Beckenham - Encyclopedia

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BECKENHAM, an urban district in the Sevenoaks parliamentary division of Kent, England, 10 m. S.S.E. of London by the South Eastern & Chatham railway. Pop. (1881) 13,045; (1901) 26,331. It is a long straggling parish extending from the western tower of the Crystal Palace almost to the south end of Bromley, and contains the residential suburb of Shortlands. Its rapid increase in size in the last decade of the 19th century was owing to the popularity which it attained as a place of residence for London business men. It retains, however, some of its rural character, and has wide thoroughfares and many handsome residences standing in extensive grounds. King William IV.'s Naval Asylum was endowed by Queen Adelaide for 12 widows of naval officers. The church of St George was built in 1866 on the site of an ancient Perpendicular church. Some 16th-century brasses, an altar tomb and a piscina were removed hither from the old church. The tower of the church was completed in 1903, and furnished with two bells in memory of Cecil Rhodes, in addition to the old bells, one of which dates from 1624.

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