Sidcup originated as a tiny hamlet on the road from London to Maidstone. According to Edward Hasted, "Thomas de Sedcopp was owner of this estate in the 35th year of king Henry VI. [i.e. in the 1450s] as appears by his deed." Hasted described Sidcup in the latter part of the 18th century as "a small street of houses, among which is an inn of much resort", referring to the former Black Horse pub on the high street.
Sidcup parish formed the Sidcup Urban District of Kent from 1908. It was initially known as Foots Cray; however, in 1921 the urban district, and in 1925 the parish, were renamed Sidcup. The parish and district were abolished in 1934 and combined with Chislehurst to form the Chislehurst and Sidcup civil parish and urban district. In 1965 the parish and urban district were abolished. Sidcup went on to form part of the London Borough of Bexley in Greater London and Chislehurst formed part of the London Borough of Bromley.
A number of manor houses, converted to other uses, remain. They include Frognal House, the birthplace and residence of Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, after whom Sydney, Australia was named (now converted for use as residential and nursing accommodation), Lamorbey House (now used by Rose Bruford College), Sidcup Place (now a Brewers Fayre bar and restaurant) and "The Hollies" (now converted for residential use).
Sidcup has a mixture of large Victorian and Edwardian properties alongside typical 1930s suburbia. It retains many parks and open spaces hinting at the great estates and large homes which once stood in the area.
The town contains Queen Mary's Hospital, a large Leisure Centre, four colleges and three secondary schools. Sidcup High Street is the local High Street, while there are some shops and local businesses on the adjacent Station Road. Sidcup High Street was recently the subject of a £1.8 million regeneration scheme In Store For Sidcup paid for by London Borough of Bexley.
Most of the district is within the London Borough of Bexley, however several parts in the North are under the governance of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, including Southspring, Greenhithe Close, Halfway Street (offsite Avery Hill), Radfield Way, Croyde Close and Overmead.
In 2011 The total population was recorded as 10,844. Many residents are aged 65+ or 85+, in line with the whole of London Borough of Bexley. At the census of 2011, the non-white population of Sidcup was recorded at 10.1%; the largest minority group were Asian or Asian British (5.4% of the total population), with White Other totalling 4.8% of the total population. The number of single parent families was higher in the district in comparison to the rest of the London Borough of Bexley. 63.8% reported Christianity as their religious beliefs which was above the borough average. However, these figures do not include the Blackfen and Lamorbey wards within the district.For education in Sidcup see the main London Borough of Bexley article
Primary schools in Sidcup include: Birkbeck, Burnt Oak Junior School, Chatsworth, Days Lane, Holy Trinity Lamorbey, Longlands, Orchard School, Our Lady of the Rosary, Royal Park, Sherwood Park, and St Peter Chanel.
Secondary schools in Sidcup include Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, Blackfen, Cleeve Park, Hurstmere and Kemnal Technology College.
Bird College, Christ the King: St Mary's (RC) Sixth Form College, and Rose Bruford College all have sites in Sidcup.
Sidcup has a Non-League football club Sporting Club Thamesmead F.C. who play at the Sporting Club Thamesmead. On Sydney Road, there is a Sidcup Sports Club, housing the local rugby and cricket clubs.
Live music venues include the Charcoal Burner and The Iron Horse public houses, although the larger premises at the Beaverwood Club, Chislehurst, draw a significant audience from this area.
The Sidcup and District Motor Cycle Club was formed at the Station Hotel, Sidcup in 1928. The Club owns the international motor cycle sport venue 'Canada Heights' in Button Street, Swanley, Kent and runs Motocross, Enduro, Hare and Hounds, Trials, Long Distance Trials throughout each year.
Sidcup is home to the Rose Bruford College of drama and Bird College, both of which have many well known and famous alumni and there are regular large-scale concerts given by Sidcup Symphony Orchestra, which also serves the wider South East London area.
The murder of teenager Rob Knox at the Metro Bar on Station Road in 2008 was national headline news. Knox was an up-and-coming actor who had, just before his death, filmed a small part in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He was killed protecting his brother from a group of youths. His murderer, Karl Bishop, also from Sidcup, was later found guilty of murder and sentenced. Knox's family have used his death as a forefront for their campaign to end knife crime among young people. As part of the Rob Knox Foundation, there has been a Rob Knox Film Festival held in the district and the neighbouring ward of Bexleyheath and, in 2015, a bench was erected in his name at St John's Church in Sidcup.
Sidcup, along with most other suburbs in south east London, is not served by the London underground. Sidcup station opened in October 1866 shortly after the opening of the Dartford Loop Line. The station was built 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Sidcup town centre in the parish of Lamorbey. Sidcup station serves the area with services to London Charing Cross, London Cannon Street as part of a loop service operating via both Lewisham and Woolwich Arsenal, and a service to Gravesend. Fast trains take as little as 20 minutes to get to London Charing Cross.
Sidcup High Street is on the A211, following in length the old London - Maidstone - Hythe road. The A211 starts just after Eltham High Street, in the middle running along the A20 Sidcup By-pass before ending at Foots Cray, where the B2173 continues along the former A20 road. The A211 connects the two main roads in this district; Station Road and Main Road.
East Rochester Way on the A2 road runs partly through the district, adjoining Blackfen Road. The road provides useful links to the Blackwall Tunnel and Kent.
Provision for cyclists is generally poor within the district.
Sidcup is served by a number of Transport for London bus routes.F. Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), Australian actor and inventor of the Alexander technique, lived in Penhill House, Sidcup, for 30 years
Harry Arter (1989-) footballer (Bournemouth F.C. and Republic of Ireland), born in Sidcup
Steve Backley (1959-), Olympic javelin silver medallist, born in Sidcup
Sam Bailey (1977-), winning contestant, The X-Factor, grew up in Sidcup
Doreen Bird (1928-2004), dance teacher, lived in Sidcup and established Bird College
Quentin Blake (1932-), illustrator, artist, born in Sidcup
Denis Bond (1946-), children's author, actor and scriptwriter, lives in Sidcup
Garry Bushell (1955-), journalist, lives in Sidcup
George Albert Cairns (1913–44), winner of the last Victoria Cross of World War II, lived and worked in Sidcup
Ben Chorley (1982-), footballer (Tranmere Rovers, Leyton Orient, now Bromley F.C.), born in Sidcup
Charlie Clements (1987-), actor (EastEnders), born in Sidcup
Jason Crowe (1978-), footballer, born in Sidcup
Ian Davenport (1966-), abstract painter and former Turner Prize nominee, born in Sidcup
Ashley Glazebrook aka. Twist, dancer, Twist and Pulse
Deren Ibrahim (1991-), Gibraltarian footballer, born in Sidcup
Alfred Garth Jones (1872-1955), illustrator, spent the last years of his life in Sidcup
John Paul Jones (1946-), bass guitarist (Led Zeppelin), born in Sidcup
Rob Knox (1989-2008), actor, murdered in Sidcup
Douglas Macmillan (1984-1969), founder of Macmillan Cancer Support, lived in Knoll Road from 1924 until 1966, and also ran his charity from that address. Bexley Civic Society placed a blue plaque on the house in 2010
Ivan Magill (1888-1986), innovative anaesthetist, worked in Sidcup
Lee Murray (1977-), former kickboxer and mixed martial arts champion, convicted of the Securitas depot robbery, lived in Sidcup
Emma Noble (1971-), glamour model, born in Sidcup
Mike Rann (1953-), Premier of South Australia, politician, born in Sidcup, lived in Blackfen prior to emigrating to New Zealand with his parents
John Regis (1966-), Olympic sprinter, lived in Sidcup
Mark Ricketts (1984-), footballer, born in Sidcup
Wayne Routledge (1985-), footballer, born in Sidcup
Gerard Shelley (1891-1980), author, translator and Catholic bishop, born in Sidcup
Nevil Shute (1899-1960), novelist and aeronautical engineer, lived in Hatherley Road from 1924 to 1930 while working at Vickers in Crayford
Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), composer and suffragette, born in St. John's Road, Sidcup
Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney (1733-1800), politician and Cabinet minister, lived in Frognal House, Foots Cray
Gordon Watson (1971-), former Sheffield Wednesday footballer, born in Sidcup
Elizabeth Wiskemann (1899-1971), historian and journalist, born in Sidcup
Doug Wright (1914–98), cricketer (Kent and England), born in Sidcup