Images from the Past

Entrance to Beresford Square Market
Entrance to Beresford Square Market

Steve from the Shooters Hill Local History Group wrote with details of their meeting next Thursday, 16th May at 8.00pm at Shrewsbury House:

Images from the past:

At the next meeting of the Shooters Hill Local History Group you will be transported back forty years, to Woolwich, Plumstead Common and Shooters Hill in the 1970s. We will show three films made by local people:

THIS GIRL WENT TO MARKET – a young lady researches the history of Beresford Square market and finds her future (real life) husband.

PLUMSTEAD MAKE MERRY – the preparation for this popular local festival and the many aspects of how people enjoyed themselves at the two day event on Plumstead Common.

INN AT THE TOP – the archaeological search by members of the Shooters Hill Local History Group and friends for the “Catherine Wheel” ale house at the crest of Shooters Hill, which predated the “Bull” as a stop for stage coaches on the road to Dover.

Meeting is at Shrewsbury House, Bushmoor Crescent, Shooters Hill.

A visitor fee applies.

Sounds like a fascinating evening.

Royal at Last

Royal Borough of Greenwich Street Sign
Royal Borough of Greenwich Street Sign

More than a year after the Woolwich fireworks celebrating Greenwich becoming a Royal Borough,  Shooters Hill has its first street signs with the Royal Borough of Greenwich logo and crest. The signs are on roads in the Shrewsbury Park Estate, which has also had some maintenance to its trademark verges recently. These are given particular mention in the estate’s conservation area appraisal:

The relationship of public and private spaces on the Laing Shrewsbury Park Estate is one of its special features. The well-developed verges originally laid out with posts and chains throughout, enlarged at the entrances, complement the spacious front gardens to create a verdant and sylvan setting, which softens and warms the houses.

Over the last few months the verges have been enhanced by filling gaps with  new shrubs and succession tree planting: Parrotia persica, Olea europaea, Sophora japonica and Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ have all been added to the kerb-side beds. For the non-horticultural that means Persian Ironwood, Olive, Japanese pagoda and Black Cherry Plum trees have been planted. The trees will provide colour at different times of the year and I’m looking forward to seeing them mature to their full glory, especially the “stunning autumn colour” of the Persian Ironwood.

Shrewsbury House has also had some TLC; Len Newland wrote:

Have you seen our new website?  You still have to go into it via www.shrewsburyhouse.info but this will soon be changed to .org. The House over the past few months has had something of a facelift, with new lights in the old library and room 3 now housing our books all donated by residents which can be taken out free of charge. It has also had a facelift with newly polished floors in a number of rooms. New curtains have been hung in room 3. A majority of our other rooms have also had an upgrade and the House is something to be proud of. If you have not been in there recently or if not at all, it is worth spending five minutes of your time, especially if you are thinking of holding a party or wedding.

They will be holding a table sale, which I think is a kind of  indoor car-boot sale, in aid of the house on Sunday 12th May: I’ve included the flyer below.

Table Sale Flyer

Royal Borough of Greenwich Street Sign
Royal Borough of Greenwich Street Sign

Lie Back and Think of America at Shrewsbury House

Lie Back and Think of America flyer

Theatre comes to Shrewsbury House next month when Shooters Hill based Front Room Theatre present their play Lie Back and Think of America. The one-woman, multi-role drama performed by local actor Natalie Penn and directed by Naomi Jones starts a UK tour at Shrewsbury House on 15th and 16th April. It will also play at Mycenae House in Blackheath on 26th April.

Lie Back and Think of America has been performed at various venues, including the Edinburgh Fringe. The Edinburgh Fringe listing described the play as:

1940’s London. Sarah wishes dad could meet GI Joseph. Evacuee-with-attitude, little sister Lucy descends on Wales. Can Sarah find the courage to tell them the truth? Engaging multi-role one-woman show. ‘Compelling … well written’ (Soho Theatre). ‘Amazing … kept us all enthralled throughout … a show good for both young and old’, ‘We both thoroughly enjoyed it and thought that Natalie was brilliant’ (audience comments).

Tickets for the Shrewsbury House performances are available from Natalie on 07786 980 781 and cost £8.00 (concessions £6.50).

Natalie has previously worked with Shared Experience, the BBC, Channel 4, Nottingham Playhouse, Watford Palace Theatre and the Guildford Shakespeare Company.

She was also in the video for Deptford band Athlete‘s Black Swan Song which was released to raise money for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Day Appeal. The song, described as “powerful and moving” is about the death of the grandfather of Athlete’s lead singer and guitarist,  Joel Pott. The video is certainly powerfuul and moving: I’ve included it below as a taster for what you might experience on April 15th and 16th.

Big Curry at Shrewsbury House

2nd Battalion of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment march through Woolwich
2nd Battalion the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment march through Woolwich

Shrewsbury House are holding a Big Curry evening in April to raise money for the Army Benevolent Fund, a charity that supports soldiers, former soldiers and their families. The Soldier’s Charity Big Curry has been running for 6 years and is supported by a number of celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver, Brian Turner and Heston Blumenthal. Since it started it has raised £860,000 for the ABF.

Len’s e-mail with details of the Shrewsbury House event said:

Shrewsbury House are holding a charity night for the Army Benevolent Fund, this charity has been going since the early 1900’s and they have been holding charity events all over the Country to raise money for those that need it.

We are restricted to 70 tickets which are on sale at £16.50 pp, this includes Curry, Entertainment, Complimentary drink on arrival and entry into a prize draw. The dress is smart casual and is to be held on Saturday 20th April from 7 pm to 11 pm. We have tried to make this coincide with St George’s Day and will hopefully bring out the best of British and aid and assist our soldiers that need that little bit extra.

If you wish to purchase tickets, either let me know by email or by going into Shrewsbury House.

Sounds like a great evening for a very good cause.

Big Curry at Shrewsbury House Leaflet

2nd Battalion the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment march through Woolwich
2nd Battalion the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment march through Woolwich

Heraldic Stones

Royal Coat of Arms in a Shooters Hill garden
Royal Coat of Arms in a Shooters Hill garden

Ever since I was shown the stone coat-of-arms (above) hidden in a Shooters Hill garden  I’ve been curious about what it was, where it came from and how it got there.

It looks like a royal coat of arms. The garter inscribed “Honi soit qui mal y pense” surrounding the shield shows that this is the coat of arms of a Knight or Lady of the order of the garter,  and appears on royal coats of arms used in England. There is also, to my eye, a small fragment of a motto scroll under the shield with what could be the O  and part of the M and N of  Dieu et mon droit, which is the motto of English monarchs.

That it is a royal coat of arms has suggested to some people that the stonework originated at Shrewsbury House, which has a royal connection. Princess Charlotte of  Wales, the daughter of the future King George IV,  had lived there from the age of 3 in 1799 possibly until 1804, under the care of her governess Lady Elgin.

This suggestion doesn’t seem quite right to me,  for a couple of reasons. Firstly because pictures of the old Shrewsbury House don’t show the coat of arms, and the style of its architecture doesn’t seem consistent with the style of the stonework. More convincingly though, the details of the heraldic symbols on the shield suggest an earlier date and an association with the first Hanoverian monarchs George I and II rather than George III and IV.

Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801) on Wikimedia Commons
Royal Arms of Great Britain (1714-1801) on Wikimedia Commons
The Coat of Arms in a Shooters Hill garden
The Coat of Arms

The  fourth quarter of the arms is very distinctive to the first Hanoverian monarchs, as wikipedia says:

The Elector of Hanover inherited the throne following the death of Queen Anne under the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701, becoming King George I. The fourth quarter of the arms was changed to reflect the new King’s domains in Hanover (Brunswick–Lüneburg, surmounted by the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire for the Holy Roman office of Archbannerbearer/Archtreasurer).

There is a hole in the stonework where  the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire would have been; perhaps this indicates that a representation of the crown in a different material was fixed to the arms. The  fleurs-de-lis in the second quarter  are a reminder of the English monarchs’ claim the French throne, going back to King Edward III. The later Georges dropped this claim and removed the fleurs-de-lis from the arms.

This coat of arms was used from 1714–1800 when the union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland necessitated a major change. The old Shrewsbury House was built in 1789 when  these arms would have been current, but there isn’t a known royal connection there until the princess in  1799.

If not Shrewsbury House where else could the stonework have come from? Most of the mansions and grand houses of Shooters Hill seem to have been built in Victorian times, in the middle of the 19th century, and where there are photographs there is no sign of the Hanoverian royal coat of arms. I’ve checked pictures of Castlewood House, Falconwood House, Warren Wood, Jackwood and Shrewsbury House and none of them show stonework like that in the image above. Colonel Bagnold mentions a couple of older residences.  One was Broom Hall, built by John Lidgbird in 1733, which he describes as “a handsome Georgian house”,  demolished in 1937. He doesn’t mention a royal connection, and I haven’t found any pictures other than the colonel’s sketch of a set of shutters with John Lidgbird’s initials written in clout nails. Blomefield House, just to the west of Broom Hall, appears to have been in existence in 1720 and got its name from  General Sir T. Blomefield who lived there and was Superintendent of the Royal Gun Factory from 1780. Again no royal connection, and no images of the house. However both these older properties are worth following up as possible sources for the arms.

Our first Hanoverian, George I, is credited  with founding the Artillery in 1716  when he issued a Royal Warrant to set up two permanent field artillery companies of 100 men each based at Tower Place in the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich, so I wondered whether  the coat of arms could have come from one of the many historic military buildings in Woolwich that have since been demolished. On the 1866 Woolwich OS map there is a Royal Marines Barracks on Frances Street, known as the Red Barracks, then nearby the Cambridge Barracks and also a Royal Engineers Barracks, the Grand Depot Barracks,  between Woolwich New Road and Love Lane where the Tesco monolith now stands. However the dates of these buildings are 19th century, after the first two Georges, and unlikely to include their coat-of-arms.

So no final answers to my questions about the cost-of-arms, yet, but there’s some interesting lines to follow up on.

Unicorn supporter
Unicorn supporter

Christmas Shopping Sunday – 2nd December 2012

Tarts and Crafts Poster

Both Shrewsbury House and Woodlands Farm have their Christmas Fairs on Sunday 2nd December, and as they are only about 10 minutes walk apart it’s easily possible to visit both to enjoy the festive atmosphere and do some Christmas shopping.

Shrewsbury House is running its successful Tarts & Crafts event for the third time. Previous Tarts & Crafts have been very popular, with a wide range of  stalls. As they say on their web site:

Sunday 2 December 11am to 4pm:

Our third Tarts and Crafts event is taking place on 2nd December with stalls selling homemade cookies, chocolates, cakes, jams & chutneys. In addition hand made craftwork, decorations, photographs, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, gifts and cards. Ideal for Christmas presents. Come along and have fun. Face painting, live music, mulled wine and mince pies plus a raffle for great prizes. Free entry – all proceeds go to Shrewsbury House.

Tarts & Crafts will be opened by the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich at 10.50am.

Bob the pony at Woodlands Farm
Bob the pony

Woodlands Farm Christmas Fair has become a regular fixture in the Shooters Hill calendar. All the usual attractions will be there – Father Chistmas’ Grotto, stalls selling craft, food and gifts, pony rides with Bob the pony and  entertainment from the CCRA Singing Group.  As the farm say on their web site:

All are welcome at the Woodlands Farm Trust Christmas Fair. Sip mulled wine whilst browsing stalls of local produce and crafts for early Christmas present ideas, or relax in our café while the kids enjoy crafts and games. A great festive day out for all the family. Entry is free, but donations are welcome – all money raised helps us to care for our animals.

Last year Shrewsbury House and Woodlands Farm held  their Christmas Fairs on the same day, and both were very well attended – lots of people taking the opportunity to go along to both events. Hopefully  this year will be as successful in raising money for these two local, volunteer-run  groups.

Woodlands Farm Christmas Fair Poster

Shrewsbury House Social

Shrewsbury House
Shrewsbury House

Mike, our friendly, local Very Green Grocer has organised a social get-together at Shrewsbury House on Saturday afternoon, starting at 2.30pm. His invitation reads:

The Very Green Grocer invites all its customers, friends and local residents to Shrewsbury House for a social get together.
The aim is for the local community to be aware of the gifted and generous people who live amongst us and also how Shrewsbury House can bring us together on a more regular basis.

Entertainment on the day will be provided by local professional artists:
Jo Quail International Cellist,
Acoustic Chairs – Shrewsbury Park Estate based Duo. “The Woolwich Community Choir”. A local choir looking for new recruits and sponsorship.
Also:
Richard Watson’s Model Train display
Seed and plant swap
Playdoh table
Complimentary Cheese & Wine, first come first served, Donated Cakes, Scones etc.
You do not have to bring something to share but let’s see what happens on the day.

I hear also that Shrewsbury House are looking for vounteers to help staff the community centre, so if you have a couple of hours spare to help at the desk, in the garden or in the office, your help would be appreciated.

The Very Green Grocer leaflet

Shrewsbury House Estate For Sale – in 1873

Print of the old Shrewsbury House
J.T. Rawlins’ sketch of the old Shrewsbury House

The heavy tome I carefully carried from the counter in the British Library’s Maps department to one of the reading desks was about A3 size, some 4 inches thick and solidly bound. It contained a set of Victorian sales literature for great houses in the south of England, including Shrewsbury House and Mayfield. The Shrewsbury House set was typical:  it included a pastel-coloured lithograph of the house,  a hand-drawn fold-out map of the estate and half a dozen pages describing the mansion and its grounds. The descriptive statements were centred on each page and contrived to use as many different fonts and sizes as possible.

I’ve included a full transcript of the Shrewsbury House details at the bottom of this post, though I haven’t attempted to reproduce all the different fonts. In true estate agent style it brings out all the advantages of the area –  “The Neighbourhood of Shooter’s Hill is exceedingly picturesque and much admired, and a favourite one for residence” – and the location of the house which:

“Is almost on the summit of the hill, about 350 Feet above the Sea Level and commands a beautiful landscape, exhibiting a great variety of extensive distances, a cheerful luxuriance of sylvan scenery, including on the south the Knockholt range in Kent, on the north and east the hilly parts of Essex and Hertfordshire and the Alexandra Palace and Park; on the South, parts of Sydenham and the Crystal Palace and Windsor Castle; and as a home view, the extensive windings of the noble river Thames with its shipping. From the mansion it is said Seven Counties are visible in clear weather.”

This original  Shrewsbury House, built in 1789 by the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury was a substantial property with 15 bedrooms, including those for servants, and extensive grounds including pleasure gardens,  stables and buildings for livestock, and a 20ft long vinery.

The picture at the top of the post isn’t taken from the sales particulars, the British Library would have charged £60 for a digital reproduction. It is a scan of a sketch originally published in  Greenwood’s 1838 “An Epitome of County History“. The house would have been the same in 1873 though – a photograph in the Shrewsbury Park Estate conservation area appraisal shows that the appearance of the house was unchanged through to 1901. The Epitome of County History also extols the views from Shrewsbury House:

Shrewsbury House, in the Parish of Plumsted, the seat of John Cooper,
Esq. is situated on the north-east edge of Shooter's Hill, and commands pros-
pects unequalled in any other part of the county. The metropolis, the shipping,
the winding course of the Thames to the verge of the horizon, the County of
Essex, and the most interesting parts of Kent, including the populous towns of
Greenwich and Woolwich, are all presented to the eye in a vast panorama from
the leads of this lofty mansion. This was the residence, for a considerable time,
of her late Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte, during her education : and
certainly no situation could have been selected more salubrious, or better adapted
to compose the attention to literary pursuits. In the study there is an immense
globe geographically delineated on the floor, formed, it is said, to familiarise the
science to the mind of the illustrious pupil. The interior of this house is
decorated with many works of art, among which are paintings by Waltean,
Permigiano, De Here, Weenix, Glover, Chamberlain, and others ; some fine
sculpture, &c.

The 1873 sales document doesn’t mention the expected price anywhere, it would be too vulgar to mention money I guess, and I wondered how much the estate sold for. However it’s not clear that the house sold at all in 1873 – dependable Colonel Bagnold lists the owners of Shrewsbury House from 1789 through to its demolition in 1923, and he says that the Rev. John Smallman Masters owned it between 1856 and 1888, though he mortgaged it more than once during 1862-76.

The occupants of the old Shrewsbury House were a varied bunch: from royalty (Princess Charlotte) and the head of the Royal Dockyard,  through to the early experimenter in gas lighting, Mr Winser. It also had spells as a boarding school with a dozen boy pupils and as the Crole-Wyndham Home for Convalescent Children  – housing 32 poor children from the slums of London. In 1923 the old Shrewsbury House was pulled down by  former mayor and later Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent F.T. Halse, who then built the current Shrewsbury House, now in active use as the community centre.

One mystery remains about the old house – what happened to the foundation stone?  This stone, according to Colonel Bagnold,  is  inscribed “CHARLES, XVIth Earl &c., &c., of Shrewsbury laid this stone , July 29th, 1789.”, and was installed in a rockery in Well Hall Pleasaunce. It doesn’t seem to be there now as far as I can see – I wonder if it was moved somewhere, or is buried under the shrubbery? The Colonel thought the stone should be mounted on a plinth on the roundabout in Mereworth Drive, which is close to the site of the old Shrewsbury House – what a good way that would have been to commemorate our local history!

Shrewsbury House
Shrewsbury House

Transcript of the 1873 sales description:

KENT,

ON THE SUMMIT OF SHOOTERS HILL

About 8 1/2 miles by road from London Bridge

__________________________________________________

PARTICULARS, WITH CONDITIONS OF SALE

OF

The Shrewsbury House Estate

A VERY CHOICE AND VALUABLE

FREEHOLD RESIDENTIAL

AND

BUILDING PROPERTY

ON THE CREST OF SHOOTERS HILL

About 350 ft. above the sea level and commanding

Very distant and exceedingly beautiful views of Kent, the River Thames with its shipping, the hilly parts of Essex etc.

AND CONSISTING OF

A LARGE FAMILY MANSION

Placed in the midst of its PLEASURE GROUNDS, in the centre of

Undulating and well-timbered park and woodlands,

COMPRISING

About 54 Acres,

VERY COMPACTLY SITUATE NEAR THE MAIN ROAD FROM LONDON TO DARTFORD,

WITH POSSESSION ON COMPLETION OF THE PURCHASE:

WHICH WILL BE OFFERED FOR SALE BY AUCTION,

BY

Messrs. DANIEL SMITH, SON , & OAKLEY,

AT THE AUCTION HOUSE, TOKENHOUSE YARD, CITY, E.C.,

On TUESDAY, the 29th day of JULY, 1873

AT ONE FOR TWO O’CLOCK PRECISELY, – IN ONE LOT

__________________________

Particulars may be obtained of Messrs. A.F. & R.W. TWEEDIE, Solicitors, 5, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, W.C.; at the

Place of Sale; and of Messrs. DANIEL SMITH, SON , & OAKLEY, Land Agents and Surveyors, 10, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, S.W.

PARTICULARS

______________________

THE

SHREWSBURY HOUSE ESTATE

IS SITUATE AT

SHOOTERS’S HILL

IN THE

PARISH OF PLUMSTEAD, KENT,

Near the Main Road from

LONDON TO DARTFORD,

Having a Frontage of nearly

1,500 FEET TO SHREWSBURY LANE,

About 8 1/2 Miles by Road from LONDON BRIDGE; about 20 Minutes’ drive from BLACKHEATH STATION, 30 Minutes from

GREENWICH, and 15 Minutes from WOOLWICH ARSENAL STATION, all on the North Kent Line of the South-Eastern

Railway, with quick and frequent Train Service to and from Charing Cross, Cannon Street and London Bridge Stations

during the day about half-an-hour’s ride from the Metropolis

______________________

The Neighbourhood of Shooter’s Hill is exceedingly Picturesque and much admired,

AND A FAVOURITE ONE FOR RESIDENCE

______________________

THE ESTATE

Is almost on the Summit of the Hill, about 350 Feet above the Sea Level and commands a

BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE,

Exhibiting a great variety of extensive distances, a cheerful luxuriance of Sylvan Scenery, including on the South the

Knockholt Range in Kent, on the North and East the hilly parts of Essex and Hertfordshire and the Alexandra Palace

and Park; on the South, parts of Sydenham and the Crystal Palace and Windsor Castle;

AND AS A HOME VIEW, THE

Extensive Windings of the Noble River Thames with its Shipping

From the MANSION it is said Seven Counties are visible in clear weather

______________________

The most important element in the value of this

CHOICE FREEHOLD PROPERTY

Is the facilities it presents as a

BUILDING SPECULATION

Which will suggest itself to an enterprising Capitalist, a Building Society, or Private Company, as offering a favourable

opportunity for Safe Investment

______________________

The Subsoil being Gravel and Brick Earth, the Materials are already on the spot for the formation of New Roads, and

the Manufacture of Bricks.

And as the Property is on a Hill it is admirably situate  for Drainage

The Roads leading to this Estate having been recently widened, greater facilities of communication have been opened up

which cannot fail to be of considerable benefit to the Property, whether it be developed as a Building Estate or kept as a

Residential Property

Some of the Adjacent Land is now being covered with Residences of a superior class, and Building operations are carried on

adjoining the Estate.

The Land might be so laid out as to preserve the House and Grounds in the centre, and, if not required for a Private

Residence, it would be available for a Public Institution, for which purpose the high and healthy situation renders it

eligible.

______________________

The Property comprises

A SPACIOUS

FAMILY MANSION,

Built by an Earl of Shrewsbury, and once occupied by Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte, placed on the crest of the

Hill, approached through Ornamental

Shrubbery and Pleasure Grounds,

BY A

CARRIAGE DRIVE WITH LODGE ENTRANCE.

______________________

The House is surrounded by

UNDULATING PARK LANDS,

WITH A

BEAUTIFUL WOOD OF 4 1/4 ACRES,

The whole being Richly Timbered with Oak, Elm, and other Timber Trees.

The Mansion possesses the advantages and the quietude of a Country Residence, notwithstanding its nearness to London, in

addition to being in a healthy situation, and in good position with regard to Society, and is in every respect adapted for

the Residence of a Gentleman of position.

______________________

The Extent of the Property is 54a. Or. 21p.,

All being in Pasture except the Wood of 4 1/4 acres, the Pleasure Grounds and Sites of Buildings

THE MANSION

Is principally three Stories in height (part being of two Stories), and Basement, substantially built of Brick, Stuccoed, with

strong Lead Flat Roofs, from which (and other parts of the Property), the Views before mentioned can be obtained.

IT CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INTERNAL ACCOMMODATION:-

LOFTY ENTRANCE HALL

AND CORRIDOR.

The former being 39 ft. 6 in., by 10 ft., and the latter 21 ft. 8 in. by 7 ft. 8 in., approached by a flight of stone steps.

______________________

THE DINING ROOM

23 ft. 6 in.. with Bow Window overlooking the Lawn, fitted with a Black Marble Chimney-piece, and an

Ornamental Cornice.

______________________

An Alcove or Garden Entrance,

Paved with Stone, of semi-circular shape, 15 ft. by 9 ft. 6 in.

______________________

THE LIBRARY

20 ft. by 18 ft. 6 in., with Bow Window overlooking the Gardens ; (with a Black Marble Chimney-piece)

______________________

THE BREAKFAST ROOM

19 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft. 0 in., of irregular shape, with a St. Anne’s Marble Chimney-piece

______________________

A GENTLEMAN’S ROOM

15 ft. 4 in. by 12 ft., with Statuary Marble chimney-piece; A DRESSING ROOM adjoining 12 ft. by 7 ft. 6 in.

THESE APARTMENTS ARE ON THE RIGHT AND LEFT OF THE CORRIDOR AND ALL COMMUNICATE

They are 11 ft. in height.

______________________

A WINDING STAIRCASE

CONDUCTS TO THE CORRIDOR ON THE FIRST STORY

31 ft. 2 in. by 7 ft. 8 in. and 23 ft. by 9 ft. 8 in. and 11 ft. 6 in. in height from which is approached

THE VERY HANDSOME

DRAWING ROOM

OF NOBLE PROPORTIONS,

42 ft. 3 in. by 29 ft. 9 in., including 3 large Bow Windows, a deep enriched Cornice, the paper in panels of an Elegant

Pattern. There are 2 Fire Places. An Iron Balcony extends round the garden Front.

THIS ROOM COMMANDS THE PARK GROUNDS AND LAWNS,

And is 15 ft. 9 in. high.

ON THIS STORY ARE ALSO

TWO PRINCIPAL BED CHAMBERS OR ANTE-ROOMS

AND A DRESSING ROOM

______________________

ON THE UPPER STORY

Are 3 PRINCIPAL BED ROOMS, occasionally used as Nurseries, fitted with convenient Closets &c. A Housemaid’s

Closet and Water Closet.

TWO FLIGHTS OF STAIRS LEAD TO THE LEAD FLAT ROOFS.

______________________

ON THE FIRST STORY IN THE WING

Are also 2 PRINCIPAL and 5 SERVANTS’ BED CHAMBERS; a Store Room, fitted; a Water Closet; and a

Secondary Staircase to the Ground Floor.

______________________

THE DOMESTIC OFFICES,

ON THE GROUND FLOOR,

Are shut off from the Entrance Hall and comprise a Butler’s Pantry and Scullery, a Water Closet, Servants’ Hall, a good

Kitchen, Scullery and Coal Cellar.

______________________

IN THE BASEMENT

Are also the following Offices :- Extensive Arched Cellarage, also a Wine Cellar and several Rooms formerly used

as Kitchen, Scullery, Butlers’ Pantry, 3 Bed Rooms, Mangle Room, Larder, Knife Room, Bakehouse, Dairy &Cc

THE HOUSE AND PREMISES

Are supplied with an abundance of Spring Water from the  Well by a Force Pump

______________________

THE STABLING DEPARTMENT

CONSISTS OF

Two Stalls, with Loft over, Brick, Board and Slate; a Pony Stable; and a Gig House, Board and Tile ;

ALSO

A 2-Stall Stable and a Carriage House, a Hen House,  Board and Felt, and yard, 3 Pigstyes, and a Potting Shed,  Board

and Tile, a Lean-to Cow House for 4 Cows, Board and Tile.

______________________

THE PLEASURE GROUNDS

Are embellished with a profusion of well-grown Shrubs and Ornamental Timber Trees, including handsome Cedars of

Lebanon, Pink, Red and White Thorns, Arbutus, Azanthus, and specimens of Oak, Beech, Sycamore, and Wych Elm,

and there are Banks of Rhododendron, the Flower Borders being arranged in Parterres.

A SMALL SEMI-CIRCULAR ROSE GARDEN

Contains a Greenhouse in 3 Compartments, 60 ft. long, and at the back a Gardener’s Bothie, and a large Potting Shed,

Brick and Tile, and a Closet.

______________________

There are

TWO PRODUCTIVE KITCHEN GARDENS.

ONE CONTAINING A VINERY

About 20 ft. long.

______________________

IN THE PADDOCKS

Are a Barn, with Cow Shed and a Hen House, with 3 Men’s Rooms over, Brick, Timber and Tile, and a Lean-to Shed.

______________________

THE ENTRANCE LODGE

is of one Floor, built of Brick, Stucco and Slate, containing 2 Rooms and a Washhouse.

______________________

The whole is further described in the following SCHEDULE :-

No on                                                                                                                           Quantity

Plan     Description                                                       State                            A.         R.         P

1          Mansion and Pleasure Grounds                                                             5          1          11

2          Park Ground                                                     Pasture                        30        1          10

3          Wood                                                               Wood                           4          0          27

4          Pasture                                                            Pasture                        2          1          14

5          Do.                                                                   do.                               11        3          37

6          Pond                                                                Pond, &c                      0          1          2

Total of the Estate              A   54        0          21

Local History Walk on Thursday

The Ypres Milestone at Christ Church
The Ypres Milestone at Christ Church

Shooters Hill Local History Group will be holding a local history walk for their regular monthly meeting tomorrow (21st June), so it will be starting half an hour earlier at 7.30pm, meeting at Shrewsbury House as usual.

I don’t know what route they will be taking, but it’s sure to be interesting – the local historic landscape reaches right back to the Bronze Age Barrow on Shrewsbury Lane/Brinklow Crescent and includes a Second World War gas decontamination centre and other war-related sites, various ancient stones on Shooters Hill, the sites of several historic mansions,  not to mention significant historic military buildings such as the Military Academy and the Royal Artillery Barracks.

Should be a fascinating evening.

Bronze Age Barrow at junction of Shrewsbury Lane and Brinlow Crescent
Bronze Age Barrow at junction of Shrewsbury Lane and Brinklow Crescent

 

Shooters Hill Sunday

Friends of Eaglesfield Park PosterVolunteers were out in force in Shooters Hill last Sunday: one group continuing work on the wild flower garden at Eaglesfield Park Lilly Pond and another running the Tarts & Crafts fête at Shrewsbury House.

Madeleine from the Friends of Eaglesfield Park sent me the poster above with an update:

Friends of Eaglesfield Park and members of the local community met again on Sunday 1st April to continue work  on the creation of the wild flower meadow surrounding the newly restored pond.   The weather was wonderful, although the dry spell has had an effect on the soil!   Unfortunately fewer “gardeners” were available this time, but we did seem to have more visitors to the pond area – all expressing their enthusiasm and support for the return of the “lost and forgotten” pond.   The wildflower meadow area will take a while to establish, but already people have commented that the reflections in the water of the pond add interest and a feeling of tranquility.  A closer look in the pond revealed water boatman/water skaters and no doubt there were probably other “bugs” we didn’t spot.   We will continue to monitor the aquatic wild life and the wild flower meadow.  There is no doubt that it is very satisfying to see the transformation of the pond and surrounding area.   We certainly would not like to see the return of the old sad, overgrown and neglected pond!        
We still have much to do.  We will be meeting again on Saturday 7th April from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon to carry on with the “digging and planting”.    If you would like to join us, we would be very pleased to see you.  Whatever time you can spare will be a valuable contribution to completing the wild flower meadow.

Don’t forget to wear old clothes.  Can you please bring your own tools (especially, spade, fork, hand trowel, and if possible a builder’s bucket).

Work on the lilly pond garden is progressing well and there are even some lillies starting to grow in the pond.  Amongst the visitors expressing enthusiasm and support was local councillor Barry Taylor.

Meanwhile, just down the road in Shrewsbury House the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Jim Gillman, was opening the latest Tarts & Crafts fête. He also presented Shrewsbury House with a Commemorative Certificate representing the Royal Warrant recently issued to the Royal Borough.

The Mayor  presents Shrewsbury House with a Commemorative Certificate representing the Royal Warrant recently issued to the Royal Borough
The Mayor presenting the Commemorative Certificate to Shrewsbury House

Tarts & Crafts was very well attended again, and packed with stalls arranged throughout the building. The stalls included a variety of different crafts,  aperture photography society and an art stall by local artists Ray Marshall & Colin Fifield  manned by Ray himself and including copies of his collages of Shooters Hill, Eltham and Plumstead. Not to mention many very creative cup-cakes.

The fête raised much-needed funds for Shrewsbury House which has been run by volunteers for the last twenty years, and provides a home for a wide range of community societies and activities. There are around 40 in their list, including arts, dance groups, language classes, martial arts, millinery, music, photography and yoga. They are increasing their fund-raising activities following a reduction in income from the council’s use of their facilities, and are promoting the house as a venue for weddings, parties and celebratory events as well as use of their facilities for outside clubs and societies. They even have a sound-proof annex for band practice. Shrewsbury House provides an essential service to Shooters Hill residents,  and I wish them luck in their fund-raising activities.

A busy Sunday on Shooters Hill.