Bean is a village and Civil Parish in the Borough of Dartford with a population of under 2000. The Parish lies about three miles east of Dartford town centre and is bounded on the north by the A2 (the Roman Watling Street) and on the other three sides by ancient woodlands. Bean is the most recently formed of Kent Parishes although the Village itself has been recorded since at least the 13th Century.
Bean was formerly part of the Parish of Stone Parish but the boundary was such that it was connected to the rest of Stone by only a narrow neck of land at Watling Street (A2). In 1797 this part of the Parish of Stone is described as having great tract of woodland which reached almost to Green Street Green adjoining to the Parish of Darenth.
Parts of Bean are on high ground (300ft above sea level) and in Elizabethan times, it was the location of one of the chain of beacons lit to warn of the approach of the Spanish Armada (circa 1580). The Bean beacon was situated at the peak of the hill, where Beacon Wood Country Park can now be found. Local names, such as Beacon House and Beacon Drive reflect this history.
For most of it's history Bean was an agricultural area and due to the uses put to the land the number of dwellings could be numbered in single figures until the 1880’s when a number of cottages were built to house the workers of a Gunpowder Factory built on the site of the old beacon. Signs of the long since demolished factory can still be seen in the Country Park