AskDefine | Define Orpington

Dictionary Definition

Orpington n : English breed of large white-skinned chickens

Extensive Definition

Orpington is a suburban town and electoral ward in the London Borough of Bromley. It forms the southeastern edge of London's urban sprawl and is one of thirty five major centres identified in the London Plan.

Retail and commerce

The High Street and adjacent Walnuts Shopping Centre contain a wide selection of high-street shops. There is a general market located in front of Orpington College, three days a week. Planning permission was granted in 2005 to demolish a multistorey car park at the south end of the High Street, and replace it with a large Tesco supermarket. Work started at the beginning of February 2007 and since then the car park has been fully demolished and work on the foundations has started reusing the concrete from the demolished car park. The new Tesco is due to open in 2009/2010. Metered parking has been installed at various street locations around Orpington station to cope with the loss of the car park This has resulted in the exit of long-established local businesses as the office space they occupied will no longer be feasible without adequate parking. There are larger retail outlets in the industrial estate on Cray Avenue and Sevenoaks Way in St Mary Cray including the new Nugent Shopping Park.

Sport and leisure

The Walnuts Leisure Centre, just east of the High Street, has a six-lane, 33.3 metre indoor swimming pool. It is home to Orpington Ojays Swimming Club, which competes at county, district and national level. Other facilities include squash courts and gym with sauna and steam room as well as a sports hall used for activities such as badminton, basketball, trampolining and fitness classes. The Sports hall is also used for Women's Artistic Gymnastics, being the training venue for Orpington Gymnastic Club

TV appearances

  • An Orpington curry house was featured on British television for being "one of the worst in Britain", for its practice of reusing leftover curry in the following day's menu. The next morning it had a window smashed, and closed down shortly afterwards.
  • A Honda Civic advert.
  • A Eurostar advert.
  • Orpington has been the set for a number of episodes of The Bill, including a Christmas episode filmed on the High Street.
  • The live-action opening for The Simpsons was filmed there in late 2005. It was first used on Sky One in the UK, and appeared before Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife in the U.S. The same house was also used for the national lottery Christmas draw advert 2006.
  • A Kodak TV advert was filmed here in which a fighter jet was placed in the front garden of a house on Hillcrest Road.
  • The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin is based on life in Orpington. Born in Orpington, its author, David Nobbs, says, "the town must be considered to have had a seminal influence on my work."
  • Orpington High Street and the Walnuts Shopping Center appear in a number of scenes in the Channel 4 documentary Virgin School, first aired in May 2007.

References in popular culture

  • In the classic Only Fools and Horses episode 'Yuppy Love', (which includes the famous scene of Del Boy (David Jason) falling through the bar), Rodney (Nicholas Lynhurst) and Del are arguing over the morality of Del's decision to buy, and then hopefully sell, their Peckham council flat. Rodney says: 'Del, council properties were built so the poorer classes would have somewhere to live! If they start selling them to Hooray Henrys where are they gonna go?' To which Del casually replies: 'Esher, Orpington - somewhere like that.'

Places of interest

The Parish Church

The Priory is a fine example of a medieval 'hall house'. In 1032, Eadsy, chaplain to King Cnut, gave his estate at Orpedingetune to Christ Church Priory, Canterbury. The first Rector of Orpington, Hugh de Mortimer, held court here in 1270. The house was rebuilt, this time of stone, in 1290, and added to in 1393 and 1471. In the 17th century the house ceased to be a rectory and passed into private ownership - a timber framed extension was added, which no longer exists. The house was acquired by Orpington Urban District Council in 1947, and now it houses a museum and a public library. The garden forms an attractive public park, and contains a natural pond which is the source of the River Cray. Each year the Orpington May Queen is crowned in the gardens.

Orpington Hospital

During the first world war a large military hospital, the "16th Canadian General", was built south-east of the station, funded by the government of Ontario, Canada. It originally accommodated 1050 patients; an extra wing was added in 1917. By January 1919 more than 15,000 wounded soldiers had been treated here. Many of the 182 who died are buried in "Canadian Corner" of All Saints' churchyard. Most of the original pre-fabricated buildings remained in use for more than 80 years before a major renovation around the turn of the century. Today Orpington Hospital provides rehabilitation and therapy services, outpatient and diagnostic services (including dermatology and diabetes), but it no longer has an Accident and Emergency Unit. The nearest A&E is Queen Mary's, Sidcup, or Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough.


Education in Orpington is managed by the London Borough of Bromley which is the Local Education Authority. The town contains a full range of primary and secondary schools. Tubbenden Junior/Infant and Darrick Wood Secondary being the most popular schools.
Orpington College is a further education college. It is affiliated with the University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church University. Orpington College is the tallest building in Orpington, and was built in 1972.

Transport and locale

Orpington railway station is a transport hub served by Southeastern trains to Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East, London Bridge and Victoria stations.
Orpington is also a major hub on the London Bus network and is served by routes to Sidcup, Chislehurst, Bromley, Lewisham, Addington, Chelsfield, Green Street Green, Farnborough, Cudham, Downe, Knockholt, Halstead, and Biggin Hill.
Because of the developed transport system, Orpington is a popular commuter base. Rail lines from Orpington offer connections to the Eurostar station at Ashford International. There are also connections to London City (via Lewisham DLR station), London Biggin Hill and London Gatwick (via Victoria station) airports.


  • The Book of Orpington
  • A Look Back at Orpington
Orpington in Hindi: ओर्पिंगटन
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