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6, 7 AND 8, VINCENT SQUARE (See details for further address information)

A Grade II Listed Building in Darwin, London

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Latitude: 51.3299 / 51°19'47"N

Longitude: 0.0239 / 0°1'26"E

OS Eastings: 541101

OS Northings: 160922

OS Grid: TQ411609

Mapcode National: GBR M6.4NY

Mapcode Global: VHHP9.CTHW

Plus Code: 9F3282HF+XH

Entry Name: 6, 7 AND 8, VINCENT SQUARE (See details for further address information)

Listing Date: 1 December 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391591

English Heritage Legacy ID: 495984

ID on this website: 101391591

Location: Leaves Green, Bromley, London, TN16

County: London

District: Bromley

Electoral Ward/Division: Darwin

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Bromley

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Biggin Hill St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Tagged with: Building

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785/0/10098 VINCENT SQUARE
01-DEC-05 A233 (west side)
6, 7 & 8

Terrace of three houses (formerly 4), part of a group of 26. Dated 1929, by the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings. Painted cavity brickwork, slate roof, lead to bay windows.

PLAN: A short straight terrace in two storeys, hipped roof to right and gable to the left. Each dwelling entered to the right, with living, dining and kitchen ground floor, and three bedrooms; originally with four open fireplaces, two to each floor, on party wall to left. Terrace lies to W side of the Square, with a short gap to its left, adjacent to Nos 1 - 4 (qv): this was originally a terrace of 4, but house No 5 was damaged by bombing, and has not been replaced.

EXTERIOR: Windows generally plain wooden sash, in half-brick reveals and to concrete sub-sills. At first floor three windows, separated by narrow brick piers, and the outer lights narrower than the centre; below these a canted flat-roofed bay, with brick mullions, large central and smaller side lights. To the right, on two steps, a flush panelled door with square glazed top panel, under a flat concrete hood with roll-mould edge, and on concrete brackets. Two large ridge stacks, to the left of each house, and gable stack to the L at the former party wall, exposed by demolition; the stacks have deep stepped cappings.

End returns are plain, and the back has a double sash with brick mullion to the first floor, above a large replacement casement, a door L and a small side light. Centred to the party wall between Nos 6 and 7 a small stone with carved date '1929'. Simple eaves to three sides and clipped gable verge to left.

INTERIOR: Not inspected; the houses restored by a housing Association as part of the renovation of the whole Square.

HISTORY: This forms part of the best preserved group of married quarters, typically designed on Garden City principles, that predate the post-1934 Expansion Period of the RAF and relate to a nationally important historic aviation site. They are dated 1929, six of the houses having been demolished following the 1940 raids but still presenting a group of 26 planned as an elongated square around a central grassed area. Land for the new married quarters had been purchased in 1923-5.

Biggin Hill acquired a reputation as the most famous fighter station in the world, primarily through its associations with the Battle of Britain, the first time in history that a nation had retained its freedom and independence through air power. It was developed as a key fighter station in the inter-war period, playing a critical role in the development of the air defence system - based on radar - that played a critical role in the Second World War. Of all the sites which became involved in The Battle of Britain, none have greater resonance in the popular imagination than those of the sector airfields within these Groups which bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe onslaught and, in Churchill's words, 'on whose organisation and combination the whole fighting power of our Air Force at this moment depended'. It was 11 Group, commanded by Air Vice Marshall Keith Park from his underground headquarters at RAF Uxbridge, which occupied the front line in this battle, with its 'nerve centre' sector stations at Northolt, North Weald, Biggin Hill, Tangmere, Debden and Hornchurch taking some of the most sustained attacks of the battle, especially between 24 August and 6 September when these airfields and later aircraft factories became the Luftwaffe's prime targets.

For further details of the history of the site, see description for Station Headquarters.

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