George and Dragon public house, Downe
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|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Downe, formerly Down, (//) is a village in Greater London, England, located within the London Borough of Bromley but beyond the London urban sprawl. Downe is 3.4 miles (5.5 km) south west of Orpington and 14.2 miles (22.9 km) south east of Charing Cross. Downe lies on a hill, and much of the centre of the village is unchanged; the former village school now acts as the village hall. The word Downe originates from the Anglosaxon word dūn, latterly down, hence the South and North Downs. In April 1965, it (and the remaining part of Orpington Urban District Council), which was abolished, were transferred from Kent and placed within the newly created London Borough of Bromley. The village is in the historic county of Kent.
Charles Darwin lived in Down House for 40 years, from 1842 until he died there in 1882. He became a close friend of Sir John Lubbock, 3rd Baronet, who lived nearby at the Lubbock's High Elms estate on the other side of the village. A favourite place of Darwin's was Downe Bank, now a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest, and several members of his family are buried in the graveyard of St Mary's Church.
Since 2019, the local Member of Parliament has been Gareth Bacon of the Conservative Party. By a numerical majority of 19,453 votes (38.5%), Orpington is the safest Conservative Parliamentary seat in London.
One councillor is elected every four years to Bromley London Borough Council. To date, the Darwin ward has only been represented by representatives from the Conservative Party.
|Liberal Democrats||Millicent Scott Brooks||133||8.1|
|Liberal Democrats||William Ritchie||45||2.3|
Buckston Browne Farm
Downe is the location of Buckston Browne Farm, built in 1931 as a surgical research centre by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). In the 1980s, the farm caused controversy because of its use of vivisection techniques, and in August 1984 it was raided by anti-vivisection activists.
The farm has now been made into four houses.
There are two scout campsites in the Downe area:
- The Downe Scout Activity Centre consisting of 86 acres (350,000 m2) of woodland and open fields is just outside the village.
- The Greenwich (one of the Districts of the Greater London South Scout county) District campsite is also nearby.
Downe, being in the county of Greater London, is still under Transport for London remit despite being outside the metropolis. It is served by several London Buses bus services from London but overall has limited connections into London. There are no rail links to the village (nearest stations: Orpington, Bromley and Hayes), but it is served by two hourly bus routes:
146 - Bromley North to Downe via Old Hayes and Keston;
R8 – Biggin Hill to Orpington via Downe and Green Street Green;
- Bill Hunter Christie (1922-1997), lobbyist for the Falkland Islanders
- Charles Darwin (1809–82), biologist, naturalist and geologist
- Horace Darwin (1851–1928), civil engineer and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
- Nigel Farage (born 1964), former leader of UKIP and Member of European Parliament for South East England.
- Charles Hayes (1678–1760), mathematician and chronologist
- John Lubock (1803–65), banker, barrister, mathematician and astronomer
- John Lubock (1834–1913), banker, biologist, archaeologist and Liberal politician
- Herbert Newton Casson (1869–1951), journalist and author, founder of Efficiency magazine
- Olive Willis (1877–1964), founder of Downe House School
- "Letter 637 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, E. C., (24 July 1842)". Darwin Correspondence Project. Archived from the original on 22 August 2007.
- Rebecca Stott (30 April 2015). Darwin and the Barnacle. Faber & Faber. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-571-31779-0.
- "UK launches Darwin heritage bid". BBC News. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Darwin's home and workplace World Heritage nomination deferred by UNESCO Committee". Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- Christie, Merle. "CHRISTIE, ERIC WILLIAM HUNTER (Bill)". Dictionary of Falklands Biography. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
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