CHISLEHURST CONSERVATION AREA
A Study compiled and written for The Chislehurst Society by Mary S Holt
Mary Holt’s 1992 study of the Chislehurst Conservation Area is full of interest at a number of different
levels. Not only did she describe the then current features of all the roads in the Conservation Area, she
added historical information, which helps make sense of the position at the time she was writing. She also
noted the practical issues faced by residents and others going about their business in these areas. Finally,
she noted the then understood Conservation Area Objectives.
The original study was completed in 1992, and we felt we should bring it up to date in 2008. In doing so,
however, we have identified only significant changes which we believe Mary would have wanted to reflect
had she been editing the original study now.
In fact there are relatively few such changes given the size of the conservation area. These changes are
identified in square brackets, so that readers are able to read the original study, and see what changes have
been made to it in bringing it up to date. We have changed some of the layout, and added some old photographs of Chislehurst taken in the first three decades of the 20th Century to illustrate the
As remarked in Nikolaus Pevsner’s series of books: “The Buildings of England”, ‘Chislehurst is no ordinary
suburb. This is because of its relationship to its Common. Whereas most Commons lie to one side of their
towns, here the Common is the very heart of the place. Indeed Chislehurst grew up as a scattered village
centered around its various Commons, surrounded by large country estates, and did not outgrow its
hilltop site until mid-Victorian times. After the construction of the railway in 1865, however, it became a
fashionable suburb for London businessmen, while in 1870 the French Imperial Court took up residence in
exile at Camden Place. In the years up to WWI groups of large, detached family dwellings were developed
with many houses designed by prominent architects of the day who tended to work in the style generally
known as ‘Arts and Crafts’. This style sought inspiration from the past and produced houses which, although
large, were homely rather than grand. It survived into the inter-war years, although in a modified form,
and continued to exert a strong influence on suburban design. Sadly, WWII left its mark on Chislehurst; a
surprising number of Victorian buildings and earlier properties were destroyed or damaged by bombs, thus
providing the opportunity for more intensive development.
Chislehurst Commons and the surrounding large country estates preserved this part of outer London
from the spread of suburban development during the 1930s. Later, these areas of open land were
given added protection by being designated as Metropolitan Green Belt in which strict policies against
development apply. This open land is important in environmental terms in that it effectively separates the
communities of Orpington and Bromley within the Borough. In so doing it provides a ‘green wedge’, which
is a long established planning concept that has helped to preserve the variety of landscapes in the area.
Furthermore, large tracts of woodland and farmland have been acquired for the nation by the National
Trust and much is easily accessible to the public. Thus Chislehurst retains a strong ‘sense of place’; the
Commons (and the Caves) attract many visitors from outside the Borough, with the added interest of an
area retaining a range of Victorian and Edwardian architecture in its original setting, making a noteworthy
contribution to Bromley’s status among London Boroughs.
Though not all of Chislehurst enjoys Conservation Area status, Pevsner’s comment above is, of course, the
more apposite in relation to the Conservation Area itself, of which the Commons form the core. Chislehurst
has thus a double claim to an unusual status among Conservation Areas generally, in that it has not only a
wealth of historically and architecturally interesting buildings, but also enjoys a relative absence of intensive
built development within its topography and verdant character. Outside the High street (and roads off it),
Royal Parade, and some roads more intensively developed since World War II, the characteristic form of
residential development is predominantly one of detached houses, with a variety of plot size and space
between properties, together with some small clusters of terraces or town houses, and blocks of flats or
maisonettes in reasonably spacious surroundings, though many of the more intensive developments were
built before the Conservation Area designation. Furthermore, even a number of these developments are
adjacent to open space, ranging from the Commons, National Trust property, Green Belt and the surviving
large gardens of Victorian houses and 1950s properties when more generous space standards prevailed.
There is, of course, no scope for large scale development on green-field sites and the continuing objective
for the Conservation Area as a whole is one of ensuring that its attractiveness is perpetuated by the
avoidance of harmful development and the preservation of its present characteristics, resisting increases
in density and maintaining existing spaces around buildings. The major danger to be avoided in planning
decisions is the creeping accumulation of small-scale developments eroding side spaces and back gardens.
Chislehurst’s other outstanding natural feature apart from the expanse of the Commons is its abundance
of mature woodland trees. This feature is evidenced in its original Jutish name “Ceosol Hyrst”, meaning
a “pebbly wood”. Regrettably, large areas of its original woodland glory have been lost under the intense
residential development pressures since the 1960s, which have threatened to destroy the very features
which made Chislehurst a desirable environment in which to live. It is vital now to safeguard the remains of
this inheritance for future generations by strict enforcement of all Tree Preservation Orders and a planning
policy of firm presumption against any developments large or small which involve or threaten loss of trees
in open spaces and private gardens, which severally and collectively can provide a useful wildlife habitat.
Indeed, DoE Appeal decisions recognise that building should not be allowed where a mature tree canopy
could lead to subsequent demands for felling on the excuse of light and danger.
To sum up, enhancement schemes have considerable importance for areas like the High street and Royal
Parade, while the reservation of the Conservation Area as a whole is particularly dependent on firm
planning policies. However, the change of emphasis in planning legislation from the presumption in favour
of development to one in which decisions are required to accord with the development plan should
reinforce the specific policies in the Borough’s UDP which provide for the protection of Conservation Areas.
Introduction to 2008 edition
I am very pleased that the Chislehurst Society has been able to update my late wife’s study of Chislehurst
Conservation Area and make it available to people interested in this special place where she lived and which
she loved so much. Re-reading her work has brought back memories of the many hours she devoted to
researching and writing this work, and to the walks we made together to take notes for her study. I hope
that today’s readers will find as much pleasure in the study as she did from writing it, and as I did from
St. Paul’s Cray Road, Royal Parade and environs
St Paul’s Cray Road
From the south (Petts Wood) direction, St. Paul’s Cray Road, makes a gentle transition from the open space of the Petts Wood and St Paul’s Cray Commons to the more intensive cluster of buildings around Royal Parade. On the east side of the road a belt of trees on St. Paul’s Cray Common largely obscures from view Holbrook House, a small and elegant development of apartments in Regency style, replacing the original mansion which was commandeered during the Second World War and suffered considerable damage. Also
hidden from view by the trees on this side is the Lodge to Scadbury Park, an early nineteenth century cottage orne of one storey; it is pebble-dashed and has a tiled roof.
On the other side of the road are several 19th century and earlier properties some standing in spacious
Saxbys was originally a timber-framed cottage dating from about l685 and has served at times in the past as
an orphanage and a dairy farm as well as a private residence. It was re-faced in roughcast, probably in the
nineteenth century. The architect E J May made alterations and additions in 1898, 1906 and 1907. The roof
is now tiled. From the road can be seen a new bay window inserted by May in the wing projecting forward
and his extension to the right of his characteristic sub-Webb chimney.
In 1982 the garden of this house was the subject of a planning appeal for a bungalow which was dismissed
because the DoE Inspector considered the proposal was a threat to the long term preservation of Saxbys
“which the listing must make of overriding importance”. The relatively spacious grounds of Saxbys provide
a pleasant transition between the woodlands and common to the south and the more closely developed
parts of Chislehurst. It is an important element of the local character and recognised in the designation of
the Conservation Area.
Grange Cottage is a late Victorian 2-storey house in red brick with ‘Queen Anne’ details. It is described
as late Norman Shaw style and was almost certainly designed by George Somers Leigh Clarke. The main
elevation is at right angles to the road with tiled roof and two hipped dormers and eaves cornice. The door
has a flat wooden hood and brackets. The side elevation has 3 hipped dormers and balcony.
Warren, Cleeveland and Crayfield, a group of three unusual red brick houses with tiled roof and ‘Queen
Anne’ details, were designed in 1878 by George Somers Leigh Clarke. The houses are identical except that
Crayfield and Warren have their right side projecting and Cleveland the reverse. The first and second storeys
are tile-hung and ground floor brick with a flat hood over panelled door. They are described as a delightful
group of town houses, rather more imaginative and urban than Shaw’s contemporary work at Bedford Park.
Chesil House, a large house of red brick with a fine porch, was built in the 1750s and is described as
the best eighteenth century house in Chislehurst. It has only 3 bays and 2 storeys yet all the windows
have arched centres making them into simplified venetian windows. It has a plain parapet with a centre
pediment rising through it, and a lunette window in the pediment. The porch is carried on fluted Ionic
columns with a broken pediment. Later additions at the right side.
The Rectory, at the corner of Church Lane was designed by George Somers Leigh Clarke in 1877, in red
brick and tile hanging. It is a good example of sub-Norman Shaw design. At the rear there is a large Gothic
window which reveals its early date. The building shows the transition from High-Victorian Gothic to ‘Arts
Chislehurst Conservation Area Study
Glebe Cottage is a brick and weather-boarded cottage, possibly of pre-Victorian origin.
Royal Parade was built in the 1860s and is so named because of the connection with Napoleon III who lived
in exile at Camden Place from 1870. The overall impression is of a small shopping centre set in a village
type atmosphere. Wide stretches of village green (including the old pound) with a few well established
trees separate the road from The Shaw and the large well designed houses to the north east. The general
appearance of the Parade has been enhanced by the laying of pavements and the provision of bollards at
the end of the parking area on the south west (shopping) side. On the triangular piece of green facing Royal
Parade stand lime trees planted in 1897 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. In front of these
is the Village Sign, depicting Queen Elizabeth I knighting Sir Thomas Walsingham.
Royal Parade includes a number of attractive and historic buildings:-
The Bulls Head, at the far (SE) end, is marked on the oldest maps of Chislehurst and is reputed to be
associated with Warwick the Kingmaker. It is now of early 19th century construction with later additions in
that century. It is in red brick under tiled roof, with cream stonework around windows and creeper covered.
Nos. 14-18A inclusive is a small group of shops, mainly of early- and mid-19th century construction, in brick
and weatherboarding with slate roofs.
Walton Lodge is an imposing Queen Anne house of 2 storeys with attic. It is in flint and brick with steep tiled
roof and dominant chimneys, set in an attractive walled garden.
Gravetts Cottage and Ivy Cottage are adjoining cottages built in the 18th century, one of which has its
entrance in the mews at the side. They are stuccoed and shielded from the pavement by bushes and trees
in the front gardens.
Nos. 1-12 inclusive, the main terrace of shops, date from 1870; the buildings are in stock brick with
contemporary shop fronts, and a small mews of additional shops constructed in the early 1980s is an added
feature to the Parade.
Royal Parade, like many similar shopping parades, is no longer a neighbourhood shopping centre, the
former butcher’s, greengrocer’s and other shops having succumbed to town centre competition. Apart from
a newsagent/confectioner, [no longer here] the shops offer a range of specialised services or goods which
depend on custom from a wide area. There are a number of antique shops and restaurants, for example.
The total number of shops is 21, and most have living accommodation above. A DoE Inspector, in supporting
the Council’s refusal, in 1990. to allow a change of use from residential to a fashion showroom at No. 14,
commented on the fact that this small shopping street retained the feeling of a village, this character being
enhanced by the proximity of Chislehurst Commons and by the short terrace of period cottages on the
south west side, including Walton Lodge, which broke up the row of shops. The juxtaposition of shops and
residential accommodation made a positive contribution to the character of the Conservation Area.
On the north east side of Royal Parade, opposite the Bulls Head, is Abury, one of the most notable old
buildings in Chislehurst, originally a timber framed cottage (circa l520), but refronted in the 19th century,
during which time it was the village bakery and is of considerable historical interest. It is a simple white
painted building under tiled roof and is adjoined by another period cottage Aloft. In a recent (1989/90)
DoE Appeal decision against the refusal of planning permission to build a house in the rear garden of
these two houses, the Inspector observed that the distinctive character and appearance of this part of the
Conservation Area derived principally from the architectural quality and grouping of the buildings and the
many mature trees in the gardens in the area. The appeal was dismissed primarily on the grounds that the
new building would entail removal of some trees, thus diminishing the appearance of the property; the new
building would furthermore be sited within the canopies of other trees and it would be wrong to put them
at risk from occupants wishing to remove them for reasons of light or air. The remaining buildings on this
side are good quality residential, in a mix of styles and ages. [There are now two new blocks of apartments,
one of which is currently being completed, which, because of their height, have had an impact on the
character of the area]
The Shaw is a very short link between the northern end of Royal Parade and Bromley Lane. It provides
a convenient lay-by and turning point for local buses. The houses in The Shaw are pleasing detached
residences set well back from the footway, with a pleasant outlook across the small green with the Village
sign, towards the shopping parade.
Royal Parade, and its proximity to the Commons makes it a specially attractive feature of Chislehurst, and
indeed of Bromley. Its visual integrity depends on retaining its village look. This could easily be lost if for
example, its setting on one side of stretches of grass and trees were to be sacrificed in the interest of traffic
flows. Furthermore, because many of the buildings are listed, any extensions should be closely in character
with the host buildings. A number of shop fronts are worthy of retention but where others are changed
they should be within the unit width and should reflect the character of the area. Standard aluminium shop
fronts will not be appropriate.
The appearance of the area opposite the Bulls Head in front of Abury and the adjoining property would be
improved by a screen of hedging or bushes along the frontage to reduce the impact of parked cars.
The area surrounding Royal Parade is good quality residential. The following roads link directly into Royal
On the north east side of Royal Parade, Bull Lane runs towards Shepherds Green/Holbrook Lane. It is an
ancient byway still presenting a green and pleasant vista with many trees, flowering shrubs, hedges and
house gardens. It is less than a quarter of a mile long and a dog leg bend adds to the interest of the scene.
It is approximately 5 yards wide, paved on the north side only, save for a short narrow path outside the two
cottages at the Holbrook Lane end.
The houses are of various styles and ages. On the north side there is the garden and side of Abury fronting
Royal Parade. Abury’s garden is followed by Hurstmead, an elegant 1870 house with an annex. It is in
yellow stock bricks with decorative window arches in contrasting red brick. The next house, Handley Green,
was built in 1829, also in yellow stock bricks with tall chimneys. It is a substantial residence with separate
adjacent buildings; it is set well back from the road and largely screened along its wide frontage by well
Beyond these houses, Hollybrake Close runs at right angles to Bull Lane; this development of 12 houses was
built in 1967/8 on the site of a Georgian Mansion from which it takes its name. The houses are constructed
in light/buff brick with red tile hanging at first floor level. The front gardens are effectively open plan and
the row of garages is neatly concealed behind the last house on one side of the Close.
Continuing along Bull Lane, Nos. 19 and 21, also dating from the 1960s, are semi-detached and built about
the same time; they are in a dark brick with bow windows and white woodwork. Part of the grounds and
buildings of the Prince George, Duke of Kent Masonic Home borders the rest of the Lane on this side.
Returning towards Royal Parade along the other side, Bull Lane commences with two attractive 300 year
old cottages, Nos. 1 and 2, which were originally one dwelling. The buildings are timber-framed with brick
in-filling and painted white. The properties were once part of the Scadbury Estate. Together they present
a most attractive entrance to Bull Lane at this point and create an authentic atmosphere of earlier times.
Next come four red brick and first floor tile hung modern detached houses (built 1960/5). The adjacent
allotments cover approximately 4 acres, with a significant stretch of boundary along Bull Lane. This was
originally glebe land converted into allotments in 1884. The land has been used for this purpose for the
last 60/70 years and is owned and let by St. Nicholas’ Church Parish Council (the result of a bequest of a
Chislehurst benefactor). Currently the allotments are thriving and are beneficial not only to the residents
but to other local people.
Proceeding along the lane, the next building, Easdens, is the workshop of the long established local
antique furniture restorer/dealer of that name. The building was formerly the St. Nicholas’ Men’s Club. The
architects were Sir Aston Webb and Maurice Webb who designed it as a church hall in 1909/10. It is a low
block with a deep gable-ended roof and a wide nearly central gable. There are enormous chimney breasts
at one end and a shell-hood on brackets over the front door. The ground floor is red brick but the upper part
is timber. The wide double doors open almost on to the road.
A little further back from the road is a 1960s bungalow and annexe, Little Halt, and finally, coming up to
Royal Parade, on the site of another ancient house (from which the complex takes its name) are the six
terraced houses of St. Meddens. Built in 1965, each has its own front garden flanked by a communal path
and a verge running along the lane, presenting a frontage of trees, mature shrubs and flowers. Five garages
are set together to the rear and side of this development.
Although Bull Lane is now very much a mixture of developments, the remaining older buildings and the
absence of built development along significant stretches of the narrow road on each side has maintained
some of the earlier rural atmosphere. There is a high standard of maintenance of all the buildings and
attention to the appearance of the gardens. There is, however, the risk of insensitive development pressure,
which could now destroy its character, a recent example of which has been the attempt to build a two
storey house in the garden of Abury; the Council have twice refused permission for such inappropriate
and cramped development in the heart of the Conservation Area in the garden of the oldest house in
Chislehurst, but the potential threat remains. It is one of the treasures of Chislehurst and deserves a
dignified garden setting. A declared Council policy of refusing further infilling development in this area
would do much to safeguard the position.
Church Row turns sharply south from the northern end of Royal Parade. Only the east side is developed
and the small scale and domestic character of these properties define the limits of the Commons in a
most attractive and restrained manner. The road consists mainly of older houses, some of single storey,
but has latterly been subjected to considerable redevelopment pressures which have resulted in some
inappropriate infilling and extensions. What remains, however, preserves the atmosphere and charm of the
original. The visual qualities of the area reflect the later Victorian and turn of the century origins of many
of the buildings. Although this is the highest part of Chislehurst, the houses in Church Row at one time had
their own deep wells, which provided the water to save the church in the fire of 1857.
At the northern end, No. 1 and Wenborne House, both three-storey with hipped roofs, form an uneven
pair and the latter is largely masked by the single storey Post Office and shop which project in front of the
general building line. The Cottage (No. 3) is a 2-storey, flat roof rendered house on a triangular site and
thereafter Church Row continues (apart from four modern houses at Nos. 9-11) with terraces of small scale
2 storey houses, mostly stuccoed with tiled or slated roofs. The cottages, Nos. 4-6 and Nos. 12-15, although
now much altered, appear on the Tithe map of 1847 and a DoE Inspector, in dismissing an appeal for a
two-storey side extension to No. 4 described it as one of a group of attractive dwellings that had evolved in
a local vernacular style since the early 19th century, with a preponderance of white rendered walls, slated
roofs and stock brick chimney stacks.
The larger three-storey houses further south, Nos. 16-19, were built as a group in the 1850s; they are in
an earlier Georgian style, not the mid-Victorian one would expect. They are in mature yellow brick and the
double bow windows through all floors of Nos. 16 and 19 present an elegant facade to the Commons.
At the southern end of Church Row stands the
Parish Church of St. Nicholas, a Medieval church
of rough flint with stone dressings. Its tower
is surmounted by a shingled broach spire. The
south aisle and vestry were added in 1849. Views
of the Church from the surrounding areas make
an attractive focal point and the Village Green
itself creates a truly rural atmosphere. On the
Green, between Church Row and School Lane is
The Cockpit, claimed to be the most perfect of its
kind in England, being 120 feet in diameter and 4
l/2 feet deep with gently sloping sides.
The southern end of Church Row alongside the churchyard opens into Manor Park Road from which Church
Lane, bordered by the churchyard for about a third of its length, leads back to Royal Parade. The views of
churchyard trees and headstones create a peaceful spacious setting for the small development of buildings
adjoining the Bulls Head near the entrance to Royal Parade. On the other side of the Lane Walnut Tree
Close is a small and unobtrusive cluster of modern houses. Next to this is the Village Hall, a largely timbered
structure, functional rather than attractive but it does not greatly intrude upon the scene. Church Lane
concludes with Glebe Cottage, at the junction with St. Paul’s Cray Road.
School Road runs roughly parallel with Church Row, its eastern side bordered by the Commons with views
across the open space to the Church and houses beyond in Manor Park Road. Entering School Road from
Royal parade, the open rural atmosphere and sense of the past predominates.
St. Michael’s Orphanage incorporating The Old
Poor House is immediately on the right. The
Orphanage was established in 1856, utilising
the buildings of the former workhouse, built in
1759. Additions were made after 186l by Joseph
Clarke (diocesan architect for Canterbury,
Rochester and St. Albans, and a specialist in
school and institutional design). Later additions
were possibly made by E J May. The buildings
are now converted into private residences.
The irregular structure of the building with
its mixture of mellow red brick, tile-hanging
and herring bone brickwork and black Tudor
beaming, with small points of detail such as
embossed bricks in a side wall is a pleasing feature in its Commons setting.
Beyond this open space is St Nicholas C. of E. School, in similar bricks and style, but single storey only on
the School Road side. The School incorporates the Master’s house, built in 1836, but dates mainly from
1869. Joseph Clarke was possibly also the designer of this building which looks across the common to views
of Church Lane between the trees.
Pendine, a plain white house constructed in square stone slabs with a tile hung gable, is next to the
school while its neighbour, White Lodge is in smooth yellow brick, with one gable in white stone and black
decoration. Both appear to be pre-1918.
Crown Garage appears to have been converted from an earlier building, probably a corn store. [The garage
has now been acquired by the Crown Inn, and rebuilt to create additional bedrooms and parking spaces]
The Crown public house was built in 1874, moving there from its former site in Crown Lane. The building is
in yellow brick with black timbered gable. Trees along the edge of the road in this section screen the view of
the pub and car parking area and also the garage entrance of The Little House.
The White House at the end of this road is visible above the bordering hedge but its full attractiveness
can be appreciated only from the Watts Lane/Manor Park Road end where it is fully visible across the
Commons. Its dominant features from this view are the rounded bay, the oriel window on the upper floor
and overhanging porch. Wisteria trailing over much of the building sets off the white painted walls and
light green shutters. It is the oldest house on this island site and part of it survives from an older “decayed
house” mentioned in a lease of 1712; the central part is reputed to be of 17th century date. The additions
are 18th and 19th centuries.
From this point School Road curves away from Watts Lane with a pair of large Victorian-Gothic houses,
Athelney and Camden Gate, with deep gabled roofs in the French style. They are in yellow brick, doublefronted,
and have steeply pitched roofs over front porches projecting forward of the bay windows. They
were built for exiles of the French Court and are a reminder of Napoleon III’s stay in Chislehurst. A third
house, Whinfield, of similar age and style, bordered by a pleasing restored wall in matching bricks, is sited
at an angle behind the others and leads back to the west side of the school. It retains several original
decorative features, such as pierced bargeboards and finials.
Bromley Lane and Perry Street
Bromley Lane is a short stretch of main road, the A222, which runs
from the War Memorial (on the A208) to Shepherds Green. The A222
is a busy road, especially in the peak travel hours, designated as a
secondary road in the Greater London Development Plan.
In contrast to the A222 over most of its route as it goes through
Bromley into Croydon, Bromley Lane has retained a pleasant rural
appearance and provides an attractive entry/exit into and from
Chislehurst. This stems from its combination of heavily wooded
Commons on the north side of the road, from the War Memorial to
the large Victorian building of Sunnymead, and the imposing range of
Victorian/Edwardian houses which take up about a third of the Lane
from the A208 on the south side.
On the north side, the Commons end with a drive leading to Fairlight,
a residential home; it is a large late Victorian building in red brick and
asymmetrical in form. Sunnymead, a large gabled building, dates from
1875; it is in red brick with blue brick bands and stone surrounds to
the windows, under a tiled roof. It offers office accommodation to
a number of businesses and its relatively spacious grounds are an
important element in the pleasing character of this sector of Bromley
Lane. Thereafter, two large detached houses, built in the early 1980s,
are followed by the rear gardens of properties in Ashfield Lane and
then an open area of grass just before the junction with Ashfield Lane.
On the south side, from the War Memorial, are large and imposing late Victorian/Edwardian houses, some
converted into flats, but the exteriors are substantially unchanged. These are followed by detached houses,
built in the 1950s, in varying designs and separated from the A222 by a parallel access road. There are a
large number of mature trees, especially in the rear gardens. [The first house, Staplecross has recently been
added to the local list]
Further along the A222, Bromley Lane becomes Perry Street, a comparatively modern by-pass of Old Perry
Street, and the road is more obviously a main fast traffic route, with company sports grounds on one side
and the woodlands of Scadbury Park on the other. On the north side Foxbury Avenue leads, past a football
pitch and cricket ground, to Co-Ed Bel hostel, a large group of 2-3 storey modern buildings [now a Muslim
school]; further on, but now edged with trees and bushes, Foxbury Avenue narrows down to the entrance
to Old Elthamians War Memorial Sports Ground. [The sports grounds between Foxbury Avenue and
Beaverwood Road were formerly part of the Homewood, and later Foxbury, Estates, and are now home to
Queen Mary Hospital Sports Club]
On the corner of Beaverwood Road stands Western Motor Works (reputed to be the country’s first purposebuilt
garage for car maintenance) [now Penfolds], a low, red brick building with panels and diapered
brickwork built about 1909 to the designs of E J May; a steel and glass extension nearer to the road was
designed in 1967 by Oliver Steers.
Frogpool Manor Farm, (earlier known as Butts Farm – it was never a manor), an altered 17th century
building, ‘L’ shaped, with 2 storeys, partly weather-boarded, partly pebble dashed, lies quite close to
the roadway and is followed by The Thatch, a single storey 19th century cottage, in painted brick with a
thatched roof. The road on this side ends with the entrance to a horticultural nursery. [In fact the entrance
to the nursery is between Frogpool Manor and The Thatch]
Returning along the south side of Perry Street shortly before the boundary of the Scadbury Estate, is a
turning into Leas Green, a close of l3 large houses extending from west to east roughly parallel with Perry
Street. It is adjacent at the east end and south side to the grounds of Scadbury Park and the views to the
south are quite rural. Registered footpath 45 extends from the east end of Leas Green through Scadbury
Park to the Sidcup By-pass, A20. The major interest along this part of the route, however, lies in Cadlands,
just west of the entrance to Leas Green; this is an early 19th century building externally but internal
evidence suggests that it may be much earlier. It is white weather-boarded with some red brick and flint. It
is a charming building, set slightly below road level and screened by mature trees and shrubs. Beyond this
is one modern house in light brick separated from the road by a wide strip of public land. Its name, Forge
House, recalls the earlier existence of a smithy on the opposite side of the road.
Notable on the south side also is a red-brick 18th century wall, part of the boundary of the Scadbury Estate,
which provides most of the green effect for a considerable length of the road. Continuing along the south
side, some small developments of modern houses not fronting Perry Street are visible beyond the screen of
trees, and then Farrington’s Girls School, whose main entrance is in Old Perry Street.
Beaverwood Road, a cul-de-sac, off the north side of Perry Street, is the access road to Beaverwood
Cemetery and Beaverwood School, and leads into a rural environment of open fields and woods. On the
east side at the junction with Perry Street, after Western Motor Works, are two pairs of semi-detached
cottages the second pair being larger than the first, and a larger detached house in similar style. These five
houses Nos. 1-5 were designed by E J May in 1905 in the vernacular style in red brick and tile-hanging with
tiled roof; they are regarded as a good example of vernacular revival design.
Following these is the Balfour Beatty Sports Ground [now confusingly called The Beaverwood Club – see
below]and beyond it the Council Depot used by the Street Lighting and Cleaning Contractors, bordering the
Chislehurst Cemetery at the rear but separated on the road frontage by Beaverwood Cottage/Lodge. The
Depot is an Arts and Crafts free style building originally a stables, with 10 stalls, 2 loose boxes and harness
room; it has two louvred ventilation turrets. Beaverwood Lodge was originally the caretakers’ lodge and
it is a small vernacular house with leaded windows. The Cemetery Gates are located across the end of
Beaverwood Road and close it to vehicular traffic, although pedestrians are afforded access to Home Farm,
The Beaverwood Club [now a newly built sports club, erected after a fire destroyed the old Beaverwood
Club], and the Sidcup By-Pass by way of a Registered Footpath 42 (and 43) along the west boundary of the
cemetery. The Chapel in the Cemetery is visible through the gates, a simple building in early English Gothic/
Arts and Crafts style. All three buildings are in red/brown brick and were designed in 1908/9 for Chislehurst
UDC by W Curtis Green (designer of the Dorchester Hotel in London).
The Beaverwood School complex extends almost the full length of the west side of the road and beyond to
the southern boundary of the Beaverwood Club. The school complex consists of: a detached school house,
the main school building which has an attractive facade, a “north block” two-storey addition unrelated in
style to the main building, a recently built single-storey brick “art block” which is more in keeping, and some
half dozen wooden hutments erected as portable/temporary buildings [now replaced by brick buildings].
The playing fields are extensive and combine with the adjacent sports fields, grazing fields and woodlands
to form a sizeable open space extending from the Sidcup By-Pass to Kemnal Road and Perry Street.
Finally, Hoblands End, opening off Beaverwood Road near its junction with Perry Street, is a close of l5
medium sized detached houses with garages situated around a fairly narrow elongated S-shaped roadway
with asphalt footway and grass verges. The disposition of the houses is such that numbers 1 – 7 back on to
Perry Street, 7 – 9 have a common boundary with Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School Athletic Ground,
and 9 -15 back on to Beaverwood School playing fields.
The buildings, front gardens and grass verges in Hoblands End are well kept by individual effort of the
householders, and the roadway and foot paths well maintained by monetary contribution under the control
of a Residents Association. The building extensions to some houses have been confined to single-storey flat
roofed construction to maintain a pleasing spatial aspect, which it is desirable to retain. Trees in variety and
size and the locations of the properties add to the pleasing appearance of the close. [A gate has recently
been installed at the entrance to Hoblands End, as in so many private roads recently]
Old Perry Street
Old Perry Street is rich in historical background; it was first recorded as ‘peristrete’ in 1530, the name
probably derived from the pear orchards there. Scadbury Manor developed in the early 1100s, and their
employees (serfs, artificers, tradesmen) built their huts principally in Perry Street. This hamlet grew with
more permanent buildings, cottages and farmhouses, some named for the fields on which they were built,
others for the well-to-do local residents.
The general impression of the now by-passed road is of a quiet winding narrow lane (though beset with
parking problems), with a considerable variety of turn-of-the-century or earlier, and post 1945, houses
and bungalows in a wide range of styles, wall textures and plot widths. While the older development has
thus been interspersed with a considerable amount of recent development, it still makes a significant
architectural contribution to the area that also links it with Edwardian and Victorian times. It has also
provided a legacy of mature trees and parkland that form an important element in its character.
Immediately beyond the gardens of the houses bordering the southern side is the extensive open area of
Scadbury Park, much of which is now a Nature Reserve and part of the Green Belt. Within the park today
only the footings remain of the moated Manor House of Scadbury which probably dated from the 1400s but
it is known that it was in many respects similar to Ightham Mote which was in fact used as model for the
representation of Old Scadbury on the Chislehurst Village sign. The Moat Hall, much damaged by vandalism
in recent years, and the old Archway survive, however, as some indication of the form of the original
The western entrance from Perry Street is dominated on the right by the buildings and grounds of
Farringtons Girls School and on the left by a group of modern houses built on the site of Felix Manor.
Along the south side from west to east, the
open aspect of greenery, trees and bushes
predominates initially and an impressive feature
is the Grade II listed brick wall which extends
from Farringtons Girls School to just beyond the
main entrance to the Scadbury Nature Reserve.
The Girls School building itself is situated in
spacious open grounds with a great many
mature trees. The original buildings were a
symmetrical group of rendered neo-Georgian
houses by Gordon and Gunton (1910-11 and
1925), with a brick wall between. The hall has
pilaster strips and a small cupola. The chapel
was built in 1935; it is in brick and cruciform with a short octagonal crossing tower and is Romanesque in
style. A quite massive, and rather tall, sports hall was added to this complex in 1989/90; fortunately this
later building is screened to some extent by trees in summertime. [A nursery has also now been added]
Beyond the school itself is the common entrance to Inwood Lodge and Little House almost completely
hidden behind large front gardens filled with mature trees and shrubs.
The next house is Bettrington Cottage, originally this was accommodation for a coachman, comprising a
small ‘bedsit’, with integral stable, hay loft, and narrow strip of garden front and back, abutting Scadbury
Nature Reserve, as do the remaining houses on this side of the road.
Bettrington House, named for Betteson, a local resident, [an assertion that is difficult to verify] was built
on 1 1/4 acres some time before 1909 as one dwelling but the interior was divided in 1950 to form Little
Bettrington from the former servants’ quarters. Bettrington House now standing on 3/4 acres was occupied
by the Army during WW II, to man a search light and/or an ack-ack gun stationed on Perry’ Street Shaw, the
main entrance to Scadbury. All three houses are brick built with tiled roofs.
An interesting feature along this stretch of road is the red brick wall (part 18th century) mentioned above,
marking the boundary of the Scadbury Nature Reserve, whose main entrance opens immediately beyond
these houses and is marked by a large beech tree (TPO 4, Chislehurst & Sidcup UDC); a field gate and
‘kissing gate’, flanked by post and rail fences to join up with the brick wall. There follows a terrace of 3
houses of modern brick and tile construction (Woodside, South Beech and Tall Trees) with small front
Also modern is The Gables, a four bedroom house built in 1988 but fortunately many trees have survived in
the rear garden; Rose Cottage next door was built in the early 1700s and was originally 3 tiny cottages with
separate front doors and porches. They are brick built to front and back but the east elevation is weather
boarded. They are currently occupied as one dwelling with garden at side and front only.
School House and The School are now semi-detached dwellings. The school was established in School
House by Lady Sydney in the mid-18th century and the additional building (now known as The School
or Old School building) was built on about 189l. School House is in brick and pebbledash under a tiled
roof, and The School is in red brick with terracotta mouldings and details. The school closed well before
1910 and a Mr. Ringer who lived in Rose Cottage became the proprietor of a laundry established on the
school premises; the laundry closed before WWII and the building was used as an ARP depot from 1939
to 1945; thereafter it was used for Jamaican banana ripening and distribution until about 1970 when
a timber merchant took over the property. School House is now privately occupied but The School still
accommodates the timber merchant. (Planning permission has been granted in outline for 3 houses on land
at the rear of Rose Cottage /The School, in keeping with a predominantly residential area.) [this has now
lapsed and no buildings were erected]
There follows a run of one pair of semi-detached and 5 terraced villas, (Nos. 1 – 7 Orchard Villas); these
are brick built with tiled roofs and probably date from the middle or late 1800s. These are followed by
Jubilee Cottages, modern semi-detached bungalows, built by a housing trust for elderly people; they are
inconspicuous buildings and set further back from the road than some neighbouring properties.
Verdon is a late 1970s or early 1980s modern brick built house. It is followed by Nos. 1 to 5 Orchard
Cottages, a small terrace of red brick dwellings dating from the middle or late 1800s. Beyond these is a long
run of unbuilt frontage where the boundary of Scadbury follows the line of Old Perry street, culminating,
at the junction with Perry Street, in Elmleigh, pre-1918, in brick and roughcast and set well back from the
On the northern side of Old Perry Street built development begins at the western end with Nos. 1 – 4 Felix
Manor, a group of large modern houses with third floor dormers, built on the site of a demolished 20th
Century house. The houses have been built fairly close together but an air of spaciousness is maintained by
the presence of a Council-owned strip of land on the opposite side of the cul-de-sac. This is planted up with
daffodils by the Council and preserves a small area for public use as open amenity land; it also sustains a
mature hedge and trees which screen the development from Perry Street. The houses have double integral
garages and moderate sized front and back gardens; some trees were retained in the back gardens but there
has been pressure to increase the built development of these sites. No. 1 Frenchay, the property at the
entrance to the cul-de-sac immediately beside the wrought iron gates, was the subject of an appeal in 1990
against the Borough Council’s refusal of permission to build a double garage to the west of the dwelling.
This appeal was dismissed by the DoE Inspector on the grounds that the plot contributed significantly to the
spacious atmosphere and the proposed building would reduce the setting of Frenchay to ungenerous and
even cramped proportions in a manner that would be detrimental to the appearance and character of Felix
Next comes April Cottage, a fairly large house with well integrated and sympathetic extensions. It has a
large back garden, bordered on the Old Perry street side by an old brick wall, which extends to Homewood
Crescent, west end, and was part of the perimeter wall of the Homewood Estate.
West Lodge is a well preserved lodge to the Homewood Estate. It was built about 1867, in yellow stock brick
and white stucco with decorative cornice in white at gutter level and an entrance porch supported by twin
stone pillars. The large mid-Victorian stone gate entrance piers and the continuing boundary wall are both
painted white and mark the sweeping drive into the front garden. This drive is shared with The White House
constructed by a local builder probably post WW II and subsequently extended. There are many trees at
front and back but the original large garden has been very much reduced following sale of land for the
development of Nos. 3 and 4 Felix Manor.
Timber and Homewood which follow, are two moderate sized bungalows built in the 1960s on the site of
a “corrugated iron tabernacle”. The wall continues as above and terminates at the entrance to Homewood
Wykeham Court (Nos. 1-8) are two blocks of four maisonettes (built in 1960 on the site of two cottages),
with ornamental trees and neat gardens. The property has a superb view into Scadbury Nature Reserve
opposite, with a beech tree at the entrance protected by a TPO.
Ivy Cottage, formerly known as Claverley’s Cottage, dates from about 1750. It was fully restored in the
1960s and several original interior features remain. The ground floor elevation is red brick with white
painted weatherboarding above. A small pitched tiled roof over the entrance door forms a porch leading
directly into the main living room with an original inglenook fireplace and beams. There are two brick
chimneys, one original, one fairly recent. An extension garage at the side has been converted to a room with
Georgian style window in sympathy with the bow window of the main room.
The Sydney Arms public house, formerly “The Swan”, is in white rough cast with black painted woodwork
and two bay windows, one square, one rounded. The building was originally 18th century but it is now
much altered and extended. A ‘modern’ conservatory was added in the 1980s, contrary to the ‘Victorian’
style for which planning permission had been granted but the Council did not enforce the approved plans.
The public house has a fenced garden and several mature Ash trees; it is used as customers’ garden with
picnic style seats/tables. There is a field at the back, bordered by an old brick wall, which also spans part
of the boundary of Wykeham Court and Homewood Crescent. This was formerly part of the boundary of
1, 2 and 3 Homewood Villas are in yellow brick with red brick decoration; the properties form a terrace of
3, the central one having a porch with slate tiles. They were built about 1860 and are described in the listing
as Gothic cottages with polychromatic brick-detailing and gables with bargeboards. They have very small
gardens at the front and back. The slate tiles are the same design as those of the Victorian East Lodge and
the buildings have attractive tall brick chimney stacks.
East Lodge, opposite the School House and at the entrance to Homewood Crescent (East), is fronted by a
pair of gate piers about 8 feet high surmounted by cornice and urn. The lodge has plain white painted wall
and slate roof with red ridge tiles and double bay windows roofed in the same style; there is a small back
garden with trees.
Perry Street Gardens is a block of 46 flats, in a zigzag layout, with communal gardens front and rear. Flower
borders flanking the building are carefully maintained by individual residents and in 1989 won a Council
prize for “best kept Council flats’ gardens”.
Chestnut Cottage and Waggoner’s Cottage are attractive semi-detached cottages, originally 18th century
with 19th century extensions. They are in red brick of varying shades and white paintwork under a tiled roof
with rather minimal front gardens.
Homewood Crescent built on the site and grounds of a Georgian manor, is a 1960s development of 23
detached bungalows and 6 terraced houses. The houses have mostly open plan front gardens with larger
gardens at the rear. There are only a few trees but it is a quiet crescent off the busier Old Perry Street. The
houses on the return arm to Old Perry Street are mostly terraced, concluding with High Walls a detached
flat roof, modern design largely obscured from view by a section of the old wall.
Radnor Close opens mid-way along Homewood Crescent and is composed of 6 detached houses built about
1980. They have open plan front gardens.
Holbrook Lane and environs
On the south side of Perry Street, just west of Farrington School grounds lies a small piece of public green
behind which is Shepherds Green, a small loop road forming a link with Holbrook Lane and Bull Lane. The
predominant impression is of large well-proportioned buildings in red brick and tile hanging with spacious
front gardens mostly screened by mature trees and shrubs. The five houses are on one side only facing
towards Perry Street but separated from it in part by the trees and shrubs on the small strip of green and by
the low level building of the Duke of Kent Masonic Home.
The houses were designed by E J May in 1905-9 and together they form a splendid group in the Arts and
Crafts style, highly imaginative and strongly influenced by Newton. All are basically two-storey red brick
with tiled roof and in neo-vernacular style and all except No. 1 are asymmetrical with hipped dormers.
No. 1 is almost symmetrical in a simple design with tile-hung first floor. No. 2 is tile hung at first floor level
and the entrance porch is set in a gabled projection, with a first floor oriel window to each side. No. 3 has
gable ends in elm boarding while No. 4 has three gables facing the road. No. 5 also has elm boarding and
the right hand side of the front elevation has two gables with diamond shaped attic windows in the gable
ends. There is a round headed porch and some segment headed windows.
Shepherds Green leads southwards into Holbrook Lane, a very long cul-de-sac concluding nowadays at St.
Paul’s Cray Commons but it was at a much earlier time a main thoroughfare leading probably to St. Mary
Cray; it is, with Perry Street, the oldest known street name in Chislehurst. It was mentioned in documents as
early as 1666 but the original Holbrook House (from which it takes its name) at the St. Paul’s Cray Road end
was demolished about 1960 and replaced by modern flats accessible only from that road.
Holbrook Lane is a wide residential road with generous grass verges on both sides. Mature woodland trees
and hedges are much in evidence in the front gardens and the curve in the road breaks up the view of its
full length. The buildings are a mixture of early 1900s, mostly detached in broad plots, and later properties
in more limited gardens; but overall the impression of space and substantial buildings predominates.
The houses on the Eastern side of the Lane have
the benefit of a rear outlook across mainly open
spaces comprising school playing fields and the
Green Belt areas of Park Wood and Scadbury
From the northern end Nos. 1 – 7 on the
left form a pleasing line of pre-1918 estate
cottages with pebble-dashed first floors and
painted gables. No. 9, in cream rendering, was
designed by E J May in 19ll. HIllsfarance, No.
11, is 3-storey in red brick ground floor and
white rendering above; it was designed in 1912 by Richard Creed, the architect of Holbrook End which was
built five years earlier. Thornbridge, No. 15, in dull red brick, was designed by Geoffrey T Mullins in 1926.
Also built by Mullins in 1926 is No. 17 Whincot, an attractive very small scale, neo-Georgian house; with its
neat path and clipped trees leading up to the front door, it shows the style at its best. No. 25, by Mullins,
is a sensitively designed neo-Georgian house with a delightful frontage to the road, including an entrance
canopy with copper roof and trellis work.
Cardinal Close, a development of four neo-Georgian houses on small plots but benefiting from
neighbouring woodland gardens opens between Nos. 43 and 45 on this side.
Oak House, No. 45, by E J May in 1912, is a large rather rambling part 3-storey building, with rendering
and a tiled roof. A diamond window typical of his style is to be seen in the gable to the rear elevation. It is
regarded as a fine example of his later style and it demonstrates the ease with which he could handle the
vernacular and his careful ‘Arts and Crafts’ use of materials, in particular the frill of decorative lead work
over the ground floor bay. Other noteworthy features include the tall chimneys and the three forward
sections in the front elevation.
The next two properties are modern, set well back from the road behind tree and bush cover; they have low
pitch roofs and white weatherboarding as main distinctive features. These are followed by a pleasing run of
gardens with heavy coverage of trees and hedging which make a green outlook for the new houses on the
other side of the road. This in turn gives way to the garden frontage of Fantails, a most attractive building
constructed into the depth of its plot rather than along the frontage; built in the inter-war years, its features
include bay windows with gables above and a long pitched roof single storey side section of modest size.
Both the chimneys and roof slopes seem reminiscent of E J May’s style. It also presents a small section of
mock Tudor breaking up the brickwork. There are lovely grounds to the side and rear.
Peasons, No. 53, is large and constructed in subdued red brick. It dates from the 1920’s, the architect
being P Morley Horder; the design appears to be derived from Elizabethan manor houses. The property is
bounded by a brick wall along its frontage with elaborate ironwork gates guarding a long driveway to the
house itself which is entered through an archway.
Along the western side from the southern end of Holbrook Lane there is an interesting mixture of old
and new designs. Holbrook End is a large detached house designed by Richard Creed, who was a pupil of
Norman Shaw, and built in the early 1900s. The entrance front is an extremely individualistic design with
two wings projecting forward to form an entrance court. Very deep eaves overhang small narrow windows
at first floor level but there are large areas of unrelieved brickwork. There is a massive arched entrance
porch. A separate double garage has been added in a resemblance of the original style.
Between the two junctions with Poyntell Crescent the frontage in Holbrook Lane is taken up with a medium
height brick wall facing Cardinal Close and shielding the flanks and gardens of properties in Poyntell
No. 14, Birch Cottage, has a curious tiny brick built hood over the front door; it was designed, together with
its companion The Cottage, No. 16, by F. Harrild in 1926. No. 12 Westmead in red brick with a hooded front
door, was by a builder of the name of Podger who appeared to have a good understanding of neo-Georgian
vernacular. No. 10 Mere with a wide frontage, is very much in keeping with the style of the older houses;
it is tile hung and red/mauve brick, all muted colours with white painted woodwork. Alongside this is the
narrow Paddock Way, a small group of terraced cottages, running almost at right angles to Holbrook Lane; a
scheme for a number of houses on the site of Paddock House beyond the cottages was refused on appeal in
1987 on grounds of density, tree loss and traffic.
The following cottages in Holbrook Lane, Nos. 8 and 6, appear at first to be semi-detached but they are in
fact part of a terrace of three, with No. 4 having its main windows facing sideways across a bowling green
which borders this stretch of Holbrook Lane. The first two cottages are plain red brick design with attractive
white wooden bargeboards at eaves level, but No. 4 has the added attraction of black and white Tudor
woodwork and bay windows overlooking the bowling green, which considerably reduces the overall length
of built-up frontage on this side of the Lane and contributes significantly to the spacious feeling of the area.
Just beyond, on the left is the opening to St. Peter’s Close, a line of four modern houses in yellowish brick
facing the end wall of the bowling green.
Poyntell Crescent, mentioned above, was built on the western side of the road some thirty five years ago on
a farmland site; it is a pleasant grass-verged crescent lined with flowering trees. The detached houses are
built on wide frontages and each house differs from its neighbours in some respects. Two small enclaves of
housing open off this crescent: Barnard Close is comprised of 5 bungalows with an ancient tree preserved in
a grass bole in the centre of the turning area: Stainmore Close is a companion development of bungalows,
of similar size.
Poyntell Crescent and its adjacent Closes are fortunately situated in the Conservation Area, being adjacent
to woodlands, Nature Reserves, Scadbury Park and Commons. The Appeal decision mentioned above under
Paddock Way is also significant to these properties in its reference to the open spaces afforded by the
allotments and the grounds of Paddock House and Graham Chiesman House to the north west.
Manor Park and environs
A major area of note on the SW side of St. Paul’s Cray Road is to be found in Manor Park, Manor Park Road
and Walsingham Place. The area contains a number of listed buildings including a scattered group of large
dwellings in the ‘Queen Anne’ style in red brick with shaped gables designed by George Somers Leigh
Clarke about 1870-1880. These comprise: Harley, Manor Place, Manor Place Lodge, East, West and Upper
Pelham, Walpole, Walsingham and Walsingham Lodge. Walpole was Clarke’s own house. The remainder
of the area comprises a mixture of residential properties of widely varying age, size and appearance. The
houses are set in a variety of gardens, some relatively small but most containing numbers of trees and
shrubs. The area as a whole is bounded by National Trust woodlands, school playing fields and agricultural
At the junction of Manor Park, Manor Park Road and St Paul’s Cray Road is Woodfold, a large house in
extensive grounds, which gives character and a feeling of spaciousness to a potentially cluttered meeting of
Manor Park opens directly off St. Paul’s Cray Road. Large, mature English trees growing on the verges
create a semi-rural appearance and atmosphere. Originally the access road to about half-a-dozen large
houses with extensive grounds, Manor Park has changed into a well-used residential road servicing about
100 houses of many different styles and size, and there are small drives leading to unexpected properties
surrounded by attractive trees and shrubs. Lack of uniformity is refreshing and gives the road character and
individuality. [Speed humps have now been installed to reduce traffic speed in this spacious road]
Most of the large original houses, including the listed buildings, have been retained and converted
to multiple occupation which preserves their architectural features though their grounds have been
appropriated for development. Cookhamdene Close, a development of this type, was formed in the
grounds of one listed building, Cookham Dene, destroying many trees and at the expense of the meadow
which is Green Belt land. It is a tightly knit cluster of modern very large ‘Executive’ houses in variations
of mock Tudor, render, and brick and tile hanging, grouped around an open communal front garden
and approached through ironwork gates. Cookham Dene itself survives, on higher ground, overlooking
this development. It is a large ‘Arts and Crafts’ style building in red brick and tile hanging with some half
timbering, under a tiled roof. It was designed by Sir Aston Webb about 1882. Facing Cookham Dene on its
north side is a lodge and stables building of some size. Some remnants of the grounds and mature trees
of Cookham Dene survive as the rear gardens of certain of the houses in Cookham Dene Close bordering
Manor Park and thus help to maintain a feeling of space and woodland.
Riverwood Lane, the next turning on the same (east) side of Manor Park, opens with an unobtrusive single
storey building set below road level, followed by Ferndale a recent development of very large houses in
identical style behind a long front boundary wall. Beyond these, Riverwood Lane becomes a small country
lane leading into the woodlands of the Hawkwood Estate and Commons, through which a pathway parallel
with Manor Park allows a view of The Gorse.
Returning to the east side of Manor Park, The Coach House is a late-Victorian lodge in red brick and tilehanging, possibly designed by Sir Aston Webb in connection with Cookham Dene.
Beyond this are several post war houses; the road then curves sharply left, towards The Gorse which
dominates the little hilltop. It is a fine old mellow red brick building with decorative tile hanging and
stonework, and pleasing both in outline and detail. It was requisitioned as a hospital for Belgian soldiers in
WWI. A stile at the head of the road leads to woodland at this point. The land here falls generally away to
the south and properties on one side are significantly below road level, allowing views across the gardens to
woodlands and open space beyond.
Walsingham Park is a relatively recent T-shaped cul-de-sac extension of Manor Park comprising eight
detached dwellings in uniform style with open plan front gardens. Facing these is a fine conifer hedge
bounding the side and rear of Norfolk Lodge, which is closely overlooked by Walsingham, one of the
group of houses in ‘Queen Anne’ style designed by Clarke. All, like Walsingham, are in red brick with
shaped gables. A renovated old brick wall runs alongside the footpath in front of Walsingham and the next
property Walsingham Cottage, also in mellow red brick with fine chimneys indicating its age as part of the
Shortly thereafter is the entrance to Manor Place, through a pair of ornamental old pillars and ironwork
gate with another of the ‘Queen Anne’ style buildings, Manor Place Lodge, immediately on the left, a most
attractive small building in red brick with facade detail and interesting stonework. Manor Place comprises
ten modest modern detached houses in a rough semi-circle, the furthest house being close to the bay
windows of an older property, The Old House, in whose garden the development had presumably been
allowed. On the other side of the entrance to Manor Place another small drive leads to three more ‘Queen
Anne’ houses by Clarke, all tall and in red brick, East Pelham, West Pelham and Upper Pelham and to
Pelham Lodge. Pelham was requisitioned as a hospital for Belgian soldiers in WWI.
Back in Manor Park itself, a few modern houses have been inserted before Walpole, 3 storeys in red brick
and ‘Queen Anne’ style; this was Clarke’s own house and a mix of inter-war and post war houses eventually
gives way to Manor Cottage, a long low white building with attractive single dormer windows set in the
roof, which is of different shades of slate forming a distinctive pattern.
The last house on the west side is Manor Lodge, a large white building, probably late-Victorian, with sash
windows but extensively rebuilt and divided into two dwellings, one with an entrance in Manor Park Road.
Manor Park Road
Manor Park Road itself has unfortunately become a main short cut road linking Bromley Lane and St. Paul’s
Cray Road and cutting through part of the central section of the Conservation Area. It is a good quality
residential road, in part tree lined and with some grass verges. The residences are of various sizes and
On entering from Manor Park, there is immediately on the left, another entrance to Manor Lodge and then
Mappins, a large late-Victorian house, part two and part three-storey. It has white painted brickwork, a
patterned slate roof and an unusual porch canopy. It is one of the few surviving local buildings in Victorian
Gothic style. There follows Patricia Court, a 3-storey flat roofed block of flats in modern cubist design rather
out of keeping with the rest of the road; a remnant of an old brick boundary wall separates it from the other
detached properties along the road; Northwood is set well back from the road behind ornamental entrance
gates and pillars; Elm House and its neighbour, in yellow stock brick and white stonework, complete the
frontage before the Manor House.
The Manor House, with its irregularly arranged additions, has now been divided into eight houses. The
basic house, described as The Manor House, Manor Court, and Nimrod on the statutory List, consists of
timber-framed buildings under tiled roof, greatly restored and enlarged in the 19th century. The front is
partly plastered, but the basic building is gabled, red brick and Tudor black and white woodwork, with a
two-storied porch. Decorative tiles embellish the wall of Manor Mews, part of the complex. There has never
been a manor house in Chislehurst but the obvious antiquity of the building appeared to support stories
that it had been the residence of Sir Francis Walsingham and enabled a Mr. Baskcomb who possessed
it in the early 1800s to ‘glamourise’ it with such a title and eventually extend the name to surrounding
On turning left into Prince Consort Drive, a section of the original brick boundary wall makes a pleasing
entrance and there is a good view of the striking tall chimneys of the Manor House and 3 small pointed
gables in black and white. Prince Consort Drive and Queensgate Gardens are small modern developments
of detached houses, all of similar style with open plan front gardens. Rear gardens are minimal but some
houses benefit from the open space of the school playing fields.
Prince Consort Drive leads back into Manor Park Road to a run of old boundary wall and some surviving
mature trees along the grass verge. Bishops Walk and The Glebe are modern developments on the south
side of the road. They are comprehensive developments built about 25 years ago  on glebe land. They
are subject to various restrictive covenants from the church.
On the east side of The Glebe is The Rectory, built in 1936 and the third such successive building on this
site; it is surrounded by extensive gardens. There follow five 3 storey terraced houses and eight 2-storey
terraced houses with garages, at right angles to the first block. The front gardens are open plan and all the
houses overlook a large central grassed area.
Bishops Walk comprises 11 modern detached houses, linked by adjacent garages. The front gardens are
Returning to Manor Park Road, some of the grass verges at this end of the road are part of the Chislehurst
Commons and at least one tree is the subject of a TPO; these enhance the semi-rural nature of the scene
looking towards the church and spacious village green. The atmosphere is maintained by a pair of pre-1918
semi-detached cottages in mellow red brick with decorative tile-hanging, white gables and bays and good
chimneys just before the entrance to Hawkwood Lane.
On the other side of the road, from Church Lane to St. Paul’s Cray Road, are some modern houses set
behind a very thick holly hedge and remnants of old brick wall, followed by Queen Mary House, a
residential home, [built on the old site of the Governess Institute] with extensive grounds through which
can be glimpsed some rear views of older properties in St. Paul’s Cray Road. Further on, The Pinfold, a
substantial house designed by Charles A Callen in 1904, is fronted by a low, old red brick wall with stone
coping, topped by a neat box hedge; the house itself is painted white and different levels of roof break
up the outline. The low wall continues to Woodfold, a double gabled, mellow red brick and white rough
cast building; it has an interesting pierced timber porch with arched wooden supports on brick bases. The
garden space around it enhances the view of the Grade II Listed buildings to the north west of the Manor
Park Road/St. Paul’s Cray Road junction and contributes to the generally green and rural atmosphere of the
Morley Road links the south side of Manor Park Road with Hawkwood Lane; this short road has buildings on
one side only; all its houses thus have an uninterrupted view across the Commons to the scattered buildings
in Watts Lane.
Entering from Manor Park Road, the dwellings commence with an old red brick wall curving around towards
The Ivy House, which was built in 1810 and was occupied during the mid-1800s by John Nussey, surgeon
and apothecary to the Royal Household. The house was severely damaged when a V.I. bomb landed in
Crown Lane during World War II. It was subsequently restored but reduced from 3 storeys to two and now
appears a modest Georgian style house in mellow red brick, with red pantile roof.
Norman Cottage is constructed in a mixture of red and lighter coloured bricks. The front elevation has
two attractive bay windows and dormers in the roof. It was built in the early years of the 18th Century
and there is a local tradition that it was once an alehouse known as “The Union Jack”; it certainly had a
cellar adequate for this purpose. There is a small front garden and minimal side space to the next building,
Lysvold and Whin a pair of semi-detached late 19th century houses in red brick with roughcast above. The
front bays have sloping roofs. Each has a gable and high chimney of attractive design. The three following
dwellings, Yew Tree Cottage, Morley Cottage and Nant Gwyn, were originally 4 cottages built by Ernest
George & Partners in 1878 for Mrs. Morley of Coopers for her workers. They now appear as a terrace of
three, a richly embellished 2-storey building in red brick and tile-hangings; a most striking feature is the
decorative plasterwork picked out in rose and white beneath the first floor bay windows. Yew Tree Cottage
at the NW end has large gables which are tile-hung with timber framing in the upper part and oriel windows
to each. The flat casement windows at ground floor level contrast with the elaborately shaped windows in
the curved bay above. A red brick boundary wall about 1m high encloses the frontages and returns along
the SE side of Nant Gwyn in Hawkwood Lane; in construction it reflects the decorative style of the buildings
and is a noteworthy feature from Morley Road and nearby viewpoints on the Commons.
Crown Lane is entered a few yards along Hawkwood Lane. The first houses on the east side, numbers 21 –
25, are an example of modern development sensitively planned and constructed in the 1980s to fit into the
existing style and scale surrounding them. They are link-detached, close to the narrow road and facing the
church, on the same building line as much earlier properties. No. 19 was originally St. Mary’s RC Church Hall
and although now converted to a private residence, the exterior features have been retained. The remaining
dwellings on this side are Victorian cottages, Nos. 1 – 17. These were originally rented to local workers but
are now owner-occupied and they form a coherent and pleasing example of ‘utility’ architecture from that
period, except where some refurbishment has been out of character.
Returning along the western side of Crown Lane towards the church, all the houses enjoy an open rear
outlook across Green Belt and National Trust land. The first house on the right is Bishopswell, which
replaced the original dwelling demolished by a bomb in WWII; it is in a Georgian style, red brick, double
fronted and creeper covered, with a white gabled porch. To the front it has an open outlook across the
Commons. Two old buildings, Crown House and Crown Cottage, the former a timber-framed inn, were also
destroyed by bombing and replaced by the next dwelling, Crown House, constructed in an appropriate
style, incorporating some of the original timbers; cream rendered and set slightly below road level, it
presents an attractive long low frontage to the road and Commons on a wide plot. [Recent refurbishments
have significantly altered the exterior of the house]
Nos. 4 – 10 are terraced 3-storey Edwardian houses in pleasing red brick with dormers in tile-hanging; the
central 2 have added front porches in near-matching red brick; each has a small front garden. These are
followed by two properties set behind the others and largely hidden from view and another small terrace of
cottages dated 1885.
Nos. 24A and 24B were built in the 1980s, into the depth of the plot so that a reasonable side space on
the Crown Lane building line gives a more spacious feel to the residential development leading up to the
churchyard and provides an appropriate setting for a view of Barnend Cottage, an old timber cottage which
has served in the past as a barn and as a religious meeting place. Although now modernised, its gabled
exterior, with an elaborate chimney stack and varying roof lines, is still attractive. The white weatherboarded
Anchor House (No. 28) was built about 1960s with a relatively long front garden.
Finally the Presbytery and St. Mary’s RC Church both in stone and dating from Victorian times, complete
the road. The Church, designed by W W Wardell, was built in 1854 by the Bowden family. Its setting at
the head of a sloping meadow is better appreciated from Hawkwood Lane; it is in a simple gothic style, its
overall appearance enhanced by the small mortuary chapel, designed in 1874 in pronounced French Gothic
style by Henry Clutton, where once the body of Napoleon III reposed. The Presbytery at No. 28 Crown Lane
[now converted into two dwellings] has diamond paned windows and is believed also to have been designed
Hawkwood Lane, which runs south from Manor Park Road, leads eventually to Botany Bay Lane, an unmade
farm track/public footpath (with no public vehicular right of way), into the Hawkwood Estate and Tong’s
At the northern end of Hawkwood Lane stands the Old Fire Station and a small terrace of cottages part
brick, part weather-boarded, known as Rectory Place (Nos. 1 – 5 Hawkwood Lane); the latter have an
interesting history in that the central portion was formed from a 17th century wooden house which served
initially as a school and later became the first station of the police in Chislehurst. One of the cottages was
destroyed by a bomb in WWII, and has since been rebuilt, but the remainder are mostly late 18th Century.
From this point the dominant features on the left are the various buildings of the Sydney Homes [currently
the subject of multiple planning applications for residential development], Coopers School and the
Marjorie McClure School for handicapped children, together with their playing fields and a practice riding
ground on the other side, across which it is possible to see the gardens of houses in Crown Lane, as well
as the National Trust open land beyond. The atmosphere created is of a peaceful rural setting and the
old boundary wall of the original mansion now surrounding the school grounds adds another interesting
feature. The schools are built on land originally owned by Mr. Morley, whose home Coopers is now part
of the school; it is a 3-storey building, the early 19th century front elevation being in yellow bricks and the
18th century rear in red. The modern school buildings, dating from 1967 and 1969, were designed by E T
Ashley-Smith, the KCC Architect.
Beyond the riding area on the west side, an old outhouse, now The Old Coach House, has been restored as
a dwelling by the National Trust, together with The Old Laundry nearby. The view at the head of the Lane is
dominated by the present Hawkwood House in modern yellow brick, and the smaller Hawk’s Wing in the
same brick beside it; Hawkwood House stands in substantial well-wooded grounds. The original Hawkwood
had a history going back to the l6th Century; in more recent times it was occupied for nearly 100 years
by the Edlmann family, of whom Col. Edlmann founded in 1919 what later became the British Legion; he
purchased the remaining part of Petts Wood to save it from developers and the later occupants of the
house, Mr. & Mrs. R Hall purchased, in 1958, the whole of the Hawkwood Estate for the National Trust, for
the same reason. The original house was replaced by the present building in the 1960s.
Trees in general are a dominant feature along the Lane, as are the views of the Church and churchyard from
various vantage points. The overall effect of openness is attributable to the large areas of open and wooded
land of the Hawkwood Estate stretching to the horizon in some directions. Its status as both Green Belt and
National Trust land is vital to the maintenance of the character of this part of the Conservation Area.
The lane continues as a farm track/public footpath known as Botany Bay Lane and its character changes
from semi-rural to farming country with hedges and trees bordering the cultivated fields and longer vistas
of undulating fields and woods. On the west side, largely hidden from view, is Hawkwood Nursery, bounded
by a tall, irregular red brick wall dating from the 18th century, while at the southern end of the lane stand
some timber-framed buildings with clay tile roof adjacent to Tong’s Farm, and Hawkwood Farmhouse,
a 2-storey red brick building under tiled roof and with ‘Gothic’ details, dating from around 1754. [Tong
bungalow, formerly opposite Hawkwood Farmhouse, has now been demolished by the National Trust]
Watts Lane and Summer Hill
Proceeding in a westerly direction, Manor Park Road becomes Watts Lane. It is a relatively narrow road for
the most part free of built development, passing through the open village green, well-wooded Commons
and open fields with vistas to the Green Belt land on the south side.
The Tiger’s Head public house on the corner of Hawkwood Lane marks the transition from Manor Park Road
to Watts Lane. There has been an inn on this site since the 15th Century and the sign of the Tiger’s Head is
derived from the crest of the Walsinghams. The present red brick building under tiled roof probably dates
from the 18th Century, but altered in the 19th Century.
The next house, Oak Lodge, was built about 1890. It is in red brick at ground floor level with Tudor style
timbering above. The white woodwork around the windows is particularly fine and the side elevation is
embellished with small bay windows. Its small garden is shielded by a brick wall on the side boundary with
the Commons. Behind the garden is Rose Cottage, which looks out across the Commons to the houses in
Morley Road, is an 18th Century red brick cottage with slate roof and trellis porch with Greek key design.
Adjoining Rose Cottage is Pringle, built in the early 1900s in yellow brick; but not out of keeping in style
with its older companion.
A notable feature on the north side of Watts Lane, just beyond the Commons, is the period high brick wall
with an entrance door surmounted by a stone carved “shell”, which borders Camden Close. This self-contained group of houses was built in 1935/7, using mainly second hand materials, in extreme Tudor
style. They are regarded as superb examples of their kind and there are indications of the influence of early
Lutyens in some of the details.
Continuing along Watts Lane, the northern side is bordered by the Commons, and on the south there are
vistas across to Bansome Wood and the Hawkwood Estate, eventually obscured by developments nearer
Cricket Ground Road.
Briars Place, an 18th Century red brick house, now largely painted white and with an east wing added in the
19th Century, is bordered along Watts Lane by a high mellow red brick wall clearly dating from the original
construction of the house. It was erected on a meadow known as Priestfield, a name which survives in one
of the more recent houses built on land behind the present garden of Briars Place.
The last house on the south side before the junction with Bromley Road is The Orchard, a relatively modern
building which fronts on to both Watts Lane and Cricket Ground Road.
Cricket Ground Road (and Norlands)
The Cricket Ground dominates the scene at this junction and in the main the few houses bordering it on
three sides in Cricket Ground Road are hidden from view by the screen of trees and bushes growing on
the Commons immediately outside their front gardens, and on the borders of the Cricket Ground itself.
Cricket Ground Road is an unmade track under the control of the Chislehurst & St Paul’s Cray Commons
Conservators but with public vehicular and pedestrian rights over it.
The Watts Lane/Cricket Ground Road area is regarded as one of the most important parts of the
Conservation Area, whose special character in this vicinity is derived not from the buildings themselves,
since they exhibit no coherence in style, size or appearance; rather it results from the spacious setting of
the dwellings and, more particularly, from the numerous hedges and clumps of trees which create a very
attractive and verdant backcloth to the open space and buildings. Views into this area both from Watts Lane
and the Green Belt land to the east are of considerable significance. The Cricket Ground is one of the few
in England which enjoys that status by Act of Parliament, the West Kent Cricket Club, which moved from
Princes Plain in 1822, having statutory rights to play there. It also has the unusual distinction of having been
used as a landing strip by Sir Malcolm Campbell when, as a WWI pilot, he visited his parents who lived in
Camden Park Road nearby.
Behind the houses on the south side lies the Norlands Estate, a very large development with an entrance
off Cricket Ground Road; while the individual gardens are small the open plan front gardens give a general
impression of space and greenery. The development as a whole, which slopes eastwards down the hillside,
is largely screened from view from the Green Belt by a belt of tall trees which survived because they were
on National Trust property bordering the development land. The large area of woods and open land along
the eastern border of the development is a significant amenity for the residents. The estate comprises
Norlands Crescent, Onslow Crescent, Paget Gardens, Penn Gardens, Sheridan Crescent and Cromlix Close.
Conservation Area Objectives
As mentioned above, this is one of the most important parts of the Conservation Area both within itself
and for the views that it presents from the Green Belt and other open land beyond it. It is therefore of
major importance to preserve the present spacious effect created by the wide gardens of the large houses
bordering Cricket Ground road; any more intensive development or infilling could destroy this effect and
harm the Conservation Area.
Beside the Cricket Ground, Watts Lane opens out to allow a glimpse of Camden Place and The Cedars
across the intersection of five roads, where an old horse trough, now regularly filled with seasonal flowering
plants, is a reminder of the horse drawn traffic that used to negotiate the steep hills up to Chislehurst
village. Continuing down Watts Lane/Summer Hill, there is a pleasing view across the Commons to Heath
Cottages and The Rambler’s Rest, an 18th century weather-boarded and rendered public house, and thence
to the clusters of buildings known as Mill Place and Susan Wood whose entrances are ‘guarded’ by the
mock Tudor Bank House and the line of the Victorian Summerhill Villas set well back from the road at the
top of the hill. Thereafter, on either side of the hill lie modern developments, screened from view for the
most part by trees and hedging.
Ravenshill is a small close of detached dwellings on the east side, built on the site of an older property;
they are quite large properties relative to their frontage and general garden space but the long run of open
plan gardens at the front, sweeping in a semi-circle, give a spacious appearance to the development as
a whole. At the entrance to the development stands Ravenshill Lodge and Ravenshill Stables, remaining
from the original house. The mid-Victorian lodge is of painted brick and Italianate in style. The Stables are
of stock brick and surmounted by an attractive clock. Until the 1970s, the effect of these two buildings was
enhanced by the presence of an attractive and unusual Water Tower, dating from the mid-1800s, whose
two arches straddled the road at the top of the hill; together with the mock Tudor Bank House on the
other side, they presented a fascinating entrance to
the Commons, but the Water Tower was destroyed
in 1963 by the Chislehurst & Sidcup UDC to enable
traffic to flow more rapidly on the winding Summer
Hill, evidence of the success of the exercise being
demonstrated by the subsequent regular crashes into
lampposts and trees and, on occasion, pedestrians,
along the route.
A few yards beyond Ravenshill Lodge a small driveway
leads to Cromlix Lodge, in red-brick, dating from 1865.
Further down the hill to the east lies Heatherbank,
a large development comprising five roads or closes sloping down to National Trust property: these are
Heatherbank, Thistlemead, Longmead, Lindenfield and Roundwood. The estate consists of over 40 houses
of mixed styles built in 1972 on the site of the Heatherbank Hotel. At the lower eastern end of the site is the
open land, Hawkwood, given to the National Trust by Robert and Francesca Hall to be preserved as open
space for the enjoyment of the people of Chislehurst. This is a well planned estate which would be spoilt by
any extensions or infilling of additional dwellings, since its effect depends on symmetry in the layout.
The lower part of Summer Hill on this side reverts to tree-covered slopes which are the grounds of Avalon;
it is a mansion built in the 1870’s of stock brick with stone dressings. It has a parapet with stone eagles and
large central cupola but it is not visible from the road. The property is owned by the Salvation Army.
Finally, just before the railway bridge is Gosshill Road, which runs parallel with the railway and has
residential properties on the north side only. These are all large and spaciously set out; while their front
outlook is limited by the railway embankment, the rear of the properties adjoins the National Trust land of
Hawkwood and thus they all enjoy a protected rural outlook. The houses are a mixture of styles and ages,
among them Chatham House, an early to mid-Victorian building of parallel ranges with a slate roof. The
whole area opposite the railway line is well-wooded.
Returning up Summer Hill, Station Approach on
the left is a South-Eastern Rail roadway, used
as a station car park, linking the former with
Chislehurst Road/Old Hill. Chislehurst Railway
Station, at the southern end, was built in 1868,
(with additions around 1900), replacing an
earlier smaller station at the Old Hill/Chislehurst
Road junction; it is regarded as a fine example of
railway buildings of that era. It is a large, single
storey building in red brick and some rough-cast,
with decorative detail in contrasting light brick.
The round-headed sash windows are grouped
in threes and a simple wooden canopy over the
front is supported by decorative iron brackets.
Some of the original valancing remains on the platform canopies. An Edward VII post box is built into the
front wall and ornamental bollards mark the pavement edge. The building was restored and re-furbished
in the late 1980s. Immediately adjacent to the station is a small timber framed building under a tiled roof,
with pierced barge-boards, bracketed eaves and oriel window. It is typical of such concourse buildings of
the period that were usually coal order offices or estate agents. The railway embankment and platforms are
shielded from view along most of the length of Station Approach by a very high mellow red brick wall of the
same vintage and style as the station.
Continuing up the hill, the tree-lined sweep of the west side of Summer Hill is interrupted only by the
entrances to the residential developments of Woodclyffe Drive, Oakleigh Park Avenue, Two Ridges (one
detached house) and Islehurst Close, which are sited for the most part well away from the road and heavily
screened by trees and bushes. [A new house has recently been built on the previously open space at the
entrance to Islehurst Close. It has a striking design which is difficult to harmonise with the surrounding
houses in the area]
At the top of the hill on a small area of common land, stands a modern memorial to the Water Tower, a
seat now much vandalised [and in need of restoration, or replacement]; it is overlooked by a terrace of
tall Victorian Villas (Summerhill Villas) at the entrance to Susan Wood and the pleasing mock Tudor Bank
House. The last named is a 3-storey half-timbered building in black and white; it was previously Martin’s
Bank with the Grasshopper emblem, now stolen. It was built in the 1870s, possibly an early work of Ernest
Newton but is not characteristic; it was refurbished in 1910 and again in 1991.
Immediately behind Summer Hill Villas lies Susan Wood, a tightly clustered hillside development of
Woodclyffe Drive, together with Timber Close, is a small estate development, on a prominent, originally
well-wooded, hillside, formerly the site, and grounds, of a private hotel bombed in WWII. The Georgian
style 3-storey “town houses” were built in the early 1970s, (except for the block at the top of the Drive,
added later), while the large detached houses date from the 1980s. The surviving trees, and some
subsequent planting, have by now reduced the impact of these 3-storey blocks on the view from Summer
Hill, although the more recent construction of very large detached houses occupying most of the width of
their plots, on the west side of Woodclyffe Drive, led to further damaging tree loss.
Oakleigh Park Avenue
Oakleigh Park Avenue is a cul-de-sac cut into the side of a fairly steep valley and its small cluster of 11
individually designed detached houses comprise 4 built in the late 1930s, and the remainder in the 1950s.
The variety of brick colours and other design textures adds considerably to the interest of the buildings
when viewed as a whole. A DoE Inspector, in dismissing an appeal for a 2-storey side extension in this road,
remarked that the dominant element in its overall visual character was the general sense of spaciousness
achieved by the siting of the properties for the most part well away from their plot boundaries.
The rear gardens of Two Ridges (a property fronting Summer Hill) and 4 houses in Islehurst Close back onto
the SE side of Oakleigh Park Avenue alongside two of its large 1930s houses, which are themselves set well
back on the higher ground; with the post-war houses set generally below road level on the opposite side,
the irregular pattern of houses has allowed the development as a whole to retain many mature trees in
both front and rear gardens.
Towards the head of the cul-de-sac can be seen the tall Victorian buildings in Susan Wood, on higher
ground; this view serves to link earlier and more recent buildings in a visually satisfying way. An additional
feature, on the SE side of Oakleigh Park Avenue, is an old mottled brick retaining wall of varying height
running its whole length, broken only by the driveway and garage steps to the two higher properties, and
surmounted for much of its length by a mature beech hedge, and elsewhere by laurels, conifers and a bank
of deciduous trees.
Islehurst Close, built in the late 1960s on the large wooded site of Oakleigh, consists of 7 similarly-styled
houses, together with two original Victorian dwellings, Oakleigh Lodge and Oakleigh Cottage. Those gardens which back on to Oakleigh Park Avenue contribute mutually with the latter to a feeling of spaciousness and
restrained development in the immediate area.
Conservation Area Objectives
Together with the large garden of Two Ridges, a substantial detached house fronting, but lying well back
from, Summer Hill, Islehurst Close’s contribution to this well-wooded enclave is critical because of its
proximity to and contrast with the more intensively built-up Susan Wood and Mill Place, and further
significant development should be resisted.
Prince Imperial Road and environs
Prince Imperial Road
From the top of Summer Hill, an important entrance to Chislehurst village, the Prince Imperial Road,
runs through Chislehurst Common. On the left is Camden Place (see Camden Park Road), well back from
the road, and the entrance to the golf course. On the right, amongst the trees there is visible the Prince
Imperial Monument, a memorial to Prince Napoleon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph who was killed in Zululand in
1879. It is a runic cross designed by E R Robson (better known for his London Board Schools) and erected in
1880. Prince Imperial Road was cut through the Commons in 1879 to allow the passage of the gun carriage
carrying the body of the Prince Imperial from Woolwich on the occasion of his funeral.
The east side of the road is bordered by the Commons with its abundance of trees and bushes while along
the west side an area of well-wooded Common separates the grounds of Camden Place and the properties
in Wilderness Road from the roadway. Houses become visible shortly before the Methodist Church, notably
Chevender, a large red-brick, gabled Victorian building. The Methodist Church was constructed in 1870 in
ragstone and E.E. style. Beyond the Church and The Manse are detached modern and Victorian houses,
together with two small flatted developments, all set for the most part well back from the road. Between
the footway in front of these dwellings and the carriageway lies a largely grassed area of commons about 45
feet wide, which is maintained by the Conservators. During 1991/2 Courtlands, an older property behind
these houses was demolished and replaced by three very large houses with multiple garages and access on
to Prince Imperial Road.
Camden Park Road
The special character of Camden Park Road lies in the contrast between the undeveloped park-like nature of
the golf course to the north and the largely built-up backcloth of substantial houses to the south. The road
is developed for the major part of its length with substantial detached houses, but on the northern side of
the road frontage development stops at No. 23. Immediately to the south of this is a public right of way,
beyond which is part of Camden Park Golf course. The edge of the Golf Course is well treed, giving this part
of the road a very rural appearance although the housing development continues on the other side of the
road. The road has an attractive character of a high class residential area in which the landscaping forms a
prominent and important part of the street scene.
The lower, south western, end of the road below a fairly sharp bend was developed between the 1920s and
1970s and comprises fairly large detached dwellings with quite generous, mostly wooded, rear gardens.
Among the buildings of note at this end, and on the northern side of the road is No. 13, designed by R.M.
Byron in the sub-San Francisco style, which copes well with the steeply sloping site.
The grander houses along the southern half of the road face across a wide gravelled road towards the Golf
Course, which is lined on the road frontage with a belt of mature trees and shrub undercover, making an
attractive setting for the architecture. Most of the houses here, in the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style, were built by
William Willett jnr. who purchased Camden Place in 1890; the architect for several was Ernest Newton,
working in conjunction with Amos Faulkner and reveal the wide range of Newton’s talent.
The houses of note on this south western side of the road are:-
No. 44 built in mid 19th Century, a stucco house of character.
No. 54 Fairacre was constructed about 1890 and is by Ernest Newton. Set in elaborate gardens, it is a
2-storey L-shaped building with attics. The ground floor is in red brick with tile hanging above. On one side
is a projecting red brick square tower with chequer pattern in brick and stone. The projecting wing towards
the road is a modern extension by Norton, Trist and Gilbert, 1960.
No. 58 Elm Bank. Designed by Newton about 1890, it is 2 storeys plus attics and asymmetrical. The ground
floor is red brick with tile hanging above; the tiled roof is steeply pitched with a gable on one side. A central
projecting portion with pediment over contains the recessed doorcase. The left side ground floor has a large
lunette window and there is a ground floor bay on the right with attached simple coach house in matching
Two modern infill houses are then followed by Bonchester (l -5 Bonchester Close), built in 1898 and
designed by Newton. It is 2 storey with attics and L-shaped. The ground floor is red brick with tile hanging
above. The tiled roof has one curved gable and a massive brick chimneystack. The ground floor has 2 bays,
one with hood above. Much of its grounds have been given over to new housing development and its
entrance drive is now part of the roadway into Bonchester Close.
Derwent, No. 68 by Newton, was built in 1899; it is two storey plus attics with red brick ground floor and
tile hanging above. The tiled roof is hipped on the left and half hipped on the right. There are 2 gabled, tile
hung dormers. On the right is a modern brick 2-storey addition.
Mountfield (No. 70) is reputed to be entirely by Faulkner but Council records indicate that it was in fact
designed by W. Harber and illustrated in “The Builder” in 1892. It is in red brick and tile hanging, gabled,
with some black and white timbering and graceful wooden window framing.
Avonhurst (No. 76) is an early Willett house said to be by Faulkner but Newton made considerable additions
in 1910. The Newton work stands out from Faulkner in its simplicity and style.
Camden Holt (No. 78) in style similar to 70 and 76, and of approximately the same vintage, is by an
At the corner, visible from all six approach roads at Camden Corner, a junction at the higher part of
Chislehurst Commons, is The Cedars, a large 2-storey Victorian house, built in 1883 for Willett’s own use by
Newton. The ground floor is brick with tile hanging. The house has sturdy stacks, dormer windows, and, at
the back, a gable, all above the roof line. The hipped roof is blue tiled. The left side doorcase has a curved
hood over with Tuscan columns below. The front of the house is shaded by conifers and broad leaved trees.
The front and NE side of the grounds are bounded by a low brick wall topped by a white painted fence. The
size of the garden and its stock of mature trees has long been an important feature of the house in its total
setting and its contribution to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area has been recognised
in DoE dismissal of Appeals for building in the grounds, though following a sub-division of the garden, an
application for one house only was allowed on Appeal in 1992.
Opposite The Cedars is the entrance to
Camden Place, which was the home of the
French Imperial Family from 1870 to 1881.
It stands on the site of the home of William
Camden, famous 17th century writer and
historian. It was rebuilt in the 1700s and in
the 1860s it underwent transformation into
a minor French chateau in style, including
the additional construction to accommodate
precisely some 18th century panelling from
Chateau de Bercy. This is basically the form in
which it now survives. The main building is a
3 -storey house of yellow brick with red brick
dressings; it is surmounted by a stone balustrade and has over its centre a curved pediment containing the
arms of Lord Camden. In a panel on the second storey there is a clock with carved emblematical figures. It is
now the home of the Chislehurst Golf Club.
The inhabitants of both The Cedars and Camden Place would in times past have had good views of the
occasional occupants of the gibbet which stood on the point of common land at the junction of Watts Lane
and Bromley Road and whose site is now marked with a small stone plaque.
Camden Way is a cul-de-sac joining Camden Park Road on its southern side before the golf course,
comprises some quite large detached houses in generous well-wooded plots, mostly of the inter-war
period, and a very recent development of 3 houses to the rear of existing properties in Camden Park Road.
The earlier houses stand in well-wooded gardens.
Bonchester Close is also a small cul-de-sac, built in the grounds of Bonchester facing the golf course. The
houses are detached.
Wilderness Road is a wide sharply curved loop road with two entrances across the Commons on to Prince
Imperial Road. The grass-verged footpaths are wide and in the centre of the loop is a small island of grass
and trees. It is spaciously laid out and consists mainly of large detached houses in their own grounds and
set well back from the road. The mature front gardens, well stocked with trees and shrubs, emphasise the
sense of space. Many of the properties have a rear outlook over Chislehurst Golf Course. It is part of the
original Camden Place estate bought in 1890 by William Willett Jnr. but it was not developed until 1893.
Its chief interest lies in the houses built in the early 1900s by Willett and designed by architects who were
responsible for the houses constructed by the same builder in the late 1890s in Camden Park Road. [Since
1992 there has been some further development here, and the Road is now gated]
Holne Chase by Amos Faulkner about 1911 is a large ‘Arts & Crafts’ style house with some half-timber
detailing. It is constructed in red brick with tile-hung first floor and there are two-storey canted bay
windows to front and rear elevations. Copley Dene, also in ‘Arts & Crafts’ style, is by Ernest Newton in
1904 and regarded as one of his best works. It is two storeys, with gabled dormers to the attic rooms, in red
brick with rendered details. The style is neo-Georgian vernacular but is asymmetrical and at one end is a
projecting wing with massive chimney stacks and a catslide roof.
Parkmore by Faulkner in 1901 is in reddish brown with red brick dressings and white plastered coving. Tall
brick arched windows at ground floor level and the segmented doorway banded in stripes are interesting
Moorlands also by Faulkner in 1902 is a 2/3-storey ‘Arts and Crafts’ house of brick and tile hanging. Basically
a hipped roof house but front and rear elevations have two central gables. The chimney stacks are large and
prominent. The original building has undergone considerable extension.
The Brake by Faulkner in 1911 is in red brick with tile hung first floor. Also ‘Arts & Crafts’ style similar to its
Moorcroft (originally Netherfields) is by E J May, about 1930 and is probably his last major work in
Chislehurst. It is constructed in dark brick with tile-hanging.
Area around Old Hill
The appearance of the Conservation Area around Old Hill has quite wide variations. Close to the railway line and bridge, particularly on the north western side of Chislehurst Road; there is a closely built up urban feel, but immediately to the NE of Ivybridge Court, a small 3-storey flatted development set below road level, where Old Hill itself begins, the land rises sharply and the scene changes dramatically to a general vista of trees with larger houses set in substantial grounds. Despite some of the less than sensitive development which has taken place in more recent years, the area remains attractive with some pleasant groups of buildings, open space and trees.
The spacious feel of the tree-covered slopes of the Kydd Brook is a particularly noteworthy feature. Station
Approach, a private roadway, used as a station car park, links Summer Hill with Chislehurst Road/Old Hill.
For most of its length on the west side, Station Approach is bordered by a high, mellow red brick wall dating
from the mid-1800s; much of the woodland on the other side has in recent years been destroyed for flatted
development, although the garden of the Bickley Arms Public House at the corner has preserved some open
space and greenery.
Chislehurst Road at the junction with station Approach consists mainly of 3-storey gabled, red-brick
Victorian houses, comprising ground floor shops with living accommodation above, which face the Bickley
Arms and a modern petrol station. Nearby is the entrance to Chislehurst Caves, a labyrinth of man-made
tunnels carved from the chalk; there is argument about their age and origins which are thought by some
to go back to pre-Roman times, but in recent history, they were used in the WWI period for the storage of
ammunition produced at Woolwich Arsenal and a small ammunition railways was installed; they played a
valuable role in WWII, providing shelter not only for local people but a nightly influx of Londoners seeking
escape from the Blitz. At times they were accommodating more than 15,000 people.
Old Hill itself is for the most part very steep and narrow, with a footpath on one side only at its lower end,
where most of the more recent development has taken place. Much too visible on the rising ground to the
SE in Forest Close, is a 5-storey block of flats and a block of retirement homes, Greenbank Lodge, fronting
Station Approach, for the construction of which the entire woodland on which they stand was destroyed.
The entrance roadway to Chislehurst Caves merges with the entrance to Caveside Close, a small post-war
development of maisonettes, behind a screen of trees facing Ivybridge Court on the opposite side of the
road; the last-named was until very recently followed by two inconspicuous houses, built in the 1950s and
set well back from the road. These have now been demolished and replaced with an intensive development
of terraced houses occupying much of the site and standing hard against the pavement edge.
Rookery Drive, the next opening on the NW side leads to two well separated houses standing in their
own grounds. Thereafter some modern detached houses set at an angle and quite close to the road,
nevertheless maintain a feeling of space by virtue of wooded side gardens breaking up the frontages, which
lead uphill to the sweeping entrance to Lubbock Road. Along the other side, the road has been cut deeply
into the hillside forming a high embankment which largely screens 4 detached post-war dwellings and the
side/rear views of the recently built Davema Close, (off Brenchley Close), a small group of modern detached
houses, for the construction of which another small area of woodland was totally destroyed. Brenchley
Close, which shares this entrance off Old Hill, is a 1960s development of small terrace houses and two
detached bungalows, all of which enjoy a broader woodland setting by reason of the long and wooded
gardens on the NW side of Oakleigh Park Avenue above them.
Continuing up Old Hill, the left side comprises mostly pre-war and early post-war individually designed
detached houses set well back from the road in mature gardens, while on the right, the road is lined
with an interesting variety of the original Victorian buildings, some now in multiple occupation, most largely unaltered externally The first of these, Woodlands stands on the corner of Brenchley Close, presenting an impressive corner frontage, its rear garden providing an important unbuilt space in relation to the neighbouring modern developments; it is a 3-storey gabled building in mellow red brick and tilehanging,
and tiled roof finished with decorative ridge tiles. The rear view visible from Brenchley Close is
predominantly black and white timbering with double bays through two storeys. It marks the beginning of
a closely knit area of mainly Victorian development reflecting accommodation standards and styles of that
era, from working class to comfortable middle class, on the south side of Old Hill.
Woodlands is followed by two more large villas in similar style, with timber gables above clear mellow red
brickwork, ornamental ridge tiles and attractive individual variations of detail. The next dwelling (23/23A),
in similar brick, is set well below road level, so that the roof, an attractive feature, is visible at single storey
height. The remaining frontage on the steeply rising hill is occupied by semi-detached and terraced 2/3
storey Victorian villas in yellow stock bricks, some with stone dressing and a variety of porch canopy
designs. The run of Victorian properties is completed at the entrance to Mill Place with two mid-Victorian
buildings: The Old Court House in stock bricks with stone mouldings and dressings, which served as the
police station until the present Chislehurst Police station in the High street was opened in 1893 and The
Imperial Arms Public House in similar materials with a hipped slate roof.
Beyond the entrance to Mill Place and adjacent St. John’s Church Building [now replaced by a row of
modern town houses], the view opens out towards the Commons past a terrace of small cottages set well
back, and built development on this side ends with White Cottage standing nearer the road; the latter is
weather-boarded and tiled and is probably early 19th century. It was previously a butcher’s shop with
slaughterhouse behind and the protruding Victorian shop window is clearly discernible.
Opposite the Imperial Arms is the entrance to Raggleswood, a fairly long cul-de-sac of mostly post-war
detached houses in a variety of designs set quite well back from the footpath in reasonably spacious plots.
The general effect is of mainly sloped or terraced gardens well stocked with shrubs and other greenery.
The Crest of Old Hill on the left is graced by a view of The Cedars, listed building described under Camden
Susan Wood opens alongside No. 19 Old Hill. This narrow, steep and winding road has remained largely free
of modern developments and is thus a small and perhaps rare comprehensive example of an integrated
Victorian development not only in the styles of the individual properties but also in the spatial and visual
relationships between the buildings. Since the mostly quite large houses are built on ground sloping steeply
to the west, the roof space and roof designs are a very important element. There is relatively little flat space
for formal gardens but the area retains much of its original character in the wooded setting provided by
the mature trees on the sloping garden areas, enhanced in particular by the views towards the woodland
gardens of Oakleigh Park Avenue.
At the lowest point in the road is Cromwell Mews, a white-painted gabled structure dating from mid-
Victorian times; beyond its graceful entrance arch, with carved lion’s head [recently and mysteriously disappeared], is a charming cluster of small dwellings around a courtyard. Quince Cottage is part of the
same main building, its rear windows looking out towards the terraced cottages in Mill Place. From this
point the road rises very steeply, past two elegant detached Victorian houses, Berlay Mount and The
Vent House, the former dating from 1866, in red brick and black and white timbering, set well above the
roadway, which look across the trees to the attractive timbered rear elevations of properties on Old Hill
which in themselves enhance the character of Susan Wood.
Beyond these, the rear gardens of Summerhill Villas at the top end provide an unbuilt front outlook for The
Mount which dominates the sharp bend in the road; this large red brick house, with central overhanging
gable decorated in wood and roughcast, is currently undergoing refurbishment. Its neighbour, Morland
House, has recently been appropriately renovated to a very high standard which has enhanced the overall
appearance of this area. It is a generous but well proportioned building in clear red brick and the small
plateau at the rear has been built out, forming a paved terrace overlooking the hillside.
Summerhill Villas face Summer Hill across a small area of open land; they comprise a terrace of 4, a pair
of semi-detached and two larger houses (St John’s House and Coverdale) which flank gardens in Oakleigh
Park Avenue. The unbroken line of Victorian frontages they present to Summer Hill is an important feature
of that approach road to the Commons and village. [Somewhat spoilt by the new house built on the site of
the reservoir on Summer Hill at the entrance to Islehurst Close]
The Bank House, described under Summer Hill, stands at the entrance to Susan Wood and makes an
appropriate introduction to this largely unchanged Victorian development.
Mill Place opens off Old Hill beside The Imperial Arms; it is a narrow roadway bordering the Commons, and
takes its name from the windmill which had been built nearby in 1796 for the convenience of parishioners
but was destroyed in 1868 by a local developer. It is a tightly knit cluster of buildings on a cottage scale
with steeply pitched roofs. At one time this area, together with Susan Wood, was almost a self-contained community. The only large buildings are St. John’s Church and the School both now used for industrial/
On entering Mill Place from Old Hill there is on the right, beyond the flank wall of the Imperial Arms, Old
Hill Cottage in yellow stock brick, which marks the entrance to a terrace of tiny cottages, leading down
towards the rear gardens of properties in Susan Wood. Each cottage has tile hung first floor above a slightly
bowed bay window looking across a tiny front garden to the rear gardens of Camden Terrace, (1889); this
is a parallel development of small 2- and 3-storey houses facing each other across small gardens and a
communal pathway leading down to the rear gardens of Quince Cottage and the mews properties in Susan
Wood. Other cottages, whose names indicate their history, are Mill House, Old Forge and Nos. 3 and 4
Camden Cottages, all small scale and in attractive variations of yellow stock bricks, rough cast and cream
On the other side of Mill Place a terrace of five small cottages in yellow stock bricks with entrances above
road level is followed by the long wall of the Church building which eventually gives way to views of the
Commons and a pathway to The Rambler’s Rest, a white weather-boarded public house set within the
Commons and dating from l684; it is an attractive feature of the Commons scene from Summer Hill and
much frequented by visitors to the area who make full use of the open grassland around to enjoy their
The effect of the whole is one of period charm and sensitively renovated properties. The remaining houses
in Mill Place face the Commons and are of post-war construction until Summerhill Lodge which is linked
to the Bank House on Summer Hill and is similar in style; these two buildings add character to the top of
Summer Hill which was at one time enhanced by the Water Tower, whose two arches over the road formed
an elegant entrance to the Chislehurst Commons.
To the north of The Rambler’s Rest the Commons are bordered by Heath Cottages, a terrace of steeply
pitched roof cottages, gabled, in stock bricks with red brick string courses. They are slightly larger in scale
than those of Mill Place and are a feature of the views across the Common from the approach roads. Their
uniformity and muted colours allow them to blend in well with their surroundings.
Conservation Area Objectives
In view of the age and attractiveness of the cottages in Mill Place, it is surprising that none are included in
the Local List. Action to list some of these would be prudent, in order to establish a more positive planning
basis for resisting attempts to change the appearance or size of individual buildings in a manner out of
keeping with style, materials and scale of the period cottages in Mill Place. The same comment applies to
The narrow roadway and limited parking space in Mill Place inevitably present problems for residents;
any future proposals for changes of use in respect of the School or Church buildings should, if they involve
intensification of vehicular traffic, be firmly resisted.
Valley of the Kydd Brook
The part of the Conservation Area to the west of Summer Hill forms an interesting entrance from Elmstead
Woods to the original village. It covers the wooded bank of the Kydd Brook valley between the river and the
higher ground of the Commons. The outstanding feature is its character of spacious woodland engendered
by the many mature trees which survive in the area despite some insensitive development which since
WWII has been permitted on the sites of many older and historically interesting properties. Within this
still predominantly “green” backdrop, however, there are clusters of buildings remaining which convey the
atmosphere of Victorian times; while perhaps not all individually meriting statutory listed building status,
these should nevertheless be collectively preserved as satisfying examples of the better quality domestic
architecture that followed the introduction of the railway to Chislehurst.
Chislehurst Railway Station itself, built in 1868 is a good example of the style adopted in that era for
stations on that line and it is thus fitting that the south west boundary of the Conservation Area on this side
should be the railway line with its remaining Victorian detached houses along Lower Camden.
Close to the Station is Chislehurst’s most ancient ‘monument’, the Chislehurst Caves, whose main entrance
lies at the foot of 0ld Hill; the trees and rough undergrowth near the now more developed entrance serve,
despite the modern car park and nearby blocks of flats in Forest Close, to convey to visitors some sense of
stepping into a past world, whether of the Druids, or the more mundane sheltering of Londoners during
the Second World War. This atmosphere is worth retaining for its own sake. Above the Caves the land rises
steeply and is still largely tree-covered in appearance, thanks to the long woodland gardens of Oakleigh Park
Avenue/0ld Hill and a small remnant of Chalkpit Wood.
Lower Camden on the NW side of Old Hill near the railway bridge was part of the ribbon development along the railway in the 1860s. As recently as the 1960s it was largely a road of imposing Victorian houses, both detached and semi-detached with adequate land between them to create a spacious layout, despite the proximity of the railway line to the backs of those on the west side of the road. At the junction of Chislehurst Road and Lower Camden there are some Victorian properties currently functioning as shops with accommodation above; these include Ardmore House, a middle size Victorian family villa, on the west side of Lower Camden. It is in red brick with decorative black brick courses at mid height and around windows. Its gabled style links up with others in the terrace leading up to the railway bridge, although some of the latter are in yellow stock brick and may be relics of the first Chislehurst Station.
Apart from a pair of Victorian houses on the east side, the general impression of Lover Camden from this
paint is of mixed post WWII developments of 2- and 3-storey blocks of terraced dwellings relieved by
mature trees in the gardens of some older properties which have survived, such as No. 21, a Victorian red
brick house with white stonework and the quaint No. 38/40 in red brick and mock Tudor with a tiny black
and white timbered cottage style building attached.
Hatfield at No. 81 is an unobtrusive old house, preserved from demolition on Appeal in 1990, set well back
from the highway behind a red brick wall, with attractive and extensive gardens and a number of mature
trees overhanging the wall. It is white rendered with gables and attractive ironwork gates set into the wall.
The property as a whole makes an important contribution to the street scene, creating a distinct sense of
spaciousness and lending an attractive mature quality to this part of Lower Camden.
Towards the northern end of the road, where the Kydd Brook emerges, there remain some buildings of the
earlier era, including a white painted brick property behind matching boundary wall, with a patterned slate
roof. The most notable buildings, however, are the last at the northern end on the west side. Nos. 165-169
were constructed in 1904 as a terrace of three houses informally arranged. They are in neo-vernacular style,
with brick ground floor and tile-hanging above under a tiled roof. Each has an arched porch and the end two
have gables facing the road. They are by E J May and regarded as displaying his subtle ability in handling the
vernacular tile hung style.
On the Kydd Brook backland is Stowcroft, a sizeable dwelling, built in the 1870s. It stands in one acre and
adjacent to Porrington Close but its main entrance is off Lower Camden. It is constructed in rough cut stone,
red brick and tile-hanging with elegant tall chimneys but is well screened from view by its wooded grounds,
which provide a spacious backdrop to the southern end of Lower Camden.
From the northern (Kydd Brook) end of Lower Camden there is a fine view of Nos. 13 – 19 Lubbock Road
which were originally a stable block designed by Ernest Newton for William Willett. The building is in
red-brick, neo-Georgian vernacular style dating from 1908/9 and regarded by Niklaus Pevsner as “one of
Newton’s happiest and most relaxed works”. The buildings are largely untouched on the right but have been
subjected to some unsympathetic modern alterations on the left.
Lubbock Road itself still presents an overall impression of high quality residential development, although
since WWII flatted development of utilitarian design has been allowed on both sides of the road. Despite
this, however, some of the remaining detached houses, and in particular those surviving from the pre-1918
era, redeem the situation. Furthermore, the rising and curving nature of the road, together with a mix of
evergreen and deciduous mature trees and bushes screening many frontages, reduces the impact of the
blocks of flats and maisonettes.
It was one of the first roads to be built in Chislehurst in the Victorian development period. Before 1875 it
gave a cul-de-sac access off Old Hill only to five villa residences built in what had been a small wood known
as Raggleswood, a name now preserved in a modern development off Old Hill. Lubbock Road took its name
from Sir John Lubbock, the founder of ‘Bank Holidays’, who lived at Lamas for some years.
From its junction with Lower Camden to Yester Road there is a short stretch of Lubbock Road containing
a few 1930s and post WWII houses running west towards the railway line but the main part of the road
curves south east towards Old Hill. A short distance beyond Willetts’ stable block, described above, is a
group of late-Victorian terraced cottages, Nos. 23, 25 and 27, in red brick with tile-hanging, and white
banded arched porches in the Newton style and reputed to have been designed by him.
Hatton Cottage at No. 31 was built in 1859 and is also reputed to have been designed by Newton. Set quite
high above the road, its mixed facade of red brick ground floor with tile-hanging and black and white Tudor
effect above, and various small gables, projecting windows and ground floor bays, presents a welcome
contrast to the predominantly flat-fronted modern flats that face it. The original high brick wall matching
the house and supporting the sharply rising land level at this point was been rebuilt in similar style during
1991 and is a fine example of sympathetic and indeed beautiful restoration of earlier architecture; it is a
striking and elegant feature in the road. The rear of Hatton Cottage is unfortunately overshadowed by the
block of 37 flats known as Hatton Court, which were allowed on the higher ground, with two entrances into
Continuing, Hatton Court Lodge (No. 51), is a white single storey building in the 1800s style, and its
neighbour, Willow Lodge (No. 53) appears to be of similar age; it is also single storey, white painted
brickwork with striking Gothic style windows along its front elevation. It was used as a cottage hospital
during the war and has also served as a school.
These are followed by a modern (Bovis) development (Nos. 59 – 75) of large detached dwellings along a
common building line well back from the road with sweeping front lawns in which survive a reasonable
number of mature trees. They are basically similar in architectural style but have considerable variety of
detail, red and yellow brickwork, herring bone brickwork with wood, and black and white mock Tudor, and
attractively pitched roofs. This should have been the standard set for any modern developments allowed in
The general view of the road is now dominated by the outlines of Christ Church and the mature trees
scattered in its largely open grounds, which front the entrance to Porrington Close on the SW side of the
road. Christ Church was built in ragstone in 1871-2 by Habershon and Pite. It has a large and imposing
tower but is not over dominant since it is built on land that falls away sharply from the road. The trees
surrounding the church are an important element of attractive greenery in Lubbock Road as a whole and
both church and trees are visible for some distance beyond the curves in the road.
Around the church, some of the atmosphere and appearance of the original residential development of
the 19th Century is more in evidence. Bishopsdown (No. 34) is in red brick with black brick decoration. On
the other side of the entrance to Porrington Close is Seven Trees (No. 44), a two and three-storey building
with the lower central portion creating an interesting outline to the road frontage; it is in red brick, with
some carved stonework and coloured tiles above the windows. The tiles are predominantly cream with a
red design and decorative use is made of black brick courses in the main walls. Altogether an interesting
building with a similarly attractive rear view from Porrington Close; it is now in office use.
Immediately opposite the church is Granite Lodge (No. 77), a most interesting variation in style among the
older houses, the entire front facade being constructed of hexagonal medallions of granite and flint chips
outlined in mortar pointing; this is offset by white decorative stonework around the tall sash windows.
Further up the hill, on the same side as the church, is Abbey Lodge/Abbeyfield (No. 54/54a), a relatively
massive red brick late 19th century residence set well back from the road in attractive frontage woodland
grounds of some size, which impart a feeling of spaciousness to the road. It is 3 storeys high, with decorative
chimneys and a stone entrance portico; it was a Red Cross Hospital in WWI. It stands in some acres of
ground, whose survival as a small piece of rural backland does much to enhance the general appearance of
Lubbock Road; the access to this area is via a public footpath leading to Lower Camden. The neighbouring
properties are a modern vicarage and a double fronted house built in 1935; the latter is of some interest
because it was designed by the local architect, Mr. Love, and is a complete departure from his usual mock
Tudor designs in this area, being in plain red brick, the variation in window shapes and sizes forming the
main design interest on the front elevation.
Other Victorian buildings are Nos. 66, 68, and 70, of pleasing appearance, in fine red brick with tile hanging,
and set in large gardens. Towards the junction with Old Hill there are a number of pre- and post-WWII
detached houses of varying styles with relatively long front gardens sloping down to the road.
The last of the older properties on the NE side of the road is No. 93, a flat fronted building in cream stucco
with an unusual leaded roof. Beside it opens the long driveway to Great Ash, passing also a small cottage
and a modern house, tucked well away from view. Great Ash is a large and solidly constructed Victorian
building now converted into large and comfortable flats, enjoying the amenity of reasonably spacious
Porrington Close opens off Lubbock Road beside the Church and gives access alongside a small meadow
to Lower Camden; this open space is a considerable amenity for the residents in the area and perhaps
particularly for those living in the terraced houses in Lower Camden whose small gardens back on to it.
Porrington Close itself consists of two modern houses facing the church and a further 6 in neo-Georgian
style at the head of the Close. Between these two blocks of modern development lies Stowcroft, a large
and pleasing Victorian building in irregular stonework at ground floor level, with tile hanging above. Its
extensive grounds make an important contribution to the amenities of the occupants of built development
around it; the main entrance to the property is through a driveway off Lower Camden.
Yester Road and environs
Yester Road runs roughly parallel with the lower end of Camden Park Road, and to the west of it. Towards
its western end, the railway is carried over the road on a Victorian brick built bridge. For most of its length
there is residential development only on the west side of the road; the houses are built well above road
level, detached and a mixture of styles and ages, ranging from pre-war to 1970s/late 80s. The mostly quite
long front gardens sloping steeply down to the road provide privacy in what is now quite a busy road and
impart an air of greenery and space.
Some of the more recent development has taken place on the other side, mostly away from the road
line, notably, Greatwood, a smallish development on the SE side, which was designed in 1962 by Norman
Starratt and was a Civic Trust Award winning design. The dwellings are 3-storey town houses in dark brick.
Yester Park leads off to the west from the upper end of Yester Road through a brick and wrought iron
gateway, flanked on one side by Walden Lodge which dates from about 1850. It is a small tree-lined road
of inter-war year’s development with large houses, some in sharply contrasting styles on the lower side of
the road, set in mature landscaped gardens. The houses on the upper side are more uniform, mock Tudor
in character with generally open plan front gardens. The western end of this cul-de-sac is much enhanced
by the large wooded grounds of the Sira Institute, which extend down to Southill Road, the western
extremity of the Conservation Area in this part of Chislehurst. [Permission was granted in 2006 to allow
the development of the Sira Institute, including the building of 39 new homes in the grounds, now called
Kingswood Close. The house, Sitka, is still extant, although planning applications have been submitted to
allow the house to be converted into apartments]
Slightly further north along Yester Road, partially hidden by a high red-brick wall, is the entrance to
Oakwood Close, a small estate, whose 30 detached houses are individually designed and of high quality
with some elaborate and attractive gardens. A striking feature of the Close is Lake House and Lone Pool,
two period design houses which share a sizeable lake providing breeding grounds for ducks, geese and
moorhens. There is a small lodge dating from inter-war years at the entrance, which is flanked on either side
by a high mellow red brick wall.
This high quality residential development off Yester Road curves south west towards the back of Camden
Park Road, and several of the houses have a rear outlook over the Chislehurst Golf Course. All the houses
are individually designed and display a wide variety of styles and building materials, reflecting in part the
different periods of their construction.
Although it is a mix of inter-war and post-war development, most houses appear to have been designed
with some attention to their neighbours and to the overall effect, so that the often disparate styles do not
detract from each other. Surviving woodland trees and shrubs provide an appropriate setting for each. The
effect of spaciousness and individuality is enhanced by the varying levels of land on each side of the road,
the placing of houses well back from their front boundaries, and the open space and mature trees in the
backland beyond the houses.
Near the entrance to Beechcroft are Deanwood and Tapiola, two red brick houses with unusual steep and
complex nonopitch roofs, designed by Philips and Goddard in 1973. At the western end of the cul-de-sac
there remains the original building in whose grounds the development was permitted; this is now known
as Livingstone House but was originally a convent dating from Victorian times, in yellow brick and with a
striking lead balustraded balcony along one side. The building is secluded behind its high brick wall and
ornamental iron work gates.
Southill Road, Sylvester Avenue, South Hill
Southill Road running roughly parallel with the railway line from north to south, links Yester Road to
Elmstead Lane. It slopes steeply down to Yester Road with a mixture of pre-1918 and post WWII housing
development; the grounds of the Sira Institute extend for about half its length on the eastern side and
create a pleasing rural atmosphere at the lower end of the road. The remaining frontage on this side is
bordered by an elegant old wall, in deep red brick with decorative coping, around the grounds of Camden
Rise. Fairview, a large detached Victorian red-brick house with elegant chimney stacks has recently been
converted from flats back to its original form as a single family home, and restored to a high standard. It
now makes a positive contribution to the appearance of the area.
Sylvester Avenue is mostly post war housing but two houses adjacent to No. 2 have been locally listed; they
are modern dark brick with stained timber detailing and were designed by Geoffrey Carter 1969-73.
South Hill, at the top of which, after a variety of mostly modern detached houses, is the entrance to the Sira
Institute [now Kingswood Close], is a separate cul-de-sac parallel with Sylvester Avenue.
Willow Grove and environs
The western boundary of the Conservation Area follows the centre of the carriageway along Willow Grove,
apart from a small section at the High Street end where the boundary moves slightly further west to
encompass Furzefield Close and the back of a few houses fronting the High Street itself.
Willow Grove suffered considerable damage from flying bombs during WWII and the general impression
now of the east side, within the Conservation Area, is of a mixture of modern developments, ranging
from small enclaves of new buildings and blocks of flats to a few large detached properties still standing in
quite spacious gardens. There are plenty of trees and shrubs in the street scene as a whole, and additional
interest comes from the curve of the road and its downward slope in the direction of the High Street with
some welcome open space provided by allotments.
The first housing on the right, proceeding from Yester Road, is a detached house and two blocks of flats
(one set much further back from the road than the other), which in turn give way to Foxhome Close, a very
recent development of eight houses, some fronting Willow Grove, behind an access way parallel with the
main road, the remainder in a half circle. All are in 1980s executive style with dark bricks and upper floors
tile-hung. The residents benefit from the large open space of the Golf Course behind the development.
The mature trees surviving in the front and rear gardens (particularly those nearer to Willow Grove) are an
important feature, both in softening the development and in maintaining the generally verdant appearance
of this part of Willow Grove.
The remainder of Willow Grove on this side comprises another block of flats and some more detached
houses followed by the small section of the Golf Course and allotments, which are in the Green Belt,
abutting the road; thereafter a petrol station [now a wine shop] and finally the Old Corn Store building
which still retains its original gantry door at first floor level, and the flank wall of a High Street office
Generally opposite the site of a horticultural nursery now being developed for housing [completed shortly
after 1992] the western boundary of the Conservation Area moves slightly further west to encompass
Furzefield Close and some other properties whose frontages are mainly along the High Street.
The High Street and environs
[Mary did not provide a description of buildings on the High Street. This was to have been provided by
another Chislehurst Society member, but never materialised. The High Street is not Chislehurst’s best
feature, but we will provide a description shortly]
West of the High Street
The northern end of Prince Imperial Road opens into the High
street, almost opposite Prickend Pond which takes its name from
the original hamlet.
The High Street comprises a mix of buildings old and new; in
many cases the shop fronts are single storey, the second floor
accommodation being stepped back. A line of mature trees
along the western side creates a pleasing vista and the recent
introduction of brick paving and raised flowerbeds together with
refurbishment of some shop fronts have enhanced its appearance
considerably. A number of small passageways break up the run
of frontages and allow interesting glimpses of some of the older
attractive premises now in commercial use behind the main parade
Camden Grove opens off the west side of the High street. It is a
T-shaped road, the length of the T comprising largely industrial/
commercial premises but opening into a small street of pre-1918
terraced houses. They are in yellow stock bricks, with bays and
decorated stonework; most have been maintained or re-furbished
to a good standard and until recently the appearance of the road
was enhanced by the open space of a thriving horticultural nursery fronting on to Willow Grove but the site
is now being subjected to relatively intensive housing development.
East of the High Street
The Conservation Area around the northern end of the High Street consists mainly of small terraces of
houses clustered in the immediate vicinity of the Church. Notable among these are the Manning and
Anderdon Almshouses which were founded in 1881 by Miss Anne and Miss Maria Anderdon. These are
a row of half-timbered cottages with tile-hanging, and white plaster contrasting with dull red timbers.
The large central gable is flanked by smaller ones on each side and slightly larger end gables. This row is
numbered as 46 – 54 High Street but is effectively visible only from the churchyard, to which it forms a
Beyond the churchyard lies Alexander Road; its south side, in the Conservation Area, consists of a terrace
of simple pre-1918 flat fronted cottages leading into Green Lane. Park Road opens off the High Street just
south of the Church and provides a direct link with Green Lane. It comprises terraces of pre-1918 cottages,
originally in yellow stock bricks, but many now brightly painted. Most have tiny front gardens bounded
by a low wall at pavement edge; some have undergone structural changes, though mostly in appropriate
styles. A large vacant site resulting from the demolition of some commercial buildings on its northern side
is undergoing residential redevelopment. [This development of the grounds of the former water bottling
company is now complete as a group of town houses forming three sides of a square]
Queen’s Road turns out of Park Road parallel with the High Street. It is small road of terraced pre-1918
cottages which has undergone considerable refurbishment over the years, some good, some less in keeping.
The front gardens are tiny but mostly well-tended and the greenery reflects the more peaceful environment
of this cul-de-sac compared with the busy thoroughfare of Park Road. At the southern end of Queen’s Road
a small footway, Queen’s Passage, gives access to some commercial properties including one dating from
early Victorian times, and to the High Street alongside The Queen’s Head public house.
Green Lane/Heathfield Lane
Green Lane, the main route south from New Eltham to Chislehurst, is included in the Conservation Area
from a point just north of Park Road and becomes Heathfield Lane just before Prickend Pond. Viewed from
the northern end Green Lane/Heathfield Lane presents a mixture of older terraced houses and modern
flatted (but relatively low-rise) building, giving way to individual houses of pre- and post-war styles which
look across the Commons and pond. Most of the newer houses are set well back from the road and are
screened by mature trees and shrubs.
Although narrow, Green Lane/Heathfield Lane is now a main local through road linking the tightly knit older
development around Chislehurst High Street with the Commons area. Simple Victorian/Edwardian terraced
cottages line both sides of the northern end but beyond the entrance to Mead Road on the east side, they
give way to larger properties. Particularly noteworthy are four identical pairs of semi-detached villas in red
brick with gables and decorative plasterwork, built in 1901; their front gardens are bounded by an elegant
shoulder high red brick wall matching the houses and capped with red coping tiles. The rear garden of the
end house, (No. 20 Green Lane), is bounded by a high side wall which is an important feature of Mead Road.
A fifth pair of villas (Nos. 4-2 Green Lane) is in similar style and materials.
Beyond these houses, a high wall screens a relatively modern white house and then Mead House, an early
19th century 3-storey building with semi-basement. Its front elevation is in white stucco; the ground floor
windows are round headed and arcaded and the doorway has fluted pilaster strips. The flank elevation is
red brick. Mead Lodge, opposite Prickend Pond, is also white at ground floor level with mixed red brick
In architectural terms, however, perhaps the most important house in the road is Wallings, built by E J
May for his own occupation. Unusually for this architect’s work in Chislehurst, it is in light brown brick. The
building is two storey and L shaped. The steep tiled roof has hipped dormers, and gable facing the road
with an off-centre chimney stack. The front garden is closed with an elegant ironwork gate. The building is
regarded as a fine example of this architect’s style of domestic design. A small apartment building set well
back from the road and some modern detached houses in varying styles, partially screened by a high brick
wall and trees, complete the east side of the road before its junction with Ashfield Lane.
From the junction with Ashfield Lane, Heathfield Lane runs along the western edge of Rush Pond, across
the Commons to join Centre Common Road; the latter, bordered on both sides by the wooded Commons,
links it with the main A222/A208 junction, where stands the Chislehurst War Memorial, which is an exact
copy of those standing in the military cemeteries of France and Flanders.
From its southern end, the view along Heathfield Lane and towards the village centre is dominated by the
expanse of Prickend Pond, with its central willow trees on the islands which were added to provide nesting
ground for wildfowl, together with glimpses of the High Street and the church, but the view is somewhat
marred by the extensive dark grey mansard roof of Sainsbury’s store, so out of scale with its surroundings,
including in particular the Church tower at the lower end of the High Street.
Pond Path bordering the northern side of Prickend Pond, provides a pedestrian link between this end of
Heathfield Lane and the High street. It is fronted by pleasing Victorian dwellings set behind mature hedges
The entrance to Mead Road lies on the east side of Heathfield Lane. It is a gravel surfaced unmade road
with rough grass verges and large mature woodland trees along both sides. In architectural terms, much
of its character stems from the presence of the surviving large and gracious houses, well separated from
each other and demonstrating a broadly similar idiom, with deep pitch roof slopes, gabling and moderately
emphasized chimneys. These houses are fine examples of the development style of an important stage in
the evolution of Chislehurst during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The architects concerned, Sir Ernest
George, Ernest Newton and E J May, designed individual houses for their clients which always took account
of those already built and ultimately created a road of coherent well-spaced dwellings noteworthy both
individually and as a group.
Although Mead Road has been subjected to some inappropriate development in recent years, it is overall
still a quiet residential area with a pleasing impression of densely wooded backland and open space, the
latter attributable mainly to the playing fields of Mead Road School whose grounds, which have now been
included in the UDP as Green Belt, occupy the major part of the frontage on the north side.
On the north side of the entrance a mature hedge borders an initial stretch of the road, while on the south
side an old red brick wall about 9 feet high is continuous for a substantial distance, from the house at the
junction with Green Lane, to the commencement of modern development, where it was breached for the
entrance to two detached houses. The wall was part of the enclosure of a former large property, and is a
structure of considerable character.
Immediately following the wall is an incongruous development of a quite different order, a modern terrace
of town houses with attached flat roofed garages projecting well forward of the front building line. Beyond
these, the original quality of architecture and space returns with Randalls and Ashton, both designed by
Ernest Newton; they are large houses in red brick and tile-hanging, with distinctive chimneys and steeply
pitched tiled roofs. Randalls has two gables at the front while Ashton’s gables are at the back. These are
followed by Golden Mead, a substantial and elegant house in red brick and decorative tile-hanging, dating
from 1881, by Sir Ernest George.
On the north side, development begins, opposite the modern terraced houses, with Mead Cottage, in
rough cast with tiled gable and Fernhurst in stock brick with red brick detailing around the windows,
followed by the modern but unobtrusive High Wood in wood weatherboarding and light bricks. The next
house, Abbeymead, in red brick and tile-hanging with a side gable, was built before 1890 and was probably
designed by Ernest Newton. A modern semi-detached pair occupy the next plot, followed by White Gates,
tile hung and red brick with attractive chimneys, also ascribed to Ernest Newton pre-1890. Mead Road
Infants School in red brick and roughcast is similarly ascribed to Newton; it was formerly Penthorpe, a
The eastern end of Mead Road narrows to form a small close of houses, irregularly set to their frontages
and in varying styles and ages. Trentham, in light brick post-war style with mineralised felt roof, within
its green setting, does not clash with the older houses. The next house on the left is Sweet Meadow by
E J May, in white rendering; it demonstrates the later development of the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style. It was
designed in 1910 and is contemporary with White Riggs described below. Two relatively modern bungalows
very close together are well hidden behind trees and shrubs. White Gables, a modern house in a mix of
white and brown weatherboarding and another small bungalow complete the close.
Returning to the main part of Mead Road, the last of the older houses, White Riggs, dominates the view on
the south side; this lovely house, in white rendering and with leaded lights, was designed by E J May. The
exact date is exhibited in the lozenge in the main gate – February 21st 1910.
On the south side of Mead Road, a small tree-lined opening leads to The Meadow, a road of detached
houses in a pleasing mixture of styles and ages, all set in well spaced plots which are appropriate for the
size of house. The northern end of the road has a rough gravel surface and its houses are predominantly
1920s including at least two, St. Anne’s Cottage (1924) and Winchcombe, which were designed by E J May.
Another house of note is No. 27, in white rough cast, which dates from the 1890s. The overall appearance
of the road is enhanced by the many mature shrubs and trees in the front gardens and behind the houses
and although the carriageway itself is narrow the wide grass verges on the footways create a satisfactory
frontal separation between the houses and gardens on either side and impart a semi-rural atmosphere.
Beyond the remains of an old brick boundary wall, that once separated the two estates which provided the
land for this development, the gravel gives way to a more formal concrete surface road and most of the
houses beyond this point are post war and more uniform in style and spacing.
Heathley End, which takes its name from a now demolished house dating from the 1760s, is a small
1950s development of 5 houses tucked into backland on the east side of The Meadow. The dwellings are
on moderate sized plots, arranged in a rough circle, with mostly open plan frontages; the overall effect is
reasonably spacious in appearance.
Heathfield, a loop road on the east side of The Meadow, is also 1950s development. It is predominantly
of houses with a few single-storey dwellings. Although in a variety of styles, the dwellings have a certain
coherence of architecture and the general effect is pleasing. The very wide grass verges enhance a feeling of
Ashfield Lane and environs
Ashfield Lane branches east from Heathfield Lane just before The Meadow. At this end there is development on one side of the road only, the houses looking out on to the Commons and Rush
Pond. The houses are mostly 20th Century, a mix of pre- and post- war in varying styles, and set
back from the road in attractive gardens, whose appearance is further enhanced by a wide sweep
of grass verge between front boundaries and the footway. Several treasured and very old woodland
trees survive along this stretch. The dominant features of the view before the entrance to The Meadow are the high brick wall following the sharp bend in the road and the rural vista towards the Commons across Rush Pond with its attractive islands which were added to provide nesting ground for wildfowl. Beyond the entrance to The Meadow, there is a mix of chalet-style and dormered dwellings and a 1930s house. These are followed by Oak Cottage, a double fronted [now triple fronted after development in 2007] white rendered cottage with clay tile roof; it dates from the 18th or 19th century with bays added later, at the front. The gardens and front building line of this cottage and the following dwellings are well forward of the later developments, the grass verge dwindling here to little more than a footway. Nos. 22 and 24 are a semi-detached pair of 19th century cottages of differing design: No. 22 is roughcast and No. 24 is weather boarded, with one section of the ground floor in brick. There follow two more dwellings, one modern and one older design, before the front boundaries revert to the previous line for two modern houses in the same style as those in Roehampton Drive.
Beyond this point the open character of the road changes to fairly intensive development . On the south
side there remains a large Victorian building, Fallowfield, in red brick well screened from the road, followed
by Ashfield Place, a modern development of retirement flats, in dark bricks and wood with some cream
colour contrast. Thereafter a single storey modern dwelling is followed by Nos. 7-10 Farrington Place
(formerly known as Farrington’s Junior School); the latter, dated 1876, is in a clear red brick with attractive
detailing and striking window design. At the head of this close is another Victorian building in similar brick,
Fairlight Lodge; this would at one time have been an entrance lodge to the grounds of Fairlight, now a
residential home entered from Bromley Lane. The remainder of Farrington Place comprises five quite large
modern houses occupying most of their plot widths, with minimal front gardens, differing considerably in
style and materials from the elegant earlier development.
On the other side of Ashfield Lane, a small row of modern chalet-type houses behind a parallel access road
brings it to its junction with Perry Street.
Roehampton Drive/Liskeard Close
Roehampton Drive/Liskeard Close on the north side of Ashfield Lane are both part of the same
development of houses, all in similar style. Although there are some differences in appearance and size
between the houses, all of which are detached, the estate was designed as a whole. The front gardens are
open plan and reasonably set back from the road and the impression of open space is created by a small
green at the head of the close, which has been planted with a number of trees; these will greatly enhance
the overall development when they reach maturity.
Sturges Field branches north from Ashfield Lane at its junction with Perry Street. It comprises 20 dwellings,
mainly chalet-bungalows but including a block of 5 town houses at the entrance to the close. The overall
impression of spaciousness in the close derives from the sensible and appropriate matching of buildings to
plot size. The open plan front gardens contribute to this effect and the buildings are set well back from the
pavement. There are some mature birches in the front although most front garden trees are ornamental.
Some mature trees are visible behind dwellings so that there, is a general impression of small scale
Kemnal Road, one of the longest roads in the Conservation Area, (preserving the name of a manor of
Chislehurst), runs north from Bromley Lane, near its junction with Royal Parade, through a mixture of built
development and open space, to join the Sidcup By-Pass at the eastern extremity of the Conservation
Area. The road divides into three distinct areas with differing characteristics; most of its length is in the
Conservation Area and the northern end is within the Metropolitan Green Belt.
Thanks to the survival of a few of the original houses in their own grounds, and the spacious lay-out of the
Victorian developments, the general appearance of the road has been maintained to a reasonable extent,
with an impression of elegant homes in spacious grounds, particularly on the eastern side where the
presence of Green Belt land, with streams feeding lakes in Foxbury and Foxearth has probably served to
inhibit potential developers.
The first section extends from Bromley Lane (near the War Memorial) to the point where it crosses Ashfield
Lane, cutting in two a small segment of the Commons. Here there is a footpath on one side of the road only,
maintained by London Borough of Bromley.
The main residential section of the road stretches from Ashfield Lane to between Foxearth and South
Lodge Foxbury, with a footpath on one side only. Historically it is one of the most interesting roads in
Chislehurst and remains among the most attractive residential areas. Even in the second half of the 19th
Century Chislehurst was among the most favoured places within easy reach of London, and the coming of
the railway in 1865 accelerated the pace of development and many large but lovely houses in very spacious
grounds were constructed in Kemnal Road. Destruction of this heritage however began with World War II when the gates at both ends were removed and extensive military traffic badly damaged the road surface. At that time there were only about a dozen houses, mostly very large, whose owners had departed and were replaced until the mid-1950s by bombed-out East London refugees. Foxbury, possibly the finest private house in Chislehurst, was taken over by the Church Missionary Society and is now in the possession of the Woolwich Building Society. [but now returned to private ownership] From the mid-1950s onward
most of the ancillary buildings (stables, coach houses etc.) of the large houses were converted into private residences. The spacious grounds surrounding a number of these large Victorian properties have been developed for blocks of flats and cul-de-sac roads with many houses.
The western side skirts the modern developments of Roehampton Drive and Dickens Drive but the eastern
side is more open, with, until the late 1980s, only Marlowe Close as a relatively modern development of
family houses; immediately beyond Marlowe Close now, however, is Queenborough Gardens.
The first of the earlier houses beyond the entrance to Queenborough Gardens is Hoblands, a neo-Georgian
house designed by F. Harrild in 1925, followed by Hoblands Cottage, the former coach house to Hoblands;
both are in clear red brick and set in mature and well stocked gardens. The neighbouring properties, Nizels,
Walden and Trees are comprised in a broad, red brick, half-timbered late Victorian building, set well back in
its grounds, and presenting a steep pitch variable height roof line to the road; decorative ridge tiles and tall
chimneys add to the pleasing effect.
South Home is a modern building [demolished and replaced with Oaklands in the late 1990s] but set well
back from the road and well supplied with trees, followed by Wildwood and Inglewood (invisible down a
long drive). Kemnal Lodge itself is now flanked by modern developments on either side, while Mulbarton
Cottage, an elegant single-storey Victorian lodge with prominent rounded bays, which has been ascribed
to George Somers Leigh Clarke [wrongly], now stands in uneasy proximity to Mulbarton Court; the latter, a
block of flats, was presumably constructed on the site of the original Mulbarton Court which was bombed
in 1940. South Lodge, in the older style, graces the entrance to Foxbury, a stone-built mansion designed by
David Brandon in 1876. Foxbury is part Jacobean and part French chateau in style and was constructed for
Henry F Tiarks whose initials in pierced stone form the parapet over the porch. It is set in extensive well-wooded grounds which render it invisible from the road.
On the opposite side of the road, are The Coach House, which appears to be part of the early development
in the road, Westerland Lodge, and Westerland House, set well back from its frontage and screened by
trees [demolished in 2001 and replaced by Worsley Grange, two large blocks of apartments whose size is
sadly out of proportion to their surroundings]. Willet House was purpose-built as an old peoples’ home in
the 1960s, in the grounds of its neighbour, Selwood; the latter is a large, late-Victorian house of red brick
with tile-hanging, surmounted by a cupola, and possibly designed by George Somers Leigh Clarke. From
this point on the frontage is lined with modern development comprising blocks of flats and some detached
houses interrupted only by the entrances to Dickens Drive and Acorn Close until Foxearth, possibly by E J
May, in black and white timbering style, just before the entrance to the lane leading to the Sidcup By-Pass.
The last part of the road from Foxearth to the Sidcup By-Pass (A20) is a narrow unmade section and gated,
known as Kemnal Lane. It passes through large open fields and wooded land and apart from North Lodge
and other Foxbury Estate buildings contains only three modern buildings which, being in the Green Belt are
subject to agricultural use restrictions. North Lodge is an attractive small dwelling in red brick with stone
window surrounds, gables and tall chimneys. Nearby, various public footpaths lead off the road into the
One of the three modern houses in this area, Uplands, has been the subject of Appeals dismissed, once in
1985 for additional stabling and intensification of equestrian use and in 1988 for house extension; the 1985
Inspector remarking that the open area about Kemnal Road was an especially valuable part of the Green
Belt, not only separating the built-up areas of Chislehurst and Eltham but, at the inner edge of the Green
Belt, being the first tract of rural landscape on leaving London in a south-easterly direction. Also visible from
this part of the road is a large concrete blockhouse two storeys above ground and two below; it was set up
as a regional centre during WWII [The blockhouse was converted into The Glass House, a house of unusual
glass design in 1999]. The site of Kemnal Manor itself contains the remains of once magnificent grounds
with lakes and streams.
Just beyond the junction with Ashfield Lane, Marlowe Close opens off the east side of Kemnal Road. This
development, dating from the late 1950s, is a reflection of the more sensitive standards of new building
that applied in that period. The houses are all detached and there are several variations in the style; the
front gardens are of generous size and although effectively open plan, the vista is broken attractively
by trees and bushes, while mature trees are also visible in the background of the houses on the south
side. At the head of the Close are two houses set irregularly and facing the side garden of another on the
opposite side. This is an attractive feature and the hedges and trees along the side boundary break up the
development to create a spacious feeling.
Almost immediately beyond Marlowe Close is the gated entrance to Queenborough Gardens, comprising
very large Executive style houses tightly arranged in a semi-circle.
Dickens Drive is the entrance and central road of a modern estate opening off the west side of Kemnal
Road, comprising in addition Pickwick Way, Copperfield Way, and Dorrit Way. The houses are all of the
same basic design and neo-Georgian style. It is rather more spacious than some of this type, with open
plan front gardens stocked with ornamental trees. A view of Selwood from Dorrit Way adds an element of
character to the development.
Mapledene, another enclave on the Western side of Kemnal Road, is entirely comprised of modern flats.
The next turning, Acorn Close, is another modern estate of detached houses on small plots; there are
some minor variations in the design features but the overall impression is one of uniformity. The general
appearance is, however, much enhanced by the fact that the houses are on one side of the road only and
face the wooded grounds of a property fronting Kemnal Road.