Single Street

Single Street, Bromley

A rural hamlet clustered around the lane of the same name, situated south-east of Luxted

Hidden London: Cottage on Single Street by David Howard

This part of the world is Kent, real­ly. But it got scooped up into Greater Lon­don in 1965 because it hap­pened to be in Brom­ley’s hin­ter­land.

The manor of Bert­erye (which was spelt in all sorts of ways) was in exis­tence by 1145 and gave its name to near­by Berry’s Green.

Accord­ing to John Phillipot’s Vis­i­ta­tion of Kent, writ­ten around 1619, the cru­sad­er Simon Man­ning was “lord of the cas­tle and town of Bet­trede”. The site of the ‘cas­tle’ – the manor house – is now lost but the ‘town’ is assumed to have been the ham­let lat­er known as Sin­gle Street. The Man­ning fam­i­ly retained an impor­tant role in parts of the mod­ern bor­ough of Brom­ley for sev­er­al cen­turies and they were also lords of the manor of Kev­ing­ton.

Sin­gle Street’s present name was first doc­u­ment­ed as late as 1871, in an Ord­nance Sur­vey map, but it may be of Old Eng­lish ori­gin; a ‘sen­gel’ was a burnt clear­ing.

In the lat­ter part of the 20th cen­tu­ry the ham­let expand­ed as far as green-belt restric­tions would per­mit but it retains some old­er prop­er­ties, includ­ing Bell Cot­tage, which is of 16th-cen­tu­ry ori­gin and is grade II list­ed despite its many alter­ations. The hamlet’s coal-tax post is also grade II list­ed.

Sin­gle Street lies at the south­ern tip of the pro­posed world her­itage site cov­er­ing the Downe area, but its post-Dar­win­ian hous­ing is exclud­ed.

Postcode area: Westerham TN16
* The picture of a cottage on Single Street on this page is adapted from an original photograph, copyright David Howard, at Geograph Britain and Ireland, made available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.