Posted on 22 January 2013
Bromley – Historic Market Town to Thriving Metropolitan Centre
Shuttersup have been supplying and installing window shutters in Bromley, Kent since 2006. It’s our home-town and one we’ve enjoyed working in for many years. Here’s a look at the history and detail of our favourite Kent town! A large suburban district of southeast London, Bromley is the administrative centre of the London borough of the same name. A historic market town, it developed primarily as a result of its location on a coaching route and the opening of a railway station in 1858 was key to its future. The economic history of Bromley is underpinned by a shift from a village thriving as a result of local cultivated land to a retail and commercial hub. Prior to 1965 it was officially in the county of Kent. Since 1965 Bromley, like many other London suburbs, has been part of Greater London and as its population has increased so has its development as a significant retail and commercial district – distinct from central London and a major metropolitan centre in its own right. It is identified as such in the London Plan, which is the statutory spatial development strategy for the Greater London area. Leafy suburbs By area, Bromley is the largest of the London boroughs and covers over 15,000 hectares. With a population of more than 295,000 residents, the leafy borough boasts the largest amount of green space in London; half of Bromley consists of green belt countryside. With many select detached homes sporting elegant facades with feature windows or shutters Bromley is regarded as one of the richest boroughs in London. Its gated communities include Keston Park, located in Keston and Farnborough Park, located in Farnborough, both in Orpington; and Bickley Park, located in the affluent areas of Bickley and Chislehurst. Shopping There are attractive retail areas around Bromley, which has a major shopping centre, The Glades, and a pedestrianised High Street. Bromley town centre is considered to be an exceptionally friendly and safe area, and recently it was awarded the Safer Shopping Award. Upmarket retailers and trendy restaurants attract a lot of business, and various districts in Bromley have thriving commercial communities – such as West Wickham, which has its own local retail outlets, and a selection of pubs and restaurants. West Wickham is also known for its housing, which dates primarily from the 1930s, and is home to one of the top retailers of bespoke handcrafted blinds and shutters Kent and the South London area have to offer. Established in 2006, ShuttersUp has gained a reputation for first class quality goods and service at competitive prices. Attractions The Churchill Theatre in Bromley is integrated into the public library and overlooks Church House Gardens and Library Gardens. This is a commercial producing and receiving house, with many successful West End transfers and national tours to its credit. The clever configuration of internal spaces means the theatre appears to be much smaller than it is and is based on typical designs for European opera houses. Crystal Palace Park in Bromley is a charming Victorian landscaped pleasure ground that is nowadays used for sporting and cultural events. It houses Dinosaur Court, home to fifteen sculptures of extinct mammals and dinosaurs that dates from 1854, making it the oldest collection of dinosaur sculptures in the world. Find out more about our plantation window shutters and installations in Bromley by clicking here. Garden of England Travel for 35 minutes from central London on the high-speed rail link, and you’re in England’s southeast corner, the county of Kent. Known affectionately as the Garden of England, Kent has beautiful countryside and a fine coastline, as well as an impressive history and a distinguished heritage. The extensive coastal area has many award winning beaches and supports lots of thrilling watersports activities. Much of the county is accessible by train including Kent’s iconic landmarks, such as Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and the White Cliffs of Dover. Out and about Some of the loveliest sights in the county can be found just by travelling along the country lanes, flanked by orchards, lavender fields, vineyards and oast houses. There are charming bluebell woods just right for a picnic, and walks and trails to be explored in the country parks, such as Beacon Wood and Brockhill. With plenty of nature reserves and reservoirs, visitors have countless opportunities to enjoy bird watching and the natural habitats of this green county. Historic buildings Castles, manor houses and cathedrals – all are available and accessible in Kent. Many of the historic houses and castles are well fortified, sporting some of the finest moats, drawbridges, turrets and shutters Kent has to offer, and many have features that span several centuries. Great places to visit are Canterbury, where Chaucer’s pilgrims had their adventures, and Rochester where Dickens based many of his novels. The stately Bromley College, London Road, is the most noteworthy historic building in the nearby borough of Bromley, and there are delightful mature and exceptionally well maintained public open spaces there, including Library Gardens – overlooked by the Churchill Theatre – Martin’s Hill, Queen’s Gardens, College Green and Church House Gardens. Maritime heritage Nautical heritage in Kent goes back thousands of years and the Maritime Heritage Trail is a route between Gravesend and Dungeness, with lots of little sub-routes to diverting attractions along the way. Visitors can sail to see the smugglers’ favourite haunts, or walk, cycle or drive to the maritime and naval museums with their impressive exhibits, including a full-size replica of a Viking ship at Pegwell Bay, and the world’s oldest known boat, the Bronze Age Boat, at Dover Museum. Arts and crafts Culture vultures love the range of festivals, fairs and arts events available in the county. Craft fairs often include opportunities to sample locally produced food, as well as handmade goods – everything from jewellery created by designers in Maidstone and Herne Bay, to a fabulous selection of interior design items for the home, such as cushions and throws from Gillingham and Dover, or the bespoke wooden blinds and shutters Bromley manufacturers produce. There are plenty of independent outlets and shopping centres for those who love a little retail therapy, and antique shops are popular in the county. Canterbury has medieval streets lined with art galleries and specialist boutiques, including designer goldsmiths and ceramicists; Rochester has a splendid Victorian high street packed with lots of shops selling fine art; and smaller villages such as Tenterden have alluring and unusual shops. Truly, the Garden of England has something for everyone.