Downe

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Downe
George and Dragon public house, Downe - geograph.org.uk - 1718861.jpg
George and Dragon public house, Downe
Downe is located in Greater London
Downe
Downe
Location within Greater London
OS grid referenceTQ435615
London borough
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townORPINGTON
Postcode districtBR6
Dialling code01689
PoliceMetropolitan
FireLondon
AmbulanceLondon
EU ParliamentLondon
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
UK
England
London
51°20′09″N 0°03′13″E / 51.3359°N 0.0535°E / 51.3359; 0.0535Coordinates: 51°20′09″N 0°03′13″E / 51.3359°N 0.0535°E / 51.3359; 0.0535

Downe (/dn/) is a village in Greater London, England, located within the London Borough of Bromley and beyond 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. The village was part of Kent until April 1965 when it (and the remaining part of Orpington Urban District Council) was subsumed into the new London Borough of Bromley.

When Charles Darwin moved there in 1842, the village was known as Down. Its name was changed later to Downe.[1]

Darwin[edit]

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.

Down House and the surrounding area has been nominated by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to become a World Heritage Site.[2] However, this decision has been deferred.[3]

Local Politics[edit]

Since 2010, the local Member of Parliament has been Jo Johnson of the Conservatives who is brother of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Jo served as Minister for Transport and Minister for London up until his resignation in November 2018. He did so in order to support a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal. In July 2019, he was subsequently reinstated in his ministerial role as Minister for Universities before resigning in September 2019 and announced that he would stand down as an MP at the next United Kingdom general election.

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 Council. To date, the ward has only been represented by representatives from the Conservative Party.

Darwin 2018 (1)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Richard Scoates * 1,201 72.8
Labour Frank Evans 185 11.2
Liberal Democrat Millicent Brooks 133 8.1
Green Jan Wilson 130 7.9
Majority 1,016 61.6
Turnout 1,649 40.1
Conservative hold Swing
Darwin 2014 (1)
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Richard Scoates * 987 51.2
UKIP Eric Hayward 681 35.3
Labour John Evans 105 5.4
Green Eileen Galloway 89 4.6
Liberal Democrat William Ritchie 45 2.3
Majority 306 15.9
Turnout 1,927 38.7
Conservative hold Swing

Buckston Browne Farm[edit]

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.

Scouting[edit]

There are two scout campsites in the Downe area:

Transport[edit]

Downe, being in the county of Greater London, is still under Transport for London remit despite being outside the metropolis, 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 1 hourly bus routes:

146 - Bromley North to Downe via Old Hayes and Keston;

R8 – Biggin Hill to Orpington via Downe and Green Street Green;

Notable people[edit]

Nearest places[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Letter 637 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, E. C., (24 July 1842)". Darwin Correspondence Project. Archived from the original on 22 August 2007.
  2. ^ "UK launches Darwin heritage bid". BBC News. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  3. ^ "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.

External links[edit]