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21-24, VINCENT SQUARE (See details for further address information)

A Grade II Listed Building in Darwin, London

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Latitude: 51.3301 / 51°19'48"N

Longitude: 0.0245 / 0°1'28"E

OS Eastings: 541144

OS Northings: 160948

OS Grid: TQ411609

Mapcode National: GBR M5.YPX

Mapcode Global: VHHP9.CTTP

Plus Code: 9F3282JF+2R

Entry Name: 21-24, VINCENT SQUARE (See details for further address information)

Listing Date: 1 December 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391592

English Heritage Legacy ID: 495985

ID on this website: 101391592

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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785/0/10101 VINCENT SQUARE
01-DEC-05 A233 (west side)

Terrace of four houses, part of group of 26. Dated 1929, by the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings. Painted brickwork, cavity walls, slate roofs, lead to bay windows.

PLAN: A short straight terrace of four dwellings, each 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. The block has gabled ends, and four face-gables above windows to front and rear, separated by short runs of plain eaves. The terrace lies at the N end of the E side of the Square.

EXTERIOR: Windows are casements with one horizontal glazing-bar, set in plain reveals, and to concrete sub-sills. At first floor, centred to the gable, a 3-light, and to ground floor a 4-light in a square bay with plain cheeks, and to a hipped roof. To the right a panelled door with part-glazed upper part, in plain pilasters with concrete consoles carrying a flat hood with bold rolled edge on a bed-mould. To the left of each house, including the L gable end, a large ridge stack, with deep stepped capping. The end gables are plain, and the rear is similar to the front, but with a 2-light to the face gable. The end gables are plain, and the rear is similar to the front, but with a 2-light to the face gable, and a smaller 2-light at the eaves, left; ground floor has a 3-light door and side light.

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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