63 High Street, Chislehurst Doors

63, High Street / 1, Willow Grove – formerly Santander Bank / Chislehurst Doors chislehurstdoors.co.uk

63 High Street was originally a little shop on the corner of Willow Grove, set well back from the road with a barn and hayloft to the rear. This belonged to Mr Wilson, who ran a Corn Chandlers business from it.

We know of William Wilson, a Miller and Corn Dealer, working from here around 1891, and he placed the following beautifully worded advertisement:
“William Wilson, family miller and corn chandler, desires gratefully to acknowledge the long acquaintance of patronage with which he has been favoured, and whilst respectfully soliciting the renewal of same, assures his patrons that their commands will always receive his careful and constant attention. Genuine country household flour, hay, straw, clover etc.”

Clarence Wilson lived in the little cottage in 1916-1933, and Wilson Thomas & Co. was the operating company of the Corn Chandlers.
During the war, the business provided the feed for all the local chickens that people were encouraged to own to provide essential fresh eggs, and the building would have looked much as it does now, with the access to the hayloft above.
When the Maintenance Garage (now Majestic Wines) was built in the 1970s, the corn merchants building became part of it. However, it has operated as Chislehurst Doors for over seventeen years.
The little cottage where Mr Wilson lived was demolished and the present building on its site was moved into by Martins Bank in the late 1930’s from No: 57 High Street, as they needed bigger premises. See www.martinsbank.co.uk
On the 15 December1969 it became a branch of Barclays bank, then Abbey National, and finally Santander Bank before sadly closing on 12 October 2017. Today the building remains empty