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Template:Infobox UK place

Downe is a village in South East London within the London Borough of Bromley.

Downe is Template:Convert south west of Orpington and Template:Convert south east of Charing Cross. Downe lies on a hill, and much of the centre of the village is unchanged; the former village school now acts as the village hall. The word Downe originates from the Anglosaxon word doon, latterly down, hence the South and North Downs.

When Charles Darwin moved there in 1842, the village was known as Down. Its name was changed later to Downe.<ref name=Letter637>Template:Cite web</ref>


Charles Darwin lived in Down House for 40 years, from 1842 until he died there in 1882. A favourite place of his was Downe Bank, now a nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Down House and the surrounding area has been nominated by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to become a World Heritage Site. However, this decision has been deferred.

Buckston Browne Farm

thumb Downe is the location of Buckston Browne Farm, built in 1931 as a surgical research centre by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS). In the 1980s, the farm caused controversy because of its use of vivisection techniques, and in August 1984 it was raided by anti-vivisection activists.

The farm has now been made into four houses.


There are two scout campsites in the Downe area:

•The Downe Scout Activity Centre consisting of Template:Convert of woodland and open fields is just outside the village.

•The Greenwich (one of the Districts of the Greater London South Scout county) District campsite is also nearby.


There are no rail links to the village, but it is served by two hourly bus routes:

  • 146  Bromley – Downe
  • R8   Biggin Hill - Orpington.

The nearest rail stations are:<ref name="tdir">Template:Cite web</ref>

Notable people

  • Charles Darwin, naturalist
  • Charles Hayes (1678–1760) mathematician
  • Sir John Lubbock, 3rd Baronet, banker, barrister, mathematician and astronomer
  • John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, banker, biologist, archaeologist and Liberal politician
  • Olive Willis (1877–1964), founder of Downe House School

Herbert Newton Casson, journalist/author (1869-1951), founder of Efficiency Magazine

Nearest places

  • Cudham
  • Farnborough
  • Keston
  • Orpington



External links

Template:Commons category

Template:LB Bromley

de:London Borough of Bromley