Stop 32: Lubbock Road

Christchurch, with its original spire
Largely hidden from view, and now with a tower

Lubbock Road was named, in 1865, after a former resident, Sir John Lubbock, a Victorian banker and politician who was responsible for the Bank Holidays Act of 1871 amongst other achievements.

Christ Church was built on four acres of land donated by Nathaniel Strode of Camden Park; it was set up by a group of evangelical churchmen as a 'low' church as opposed to the ritual high church of St Nicholas. The foundation stone was laid on 10th June 1871 by Lord Sydney (deputising for his wife) and the whole work was completed in little more than a year. Originally the church was built with a spire but due to the popularity of the church the need for expansion resulted in the existing tower being built in 1879.

At the junction of Lubbock Road with Old Hill there is a memorial seat to Rev and Mrs. I.E. Davidson. This remarkable couple rescued 68 Jewish children from Central Europe in 1938. The children were initially cared for in the parish rooms of Christchurch, then they moved into a larger house next door, which can still be seen today, Seven Trees, number 44. Later still another house in the road became available, Lamas, the former home of Sir John Lubbock, which was renamed by the Barbican Mission for the Jews, Mount Zion.

Christ Church Parish rooms accommodated some of the first Belgian casualties to arrive from the front in October 1914, and Abbey Lodge, the large red brick house at number 34 Lubbock Road (now named Chislehurst Hall), became a Red Cross VAD hospital for the duration of the Great War.
Turn right into Old Hill, and then follow the signs on the left into Chislehurst Caves

An aerial view from 1935 (courtesy of Rev Michael Adams of Christchurch) showing the southern end of Lubbock Road with Christchurch to the bottom left of the photograph. Camden Place is at the top of the picture, and Old Hill runs from the bottom left. You can see that the road between the Cricket Ground and Mill Place (now Bromley Road) is still a green lane in 1935.