Where to see it: Martin’s Hill is just two minutes walk from Market Square along Church Road behind Primark where Bromley’s name- sake shrub burst into spectacular bloom from mid April to the end of May.
The name ‘Bromley’ is from the Anglo Saxon ‘Bromleag’ or ‘Broomleigh’ literally meaning a clearing where broom grows.
Broom was once prolific the area but it is recorded that by 1832 it had all but disappeared through development and cultivation. Martin’s Hill was the last place in the Town where it could still be seen. Seen and celebrated it certainly was. Local historian Muriel Searle tells us that Victorian railway gazetteers drew passengers’ attention to the blaze of yellow on the hillside as they passed through the Shortlands Valley. Also, once a year the Town came out in force on Queens Mead below the Hill to celebrate the long forgotten festival of Broom Day.
The newspaper report of 1933 says “ once again thousands of people will be wearing sprigs of Broom and by purchasing this delightful little emblem of the town of which they are so proud they will be helping the local hospitals and a dozen other good causes. As in previous years the classic Queens Mead (below Martin’s Hill) will be the gay scene of a host of attractions”.
The flowering season is mid April to the end of May and we recommend all visitors and locals to witness this event of living history so fundamental to the heritage of Bromley Town.
There is more at the page on Friends of Bromley Town Parks website: http://www.bromleytownparks.org.uk/
Broom for Bromley in Queens Gardens
This year, we handed out sprigs of broom in celebration, at the large-screen showing of the Coronation of King Charles III in Queens Gardens.