On several occasions there was a queue of Bromley borough residents eager to sign the Save The Orpington Priory petition and show their strong opposition to the possible sale of The Priory and its loss as a community facility. Nearly 300 signatures were collected during the afternoon. Everyone was keen to support the campaign group's plans to persuade Bromley Council to agree to a Community Asset Transfer for a charitable trust to manage the building as an Arts & Heritage Centre and venue for various activities and events, incorporating a café and toilets. The Priory has the potential to become a hub for attracting more visitors to the gardens and the historic 14th century building. (Download the Vision leaflet here)
Local residents, and many ex-residents nationwide and abroad, feel Bromley Council is dismissive of Orpington's history and heritage, which can be traced back to Roman times and even earlier - such as the mammoth's tooth found in Green Street Green, the Roman Villa by Orpington station and the Roman bath house at Poverest. They are concerned that, if the Priory is sold on the open market, a developer will purchase it and devise a way to redevelop the site and this beautiful building will be lost forever. The general concensus is that it would be 'cultural vandalism'.
Margot Rohan - Orpington Community
(For more photos see: Orpington History Organisation Facebook page)