Architectural Elements of Heritage Bromley

The 2023 Supplementary Planning Document for Bromley Town states the NPG aim:

“well-designed places are based on a sound understanding of the surrounding context, influence their context positively and are responsive to local history, culture and heritage. Creating a positive sense of place helps to foster a sense of belonging and contributes to well-being, inclusion and community cohesion. Well-designed places respond to existing local character and identity and contribute to local distinctiveness.”

Section 4.4 of the SPD 2023.

In order to help architects who may not be able to visit the town in person, we have compiled some of the architectural elements found on Bromley’s town centre heritage buildings and conservation area.

A Goup of buildings designed by Ernest Newton, including the Star and Garter

The David Greg building in Market Square, that uses ceramic tiles to add decorative arches, a porthole window, and other embellishments
Bromley North Station.  This Edwardian building is one of several with cupolas, as well as an arched entrance, pediment, and delicate iron grill work.

Bromley was a leading location for the Arts and Crafts movement, and the conservation area contains a number of nationally good examples.  Elements that could be reused from this movement include the distinctive roof lines, windows, and dormer windows, some of which recall Kentish Vernacular styles:


Cupolas and domes. Cupolas and domes are a particular feature of the former civic buildings in Bromley, they date from the later years of Queen Victoria’s reign.  The town was establishing itself as ‘incorporated’ where it ruled itself rather than being governed from the Vestry.  The cupolas and domes have been echoed when the shopping center, The Glades, was built in the 1990s..

Pediments, Windows and Gables There are some very stylish pediments, windows, gables and dormer windows in the buildings of Victorian and Arts and Crafts ages in Bromley.  Some modern developments have successfully copied them:

An arched pediment and  fruitful balcony on the Fifty Shilling Tailor building.
Gables, arch and windows on the Herbert Colins building
An arched pediment and  fruitful balcony on the Fifty Shilling Tailor building.

Decorative details from shop buildings in the Town Centre: Some buildings use some decorative details, some of which were inspired by the medieval buildings in Bruge:

Playful decoration on former butcher’s shop, High Street

Ceramic tile decorations, pargetting, and cladding:

Putti (cherub faces) were a favourite decoration in the Arts and Crafts movement.

Shell motif. In the medieval era shells represented pilgrimage (both literal and in the sense of a spiritual journey) and were the heraldic device of the Bishops of Rochester. Until the 1860s, the Bishop of Rochester was the Lord of the Manor, so this motif is repeated on various heritage buildings in the conservation area..

Period signage and shop fronts:

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