Keston Common

Keston Common
Site of Special Scientific Interest

Lower Lake
Area of Search Greater London
Grid reference TQ417643
Interest Biological
Area 24.1 hectares
Notification 1987
Location map Magic Map

Keston Common is a 55 hectare area of public open space in Keston in the London Borough of Bromley. Most of it is heathland and dry acid grassland on the Blackheath Pebble Beds.[1][2] Almost all the common together with a small part of the neighbouring Hayes Common is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.[1][3]


The land was formerly part of the estate of Holwood House, and in the early nineteenth century three ponds were constructed to provide water to the house.[2] It is only two miles from Charles Darwin's home, Down House, and he often visited to study the plants and animals there. It helped to provide the materials for his works on earthworms and carnivorous plants. 'Darwin's Landscape Laboratory', which included Keston Common, was the British Government's 2009 nominee for a World Heritage Site, but the application was unsuccessful.[4] In 1926 the then owner of the common, Lord Stanley, donated it to the parish.[2]

Other information

The common is a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and an Area of Archaeological Significance with earthworks which are a listed structure. Two of the ponds are now used for fishing.[2] The Friends of Keston Common work to conserve and protect it.[5][6] 21.5 hectares is registered Common Land.[7]


There is access from Westerham Road, Heathfield Road and Fishponds Road.[2]

See also


Coordinates: 51°21′30″N 0°02′05″E / 51.3584°N 0.0348°E / 51.3584; 0.0348

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