Shortlands

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Bromley Road

Shortlands House was partly on the Cator Estate and partly on the Gwydir Estate; George Grote was born there in 1794, and he lived at Beckenham until his marriage to Miss Lewin in 1820. His literary work on the history of Greece is known and quoted the world over. He was M.P. for the City of London in 1833, and introduced the Ballot Bill in Parliament that year, and lived to see it become an Act of Parliament. He was offered a Peerage, which he refused, but when he died on 18th June 1871 the Country paid the highest honour it could give a great man, and he was buried in Poets Corner of Westminster Abbey. After the Grotes came the Wilkinson family. This was the residence of W.A. Wilkinson, who was M.P. for Lambeth and Chairman of the Metropolitan Railway, and it was his family who were reputed to be the possessors of Oliver Cromwell's skull. About 1863 the property was divided into building plots for sale, and this was the first sale in London of lands with a Registered Indefeasible title under the Land Register Act of 1862, and at the auction land sold for about £500 per acre, which was quite a high price for those days. The grounds covered about 136 acres. Earlier this century, after being used as a private residence, the premises were used as an hotel, and since 1949 have been used for the Bishop Challenor Catholic School.

The Oakery, at the top of Bromley Road hill, was the residence of William Smith in 1783, and afterwards of Edmund King, the historian, who died there in 1806, aged 72 years. In 1798 there is an entry of a Marriage Solemnisation there by special licence. After Edmund King, T.P. Courtnay lived there; he was a solicitor of Lincoln's Inn Fields and an M.P. In the local baptismal register of 1815 Mr. King is described as of Clay Hill, the original name for the hill between the present Bromley Road and Oakwood Avenue. A sale plan of 1837 shows the property divided into three plots, on which stood three houses. The Oakery, Oakery Cottage and a house on the corner of Scotts Lane and Bromley Road. Robert Gibson purchased The Oakery and the house nearby, while the Cators purchased Oakery Cottage, which stood at the junction of Bromley Road and Oakwood Avenue (at one time known as Green Lane) where now is the block of flats Oakwood Court. The Oakery passed to Dr. J. Scott, of Bromley, and later his son-in-law demolished the old house and built Oakwood House in 1847. The house subsequently went to Francis Camp and on his death in 1870 together with Oakery Cottage, was purchased by C.W. Moore. Later Oakery Cottage was used as the Vicarage for St. Barnabas Church in Oakhill Road. During the first world war Oakwood House was used for military headquarters for Army lorries and the house was pulled down about 1930 when Ashmere Avenue was formed.

Church Road

St Mary, 1953-5 by Ansell & Bailey. sculpture on the front of the Flight into Egypt, by John S Heaping. The foundation stone was laid on 5 October 1867 and the church opened in July 1868. In 1870 Shortlands was formed into an ecclesiastical district, out of the mother church, and the first part of the church was consecrated on 21 December of that year. In 1888 the enlarged building was consecrated, together with the organ. The church and lych-gate were entirely destroyed during World War Two, and the present church was consecrated in 1955

20 home of Alexander Muirhead 1848-1920. Muirhead, born in London, invented what was to become the basis of the K telephone industry; the duplex cable which allowed the sending of more than one message in different directions simultaneously along the same cable. This was in 1875 Thereafter he established a factory, close to where he lived, for the manufacture of scientific and electrical instruments. In 1904 he was made a Fellow  of the Royal Society and continued to live here until his death. Plaque erected 1981.

War memorial. A bomb, which destroyed the nearby church, also slightly damaged this Portland stone cross at the junction of Kingswood Road and Church Road. The memorial was unveiled in 1921

Hayes lane

Street Farm on Wickham Road corner 60-acre farm.

Hillside Avenue

 16/3,

Malmains Way

St.Peter's Hall built in 1954 to serve that part of the Parish.

Shortlands Road

1860s gas lamp sewer vent pipe, cast iron

114 for Mrs Craik the novelist was built in 1868-9 by Norman Shaw as Corner House, and extended behind in 1872. It is a  very nice example of his early tile-hung style, Gothic only in its two-centred entrance arch - though Mrs Craik's reaction was, 'We shall be Gothic to within an inch of our lives.' The red brick walls with red tile-hanging above, the steep roofs and dominant chimneystacks are all meant to suggest warmth and homeliness; and a visitor to the newly-completed house reported glowing colours inside too, dull red walls and blue-grey paint in the entrance hall, scarlet serge curtains, and all the window-seats cushioned in scarlet.

Queen Anne Avenue

Tootswood Road

Wartime graffiti

Wickham Way

Lampposts with Japanese influence like the Chinese garage

 


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