Stop 24: Ashfield Lane

Webster's Cottages
Websters Cottages, facing the commons
Extended, but recognisable today

Ashfield lane skirts the northern edge of Chislehurst Commons, connecting Chislehurst High Street with the Sidcup Road.

Farrington Place, on the left, would orginally have been part of the buildings around Shepherds Green. It was rebuilt after a fire in the 1960s. Fallowfield, further on the left, is now a care home.

On the junction with Kemnal Road was Webster's Pond, now filled in. Arthur Battle recounts in his book Edwardian Chislehurst how he used to drive his horse into Webster's Pond to cool off during his delivery round. Further to the right was Woodlands, the home of the Webster family, and a group of cottages further west were originally called Webster's Cottages (in the photographs above).

Oak Cottage and Websters Cottages (see above) are the oldest houses on Ashfield Lane. The rural nature of Ashfield Lane was changed forever after developments in the 1950s when Marlowe Close, The Meadow, and, later, Roehampton Drive were developed, and other houses built opposite Rush Pond, which lies at the western end of Ashfield Lane. Ashfield Lane itself has become a cut-through for traffic from the Sidcup Road, and can be busy (and dangerously fast) especially at peak times.

Websters Cottages were created from a house occupied by a Mr Ringer, a suspected smuggler. His fine celery beds were reputed to be the hiding place for his contraband gin. Oak Cottage (see image below) was built in Ringer's timber yard before his house was converted into three cottages. (Webb's History, p. 250).
Proceed westwards on Ashfield Lane. Here you can take a detour down Kemnal Road to Foxbury, one of the finest houses in Chislehurst - though not easy to see - and spring bluebells at the site of Kemnal Manor.
The main route continues westwards until it reaches Rush Pond on your left, with the open commons in front of you, and Prickend Pond ahead and to the right.

Photo supplied by the current residents of Oak Cottage