Tree

The Chislehurst Society Local History Group

Chislehurst has a long and interesting history, with records stretching back over a thousand years. There is a wealth of information about Chislehurst, its people, buildings and environment, with plenty already uncovered, and much more to be found.

The Society's History Group will publish its findings here and in our regular publications. We also have over 1,000 images of Chislehurst in the Society's Ribbon Collection, which can be accessed here...

A number of talks are available for groups who want to hear about Chislehurst and its heritage. For more information here...

The image above is of some of the group on an outing to St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough.

Our current and recent projects include the following:

A study of local shopkeeper Felix White by Clare Sands.
We are very pleased that Michael Sim has shared this find with us. For closer inspection you can see this picture at Michael's antique shop on Royal Parade. More.

Guests at the book launch of 'Secret Chislehurst' revealed this beautiful little jewellery box.  It was inscribed as a gift from Empress Eugenie in 1872, the time when she lived in Chislehurst.

One of the teachers at Babington House School has started to compile the history of Babington House, founded in 1887 by Madam Rossel. See the first instalment here...

Patricia Gibson has prepared a note on the histor of The Gorse, a house right at the end of Manor Park, which was used as a VAD Hospital in the Great War. You can read her note here...
Agnes Tiarks lived in Chislehurst, at Foxbury, Kemnal Road, from 1877 until her death in 1923. She kept a diary throughout that time, including the years of the Great War, in which she noted the dramatic changes the war brought to everyday life. Download a booklet about Agnes' diary entries here...
Society member, road steward and lifelong resident of Chislehurst, Ken Speers, has let us have some photographs and documents from the time he was a member of Anne Murray's choir at St Nicholas in the 1940s. More...
Joanna Friel prepared and delivered a fascinating illustrated talk on 13 October 2014 on the role played by women in Chislehurst during the Great War at the were many Red Cross hospitals in Chislehurst that catered for wounded soldiers.

A documentary about the use of Chislehurst Caves to store ammunition during WWI, Tinderbox Town, made by the History Group, partly funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, was shown on 11 October 2014, and will be screened over the next twelve months. More...

Inglewood House and the De Quincey family who lived there. Read Alan and Catherine's enthralling account here...

During their research Alan and Catherine discovered that a name had been omitted from the Chislehurst War Memorial. More here...

Heritage Lottery funded project around the 1893 map of the Camden Park Estate, including restoration of the map. Read the enthralling journey starting here... and see this video featuring Dave Miller who owned the indenture here... Without Dave Miller contacting us none of this would have happened.
The Heritage Lotter fund project has also enabled a presentation of residents who lived within the area shown on the restored map. More information and dates here...
Frederick Simms, engineer, inventor and motor car pioneer. The founder of the RAC in 1897. Read about him here...
Cataloguing information about Chislehurst-based architects and their drawings. A summary can be found here... The drawing shown here is of an Ernest Newton house in Camden Park Road.
Collection and presentation of Chislehurst Chillers, local horrible histories for primary-aged children. Joanna Friel explains how this macabre event unfolded here... You can read the two stories, Horrid Murder and Double Murder, and also read about one of the victim's ancestors who visited Chislehurst to see the site of her Great-great-great grandfather's murder here...
The work of Ernest Newton and William Morris at Bullers Wood. More here...
Reproduction of articles from old magazines. We found an interesting article on the history of Chislehurst Police, in Bygone Kent (vol 15;2) from 1994. We have reproduced it here. Because police support was at one time provided from Mottingham, the police were known locally as the Sheriffs of Mottingham!
Restoration of an old panel door painted by Mr Ledner, a 19thC. Chislehurst artist/decorator
Two High Street Heritage Trails, including one for schoolchildren, were produced in Spring of 2014.
Researches into local school log books. A History of Mead Road School was produced by Una White and Joanna Friel from records kept at the school
Mrs Marion Heselden has updated the story of the Western Motor Works, established by the son of the Lord of the Manor, and the birthday present that started it all. More...

The Chislehurst Wall of Remembrance created at Sainsburys in August 2014.

Read Jenny Allen's thoughts on the Wall, here... and why he pinned her father's photograph there.

Future events include research into the West Kent Cricket Club archives and a restoration project for the site of the iconic water tower. 

 

Snippets:

Some materials the group is currently working on

In the log books of St Nicholas Primary School we discovered a former pupil who lost his life on the Titanic. His name was Owen George Allum. He was 17, 'a scholar here for some years', the headmaster writes, 'the children are bringing their pence to make a small donation to the Lord Mayor's Fund. Owen was a passenger on the Titanic and is not among the saved'. Owen had lived at 1 Calderwood Cottages, Holbrook Lane. His body was recovered and is buried in Cornwall where his family came from. He was a gardener, travelling to see his father in New York. In 3rd Class, he didn't stand a chance.

A picture of Lammas, Chislehurst home of Sir John Lubbock, from his daughter's photograph album

A recent eBay purchase addressed to Miss Heather Firbank at Coopers Mansion House, the subject of our first members talk of 2014 (March 6th)

A new old image of life in Chislehurst.

The Empire Banana Company, imported bananas to its distribution centre in Perry Street, in what was originally Lady Sydney's School. Here the company van is seen delivering supplies to shops at the Red Hill end of Chislehurst High Street. Perry Street takes its name from nearby pear orchards, so quite a fruit cocktail is served up here.

A rare image of Newlands, the Chislehurst home of the Chubb family, great benefactors to the Methodist Church, Farringtons School and more besides. The house stood on Prince Imperial Road.

Yet another newly acquired image, this one from 1936 of the inside of the Western Motor Works on the corner of Beaverwood Road and Perry Street in Chislehurst. See the article on the works here...