Thames Tributary Ravensbourne - The Quaggy - Chislehurst Station

Thames Tributary Ravensbourne
The Kydbrooke/Quaggy flows north west towards the Ravensbourne. It runs mainly under the railway
TQ 43152 69653

Hilly area to the west of Chiselhurst with the remains of several underground chalk quarries and mines with posh houses built on top. Big impressive station.

Post to the west Bickley

Post to the north Chiselhurst Yester Road

Barfield Road
Railway bridge 1865

Caveside Close
Chalkpit Wood. The area was known as Well Wood in 17th
Chiselhurst caves. 17th chalk workings claimed to be a Roman chalk mine - no Druids they but might be medieval. The mine consists of three separate sets of galleries known as the inner. The Outer Series is the oldest, unstable and the smallest. It probably closed around 1800. The Inner Series has extensive galleries and in 1840 supplied five limekilns. There was severe flooding in the 1850s. George Bascombe produced bricks, pot lime and chalk here. The mines used horses and there are ruts in the floor caused by barrows. mining ceased around 1866. Bascombe adapted part of it to grow celery and sunk a well. Around 1900 the owner of the Bickley Arms installed electric lamps. Mr Nichols Vice-President of the British Archaeological Association. Thought the tunnels were Roman, Saxon and Druid. There was correspondence in the newspapers and heated debates. Woolwich Arsenal used it from October 1914 and the Decauvill Tramway was laid down to transport explosives. The wooden hut now used as the office dates from then. In 1920 there was an attempt to grow mushrooms. During the Second World War it became the largest air raid shelter in Greater London with up to 8,000 people using it at 1d per night. A new ventilation shaft was sunk with powerful fans. New tunnels became exits, toilets, washrooms, canteens and a first aid post. An underground cinema was opened and shelterers who worked for the local electricity company got a transformer and cable and about 100 wooden seats from ex Hyde Park. There was also an underground chapel. There are other uninvestigated galleries and mines in the area. But it has for many years been a tourist attraction.
Bickley Arms also called Ye Olde Stationmaster

Caveside Close
Maisonette, a post-war development of maisonettes, behind a screen of trees

Cricket Ground Road
An unmade track under the control of the Chislehurst & St Paul’s Cray
Commons Conservators.
Horse trough, at the junction used as a flower bed
Cricket Ground. Protected by Act of Parliament with statutory rights for the West Kent Cricket Club, since 1822. Used as a landing strip by Malcolm Campbell when he visited his parents in WWI

Gosshill Road
Kyd Brook flows under it
Pond Wood
Chatham House, mid-Victorian building

Islehurst Close
7 houses built late 1960s on the wooded site of Oakleigh,
Oakleigh Lodge Victorian
Oakleigh Cottage. Victorian

Gosshill Road
Kyd Brook is near it. End of the road south leads to a dead end and a footbridge

Lubbock Road
Raggleswood, a wood whose name is now preserved in a modern development .once covered this area.
Christ Church ragstone 1871-2 by Habershon and Pite. It has a large tower. Built for the ordinary Anglican services.
Stowcroft. A large Victorian building in irregular stonework at ground floor level, with tile hanging above. Extensive grounds
34 Bishopsdown brick with black brick decoration
44 Seven Trees a two and three-storey building red brick, with some carved stonework and coloured tiles above the windows. Building with a rear view from Porrington Close; offices.
77 Granite Lodge entire front made of hexagonal medallions of granite and flint chips outlined in mortar and offset by white decorative stonework around the tall sash window
54/54a Abbey Lodge/Abbeyfield red brick late 19th residence set in attractive frontage woodland grounds. Decorative chimneys and a stone entrance portico; it was a Red Cross Hospital in WWI.
Modern vicarage
House built in 1935; designed by local architect, Mr. Love, in plain red brick
93, a flat fronted building in cream stucco with leaded roof.

Greatash Hill. Driveway to Great Ash,
Great Ash is a large and solidly constructed Victorian building now flats,

Mill Place
Windmill which had been built near the cricket ground in 1796 but was destroyed in 1868 by a local developer.
St. John the Baptist. In other use. 1886 by Crutchloe. No longer used as a church
Old Hill Cottage in yellow stock brick, marks the entrance to a terrace of tiny cottages
Camden Terrace, 1889. a development of small 2- and 3-storey houses facing each other across small gardens
Quince Cottage
Mill House,
Old Forge
3 and 4 Camden Cottages,
Rambler's Rest. pub white weather-boarded public house set within the Commons and dating from 1684;

Norlands Crescent
Part of the Norlands Estate
9 Columcille. Small garden using recycled materials. There is also a Japanese sanctuary influenced by Zen tradition, with a water feature and shed used as a tea house.

Oakleigh Park Avenue
Cul-de-sac cut in a steep valley
11 individual houses built in the 1930s, and 1950s.
Brick retaining wall of varying height

Old Hill
Was also called Old Station Hill. Tree-covered slopes of the Kydd Brook. Galleries in the chalk under the road used as air raid shelters
Camden Place Club House
1 Imperial Arms
Two cottages used as police station, still called Old Court House
Depression described as a dene hole.
Wooded area which is above the Chiselhurst caves and which contains a shaft
Camden Corner
Rookery Drive, the next opening on the NW side leads to two separated houses

Close of detached houses built on the site of a house of that name.

Pond Wood
Path from Gosshill Road and the Kyd Brook

Round wood

Goss Hill Wood

Station Approach.
Chiselhurst Station. 1st July 1865 Opened as ‘Chiselhurst and Bickley Park’. Between St.Mary Cray and also Petts Wood and Elmstead Woods on South Eastern Trains. On the South Eastern Railway direct line on new main line and it was often the last stop on the line to Dover. In 1868 it was resited and the new station was opened on a different site when the cut-off to Tonbridge Junction for the loop line leading to the L. C. & D. main line was built. 1900 rebuilt .1904, It is built in Italianate red brick. The line was quadrupled in 1900 4 and there is an earthworks tunnel. The Junction for the loop line leading to the L. C. & D. main line was added in 1904,
Edward VII post box built into the station wall
Ornamental bollards
Building with a timber frame and pierced barge-boards. Probably a coal order office
Greenbank Lodge, flats. In building them the entire woodland on which they stand was destroyed.

Summer Hill
Built as alternative to Old Hill in 19th .
Water tower once stood at the top near Ravenshill was built as a landmark for the Bickley Estate. Two arches straddled the road Demolished 1963.
Cromlix Lodge, in red-brick, dating from 1865. Down a driveway
Ravenshill Lodge remain from the original house. mid-Victorian painted brick
Heatherbank Hotel site – leading to associated roads Heatherbank, Thistlemead, Longmead, Lindenfield and Roundwood. 40 houses built in 1972 on the site of the Hotel
Ravenshill Stables, remain from the original house. stock brick with a clock.
Avalon; a mansion built in the 1870’s in brick with stone dressings plus stone eagles. owned by the Salvation Army.
Heath Cottages
Summerhill Villas Victorian and set well back from the road
Bank House. A 3-storey half-timbered building in black and white; previously Martin’s Bank with a Grasshopper emblem. Built 1870s, perhaps by Ernest Newton
House on the site of the Chislehurst reservoir, 1901, Kent Water Co., 450,000 gall, 313' above OD

Susan Wood
Site which had lime kilns, brick kilns and chalk pit associated with the chalk mine.
Remaining one of two stone follies from the 1800s when the it was part of the property of Mr Baskcomb

Tudor Close
V2 26th March 1945. Several houses destroyed. Damage to the 'Bickley Arms', Bickley Hall School, Chislehurst Station, and Christ Church. House caught fire several hours later. Two persons killed in Tudor Close and Little Ridge. 8 injured.

Watts Lane
The Briars
Briars Place, 18th red brick painted white and with a 19th wing. wall in red brick wall also 18th. Listed
Priestfield, house behind named for the field on which these properties were built.
The Orchard, modern

Woodclyffe Drive
Town house estate formerly the site of a private hotel bombed in WWII. Houses early 1970s

Woodlands Road
Kyd Brook is under it

Bickley Arms. Web site
Bygone Kent
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Chiselhurst Caves. Web site
Christ Church. Web site
Dennington. Red Alert
KCC. History of Kent County Council
London Borough of Bromley. Web site
Penguin Kent
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Pevsner and Cherry. West Kent
Ramblers Rest. Web site


Anonymous said…
This post brought back many memories of the area surrounding Chislehurst Station. I lived at Stowcroft (mentioned in your post) and I can still recall the sound of the bulldozers and chainsaws as the woodland was cleared to build new houses in Porrington Close, adjacent to Christchurch. Prior to that, from our rear garden we had direct access to the woodland and Kyd Brook, where we used to play.

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