Bromley, London: History in Old Images

Old photo postcard of Bromley Market Square

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Bromley, in London, England, UK.

St Cecilia’s

The newsreel records the Laying of the Foundation Stone for an extension at the St Cecilia Home on Sundridge Avenue.

The stone was laid by Lady Dot Macmillan, wife of the then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Also there was Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC, whose charity provided accomodation for adults living with disability.

In 1948, the former RAF officer took a dying man, who had nowhere else to go, into his own home at Le Court in Hampshire. By the following summer, Leonard Cheshire’s home housed 24 residents with complex needs, illnesses and impairments. Over the next two decades his charity set up homes for disabled residents in the UK, India, and charitable activities in 21 countries across the world.

The St Cecilia Home continues to provide a home to adults living with disability.

UNITED KINGDOM: New Cheshire home in Bromley (1957) – British Pathé on YouTube

Historic Book

Extract from “Outlines of the history and antiquities of Bromley, Kent. To which is added an investigation of the antiquities of Holwood hill, Keston, by A. J. Kempe

Published in 1815

Pages 16 & 17

Bromley is pleasantly situated on a hill , on the high road
from Hastings to London , and is distant from the latter about
ten miles .
It consists of two principal streets , the first of which is en
tered on the road from London , having the workhouse ( erect
ed in 1731 ) on the western side , and the college on the east
ern . This street ends with a handsome row of houses ,
having the church on the right , and the Bell Inn on the left
hand .
To the east of the Bell Inn is a convenient market – place ,
where a weekly market is held on Thursdays . In the centre
stands a commodious market – house , the lower part of which
is used by those persons who attend the market , as a place of
sale ; and in the room above are held the meetings of the
Commissioners of the Court of Requests , who assemble and
har causes every other Thursday : it is also frequently used
for sales by auction .
The market – place leads into the other street , situated on
the Tunbridge Wells road , having the White Hart Inn on
the eastern side , and ending with the delightful house of Co
lonel Jackson .
The greater part of the town is inhabited by tradesmen ,
none of whose dwellings can be said to present a handsome
appearance ; though there is a considerable trade carried on ,
chiefly occasioned by the number of gentry who reside in the
neighbourhood ,

The College and the seat of Stewart Erskine , Esq . may be
considered as the chief ornaments of the town , though the
mansions of Colonel Jackson and E. Waller , Esq . are deserv
ing of notice .
The seats of Mr.Erskine and Colonel Jackson have been built about fifty
years .

The streets are well paved ; but it is to be regretted that
no plan is formed for lighting them by night . *

A few years ago the streets were partially lighted , but the funds were found
inadequate , and the plan was abandoned .

Boarding Schools .

Here are several good private schools for the education of
the rising generation .
The extensive establishment for young gentlemen , now un
der the direction of Mr. R. Rawes , has existed for more than a
century ; and those of the Rev. J. Baker , Mr. Hibbert , and the
Rev. J. Pieters , are deservedly celebrated for the excellency
of their several plans .
The boarding schools of Mrs. James , Mrs. Brown , and Mrs.
Chaiklin , have long maintained their celebrity , from the num
ber of accomplished young ladies who are daily finishing their
education in those establishments .

Meeting – house .

Near the market – place is a small meeting – house belonging
to the dissenters of the Independent denomination . The
preachers are chiefly supplied by the Itinerant Society , which
also supports a sunday school in this place . The congrega
tion is very small , and the chapel itself a mean structure .


A convenient communication is held with the metropolis by
means of the stage – coaches , two of which leave Bromicy at
nine in the morning , one for Gracechurch – street and the
other for Charing – cross ; the former returns at three and
the latter at four in the afternoon . An evening coach also
leaves Bromley at five in the afternoon for Charing – cross ,
and returns from thence at twelve the next day . On Sundays
these coaches set out at seven in the morning , and make two
journeys to London .

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