Did you know that...
Stone Age and Bronze Age artifacts were found at Holwood Park in Beckenham. There’s also evidence of a Roman camp and road. Biohhahema Mearc was the name of this South East London area in 862. It most likely derives from the proper name Beohha and the Anglo-Saxon “ham” which means homestead. The 11th-century Domesday Book mentions the area as Bacheham. The 12th-century medieval manuscript Textus Roffensis calls it Becceham. The nearby River Beck borrows the name of the village. Wealthy merchant and House of Commons member John Cator bought the Manor of Beckenham from Frederick St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke in 1773. Cator built Beckenham Place. Cator’s heirs sold the land and urban development began in 1857 after the railway was built. In just 50 years, the population grew from 2,000 to 26,000.
Beckenham has several buildings built before 1850. St George’s Church is from the 12th century. Its lychgate dates back to the 13th century. This fact makes it one of the oldest in the UK, quite possibly the oldest. Edmund B. Clarke designed the Chinese Garage in the style of a Japanese pagoda. The building was voted the most unusual garage in the UK in 2001. Ye Olde George Inn was established in 1662. Three Tuns pub was converted into a Zizzi restaurant. Kelsey Park features two grade II listed 200 years old cottages. The park was part of the Kelsey estate. Kelsey Park Sports College took the name of the estate when it opened in 1968. It changed the name to Harris Academy Beckenham in 2011.
This BR3 area is where David Bowie lived with his first wife Angie Barnett. It was also where he ran his experimental Arts Lab club. Other famous residents include entertainer Bob Monkhouse, actress Julie Andrews, musician Peter Frampton, and boxer David Haye. Several notable sportsmen such as 1885 real tennis world champion Tom Pettitt lived here. Beckenham features in the radio drama No Commitments.