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MARKET TOWNS OF KENT (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Bromley in 1836

Bromley is in Bromley and Beckenham hundred, in the lathe of Sutton at Hone, and near the Ravensbourne River, 10 miles from London Bridge. Bromley parish contains 4,630 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 4,002. The town consists principally of one street, with neat well-built houses, and having a market-house in the middle of the town supported on wooden pillars. The church contains the monuments of Dr. Hawkesworth, Dr Zachary Pearce, bishop of Rochester, and several others. The bishop of Rochester’s palace at Bromley is a plain brick mansion rebuilt in 1777. In the palace garden is a chalybeate spring ‘St. Blaise's well,' of some repute.

There is a well-endowed hospital or 'College,' founded in 1666 for clergyman’s widows, and since much enlarged : there are now forty widows in the establishment. The buildings surround two quadrangular courts : there is a chapel, and a chaplain is attached to the foundation. There are some dissenting meeting-houses. There is a market on Thursday, at which, on the third Thursday in each month, much business is done in cattle ; there are also two cattle fairs.

The living of Bromley is a perpetual curacy in the diocese and archdeaconry of Rochester, and in the gift of the dean and chapter of the cathedral of that see : its clear yearly value is £160. There were in Bromley, in 1833, two day and Sunday national-schools, one with 100 boys, and another with 90 girls; 15 children of each sex were clothed from an ancient endowment. Bromley is one of the polling-places for the western division of the county of Kent.