Bromley, London Borough Genealogy

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Guide to London Borough of Bromley ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Old Bromley.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

Borough of Bromley coat of arms
Borough of Bromley location in Greater London
Borough of Bromley logo

As with all the other London Boroughs, Bromley Borough was organized by the central UK Government in 1965. It includes the former area of the Municipal Borough of Bromley, the Municipal Borough of Beckenham, Penge Urban District, Orpington Urban District and the Chislehurst part of Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban District, which was transferred from Kent to Greater London. Family History Researchers should be aware that they should look for Bromley in the County of Kent, rather than Bromley Borough, although a lot of useful information is available from the later source.

Bromley itself is a town south east of London, England, 9.3 miles (15.0 km) south east of Charing Cross. It is the administrative headquarters of the London Borough of Bromley.

Historically a market town, chartered in 1158, Bromley was an ancient parish in the county of Kent. Its location on a coaching route and the opening of a railway station in 1858 were key to its development, and the shift from an agrarian village to commerce and retail. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Bromley significantly increased in population and was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1903. It has developed into one of a handful of regionally significant commercial and retail districts outside central London and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.[1]

Bromley is first recorded in a charter of 862 as Bromleag and means 'woodland clearing where broom grows'. It shares this Old English etymology with Great Bromley in Essex, but not with the Bromley in Tower Hamlets.

The history of Bromley is closely connected with the See of Rochester. In AD 862 Ethelbert, the King of Kent, granted land to form the Manor of Bromley. It was held by the Bishops of Rochester until 1845, when Coles Child, a wealthy local merchant and philanthropist, purchased Bromley Palace (now the hub of the Bromley Civic Center) and became lord of the manor. The town was an important coaching stop on the way to Hastings from London, and the now defunct Royal Bell Hotel (just off Market Square) is referred to in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It was a quiet rural village until the arrival of the railway in 1858 in Shortlands, which led to rapid growth, and outlying suburban districts such as Bickley (which later overflowed into Bromley Common) were developed to accommodate those wishing to live so conveniently close to London.

Bromley, also known as Bromley St Peter and St Paul, formed an ancient parish in the Bromley and Beckenham hundred and the Sutton-at-Hone lathe of Kent. In 1840 it became part of the expanded Metropolitan Police District. The parish adopted the Local Government Act 1858 and a local board was formed in 1867. The board was reconstituted as Bromley Urban District Council in 1894 and the parish became Bromley Urban District. It formed part of the London Traffic Area from 1924 and the London Passenger Transport Area from 1933. In 1934, as part of a county review order, the borough was expanded by taking in 1,894 acres (7.66 km2) from the disbanded Bromley Rural District; an area including parts of the parishes of Farnborough, Hayes, Keston and West Wickham. [2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

Beckenham Cemetery and Crematorium
Elmers End Rd
Beckenham BR3 4TD

Biggin Hill Cemetery
Kingsmead Road
Biggin Hill, Westerham TN16 3UB
Phone: +44 1689 853617

Bromley Hill Cemetery
Bromley Hill
Bromley BR1 4JU
Phone: +44 1689 853617

Chislehurst Cemetery
Beaverwood Rd
Chislehurst BR7 6HF
Phone: +44 1689 853617

London Road Cemetery
7 Warner Rd
Bromley BR1 3RR
Phone: +44 1689 853617

Plaistow Cemetery
Entrance, 132 Burnt Ash Ln
Bromley BR1 5AF

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

Bromley Parish Church
Church address:
9 St Paul's Square
Bromley, BR2 0XH
Phone: 020 8460 6275

St Mary's
Church address:
College Rd
Bromley BR1 3QG
Phone: +44 20 8466 6969

St Mary the Virgin
Church address:
Hayes St
Bromley BR2 7LH
Phone: +44 20 8462 1373

Christ Church
Church address:
Highland Road
Bromley, Kent BR1 4AA
Phone: 020 8464 1898

St Mark's
Church address:
Westmoreland Rd
Bromley BR2 0TB
Phone: +44 20 8460 6220

St John's
Church address:
Park Rd
Bromley BR1 3HJ
Phone: +44 20 8460 1844

St George's
Church address:
High St
Beckenham BR3 1AX
Phone: +44 20 8663 6996

Christ Church
Church address:
1A Christ Church Rd
Beckenham BR3 3LE
Phone: +44 20 8650 3847

All Saints
Church address:
Trewsbury Rd
London SE26 5DP
Phone: +44 20 8778 3065

St John's
Church address:
St John's Rd
London SE20 7EQ
Phone: +44 20 8778 6176

All Hallows

St Gabriel

St Leonard

St Michael and All Angels

St Leonard

All Saints, Orpington
Church address:
Bark Hart Rd
, Orpington BR6 0QD
Phone: +44 1689 832031

St Martin of Tours
Church address:
5 Church Rd
Chelsfield, Orpington BR6 7RF
Phone: +44 1689 825749

St Nicholas'
Church address:
18 Church Row
Chislehurst BR7 5PG

Christ Church, Chislehurst
Church address:
40 Lubbock Rd
Chislehurst BR7 5JJ
Phone: +44 20 8402 5081

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

  • Baptist
  • Christ Church
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Coptic Orthodox
  • Cornerstone Christian Church
  • Evangelical
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Lutheran
  • Methodist
  • Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Roman Catholic
  • Salvation Army
  • Seventh Day Adventist

There are a number of communities of non Christian religions including the following:

  • Buddhist
  • Scientology
  • Confucian
  • Jews
  • Muslim
  • Sikh

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the UK government from July 1837 to the present day. Prior to that, the only available records were those kept by the ecclesiastical bodies. As the Borough of Bromley was previously part of the County of Kent, the link to Kent County BMD records is listed below.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

A large part of the northwest segment of Bromley Borough is residential, and residents commute daily to work in the Greater London area. Because this area of Kent is a very high cost property market, most are employed in the finance, legal, and corporate governance segment of the market.

About 30% of the land in Bromley is farmland, the highest figure of a London Borough. This part of Kent is known colloquially as the garden of England, and agriculture provides many of the local area residents employment. Kent is the largest area in the UK for the growth of hops (for beer brewing) and there are many oast houses still operation in the area. However due to their unique design, many have been converted to residences. There are many large market gardens, providing fruit and vegetables to the grater London area.

The town has a large retail area, including a pedestrianized High Street and The Glades center, the main shopping mall. The shopping area includes retailers such as Gap, Oasis, Russell & Bromley and Waterstone's, whilst there are also many restaurants.

The area is also such a beautiful part of the UK that many opportunities are available in the vacation and holiday industry. Several of the large ports with ferries to the Continent are close by, providing a base for the multitude of "B&B" homes in Bromley Borough.

Several large companies based in the area that provide employment opportunities are: Allied Carpets HQ, Churchill Insurance, Cosmos Holidays, and Russel and Bromley Ltd.[3]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "London Borough of Bromley," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https:// Borough of Bromley, accessed 27 May, 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Bromley," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://, accessed 19 May, 2018.
  3. Bromley Borough major business employers in wikipedia, Companies based in the London Borough of Bromley,, accessed 3 June, 2018.