|Lamorbey Park, including The Glades, Sidcup Golf Course, Rose Bruford College *||Bexley|
* on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens
The former Lamorbey estate lands now comprise a mix of usage: a public park, a private golf course, institutional grounds and schools with their playing fields. The first recorded owner was Thomas Sparrow or Lamienby, Deputy Reeve of the Manor of Bexley in 1495. His daughter inherited the estate and with her husband James Goldwell built a house called Lamienby-Goldwell. The grounds appear to have first been formally laid out in the mid-C18th when the estate was owned by Wllliam Steele. Between 1761 and 1783 the estate was for a short time divided. It remained in private ownership until 1910 when the house became a hotel, remaining as such until it was purchased in 1947 by Kent Education Committee. The Glades was opened as a public park in 1948.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
Site on The National Heritage List for England, Parks & Gardens, for Register Entry see https://www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list
Lamorbey House stands surrounded by parkland, towards the north edge of the site, which is level except for where it rises slightly towards the north/west. The estate probably originated as a subdivision of the Manor of Bexley and its first recorded owner was Thomas Sparrow or Lamienby, Deputy Reeve of the Manor in 1495. In 1513 his daughter Agnes inherited the estate and with her husband James Goldwell built a house called Lamienby-Goldwell. In the late C17th the Goldwell family sold the estate and it had various tenants and owners until 1744 when it was purchased by William Steele, although he may have tenanted the house since 1723. He was responsible for rebuilding the C16th house and it appears that the grounds were laid out formally around this time. A drive ran through the grounds from the house to Burnt Oak Lane. On his death the estate was inherited by his four daughters subject to a lease held by a Robert Dingley, who then purchased one of the four shares. In 1761 the estate extended to some 326 acres. The other three shares including the house were put on the market in 1761 and purchased by Michael Lejay. He bequeathed his share of the estate to Anthony Chamier, who died in 1780, whereupon the new owner Dr David Orme reunited the estate when he purchased the Dingley share in 1783. Orme made various improvements to the house and grounds, probably altering the entrance drive in favour of a long sweeping drive across the park to Hurst Road.
On his death in 1812, the estate was inherited by his daughter, who was married to Neill Malcolm. In the late 1830s the mid-C18th house was then altered substantially by John Shaw for the Malcolms or their son Neill Malcolm II. Their legacy to the area included Mrs Malcolm's School, which opened in Burnt Oak Lane in 1841, and generous gifts of land to Holy Trinity Church.
The family left the house for their family seat in Argyll in c.1857 and the house and grounds were thereafter let to tenants until 1910. The house then became a hotel until it was purchased by Kent Education Committee in 1946. It opened as an Adult Education Centre in 1947 and is still used as an education centre, with Rose Bruford Training College here since 1950.
Like the house, the layout of the grounds developed in a protracted piecemeal fashion. There is no evidence that the park was formally landscaped, although 3 lakes appear to have been created, and by the mid C18th the land to the south of the house had been laid out as a park; the rest of the estate was still meadow and woodland. The two narrow lakes, formed by damming the River Shuttle, divide the site, running south-west to north-east across it. The eastern lake was adapted from a mid-C18th piece of water of similar form. The western lake incorporated two earlier pools and was given its present shape in the C18th or the very early C19th. Later a wilderness with winding walks was laid out on the western banks. The main area of the estate remained little changed and was used for outdoor activities including boating, swimming, fishing, rabbiting, cricket; a bath-house was installed in the 1780s. By 1842 the estate consisted mainly of farmland, meadows, and a wood near the house. Two terraced lawns alongside the house were laid out by Malcolm in the mid-C19th, and by the 1860s the gardens had been extended into the area of the Glade. The c.16 hectares of gardens and pleasure grounds forming the immediate setting of the house are today what is open as a public park. The Glade, pine walk along the western drive, tennis courts, bowling greens and probably The Dell all date from the 1920s, created for the hotel. The northern part of the park became a private golf course in 1910, leased to Sidcup Golf Club, but retains its parkland character. The golf course may have been laid out by James Braid.
When the Sidcup area began to be increasingly developed in the 1930s, the north-west part of the estate was sold for development in 1933 and three schools have been built within the park, all of which are surrounded by playing fields. Part of the Sidcup Golf Club golf course is set in the south-eastern part of the estate. Only the north facing wall of the mid-C18th walled kitchen garden survives and the area is laid to grass. The management of the historic landscape is disjointed as a result of the separate ownerships and gardens and pleasure grounds are in need of repair.
English Heritage Register description; B.N. Nunns, Lamorbey, Bexley libraries and Museums,1977. 'Lamorbey', Local Studies Note No 16 (Bexley Local Studies Centre, April 1997); Halfway Street Conservation Area: Area Appraisal and Management Plan, June 2008