Temples Top store

For many years Temples Store was 'the' place to get pretty well anything. The store in the Valley was so popular that a second store was opened to serve the growing community on the hill. The largest of the two, 'Top Temples', was at the junction of Stock Hill (now Temple Road since Stock hill was extended up to Lebanon Gardens) and Hillcrest Road. Many things could be bought here. In the photo you can see walking sticks for sale, with Thomas Temple in his white coat behind. A delivery service was also provided courtesy of the two boys on their bikes.


John Nelson


As Biggin Hill grew the demands for Temple's services meant that they had to expand. The photo below shows the redeveloped store. Even the building on the right of the store in the photo was bought and used as another area of the store. Some of the adverts in the shop front are:

Mens suits - made to measure 30 shillings.

Wire netting and roofing felt.

Finest new Jams.

Will's Gold Flake cigarettes - 10 for 3d.

And proudly anouncing 'The Shop that aids Economists'

Thomas Temple, now wearing a black suit, can be seen at the back on the far right.

John Nelson



Disaster struck when the store was destroyed by fire. The photograph shows the result of that fire. It was so furious that it also destroyed the Temple's family house that was next to it. All that was left of that was the chimney stacks.


Interesting to note that in the Then photo through the chimney stacks on the other side of Stock Hill is a building standing alone on the side of the hill. This is 2, 4 and 6 Mount Pleasant. This group of buildings still stand today and you can just make out the line of the roof in the Now photo (note the 'V' above), although there has been extensive extension building to the rear and a loft conversion as well.

Also, if you look carefully to the left of the picture you can see a small tent. This tent and the shed behind were set up as a temporary Temples Store whilst they rebuilt after the fire.



Tony Lewis 2010



Whilst the site was cleared, and reconstruction begun, a temporary store was constructed on a piece of land on the other side of Stock Hill. If you look carefully at the fire photo, you can see the striped tent to the left of the burnt out house. It wasn't long before Top Temples was trading again on it's original site in a new building, similar in construction to the previous.


John Nelson



The next two pictures show the new Temples Store that was a more permenant structure. It lasted until the 1960s when it was demolished to make way for a new housing develpment.

The last photo is dated 1968 and was taken from Hillcrest Road.


John Nelson


Charles Couldry