"BECKENHAM, a parish in the hundred of Bromley, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, in the county of Kent, 2 miles to the N.W. of Bromley, and 9 miles to the S. of London. It is a station on the Mid Kent branch of the South-Eastern railway. The Croydon line crosses Penge Common a short distance from the village, and is connected by a branch line with the West of London railway, and also with the Norwood junction. The village is pleasantly situated near the river Ravensbourne, a small branch of which runs through it. It is within the Union and County Court district of Bromley, and has a police station of its own. The old manor-house was the residence of Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who received as his guest there King Henry VIII., on occasion of his going to visit Anne of Cleves. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Canterbury, of the value of £900, in the patronage of Albemarle Cater, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. George, is a plain edifice with tower and spire. It is approached by an avenue of yew trees, and contains three monumental brasses, the earliest being one of a priest in 1458, and several family monuments. Among these is one to Mrs. Clarke, with the epitaph composed by Gray. In the churchyard is a very picturesque old lichgate. There are parochial schools for boys, girls, and infants. The parochial charities amount to £110 per annum, of which sum £42 is the revenue of the free school endowed by Mary Watson, now combined with the National schools; and the interest of £1,100, bequeathed by the Marchioness of Exeter in 1837, to be laid out in the purchase of coals for the poor of the parish. There are almshouses, established in 1694 by Anthony Rawlins, which have no endowment. In the vicinity of Beckenham are many handsome villas and residences of the gentry. The principal are Beckenham Place, Shortlands, Langley Farm, Langley Park, Eden Farm, Clay Hill, &c. A fair is held on the Monday before St. Bartholomew's Day."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]