Biggin Hill

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Biggin Hill
Polesteeple Hill, Biggin Hill, Kent TN16 - geograph.org.uk - 67992.jpg
Polesteeple Hill, Biggin Hill
Biggin Hill is located in Greater London
Biggin Hill
Biggin Hill
 Biggin Hill shown within Greater London
Population 9,951 (Biggin Hill ward 2011)[1]
OS grid reference TQ418590
   – Charing Cross 15.2 mi (24.5 km)  NNW
London borough Bromley
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WESTERHAM
Postcode district TN16
Dialling code 01959
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Orpington
London Assembly Bexley and Bromley
List of places
UK
England
London

Coordinates: 51°18′46″N 0°02′01″E / 51.3127°N 0.0336°E / 51.3127; 0.0336

Biggin Hill is an area of South East London, within the London Borough of Bromley. It is located near the Greater London border with the Tandridge District of Surrey. Prior to April 1965 it formed part of the County of Kent. Postally it is the only settlement of Greater London with a Westerham, Kent post town address. It is one of the highest settlements of London, with an elevation ranging from 170 metres (560 ft) to over 210 metres (690 ft) above sea level.

History[edit]

Historically the settlement was known as Aperfield and formed part of the parish of Cudham. It took the name Biggin Hill after the Second World War in recognition of the historic role played by the adjoining Biggin Hill Aerodrome.

Biggin Hill was an ancient parish county of Kent, in the Diocese of Rochester, and under the Local Government Act 1894 formed part of Bromley Urban District. The urban district gained further status in 1935 as a municipal borough. Kent County Council formed the second tier of local government during that time. In 1965, London County Council was abolished and replaced by Greater London Council, with an expanded administrative area that took in the metropolitan parts of the Home Counties. It is now part of the London Borough of Bromley.

The most architecturally noteworthy building within Biggin Hill is St Mark's Church, Church Road - 'the moving church'[2] - designed by Richard Gilbert Scott. It was erected in the 1950s using the dismantled materials from All Saints Church, North Peckham. Much of the work was undertaken by volunteers led by Rev Vivian Symons who undertook much of the decorative work himself.

Airport[edit]

Biggin Hill also has an airport, London Biggin Hill Airport, which uses much of the land formerly used by RAF Biggin Hill Aerodrome. The latter hosted the "Operations Room" for the Operation Crossbow V-1 flying bomb defence during World War II.

The old "west camp" of the airport is now owned by Bernie Ecclestone. Most of the buildings in the West Camp are Grade II listed.[3][4] A small section remains in the care of the RAF, and the Grade II listed chapel[5] (guarded by replicas of the station gate guardians, a Hawker Hurricane and a Supermarine Spitfire) is open to the public.

The old "south camp" is now occupied by the Biggin Hill Business Park, Airport Industrial Estate and various private flying clubs. There are further commercial premises, hangars, private flying clubs and a helicopter joy-ride and pilot training centre to the east of the main runway.

The term "airport", rather than airfield, is used to describe the present-day facility because it has a terminal building and customs facilities. It is host to a wide range of private/business jet and turbo-prop aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 737. The main airport apron has recently been enlarged;[when?] the one remaining hangar on the old south camp has been totally re-clad and a planning application has been posted for further hangars on the eastern side.

A model aircraft site operates within its Air Traffic Zone, operating large model aircraft. In 2009 there were sightings of model aircraft traffic and one air proximity report was filed, according to the Airport Consultative Committee in May 2010.[6]

Biggin Hill is the location of a VOR navigational beacon, codenamed "BIG", which anchors the South East Arrival Stack for London Heathrow Airport.

The airport was the venue of the Biggin Hill International Air Fair, an annual airshow that usually took place towards the end of June. The event was first held in 1963 and the airshow was permanently cancelled in 2010, shortly after the 48th event.

Education[edit]

Ward of Biggin Hill (red) shown within the London Borough of Bromley (orange)

Charles Darwin School is the only secondary school in the immediate area.

There are two main primary schools; Oaklands Primary School and Biggin Hill Primary School. On the outskirts of Biggin Hill, there is also Cudham CoE Primary School which is situated near Foal Farm, Tatsfield Primary and Downe Primary in the Downe village.


Location[edit]

Biggin Hill is on the outskirts of the London Borough of Bromley. The A233 road is the only main road that runs through the area, from North to South. Most places surrounded by Biggin Hill are small towns and villages. Biggin Hill's postcode is TN16 and its post town is Westerham (although Westerham itself is located outside Greater London).

Transport[edit]

Biggin Hill is served by several Transport for London bus services connecting with areas including Bromley, Catford, Downham, Hayes, New Addington, Orpington, Petts Wood, Tatsfield and Westerham. The nearest rail link to Biggin Hill is at Hayes station.

Ghosts[edit]

Biggin Hill is a place that is believed to be the home of many ghosts. This is commonly attributed to the fact that it is the home of a World War II airbase.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]