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For the island group in the Solomon Islands, see Shortland Islands.
Shortlands is located in Greater London
Shortlands shown within Greater London
Population 9,303 
(ward, 2001 census) [1]
9,824 (2011 Census. Ward)[2]
OS grid reference TQ395685
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BROMLEY
Postcode district BR2
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
London Assembly
List of places
LondonCoordinates: 51°23′54″N 0°00′14″E / 51.3983°N 0.0039°E / 51.3983; 0.0039

Shortlands is a suburban village in the London Borough of Bromley, Greater London, England.


The Shortlands war memorial before it was destroyed in 2016

Historically, Shortlands was known as Clay Hill.[3] It became known as Shortlands around 1800, after the fields which, at this point of the Ravensbourne river, ran at right angles up the slopes on either side.

The earliest known settlement was an Iron Age hillfort at Toots Wood, where traces of a Roman Camp and pottery has also been found.[4]

A medieval field pattern here was of sets of long and short fields, called Longelonds and Shortelonds, and the latter gave name to Shortlands house built (now a part of Bishop Challoner School) at the start of the 18th century. The house with its extensive farmland was acquired in 1848 by a railway magnate William Wilkinson, who also built several cottages for his farm labourers.

Suburban development began in 1863 with the sale of the Shortlands House estate, making full advantage of the railway station opened in May 1858.

In 1921, a war memorial, designed by W. D. Caroe in the form of a Celtic cross, was unveiled in the village, in the middle of a road junction. On 8 July 2016, a Mini car collided with the memorial, breaking it into pieces.[5]


Shortlands station serves the area with rail services to London Victoria via Herne Hill, Kentish Town via Catford, Orpington and Sevenoaks via Swanley. Shortlands is served by several Transport for London bus services linking it with areas including Beckenham, Bromley, Croydon, Crystal Palace, Orpington and Penge.

Nearby areas[edit]


Shortlands is most famous for Enid Blyton having lived there in the later stages of her life. Other famous residents have included the novelist Mrs Craik, for whom Norman Shaw built a house on Shortlands Road, and the electrical engineer Alexander Muirhead, credited with recording the first human electrocardiogram. George Grote, the eminent historian of Greece, was born here at Shortlands House when it was known as Clay Hill. John Brown (of shipbuilding fame) died at Shortlands house in 1896. Lord Stamp of Shortlands, first Charter Mayor of Beckenham and Chairman of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway lived in Shortlands and died with his family when his house was bombed in 1941. Actor Brian Murphy lives in the village. Adele Atiyah, (a famous vegetarian rights activist), also lived in Shortlands but has now moved to Kuwait.

The main schools in Shortlands are Valley Primary School, Highfield Infant and Junior Schools, Clare House Primary School and Bishop Challoner School. On top of Shortlands Hill towards the Chinese Garage is the Shortlands library, linked with other libraries of the Bromley borough.

The Prime Meridian runs through Shortlands.

Sports and leisure[edit]

Beccehamians RFC a Rugby Union Club founded in 1933 plays competitive rugby at Sparrows Den at the bottom of Corkscrew Hill near West Wickham.[6]


  1. ^ 2001 Census information for the Shortlands ward "Shortlands ward population - 9303"
  2. ^ "Bromley Ward population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "History of Shortlands". Hidden London. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Tootswood road". Beckenham History. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "War memorial destroyed after car crash Mini lands on top of it". Daily Telegraph. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Beccehamians RFC

External links[edit]