Shortlands is located less than a mile from Bromley town centre it has good transport
links to London.
Historically, Shortlands was known as Clay or (Cley) Hill. There was a house of that
name, which in the early 19th century was renamed Shortlands House (now Bishop Challoner
School). It became known as Shortlands around 1800.
Shortlands is a medieval term that refers to the layout of fields. Shortlands is
based around the Ravensbourne River which runs by Shortlands Station which celebrated
its 150th anniversary last July. The fields would have been on the valley sides.
In some valleys, fields run parallel to the river, making then long and thin (long
lands). Here they ran at right angles to the river up the slopes either side, making
them shorter and wider (short lands), hence the name.
Shortlands is most famous for Enid Blyton who lived there in the later stages of
her life. Other famous residents have included the novelist Mrs Craik 1826-1887,
for whom Norman Shaw built a house on Shortlands Road, and the electrical engineer
Alexander Muirhead, the first man to make a recording of the human heart beat. George
Grote, the eminent Greek historian, was born here in 1794 when it was known as Clay
The Greenwich meridian passes straight through Shortlands allowing residents and
visitors alike to be able to stand on both the East and the West.