Farnborough Green Street Green Locksbottom

Welcome to this website about the history of Farnborough Village, on the high road from London to Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Hastings. The geographical scope of the website is taken to be the ancient parish of Farnborough, which included Green Street Green and Locksbottom in addition to the immediate village area.

This Boring Village?

An article about this village written in the 19th century, described it as possessing little or nothing of interest to attract tourists. Quite a demeaning description of a village that has existed for nearly twelve hundred years. Built along the main route from London to the County of Kent and the coast, it has attracted stage coaches to stop en route to rest before continuing the journey to the springs of Tunbridge Wells and beyond, whilst smugglers travel through with their contraband for the gents of the city. A city that sent tourists to enjoy the countryside and afternoon teas on the original omnibus, later to become the number 47, to this insignificant little village. A village that still attracts visitors who are either passing through or to settle.

We are developing a book about this boring village and would welcome your contributions about the rich and varied life of Farnborough. In particular, reflections of the past as well as the present, the clubs and associations that represent the village and of course your life living in the village from childhood to retiring days. All contributions are welcomed, whether written or recorded, plus any appropriate photographs.

Please contact:Bob Donovan  Farnboroughbob@gmail.com .. 

Lych Gate leading to Church Fields The George and Dragon

About Farnborough

Farnborough is 13.4 miles from London (Charing Cross), about 10 from Sevenoaks, and 350 feet above sea level. Evidence dating from when it was a significant point on the turnpike road can still be seen today. The population of the Farnborough and Crofton ward according to the 2011 census was 14,632. 

Farnborough is less than 2 miles from Orpington, and today comes within the London Borough of Bromley, as it has since the creation of Greater London in 1965. But it is sometimes still erroneously regarded as being in Kent. It should be distinguished from the larger and  better known Farnborough in Hampshire and from places of the same name in Berkshire and Warwickshire.

Despite its proximity to London, Farnborough retains a shape and character that would be recognisable to a visitor from many centuries past.  One reason for this is that the railway never came to Farnborough, although there were a surprising number of proposals.

The map above shows the current boundaries for the parish of Farnborough, which includes Locksbottom and parts of Orpington in addition to the immediate village area.  Before 1938 it also included Green Street Green, as this is when the new parish of Green Street Green and Pratts Bottom was created, by taking areas from both Farnborough and Chelsfield Parishes.

After the second world war the land between Farnborough and Orpington experienced substantial housing development, such that today it is difficult to see where Farnborough ends and Orpington begins.  By contrast the establishment of the green belt has prevented expansion of the village to the south.  Today therefore Farnborough lies on the very edge of the Greater London built up area, and it is possible to walk directly into open fields. 


The following pages are either new or have been substantially revised with new material and/or photos.

External Links

Farnborough Parish Website
Vision of Britain - Farnborough
Hidden London - Farnborough
British History Online
Farnborough Hall Listing
Bomb Sight Farnborough
High Elms (Wikipedia)
Friends of High Elms
The Primrose Centre
Gypsy Lee funeral 1933 (Video)
St. Mary Cray Village History
Kent County Council Archive
Kent map 1785
Kent map 1801
Bromley Local Studies Library
Bromley Borough Local History
The Change of Horses
The Woodman

About this website

This website was started at the beginning of 2018, and now contains nearly one hundred pages of articles about the history and development of the village and the immediate surrounding area. 

For historical information about St. Giles Church and churchyard you may also wish to visit the companion website at www.farnborough-kent-parish.org.uk

For convenience, the geographical scope for this website is taken to be the ancient ecclesiastical parish, which also includes both Locksbottom and Green Street Green. This is indeed apt, as up until the later decades of the nineteenth century the church was the main instrument of local government and governance. 

My thanks are due to a select band of current and former residents of Farnborough Village who have written pieces for the website, also to the Bromley Borough Local History Society for generously giving permission for the inclusion of some articles from their archive
The editor would welcome feedback, and submission of new material about relevant subject areas.

This can be sent to Nick Reynolds at nickr306@talk21.com

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