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29 and 30, Vincent Square

A Grade II Listed Building in Darwin, London

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Latitude: 51.3297 / 51°19'46"N

Longitude: 0.0245 / 0°1'28"E

OS Eastings: 541145

OS Northings: 160899

OS Grid: TQ411608

Mapcode National: GBR M6.4VH

Mapcode Global: VHHP9.CVT1

Plus Code: 9F3282HF+VR

Entry Name: 29 and 30, Vincent Square

Listing Date: 1 December 2005

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391595

English Heritage Legacy ID: 495988

ID on this website: 101391595

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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785/0/10103 VINCENT SQUARE
01-DEC-05 A233 (west side)
29 & 30

Pair of houses, part of former terrace of four, and part of group of 26. 1929, by the Air Ministry's Directorate of Works and Buildings. Rendered brickwork, plain tile roofs, including bay windows.

PLAN: Two dwellings, 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. Gabled ends, and face gables above windows front and rear. These are the last two houses on the E side of the Square, at its S end.

EXTERIOR: Windows are wood casements with one horizontal glazing-bar, set in plain reveals and to concrete sub-sills. At first floor, centred to the gables, a 3-light above 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. One central ridge stack, and one to the left outer gable, each with deep stepped capping; the gables otherwise plain. The rear has 2-light casements to the face-gables, and a smaller 2-light at the eaves to the left, with a 3-light, door and small side-light to ground floor.

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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