West Wickham shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||WEST WICKHAM|
|London Assembly||Bexley and Bromley|
West Wickham is a town, formerly part of the southern English county of Kent, and now part of the London Borough of Bromley. The town lies on the line of a Roman road, the London to Lewes Way, and is east of Croydon and south west of Bromley. It is 10.3 miles (16.6 km) south east of Charing Cross.
About the town
The history of West Wickham predates the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
West Wickham is mentioned in the Domesday book with the following entry: "In lordship 2 ploughs. 24 villagers have 4 ploughs. 13 salves; a church; a mill at 20d.; a wood at 10 pigs. Value before 1066 8; later 6: now 13. Godric son of Karl held it from King Edward".
In Tudor times, the Manor House Wickham Court was expanded by the Anne Boleyn family and the area was popular for deer hunting. The Grade II listed building, was built by Sir Henry Heydon in 1469. His wife was Anne Boleyn, a daughter of Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, who was Lord Mayor of London in 1469. She was the great-aunt of Anne Boleyn. The house was later sold to the Lennard family in 1580. In 1935, it was sold and adapted for use as an hotel. After World War II, it was sold to the Daughters of Mary and Joseph. An American order of nuns. Currently, it is known as Coloma College (a teacher training college) run by the Daughters of Mary and Joseph, a community of religious sisters.
Until the 1900s West Wickham remained a small village. The inter-war period saw rapid development and transformation into a suburb, facilitated by the arrival of the railway (which had opened in 1882).
Modern day West Wickham is a suburb of Greater London, after the London Government Act 1963, which came into effect in 1965, with West Wickham absorbed into the London Borough of Bromley. Like many suburbs of Greater London the area consists of local retail outlets, pubs, restaurants and primarily 1930s housing.
It also hosted a plaque containing the original bark of Stock Tree (a tree so called as it was behind the village stocks) that once stood opposite 'The Swan' which was cut down owing to the requirement to build a new road. The plaque and bark now reside at West Wickham Library, on Glebe Way.
Other clubs nearby include Croydon RFC (formerly Shirley Wanderers), a club that currently competes in Surrey 1, that has a rugby pitch used often for county matches.
There are several parks, West Wickham playing fields (McAndrews), Wickham Park and Blakes Recreation ground.
All Saints Catholic School was a secondary school located on Layhams Road, West Wickham, London Borough of Bromley which closed in 2007. Formerly known as 'St. John Rigby Catholic College', its name was changed in 2004 as a rebranding because of falling pupil numbers and substantial debts following the conviction in 2003 of former headmistress Colleen McCabe, who was convicted of stealing around £500,000 from her school over a five-year period.
West Wickham (including Coney Hall as it is a district of West Wickham) has four schools (all primary schools). They are Oak Lodge, Wickham Common, Pickhurst and Hawes Down. Saint David's and Wickham Court are private schools. In 2012, Wickham Common won a hockey gold medal when they represented Bromley in the London Youth Games. There are no secondary schools in West Wickham, but there are some in the neighbouring towns. Langley School for Boys and Langley School for Girls are located in Beckenham, Hayes School is located in Hayes, and Ravenswood School is located in Keston. Wickham Court serves as a nursery, primary school and secondary school.
Sport and leisure
Notable people from West Wickham
- Stephen Dillane, actor
- Enid Blyton, writer
- Thomas Carew, 17th-century poet
- Michael Donovan, voice actor
- Charlie Heather, drummer in The Levellers
- Skream, DJ & producer
- Gordon Fergus-Thompson, pianist
- William Burnside, mathematician
In popular culture
The town appeared in the 2000 UK television series The 1940s House, with 17 Braemar Gardens taking the starring role as a family lived a World War II experience in a typical London suburb. It was also mentioned in an episode of New Tricks when the team have arranged to meet a pathologist and DAC Strickland tells them 'his lab is in West Wickham'. On Saturday 1 August 1964, Blakes Recreation Ground hosted a concert featuring Manfred Mann (featuring Paul Jones), The Merseybeats and the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra.
-  West Wickham Residents Association
- Good Stuff IT Services. "Wickham Court – Bromley – Greater London – England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- "Timeline". Wickham Court. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- "Background History of the West Wickham Site". Hmt-uk.org. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Beccehamians RFC
- "BBC Two – Programmes". Bbc.co.uk. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- The longitude way to walk | Mail Online
- "Everything we do we always exceed in, says Glebe chairman Rocky McMillan". Kentishfootball.co.uk. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
-  Telegraph
- "New Musical Express" (904). July 1964. p. 2.
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|Petts Wood||West Wickham Common||Hamsey Green|