Biggin Hill is an area of South East London within the London Borough of Bromley. It is one of the highest points of Greater London, rising to over 210 metres (690 ft) above sea level. Its airport occupies land formerly used by RAF Biggin Hill, one of the principal fighter bases protecting London from German bombers during the Battle of Britain.
Polesteeple Hill, Biggin Hill
|Population||9,951 (Biggin Hill ward 2011)|
|OS grid reference||TQ418590|
|• Charing Cross||15.2 mi (24.5 km) NNW|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Historically, the settlement was known as Aperfield and formed part of the parish of Cudham. Biggin Hill was an ancient parish in the county of Kent, in the Diocese of Rochester, and under the Local Government Act 1894 formed part of Bromley Urban District. The urban district became a municipal borough in 1935. Kent County Council formed the second tier of local government during that time. In 1965, the London County Council was abolished and replaced by the Greater London Council, with an expanded administrative area, so that Biggin Hill is now part of the London Borough of Bromley.
The most architecturally noteworthy building within Biggin Hill is St Mark's Church, Church Road – 'the moving church' - designed by Richard Gilbert Scott. It was erected in the 1950s using the dismantled materials from All Saints Church, North Peckham. Much of the work was undertaken by volunteers led by Rev Vivian Symons who undertook much of the decorative work himself.
Biggin Hill also has an airport, London Biggin Hill Airport, which uses much of the land formerly used by RAF Biggin Hill, an aerodrome best known for its role during the Battle of Britain. The airfield was the location of the "Operations Room" for the Operation Crossbow V-1 flying bomb defence during World War II.
The old "west camp" of the airport is now owned by Bernie Ecclestone. Most of the buildings in the West Camp are Grade II listed. A small section remains in the care of the RAF, and the Grade II listed chapel (guarded by replicas of the station gate guardians, a Hawker Hurricane and a Supermarine Spitfire) is open to the public.
The old "south camp" is now occupied by the Biggin Hill Business Park, Airport Industrial Estate and various private flying clubs. There are further commercial premises, hangars, private flying clubs and a helicopter joy-ride and pilot training centre to the east of the main runway.
The term "airport", rather than airfield, is used to describe the present-day facility because it has a terminal building and customs facilities. It is host to a wide range of private/business jet and turbo-prop aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 737. The main airport apron has recently been enlarged;[when?] the one remaining hangar on the old south camp has been totally re-clad and a planning application has been posted for further hangars on the eastern side.
A model aircraft site operates within its Air Traffic Zone, operating large model aircraft. In 2009 there were sightings of model aircraft traffic and one air proximity report was filed, according to the Airport Consultative Committee in May 2010.
The airport was the venue of the Biggin Hill International Air Fair, an annual airshow that usually took place towards the end of June. The event was first held in 1963 and the airshow was permanently cancelled in 2010, shortly after the 48th event.
Charles Darwin School is a secondary school within three miles of the centre.
Two main primary schools operate: Oaklands Primary School and Biggin Hill Primary School. Beyond the outskirts are Cudham CoE Primary School near Foal Farm, Tatsfield Primary in Tatsfield to the west and Downe Primary in the Downe village.
The area is represented by the Biggin Hill ward, which according to the 2011 UK census had a population of 9,951 and a density of 12 people per hectare. The census showed that 93% of the population was White British. The median age of the population was 42. The most common accommodation type was detached houses or bungalows.
Biggin Hill is on the outskirts of the London Borough of Bromley. The A233 road is the only main road that runs through the area, from North to South. Most of the settlements that surround Biggin Hill are small towns and villages. Biggin Hill's postcode is TN16, and its post town is Westerham (although Westerham itself is located outside Greater London).
The nearest National Rail station to Biggin Hill is Hayes station (located 5 miles away) as well as Oxted, Bromley South and Orpington in London. The nearest Tramlink stop is New Addington located also in London 4 miles away.
- Census Information Scheme (2012). "2011 Census Ward Population Estimates". Greater London Authority. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
- Symons, Vivian (1956). The Moving Church. London: Herbert Jenkins.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Bob Ogley, The Ghosts of Biggin Hill, 2001, ISBN 978-1-872337-41-8