History of the Bromley area

Administrative History

The London Borough of Bromley was created in 1965 out of the former Beckenham and Bromley Boroughs, Orpington and Penge Urban districts, and the Chislehurst and Sidcup UD. Prior to 1965 these were all in Kent with Penge having been in Surrey before 1889 and in the county of London until 1900. In 1969, Knockholt transferred from the London Borough of Bromley back into Kent.

Postally, Bromley is in Kent , and the administrative changes outlined have made no difference to this. There are some areas that are postally Bromley Kent but administratively within the London Borough of Lewisham.

Before Beckenham (in 1935) and Bromley (in 1903) gained their Borough status they were Urban District Councils in their own right. In 1934 there was a series of changes when Orpington Urban District was formed from the major part of Bromley Rural District and the former Chislehurst Urban District was amalgamated with Sidcup. The predecessor to these local authorities formed in 1894 were Local Boards for Beckenham, Bromley and other areas being covered by local vestries, School, hospital and Burial Boards, Bromley Poor Law Union (1834 - 1929) and Bromley Rural Sanitary Authority. For some aspects of administration Lewisham and Croydon controlled Penge. We hold records for many of these authorities but some are incomplete.

Please Note: References to Bromley London prior to 1965 almost certainly refer to Bromley by Bow, now in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.