Place:Beckenham, Kent, England

TypeUrban district, Borough (municipal), Suburb
Coordinates51.406°N 0.0243°W
Located inKent, England     ( - 1965)
See alsoBromley (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon Borough into which the municipal borough was transferred in 1965
Hayes, Kent, Englandparish of which part was absorbed into Beckenham in 1935
West Wickham, Kent, Englandparish of which part was absorbed into Beckenham in 1935
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Beckenham is a town in southeast London within the London Borough of Bromley in Greater London, England. It borders the London Borough of Lewisham on the north. It lies northwest of Bromley and is located 8.4 miles (13.5 km) south east of Charing Cross.

Until the coming of the railway in 1857, Beckenham was a small village in the county of Kent with almost completely rural surroundings: once a family of entrepreneurs began the building of villas here, its population soared from 2000 to 26,000 during 1850–1900 and throughout the rest of the twentieth century. The current population is nearly 82,000. Today it is very much in London suburbia, although some of the grand houses of the early days remain.

The Municipal Borough of Beckenham came into being in 1935. It took over from what had been, since 1894, Beckenham Urban District Council, and included parts of Hayes and West Wickham, previously part of Bromley Rural District Council. The new Borough status reflected the growth of Beckenham in little less than fifty years.


the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

With the arrival of the Normans, the Manor of Beckenham (established earlier) took on added importance, and controlled much of what is modern Beckenham. St George's Church was built in the 12th century. In the Middle Ages, the manor lands were divided: at this time the estates of Kelsey and Langley came into being. Beckenham still remained a small village until well into the 19th century. The beginning of its growth began when, in 1773, John Cator built Beckenham Place and became Lord of the Manor. After he died in 1807, his sons soon became aware that the area in such close proximity to London was ripe for development, especially once the railway had arrived in 1857; and large villas began to be built around the new station. Wide roads and large gardens epitomised these properties.

Between then and the early 20th century, further growth of Beckenham took place: The Shortlands area in 1863; Clock House in the 1890s; Elmers End in 1911 (where smaller suburban houses were built); Park Langley in 1908; and Eden Park in 1926. The Manor of Foxgrove was also broken up at some point: its name is commemorated in a local road.

Beckenham is a suburb and a town in its own right with a non-bypassed non-pedestrianised high street on a route between the rest of the borough and South London and has spread about its centre around 15 pre-1850 houses which are listed buildings.

Kent Research Tips

This list has been taken from GENUKI where more places and websites for researching are listed.

Archives and Libraries

Civil Registration and Census

  • Steve Archer has produced a very useful round-up of the available census records for Kent - and where/from whom they are available.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.

Family History Societies

Most of the county is divided between the Kent FHS and the North West Kent FHS.


Probate Records

Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson

Greater London Research Tips

  • See under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • The London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB) holds records relating to the whole of Greater London. Ancestry (subscription necessary) has produced transcriptions and provides images of lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials in churches across Greater London. These lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century.
  • GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (The list from GENUKI is not maintained so well that there is never a dead link in it. However, it is often worth googling the title given on the page just in case the contributor has reorganized their website.)
  • GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
  • The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert. An e-book available online through Google, originally published by Pan Macmillan. There is a search box in the left-hand pane.
  • London Lives. A very useful free website for anyone researching their London ancestors between the years 1690-1800. This is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.
  • London Ancestor, a website belonging to one of the London family history societies, has a list of transcriptions of directories from the 18th century, listing in one case "all the squares, streets, lanes, courts, yards, alleys, &C. in and about Five Miles of the Metropolis..." In other parts of the same website are maps of various parts of 19th century London and Middlesex.
  • The proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. This website is free to use.
  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, are lists of the registration districts used for civil registration (births, marriages and deaths, as well as the censuses). There are linked supporting lists of the parishes which made up each registration district, the dates of formation and abolition of the districts, the General Register Office numbers, and the local archive-holding place. This work has been carried out by Brett Langston under the agency of GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) and UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths & Censuses on the Internet.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Beckenham. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.