Biggin Hill, Kent Genealogy
Historically the Aperfield area was part of Cudham, Kent parish and the area later to be developed and called Biggin Hill had a small population of up to 200 people in the early 1900's.
See also Biggin Hill Wikipedia
This was a Georgian Mansion owned by Earl Stanhope in the 1900's and tenanted by John Westacott.
Aperfield Court had been home to a Wireless Testing Park at the side of the Westerham- Bromley Road.
During World War 1 approval was granted by the Earl Stanhope to use part of his lands adjacent to Cudham Lodge to be used as an emergency landing ground by the Royal Flying Corps.
On 2 December 1916 work to relocate the Wireless Testing Park began to a new camp on the land between Cudham Lodge and the Main Road.
Koonowla was a large brick built house which had been bequeathed to the Victorian Hospital for Sick Children at Chelsea and the trustees of the Hospital wished to retain the property. However the War Office invoked the Defence of the Realm Act and Koonowla became part of the Biggin Hill Wireless Testing complex as a Mess Building.
By 13 February 1917 the transfer of personnel to the wooden huts, tents and canvas hangar of the camp was achieved; officers were housed in Koonowla.
The Royal Flying Corps pioneered air-to-wireless communication ahead of the Germans.
The 1917 Gotha twin-engined German bomber was launching night bombing against London. Due to it's limiter range the Gotha bombers were forced to take the shortest route to London which brought them overhead at Biggin Hill and the Royal Flying Corps stationed fighter squadrons at the camp.
Later RAF Biggin Hill came into being. See London Biggin Hill Airport for history.
St Mark's Church
The Church of St Mark's Church Biggin Hill was built in 1904 as a temporary iron structure to meet the spiritual needs of the 200 residents of Biggin Hill and was originally sited on Polesteeple Hill. It was not until the 1950's when Biggin Hill had 4,000 residents that a more permanent building was attempted with the demolition of St Mark's Church, Peckham, and the movement of timber and bricks to the site in Biggin Hill acquired for the building from a bequest, which is the site of the St Mark's church. The parish church at Biggin Hill was dedicated on 25 April 1959 by the Bishop of Rochester and was formed from part of the Ancient Cudham parish. See Cudham, Kent for church records of the Ancient Parish and the Kent Online Parish Clerks transcript series.
The Old Salt Box
Prior to 1916 two farm cottages; in 1916 the cottages were converted to form a tea room. The tea room was popular with visitors including cycling groups and personell stationed at the growing RAF base. Demolished after the Battle of Britain; taken over by the RAF in 1936. See Biggin Hill History
Ghosts of Biggin Hill, Author: Bob Ogley, ISBN 1-872337-41-4
Bruce Barrymore Halpenny Action Stations: Military Airfields of Greater London v. 8 (ISBN 978-0-85059-585-7)
Biggin on the Bump Author: Bob OgleyPublisher: Froglets Publications Ltd (24 May 1990)