpubs

Featured in our latest picture of the week is West Wickham. More specifically, the Stocks Tree of West Wickham High Stre...
17/07/2020

Featured in our latest picture of the week is West Wickham. More specifically, the Stocks Tree of West Wickham High Street.

Named for its position on the site of the old village stocks, the tree was a prominent feature of the High Street for many years. It was moved in 1935 after increasing traffic and the laying of sewers began to damage it, and taken to the recreation ground. Unfortunately, in 1968 the tree was blown down in a storm and all that remains is a small piece of the bark, preserved at the library.

In this shot, taken around 1925, Wickham House can be seen behind the tree. Remodeled in 1868 as a large house, Wickham House was later adapted in the more unusual manner of having the ground floor of the rear aspect converted into the shops you can see in this photo.

#localhistory #history #historicphotography #historicphoto #bromley #bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #tbt #throwbackthursday

July is normally the perfect time to get out and about in the country. Hopefully it won't be too long before that's some...
10/07/2020

July is normally the perfect time to get out and about in the country. Hopefully it won't be too long before that's something we can all do again.

In the meantime, here's a lovely postcard view of Downe post office from around a century ago. At the time of this photograph the postmaster was one Willie Abbot, who's refreshments were as popular with the locals as they were with visitors.

#tbt #ThrowbackThursday #historicphotography #historicphoto #bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #bromley #localhistory

To celebrate the reopening of pubs this Saturday, our picture of the week features The Chequers, on Southborough Lane. Y...
02/07/2020

To celebrate the reopening of pubs this Saturday, our picture of the week features The Chequers, on Southborough Lane. You can see this gorgeous pub as it was 100 years ago, in 1920, and as it is today!

Although it has been modernised over the years, some key features remain to the present day.

Parked outside, hopefully by a designated driver, can anyone identify the car in the third image?

#bromley #bromleyhistory #bromleyhistoriccollections #pubs #historicpubs #pubphoto #photographs #photooftheweek #historicphotography #historicphoto #tbt #throwbackthursday #classiccar #car #vintagecars @ Southborough Lane

This week's picture will be another familiar one to many of you. 60 years ago this was the view from what is now the Mar...
25/06/2020

This week's picture will be another familiar one to many of you. 60 years ago this was the view from what is now the Market Square entrance to the Glades.

In the distance of this shot, it's sign partially obscured by the lamppost, is F. Medhurst's, whilst on the left is David Greig the grocer, unfortunately not at the best angle for us to see the beautiful signage built into the railings above the shop front. Closer to the camera on the left are the offices of Latter and Willet, the long established firm of solicitors.

My favourite element of this photograph has to be the two women at its centre, stood casually in the road as the traffic flows past!

#bromley #bromleyhistory #tbt #throwbackthursday #pictureoftheweek #localhistory #historicphotography #historicphoto #photographs #photooftheweek #bromleyhistoriccollections

Heading in a more arboreal direction this week, our latest painting from Agnes Wood is simply titled Holwood Park.The pa...
24/06/2020

Heading in a more arboreal direction this week, our latest painting from Agnes Wood is simply titled Holwood Park.

The park itself is found to the south east of Keston and was originally an 18th century pleasure ground and landscape park, owned by William Pitt from 1785 to 1803.

#bromley #history #localhistory #localartist #painting #woods #woodland #nature #art #bromleyhistoriccollections

Our picture of the week this time round is of a very familiar spot to a lot of you, though it looks quite different here...
18/06/2020

Our picture of the week this time round is of a very familiar spot to a lot of you, though it looks quite different here! Bromley Station, now Bromley South, opened in 1858 with this picture taken just a few years later.

Back then the station had just two lines, with the station building on the south side. The workers cottages, built in 1863, were on what is now the approach road to Waitrose, near the police station.

When the lines quadrupled in 1893 all the buildings you see here were demolished and the building that stands on today's High Street bridge became the main entrance.

#bromley #bromleyhistory #bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleycentrallibrary #localhistory #history #historicphoto #historicphotography #trainstation #station

Another gorgeous Agnes Wood painting to round out the week.This time it's Moorhouse Bank, Westerham. #agneswood #localar...
12/06/2020

Another gorgeous Agnes Wood painting to round out the week.

This time it's Moorhouse Bank, Westerham.

#agneswood #localartist #painting #paintings #artuk #art #artwork #localhistory #bromleycentrallibrary #bromley #bromleyhistoriccollections

Our latest photo of the week is a trip down a very water-logged memory lane. This is Beckenham High Street during the 19...
11/06/2020

Our latest photo of the week is a trip down a very water-logged memory lane.

This is Beckenham High Street during the 1968 floods. We would love to know if any of you remember these floods, and what your experiences during them were.

In this picture you can see a Green Line coach struggling through the water to make its regular journey from Gravesend to Windsor, along the 725 line. These particular floods were caused by the River Beck, which flowed directly under the road at this time.

The 1968 floods were the last major ones to hit the town, as subsequent drainage improvements have done much to reduce the risk.

#tbt #throwbackthursday #historicphotography #historicphoto #history #localhistory #bromleycentrallibrary #bromley #london #london🇬🇧 #beckenham

The perils of working from home! When one colleague is on their break, everyone has to stop working. #workfromhome #arch...
10/06/2020

The perils of working from home! When one colleague is on their break, everyone has to stop working.

#workfromhome #archivist #archivistlife #archivistsofinstagram #archive #archivesofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #library #corgisofinstagram #corgination #londoncorgi #bromleycentrallibrary #bromley

This week's Agnes Wood painting comes with a bit of a mystery attached! Simply titled 'Farm near Pilgrim's Way' this is ...
05/06/2020

This week's Agnes Wood painting comes with a bit of a mystery attached!

Simply titled 'Farm near Pilgrim's Way' this is another beautiful and evocative piece by the Bromley artist, but we would love to know more.

If you live in or are from Bromley, or just familiar with the borough, do you recognise this farm? Do you know the name of it or exactly where it is? If it is no longer a farm, what is there now? Anything you can tell us would be great!

#agneswood #localartist #painting #art #artuk #bromleycentrallibrary #bromley #bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #localhistory #librariesofinstagram #archivesofinstagram #museums

The Watermen's and Lightermen's Almshouses, Penge circa 1890.These beautiful buildings were built around 1840 to house r...
04/06/2020

The Watermen's and Lightermen's Almshouses, Penge circa 1890.

These beautiful buildings were built around 1840 to house retired freemen of the Watermen's and Lightermen's Company of the City of London.

Watermen had the job of ferrying people across the Thames in the days when only a single bridge spanned the river, while Lightermen were pilots taking goods from ocean faring vessels into ports on small craft known as lighters. As the number of bridges crossing the Thames increased, the prospects of these men diminished and more and more fell on hard times.

The Almshouses were built in the Tudor style popular at the time, on land donated by local landowner James Dudin Brown. They could house up to 60 people in what was then a delightful, rural retreat.

They remained in use until 1973 when the residents were transferred to bungalows in Hastings and the original buildings were modernised. Initially used as public housing, they are now mostly in private hands.

#pictureoftheweek #historicphotography #historicphoto #penge #bromley #bromleyhistoriccollections #bromleyhistory #localhistory #history #almshouses #archive #archivesofinstagram #library #librariesofinstagram

Time for another Agnes Wood! This time it's the picturesque Coney Hall Farm, which takes its name from a 17th century le...
29/05/2020

Time for another Agnes Wood!

This time it's the picturesque Coney Hall Farm, which takes its name from a 17th century lease stating that the tenant had the rights to catch coney on nearby Jackson's Heath.

Today, the site of the farm can be found just to the west of Hayes Common, off of Croydon Road between West Wickham and Keston.

#painting #paintings #localartist #localhistory #history #bromleycentrallibrary #bromley #bromleyhistory #bromleyhistoriccollections #agneswood #museums #museum #museumsofinstagram #librariansofinstagram #archivistsofinstagram #archivesofinstagram

Orpington Video and Film Makers have created a fantastic set of films on the history of Orpington and the surrounding ar...
29/05/2020
OVFM HISTORY OF ORPINGTON PROJECT

Orpington Video and Film Makers have created a fantastic set of films on the history of Orpington and the surrounding areas. The videos here provide two brilliantly contrasting slices of local history and are well worth 20 minutes of anyone's day!

https://www.ovfm.org.uk/ovfm-history-of-orpington-project/

  The History of Orpington and the Surrounding Area About three years ago OVFM put on a show entitled ‘Old Orpington on Film’ where we showed old films of Orpington and the surrounding area. I…

Built in 1750, Mayfield Manor House was a key feature of Orpington, a village in its own right until the 1920's. Set abo...
28/05/2020

Built in 1750, Mayfield Manor House was a key feature of Orpington, a village in its own right until the 1920's. Set above the High Street, on the west side, the house was a striking feature of the village for more than a century and a half.

By 1925 the house belonged to the Vinson family, but two years later, following the death of Mary Vinson, the estate was sold and the grounds quickly became populated with shops and houses. The Manor House and garden were offered to Orpington Council, who considered it as a site for both their offices and then a library but, when both found homes elsewhere the house was pulled down.

Today, the site of the house itself is occupied by Vinson Close.

#orpington #bromley #bromleyhistory #bromleycentrallibrary #bromleyhistoriccollections #localhistory #historicphoto #historicphotography #history #pictureoftheweek #photooftheweek

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2nd Floor, Central Library, High Street
Bromley
BR1 1EX

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If you live in Bromley & Kent communities then please join.
🎬Hello Bromley! Do you have any old home movies? If so, bring them along to the free London's Home Movie Day at the Cinema Museum. Saturday 19th October, 11-4, family friendly and tea and cake available!🎬 http://www.cinemamuseum.org.uk/2019/home-movie-day-2019/
Tomorrow I am traveling to meet with a living relative of Bertram Holland Boxall from Bromley. I came to be in possession of Bertram’s medals and really wanted to return them to his family. After much research, a relative was found and tomorrow is the day! 🏅
Where is the Orpington village hall drinking fountain that was in the Priory ?
Hi everybody, I am having a problem, I hope someone can help me with. I am trying to locate the house in an old address, The house was the home of Captain Harry George Ernest Luchford in 1912-17 the name of the house was Walmer in Quernmore road, Bromley,over the years I have looked, but gave up. If any body could help, I would be most grateful, thank you Keith
Excellent service! Very helpful staff. Nice to be able to carry out research from a distance.
Kids had a great time making their bug masks yesterday. Thank you