OS Grid Reference: TQ4069
The 1841 population was 4,325

"Bromley is a respectable town in the western division of the county, situated on the Hastings line of road....

The parish contains also the hamlets of Southborough, Farwig, Plaistow and Widmore, and extends over 4,646 acres, with a population of 4,127 in 1851; it is ... under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan police, who have a station here, and of the Central Criminal Court; it is a County court district for 16 parishes, held every month at the White Hart Inn.

The manor was conferred by Ethelbert, King of Kent, on the Bishops of Rochester; and the Bishops had a palace here, a plain brick building, rebuilt in 1777, now the residence of Coles Child, Esq., who is lord of the manor; in the garden is a chalybeate spring, called Blaise's well...

Bromley College is an establishment at the entrance of the town from the London road, which was endowed and founded by John Warner, D.D., Bishop of Rochester, in 1666, for the benefit of 20 poor widows of loyal and orthodox clergymen ...

Bromley is one of the polling places for West Kent. The fairs, on the 14th February and 5th august, are extensive for cattle of all kinds, and are held in Widmore-lane, and near the church.

The National schools are liberally supported. Here are four Dissenting places of worship (two Independent and two Wesleyan). Here is a Savings bank, and a Literar institute, with a libary of 1,650 volumes. Magistrates' meetings are held the second Monday in every month, for the western division of the county, atthe Police station, Sidcup; the third Monday in every month at Locks bottom, Farnborough; ad all other Mondays at the Bell Inn, Bromley ... Bromley is partially paved and well lighted with gas."  1852 directory

Placename Origin

Bromley = Clearing where broom grows. OE brom leah

Administrative Units

Bromley fell within the Hundred of Bromley & Beckenham. Its 19th century Registration District & Poor Law Union was Bromley.
Probate Jurisdiction was Rochester to 1845, PCC 1846-57.

Bromley included the settlements Bickley and Plaistow.

Census Publications

  • 1851 Name Index and Page Images published on CD-Rom as part of CD7 (Bromley Registration District).
  • 1851 Name Index (only) published on microfiche as part of Volume I (Bromley Registration District).
  • 1891 Transcript published on CD-Rom as part of CD2 (Bromley Registration District).

For ordering details see Census Publications.

Churches and Chapels (pre-1910)

Church of England

  1. St Peter & St Paul (Ancient Parish church) 
  2. Christ Church Highland Rd.
  3. St John the Evangelist Park Rd.
  4. St Mark Westmoreland Rd.
  5. Bickley, St George Bickley Park Rd.
  6. Plaistow, St Mary College Rd.
  7. Bromley Common, Holy Trinity Church Lane.
  8. Bromley Common, St Luke Southlands Rd.

Roman Catholic


  1. Baptist: Sherman Rd.  Iron church, built 1887, surviving 1962. No information on registers
  2. Baptist Widmore Rd.
  3. Baptist: Salisbury Rd, Southborough, Bromley Common.  1898-WW2.   Original registers from 1870.


  1. Independent: Bethel, Centenary Place.  Built 1835 (succeeding 1788 foundation?), superseded 1881.   Original registers from 1788.
  2. Congregational: Widmore Lane.  Built 1881, succeeding previous chapel; destroyed 1941. No information on registers



  1. Wesleyan: Chislehurst Rd., Widmore Green.  (1776-1884). No information on registers
  2. Wesleyan: Tylney Rd.  Built 1884-5, closed 1975 and converted to flats. No information on registers
  3. Wesleyan: High St.  Built 1875-6, closed 1964, demolished 1965. No information on registers
  4. Wesleyan: Zion Chapel, Farwig Lane.  Built 1883, succeeded 1905. No information on registers
  5. Wesleyan: Zion Chapel, High St.  Built 1825, superseded 1876.   Original registers from 1820.
  6. Primitive Methodist Bloomfield Rd, Bromley Common.
West Kent map