Inventory Site Record

Holy Trinity Churchyard, Bromley Common

Holy Trinity Churchyard, Bromley Common (Bromley)

Brief Description

Enclosure of Bromley Common took place between 1764 and 1821, shortly after which villas began to be built along the Hastings Road. Holy Trinity Church was built to serve the spiritual needs of the growing population, after it was agreed to establish a separate parish independent of Bromley. The church was built in 1839-42, designed by Thomas Hopper. A driving force behind the project was George Warde Norman of The Rookery, Bromley Common, and the church and churchyard have memorials to the Norman family. The original boundary was a flint wall; the churchyard was extended to the north in 1883 and again in 1914, and the northern boundary is formed by a holly hedge. The churchyard has mature trees, including two yews.

Practical Information
Site location:
Church Lane, Bromley Common
Type of site:
Open to public?
Opening times:
unrestricted. Church normally locked, only open for services
Special conditions:
Leaflet on church history available in church
Public transport:
Rail: Bromley South then bus. Bus: 61, 208, 261, 320, 358.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/05/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Enclosure of Bromley Common took place between 1764 and 1821, shortly after which villas began to be built along the Hastings Road (now the A21) as Bromley developed into a fashionable spa. A Chapel of Ease was proposed to meet the spiritual needs of the growing population of the hamlet at the southern end of the Common and in c.1832 a serious effort was made to raise the necessary funds. The accession of Queen Victoria in 1837 and the work of the Commission for Building New Churches strengthened the Bishop of Rochester's call for a new parish of Bromley Common to be created, separate from Bromley's parish of St Peter and St Paul (q.v.). Agreed in 1838, public subscriptions were then sought and land was purchased from Mr Walters for £100 and Mr George Warde Norman for £50. Norman was a driving force behind the project from 1839 until his death in 1882, and other members of his family followed in his footsteps until recent times. An influential financial writer, merchant banker and Director of the Bank of England from 1821, George Warde Norman was a local dignitary, who live at The Rookery on Bromley Common, now Bromley College of Further and Higher Education. Thomas Hopper, a Rochester architect, was engaged to design the new church and Holy Trinity was completed by 1841, the building faced largely in knapped flint and originally without a tower, choir vestry or apse. It was consecrated in 1842, and the tower was added the same year. In 1884 alterations by the architect C Pemberton Leach replaced much of the tracery with Bath stone and a stunted apse was added in memory of George Warde Norman. A clock and bell were installed in 1907, and windows damaged in WWII were replaced in 1952.

The vicarage is adjacent to the eastern wall of the churchyard and a former church school is now a Nursery School, both reached by a private road off Church Lane. The original boundaries of the churchyard were Vicarage Drive, Church Lane and Hastings Road, and the knapped flint boundary wall was provided by the Norman family; now topped with triangular brick coping stones the wall originally had a flat top. The churchyard was extended in 1883 to the north, and a later extension also to the north in 1914; a holly hedge forms the northern boundary. The churchyard was closed to burials in 1991 except for cremations and burials in existing plots.

There are a number of graves to the Norman family and those who worked for them. These include the memorial in the form of a Celtic-style cross for George Warde Norman and immediate family to the east of the apse. Inside the church is a fine monument to George Herman Norman (d.1855), eldest son of George Warde Norman, who was mortally wounded in the Crimean War; a sculpture by T Gaffin shows a mourning soldier either side of a gravestone. To the north of the church is the railed monument of General Peter Augustus Lautour (d.1866), a colonel of the 3rd King's Own Hussars and a distinguished cavalry officer who fought with the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular Wars at Quatre Bras and Waterloo. There are three WWI graves in the churchyard, two in the care of the War Graves Commission, and a War Memorial to commemorate the dead of both world wars.

The churchyard has mature trees generally grouped in different areas, including two yew trees thought to have been planted in the 1840s, two silver birch and a number of conifers. Among shrubs is a magnolia. Main paths are tarmac, with informal paths among the gravestones.

Sources consulted:

ELS Horsburgh, 'Bromley, Kent from the earliest times to the present day' (Lodgemarsh Press, 1980 ed); 'Bromley Record' (1866), p18; Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner 'The Buildings of England, London 2: South' (Penguin, 1983, reprint 1999) p165; HCG Matthew & Brian Harrison, 'Directory of National Biography' (OUP, 2004), vol 41, pp13-14; Ideal Homes: Suburbia in Focus website; 'Monumental Inscriptions 1883-1988' (N W Kent Family History Society); 'Ann Richards et al, 'The Story of Holy Trinity Church, Bromley Common With a short history of the Norman Family' (pamphlet in church, n.d. but post 1991).

LPGT Volunteer Research by Peter Smith & Jeff Royce, 2008

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ423664 (542250,166500)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Diocese of Rochester
Site management:
Parish Church Council
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance II
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

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