Q. As a student at Avery Hill College, I was resident at Cookham Dene House from 1972-6 when it was in good condition, surrounded on three sides by a substantial garden of several acres. The house and lodge were the last of three built in Manor Park by Philip, Maurice and, perhaps, Sir Aston Webb in 1883. The College apparently acquired the house for the sum of about £8,000.00 in 1948. Its plans are lodged at the British Museum and it was listed Grade II. It was sold by the college to the then Milk Marketing Board and re-christened Cookham Dene Manor (which is the name that appears on the BM plans). I am concerned, however that, though it appears on your Website among the listed buildings, on maps there appears to be a ‘Cookham Dene Close’ with no adjacent church or cathedral.
Can it have been replaced by more ‘rancho’-style bungalows or has it been preserved. I am well aware that local authorities can sometimes be negligent in respect of planning applications and it would be a pity if this highly characteristic Webb house had been removed! I would be grateful if you could let me know about this, when convenient. If the house is still there, are there photographs available on the Web?
Hoping for your assistance, Nick Gunning
We believe that the house was designed by Sir Aston Webb around 1882 for his brother Edward (one of the authors of The History of Chislehurst). It still stands, and the land to the east is still open grounds. The land to the west is less so. Cookham Dene Close leads from Manor Park to the house. The Coach House is the first house in the Close, but a small number of 'executive' style houses have been built on the other side of the Close. They are reasonably inconspicuous, as you can see from the attached photograph, (which shows the Coach House to the left, and Cookham Dene in the centre, though at a distance). A copy of a drawing of the house from The Building News in 1882 is reproduced below.