Beckenham History


First mention of a windmill in West Wickham.

West Wickham granted the right to hold a market. No evidence that it was ever held.

First Kelsey House, Beckenham built.

Population of West Wickham estimated to be 120.

Langley Chapel consecrated.

Beckenham Church extended.

First account of beating of the bounds in Beckenham.

Anthony Rawlins, a wealthy London merchant, dies while staying at Kent House and bequeaths money to be used for almshouses. The Rawlins Almshouses survive today next to Beckenham Church.

Clock House, Beckenham built.

John Cator buys the manor of Beckenham and builds a new manor house, Beckenham Place Park.

Beckenham Rectory built, designed by Robert Adam it contained a number of his fireplaces, later transferred to Beckenham Town Hall one of these is now in the mayor’s parlour at Bromley Civic Centre. Outbreak of smallpox in Beckenham causes the vestry to offer free inoculations.

John Julius Angerstein, a member of Lloyd’s of London, acquires Kent House, Beckenham.

Kelsey House, Beckenham rebuilt.

Foxgrove manor sold to Peter Burrell of Langley.

Foxgrove Manor demolished and re-built.

Window Tax abolished.

‘The Cage’ on Church Hill demolished.

Henry Copeland came to Beckenham.

Street lighting introduced as a Private Enterprise.
Kelsey Manor Lodges (Cottages) built.1

National School for Children opened at Shortlands Church. Ancient Order of Foresters (The Court of St. George) established.

Beckenham Industrial Co-operative Society, Ltd. formed.

Beckenham Cottage Hospital opened (8 beds).

Home of Compassion (108/110 Bromley Road) built.

Beckenham Charitable Society formed.
Miss Wood – first Kindergarten Teacher (1st Class) in England.First Publication of Beckenham Journal.

Old Beckenham Mission (Bromley Road) built.

Foxgrove Farm buildings demolished.

Anthony Rawlin’s Almshouses restored and enlarged.

First Meeting of Beckenham Local Board. West Wickham Railway Station opened.

Public Hall, Bromley Road, built. Toll Gate – Kent House Road – demolished. Last occasion of ‘Beating the Bounds’ 17th May.


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5 Responses

  1. I’m researching the film director Muriel Box and have found out that her husband-to-be, producer Sydney Box, was living in College Parade, Croydon Road in the early 1930s. I can’t find College Parade on a map – does it still exist or has it been demolished?

  2. I was born at Mount Pleasant 70 years ago which I think was off Stanmore Terrace (off Kelsey Park Road). It was an opening leading to a terrace of cottages and gardens with a path as a right of Way connecting the row of cottages. It seems to have disappeared according to Google maps, so I wonder if anyone can remember the area and what happened to it. I’d be grateful for a reply as I am tracing my first steps! Many thanks ?

  3. Subsequent to timeline additions suggested, several maps have resurfaced who’s dates allow for analysis of land ownership changes, along with documents researched at several archives.
    1723 to 1735 two maps drawn up for the Burrells showing lands from Elmers End in the west through Kelsey to Woolseys Farm(Shortlands House) in the east. Also a
    1735 map is drawn of Langley but only exists as a copy drawn for the Goodharts but the fair copy shows landowners of the early 1700’s Tolsons/Tillys. In
    1766 a map of Foxgrove Manor showing land divided between Jones Raymond, John Cator and Frederick St. John subsequent to the division of Foxgrove Manor by Mary Tilly’s will. An undated map of circa
    1740 of the south part of Langley Park under Jones Raymond after Hugh Raymonds death.
    1768 the copy of a 1623 Beckenham Manor map is produced showing lands in and around Beckenham as well as through Penge to Rockhills at what is now Crystal Palace.
    1776 a second map drawn of Foxgrove Manor though covering a smaller area than the former.
    1809 a map of the Burrell estates under Peter Burrell IV Baron Gwydir showing their lands south of Beckenham after exchanges with John Cator in 1793. In
    1833 a map of the Cator estates under John Barwell Cator, John Cator’s main beneficiary showing land mainly north of Beckenham and from Sydenham and Penge to Southend, Lewisham. A subsequent Cator estate map drawn in
    1860’s but updated to 1890’s still showing Beckenham as predominantly rural.
    From wills, birth and death records we can trace sevaral land ownership changes from the mid 1600’s

  4. A timeline is a great idea but needs expanding. Any chance of getting edits into it?
    e.g.(just few of those possible)
    1345 The Lay Subsidy Roll lists names of taxpayers in Beckenham, some appear in history such as Brun or Bruin, Langele and others suggest place names ie Stomeshulle for Stumpshill and Cleyhurst for Clay Hill.
    1623 A map of Beckenham Manor shows it is divided between Henry Snellyer and John Dalston as a result of 2 earlier heiresses marrying while owning the two halves.
    1659 Thomas Philipott records that Lady Christian Leigh widow of Sir Francis Leigh is in occupation of Langley Park.
    1723 Amy Raymond marries Peter Burrell (the second of four Peter Burrells in Beckenham). She is a daughter of Hugh Raymond who will become a local landlord.
    1732 Hugh Raymond buys Langley and Simpsons Place in Bromley.
    1737 Jones Raymond inherits Langley
    1749/51 Frederick St.John, Viscount St.John and Viscount Bolingbroke inherits the Manor of Beckenham from his father John, and title Bolingbroke from his Uncle
    1756 Peter Burrell of Langley dies and Amy his widow inherits his properties.
    1760 is the date of John Cator building a house on Stumpshill according to his father in law Peter Collinson and the date of Cator purchasing land around Beckenham from the heirs of the Tolson/Tilly family

    PS 1792/93 is the date Burrell Lord Gwydyr exchanges land with Cator. Foxgrove Manor had been divided but all came together again under John Cator in this year.

  5. I was born in Stone Park Maternity Hospital in 1938 (not 1939 opening) as per my original birth certificate.

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