I lived in the “Garage Flat” attached to Elmstead Glade in Walden Road between the years 1949 – 1952. By then the whole house had been converted into a number of flats but other parts of the house had fallen into disrepair and were uninhabitable. I remember the large gardens in which there was an outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts – also in a state of disrepair.
Prior to 1948 I had spent the first year of my life living in the thatched cottage (possibly two semi-detached dwellings at that time) in Perry Street and my father worked at the farm next to it.
I would be very grateful if anyone in your society could help me with any information about either of the two houses mentioned. I particularly would like to know whether a photo exists of Elmstead Glade (hopefully including the garage my family lived in).
Elmstead Glade was designed in 1886 by a well-known architect, Ernest Newton. Many of his houses still survive in Chislehurst, and in Bickley, where he lived. It was demolished, as were many other similar houses, in the post-war regeneration period. The only remnant of the original house is its former lodge, still standing in Walden Road (a photograph of the lodge is shown above). This was designed by Frank Atkinson in neo-Georgian style in 1910. I do not know of any photographs of the house, but it may be worth applying to the Royal Institute of British Architects, who have extensive archives. For example, Victorian journals, such as The Builder, regularly featured illustrations, as line drawings, of new houses by well-known architects. One problem with these is that specific locations within an area are rarely given, and names of houses can change. So ‘a new house in Chislehurst by Ernest Newton’ may be all that we are told! I have access to a modern thesis about Newton’s work, but it relates only to what is still standing, or to his really famous houses.
The Thatched Cottage in Perry Street was originally built, probably in the early 19th century, as farm workers cottages relating to Butts Farm farther along Perry Street. The farmhouse became a gentleman’s residence renamed Frogpool, and survives as a saddlery and riding stables, and the thatched cottages have also been in private hands for many years. Farming in the immediate neighbourhood ceased soon after the Second World War. The two buildings are now separated from each other by Thompsons’ Nurseries, and because of modern extensive alterations to the junction of Perry Street with the A20 the thatched cottages are below road level and rather hidden from view by hedges and fences.
The Thatched Cottage on Perry Street