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Post to the west Mottingham Lane
An attractive, winding road with many fine trees, and a number large late
19th century detached houses, interspersed with modern houses and blocks of
flats. The road was constructed after
the opening of Mottingham Station in 1866; followed the line of an old track,
which led to Chapel Farm in Mottingham.
The west side was developed in the 1870s, the east side mainly in the
Eltham Lodge. classical mansion built 1664. The palace lands were leased by Charles II to Sir John Shaw,
who built Eltham Lodge for himself in the middle of the former Great Park. Sir John Shaw, a wealthy
vintner and banker. Evelyn visited him at the Lodge, though his opinion of the
house was not high. Pepys called
him 'a miracle of a man' and 'a very grave and fine gentleman'. Shaw leased the
Eltham estate from the Crown in 1663, left the palace site to be used as farm
buildings, and built himself this new house. May belonged, with Roger North, Sir Roger Pratt, and William Samwell, to
the group of gentlemen architects patronized by the court and its circle after
the Restoration. Later he was one of the surveyors responsible for the
government's negotiations with the City of London after the Fire. Eltham Lodge
is one of his first known works. The interior was extensively refurbished in the mid 18th century. From 1840 to 1889, the tenant was Anne Wood,
aunt of Charles Stewart Pamell's mistress Kitty O'Shea. It was due to Mrs.
Wood's objections that the first railway line to Eltham was in 1866 routed to
the south of Great Park. Since 1923, it
has been the clubhouse of the Royal Blackheath Golf Club, though it remains on
Crown land. The Club (which claims to be
the world's oldest golf club) moved here from Blackheath in 1923 to merge with
the Eltham Golf Club, which had occupied the grounds since 1892. It is a compact
rectangular block, two storeys with basement and dormers, red brick with stone
dressings. The front has slim giant pilasters and a pediment with garlands and
coat of arms. Inside is Main Staircase, the Secretary's Office, and
the O'Shea Room. the
Anteroomleads to the garden porch. The Nineteenth
Hole, a small bar, with a wooden chimneypiece. Ladies Lounge,
with an elegant chimneypiece and intricate plasterwork on the ceiling. Bar,
with an extraordinary chimneypiece of white and pink Carrara marble and carved rams on either side of a carved panel showing cherubs shearing a
sheep. Main Staircase has the original woodwork with pine panels of foliage and Cherubs, and posts topped by
floral urns. portraits of
Sir John Shaw and family. Billiard Room, with a marble chimneypiece the Captain's Room, with an Wedgwood style plasterwork ceiling. Dining Room, with carved plasterwork. O'Shea
Room. probably decorated
c1750. museum in the attic, containing 18th and 19th
century golf clubs, golfing trophies etc, as well as the original lease of the
The golf course and the grounds. woodland with a large pond. In
the north-east of the grounds is a smaller pond, surrounded by willow trees-,
which has a large population of great crested newts. .
There are sections of brick wall, largely 17th century, both to the east
and to the west of the house. Nearer to the Tarn is a selection of wet land
Cottage, of 17th century structure
but substantially altered and extended in the early 19th century;
Wooden garden pavilion, early 19th century.
Tavern. pub with unusual
plastered walls and ceiling in Saloon bar. Live music
The section of this street from Tilt Yard Approach south to the moat formed
the Green Court of Eltham Palace, and retains something of its atmosphere. The only remains of the Court now are the Lord
Chancellor's Lodgings. Where medieval
32/32a behind the early 18th century frontage is the Tudor timber structure
of the buttery, a service building to the Lodgings.
32-38 Lord Chancellors Lodgings.
Tudor, buildings which formed part of the Green Courtyard,
which overlooked the palace itself. converted to three houses.
It preserves early 16th century timber framing with a continuous
overhang on the exterior; there are later brick extensions at the rear.
38 impressive projecting house, the Great Chamber.
Bramber House. Post war is built on
the sites of other Tudor service buildings.
Chaundrye Close: a group cl960 further north in Court Yard going towards
Wythfield Road was built on the site of the Outer Courtyard. Tudor walls Chancery Close where candles were
Old walling on both sides of the road, contributing to the atmosphere, in
lengthy stretches. The date of these
walls is uncertain; they may have been erected here in the 18th century, though
parts of the brickwork may be older.
Orchard House. Post war, built on
the sites of other Tudor service buildings.
The Gatehouse the large house with half-timbered gables at the junction
with Tilt Yard Approach is located alongside the site of the original gatehouse
to the Green Court. It was built in
1914; note the Tudor rose and portcullis designs on the porch.
United Reform Church 1936.
round the Gate House
Old palace at the end
of an unobtrusive little lane. The
medieval remains of the great palace buildings.
15th century bridge, beneath which swans continue to paddle . Four Gothic
arches, date from 14th when the previous bridge was improved. From here there is an view of moat,
and of the north range of the moat wall, which is stone of c 1315 in the low
parts and brick of the late 15th century above; large irregular
bastion at north-west corner, and the smaller projecting bastion at the north-east
corner of the bridge. A lion and unicorn
from the Houses of Parliament were incorporated into the wall in the 1930s.
Fragment of the Tudor gatehouse.
The Great Hall built by Edward IV c1480. stone-faced exterior of the north wall
with high-placed windows with grotesque heads, and the bay at the end with double rows of
windows. Edward IV's emblem
'rose en soleil' above the entrance archway. The original brick construction of the Great
Hall can be seen on the west above the 1936 single storey extension. At the west end of the extensions
a modem bronze statue of Jason by Alfred Hardiman. one of the
finest medieval hall interiors in the country, with a hammer
beam roof. The entrance door into screens passage, with two adjacent doorways, which used
to lead into the old kitchen, and the hall to the right. The hall with features remaining from the original building though
mainly restored, and additions by Courtauld made during the 1930s. Original features include: the long hammer
beam roof made of chestnut wood, with elaborate pendants; the screen at the
east end; the central louvre, now closed up (originally for a fire below); and stone fan vaulting over the bay windows, and the
doorways in the bays which used to lead into the Royal Apartments. minstrels gallery , canopied reredos , curtains and the stained glass all
added as part of the 1930s restoration, and the carved 18th century
furniture then too. Stark stone image of Edward IV's celebrated
Great Hall, standing virtually unaltered.
Hammer beam roof is the third largest in the country after Westminster and
Excavations area. The stone remains
of the excavations are 14th century and the brick remains late 15th or early
Tudor vaulted passage leading down to the moat
Long stretch of foundations of the Royal Apartments, which may have
been built by Henry Vlll in the mid 1520s; they were originally as high as the
Great Hall. Footings of bay windows are
clearly visible, also the corridor between the windows and the moat wall.
Lower part of a stonewall with buttresses c1300, and beyond a later flight
of steps. remains of some underground passages and chambers. a good
view of the moat, and of part of the west moat wall with its series of late
15th century brick buttress-like bays.
Marble wellhead on the lawn is 18th century Italian, imported
in the 1930s. The well itself is much
older, as are the underground passages leading from the well to the moat wall.
Fragmentary section of the cloister of the Great Court, the inner wall of
stone and the outer wall of brick.
Octagonal corner turret - remains of three sides of part of Bishop Bek's
Upper part of the Tudor north moat wall, stretching as far as the bridge;
brick, with tiny round-headed openings.
large projecting bastion at the northwest comer. In 1976/8 an undercroft and a section of
tiled pavement from the original manor 'house c1300, and the foundations of
Henry VIII's chapel were excavated, but these are now hidden beneath the
lawn. The excavations also found traces
of 11th buildings, as well as Roman roof tiles and Saxon pottery.
Foundations of the
Royal Palace. Almost the complete moat
walls remain, dating back to the early 14th century;
Remains of three sides of an octagonal corner turret of Bishop Bek's house
The west side of the
Great Court the basements of the King's apartments, the brickwork
receding into the ground
Situated on a high hill in northern Kent, it
was an ideal residence for monarchs constantly making their way to defend and
extend their continental lands, near enough to London to carry out important
business, but sufficiently distant to maintain freedom and independence from
the pressures of the city.
Like Greenwich, the
manor of Eltham, or 'Alteham', belonged to the half-brother of William the
Conqueror, Bishop Odo. In 1297 Edward, I
signed a confirmation of the Magna Carta and Charter of the Forests there. Bishop Bek of Durham rebuilt the manor house
into a moated castle, and in 1305, he gave it to the Prince of Wales, later
Edward 11. The lower moat walls are
Bek's and the remains of an octagonal turret in the south-west corner of the
moated area is all that survives of Bek's four-turreted castle. Edward II may have settled it on Prince
John. Since Edward II was subsequently
deposed and the citizens of London revolted in Prince John's name, a legend
grew up about 'King John's Palace', but this is not true - his brother Edward
became king as Edward III. Another John
appeared at Eltham palace in the mid-14th century - King John of France, or
Jean le Bon, who was captured at Poitiers and held to ransom for four years in
London. He came to Eltham on parole to
hunt and dine with the King, bringing chronicler Froissant with him. Chaucer, the poet, was Clerk of the Works at
the Manor of Eltham, and Henry IV, V, and VI, all used Eltham. Henry Vl's wife, Margaret of Anjou wanted the
Duke of Gloucester's residence at Greenwich.
Edward IV, who succeeded Henry VI, became famous for rebuilt the moat
bridge in brick and stone, for him the Great Hall was completed in 1482. Henry VII and Henry VIII both used Eltham
frequently for their palace and both made extensive alterations. Cardinal Wolsey was made Lord Chancellor of
England in the Royal Chapel, which stood parallel to the north side of the
Great Hall. Henry VIII held great
Christmas feasts there. Though Henry VIII
improved the palace he moved to Greenwich and by 1529 he had left Eltham. a century
later Charles I paid one visit to Eltham.
During the Civil War the trees were felled for the shipyards, its
buildings ransacked and left to fall apart.
The new tenant. Sir John Shaw
built himself Eltham Lodge; the old palace and
grounds were used as a farm. In the 20th
the Great Hall was restored and Sir Stephen Courtauld's residence was
Eltham Hall was built adjoining the Great Hall for Sir Stephen Courtauld by
Lord Mottistone (then John Sealy) & Paul Paget in 1936. two wings at a butterfly angle (one adjoining the Great Hall), linked by a single storey
entrance hall. later used as the
officers’ mess of the Directorate of Army Education and Training. A Tudor-style section was
designed to ease the transition from the main building to the Great Hall. small chess piece figures on the
copper roofs of the towers ,
three half- timbered gables preserved from the Tudor facade overlooking the
Great Court. The entrance is in a curved
arcade . sculpture representing Hospitality, two Egyptian cannon
captured in 1882. the Rotunda, or entrance hall, in modernist
style lit by a lattice-style dome and by a long horizontal
window above the door; on either side of the door panelled wood walls have
paintings of, on one side, Swedish buildings and a Viking soldier, and on the
other, Italian buildings and a Roman soldier.
A smaller room has a mural
map of South-East London in leather.
loggia with a series of
carved stone medallions by Gilbert Ledward.
In the garden are three pairs of fluted Ionic columns from Sir John Soane's
Bank of England c1800, brought here when the Bank was being rebuilt in the
Tudor courts are covered by the lawn, though
some grills set into the lawn give a glimpse of an underground passage - a sewer of c1528 leading from the kitchens.
The moat to the south is now grassed and is crossed by a modern wooden
bridge resting on late 15th century brick footings. The part of it still in
water has a population of amphibians.
King John's Walk
King John’s Walk lane which was the old path from Eltham to Mottingham. It starts along the north boundary of Eltham
Palace, turns left to skirt the west boundary of the Palace, and passes fields
on both sides before reaching the Middle Park Estate; it then goes over the
railway to Sidcup Road and on to Mottingham Lane. From here footpaths continue ahead and to the
right into Kingsground but the Walk itself turns sharp left. The next section, which is well paved,
provides views over South London and towards Central London, and
views of the Great Hall of the Palace.
Eltham Palace Fields.
Horse grazing area south of the Palace.
Many wild flowers and grasses.
Wet areas with fescue and sedge.
Ancient hedgerows surround the site.
12 formerly called The Cottage, a large house c1909 with attractive
features - note the dormers and the massive brick chimneystacks
Middle Park was one of three royal deer
parks enclosed in the 1300s. There is a
farm which was used as a stud in the mid 19th century Blenkiron. In 1862 a horse stabled here, Caractacus, won
the Derby. The regular jockey had been
replaced by a stable lad. Today the Middle
Park Stakes remains
the biggest race for two-year olds at Newmarket.
Middle Park Avenue,
Commemorates deer parks. Nature area
to the north of the avenue was part of the crown lands around Eltham Palace.
Mottingham Station. 1866. Between New Eltham and Lee
on South Eastern Trains on the Dartford Loop. Originally called "Eltham
for Mottingham" the weather boarded building on the down side is an
original building. Then ‘Eltham and Mottingham’ and then Mottingham in 1927. Its location so far off Eltham was because
the tenant of Eltham Lodge at the time, Anne Wood would not agree to the
railway crossing the grounds. 1957 main
station building. The footbridge is late 19th century.
Goods yard closed October 1968
Holding siding for Hither Green yard opened
in the Second World War at the west end of the station. In 1948 became a United
Middle Park Estate
This estate was developed from 1931 to 1936 by the London County Council.
It is laid out with winding roads and greens. It is located in former royal parkland, and is almost surrounded by fields and open
Mottingham to New Eltham is a green corridor with cuttings and embankments
with sycamore and oak woodland. Hawthorn
and bramble providing habitat for birds and animals.
Royal Blackheath Golf Course,
Northern part. Woodland and
trees. Two ponds own surrounded by trees
in eastern woodland, other willow lined.
London biggest population of great crested newts. SSSA toads too. Acid grassland
Tarn - "small lake'. Applied to a pond in Mottingham Park, this name
must be regarded as a fanciful transfer in modern times of a term historically
confined to the north of England
Park with a large lake, a bird sanctuary,
and many trees. The lake has islands and
is crossed by a modern bridge. It was once part of the grounds of Eltham Lodge
but little is known of the
early history. The earliest datable objects found are 15th two
lead tokens - which could have been brought there
accidentally from elsewhere. By 1933, the Tarn residence was unoccupied and
boathouse became derelict while the lake was stagnant and overgrown. In
1935 Woolwich Council purchased it for £1,750 and then drained the lake was
drained; erected wrought iron fencing, built pathways, rustic bridges, culverts, and
planted bulbs. A refreshment kiosk and conveniences' were added – this building
was later used as the mess room for the keepers and gardeners. plaque commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. In 1964, major work was undertaken in an attempt
to improve the
lake; another flowerbed was built along with a rockery, waterfall and pond. At some time some broken tombstones arrived. An
area of woodland is set aside as a bird sanctuary.
The lake, crossed by a wooden bridge, is thought to have been used
to stockfish for the palace. It is
a natural feature and acts
as a reservoir for storm
water from the adjoining area. It is fed
by small streams
and drained by the Quaggy. Eltham might
mean 'home of the swans' – and this might be where they were. The Tarn might
have been stocked with fish
for the medieval Friday and Lenten diet. Perhaps heron, geese and swans bred there were featured in
15th banquets at
Eltham Palace. John Holmes's plan of 1749 and Rocque's map of the 1750's show it as Starbuck's
Pond in a rectangle. Old maps also show that was a water- splash or ford in Court Road
where the stream from the Tarn ran over the road. It had previously been called 'Starbuck's
Pond' but by 1903 it
appears as ‘Eltham Tarn’. A prolific but poor family
surnamed Starbuck are known
to have lived locally in the late 16th but seem to have left by the
late 17th. Sir John Shaw
leased it in 1660
from the Crown including 'fishing
rights'. In 1981, the drainage system was improved
with a weir, two outlet sluices, and an electrically operated sluice gate to control the outflow.
In 1985, wire mesh 'duck
gates' were placed across the open
sluices to try and stop ducklings from being swept away and drowned by water on its subterranean route to the
House at the north-west corner of the
park, though now
outside its fence, used to be part of the property and seems to date from the late 19th
century. Directories indicate
that it was occupied by members of the 'gentry' who also had fashionable residences in central London and
who held the Tarn on short
term leases from the Crown. There were Edwardian skating parties on a lake lit by candles hung in
on the trees.
Ice-well, a brick structure of the 1750s
sited in a shady spot and formerly used for storing ice (which came from the
lake) for Eltham Lodge. The top section
has been removed to give a view of the interior. Ice was cut from the lake and
stored. The ice was used to help preserve food and cool drinks served at the
Lodge during the warm summer months. believed to date from approximately 1760. The purpose of the ice well was to preserve blocks of
ice cut from the lake in
winter into the warmer spring weather.
This one 'worked' in the same manner
as a vacuum flask by insulating-in the cold and excluding the warmth. Sited in a shaded spot, it is a brick-
lined hole in the damp
ground. The walls are of cavity construction
and the well is drained. The top opening was north facing for extra coolness and the well would have
been very thickly
insulated with a conical straw-thatched roof. The octagonal pointed pantiled roof on the present
shelter seems to echo an
Royal Blackheath Golf Club. John
Shaw laid out the park in 1663. Oldest
Golf club in Britain. Long line of trees
is on the Roque map. Baronet, who helped
Charles II at restoration, became Surveyor of the Woods. Pepys said he had 'more offices than any man
in England'. Buried in the church
185 The Royal Tavern
Tilt Yard Approach
This short road has a gateway and long high walls remaining from the Tudor
tiltyard and the royal orchard, which were to the east of the Green Court of
the Palace. If the gate is open, a
smaller Tudor gateway and a stretch of Tudor wall can be seen on the right.
The Tilt Yard, The house behind the walls is modern.
Brick wall near Court Yard is the boundary of the Tilt Yard Walk. Walling to the east in is 16th century.
Gateway with Tudor coping – another gate and wall all Tudor inside
A wide road, lined with horse chestnuts with large and distinctive houses
built 1887-89. All the houses of that date have prominent gables; either tile
hung or patterned brick; plus plasterwork and rustic timber porches.
31 Inset into the boundary wall outside is a
late Victorian wall letter-box