Showing posts with label Tewkesbury Lodge Estate Residents Association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tewkesbury Lodge Estate Residents Association. Show all posts

09 September 2021

Tewkesbury Lodge Folly

By Sheila Carson

This Folly tower, also known as the Bayer's Folly or the Forest Hill Folly, is medieval in appearance and can be found in the garden of a private house next to the Honor Oak covered reservoir. It sits on the ridge of Forest Hill at what is possibly its highest point of about 104 meters above sea level. Its position is shown on the map below (from the 1913 Ordnance Survey map). The tower is approximately 10 meters high including the staircase turret. From the top there are spectacular views of London in every direction. The Folly was built in the grounds of a large mansion in Honor Oak Road, Tewkesbury Lodge, which was built around 1855.


The Folly is Grade II listed by Historic England and constructed of random sized undressed ironstone blocks in a warm ochre colour. The tower is octagonal with a narrow spiral staircase contained within a turret which abuts the tower. There are concrete dressings such as quoins (corner blocks), a drip moulding at first floor level, a bow tell moulding at second floor level and a corbel table supporting a parapet which may have originally been crenelated. A section of the parapet over one of the octagonal sides collapsed many years ago. There are rooms on the ground and first floors and a flat viewing area at the top enclosed by the now incomplete parapet.

The original entrance door was badly damaged when the Folly suffered a fire and the door frame still has some burn marks on it. The door was first replaced with a pine one and more recently a hardwood one. The door has a hood mould which continues over the windows on either side. There are three pairs of windows on the ground floor. One pair either side of the door and one pair at the rear of the tower. Each of these windows has elliptical lintels which are reminiscent of the Tudor period. The room on the first floor is lit by four large windows with three smaller ones in between. These windows are of a different design to those on the ground floor being rectangular and housed in plain chamfered frames. There are also four slim windows in the turret which give some illumination to the spiral staircase within. The windows were vandalised many years ago so the glass and lead glazing is not original.

Opinions vary as to when the Folly was built (either around 1880 or about 10 years later) and who built it (Alfred Richards or Charles Bayer). Some sources say it was built about 1880 by Charles Bayer who made his fortune as a stay and corset manufacturer. However, Alfred Richards, a very wealthy barrister and probably the second owner of Tewkesbury Lodge, was living there at the time of the 1871 census and his death certificate states that he died in the house in 1887. So if it was built in 1880 Alfred Richards would have commissioned the project.

Charles Bayer appears to have bought Tewkesbury Lodge from the trustees of the estate of Alfred Richards in July 1889 and the 1891 census confirms that he was living there with his family. Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre hold the conveyance for this sale which might, if the Folly was built prior to the sale, be itemised in the document. However, at the time of writing it is not possible to view this document as the Centre remains closed to the public and it is not available digitally. So, if the Folly was built in 1890 it would have been by Charles Bayer.

At some point either Alfred Richards or Charles Bayer extended the grounds of Tewkesbury Lodge by purchasing a large area of land to the west and northwest of the Lodge's gardens. Charles Bayer was planning to leave this land and the Folly tower in his will to the London County Council as an extension to the Horniman Gardens. This would have provided an extensive area of grassland, bushes and trees for the public to walk in and enjoy the views over London. Sadly he died before this could be completed and his beneficiaries decided to sell the land which was rapidly built over to form the Tewkesbury Lodge Estate.

Many thanks to the owners, Sharon and Michael, for showing me the Folly, letting me climb to the top to see the wonderful view and being so helpful with information about it.

22 May 2013

Tewkesbury Lodge Open Gardens - 15th & 16th June

A group of four very different gardens in Forest Hill will be open to the public under the National Garden Scheme on 15th June (5-8pm) and 16th June (2-6pm). Situated just behind the Horniman Museum, the gardens are within a few minutes walk of each other on a hill with spectacular views over London and the North Downs. Proceeds to cancer, caring, and gardening charities.
27 Horniman Drive
28 Horniman Drive
53 Ringmore Rise
Coach House, 3 The Hermitage, Westwood Park.
You will find a small SE-facing garden with richly coloured borders within formal outlines to complement a modern extension, plus a mini-meadow and a tranquil vegetable area with seating; a hilltop country garden in two sections, evolving from the owner's love of growing vegetables, with raised beds, a fruit cage, greenhouse, chicken run, and working and wildlife areas; a front garden inspired by Beth Chatto's dry garden, with stunning borders in soft mauves, yellows and white, interspersed with drifts of red and purple poppies; and a sculptor’s creative courtyard ‘container’ garden crammed with unusual plants and the artist’s sculptures and ceramics (for sale).
Combined admission: £6 (payable at 27 Horniman Drive). No charge for accompanied children.
Homemade cakes and tea on Sunday. Plants for sale on both days.
NB. Sorry, wheelchair access not possible. Well-trained dogs on leads welcome.

25 May 2011

Tewkesbury Lodge Garden Group opening 2011

Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June, 12th

A group of six very different gardens in Forest Hill SE23 will be open to the public under the National Gardens Scheme, raising money for cancer, caring and gardening charities. The gardens are within easy, if steep, walking distance of each other.

Opening times: Sat June 11th, 6-9pm. Sun June 12th, 2-6pm.

Combined admission on both days £7. Free for accompanied children.

Garden tickets & Plants for sale on the Green at the junction of Horniman Drive and Liphook Crescent.

Refreshments: Homemade tea and cakes on Sunday.

NB. Sorry, wheelchair access not possible, well-trained dogs on leads welcome.

The gardens include a sculptor’s courtyard, crammed full of unusual plants and the artist’s ceramics; there is artwork for sale. A garden designer’s own country style garden (featured in national magazines) delights the eye with lovely plant combinations. Other owners offer a front garden inspired by Beth Chatto’s dry garden; herbaceous planting that complements a modern house extension; and deep informal flower borders under mature trees. A love of vegetable growing is evident with green houses, raised beds, a fruit cage and chicken run. The new garden in the group is a peaceful organic haven with a gravelled beds, summerhouse and newly planted red garden. Wildlife flourishes too, with areas to encourage interest and diversity.

19 May 2010

Tewkesbury Lodge garden opening 2010

A group of five very different gardens will be open to the public under the National Garden Scheme, to raise money for cancer, caring, and gardening charities. The gardens are within a few minutes walk of each other.

Opening times and combined admission: Sat 29 May, (5-9pm) £6.50 with glass of wine. Sun 30 May (1:30-6pm) £5. Free for accompanied children. By a ticket on the Green at the junction of Horniman Drive and Liphook Crescent.
Refreshment: Homemade tea and cakes on Sunday. Plants for sale on both days.
NB. Sorry, wheelchair access not possible. Well- trained dogs on leads welcome.

Coach House, 3 The Hermitage.
Mature courtyard and roof garden crammed full of unusual plants and the artist's ceramics and sculptures. The aim is a wildlife garden of interest and productivity twelve months of the year. Water features, decorative plants and vegetables in containers large and small. Art work for sale, pottery demonstrations.

30 Westwood Park
A garden designer's sloping creation, full of unusual plant combinations to suit a variety of conditions in the borders, a herb garden, water features, and winding paths. Featured in The English Garden, Gardeners' World magazine, Homes & Gardens, and House Beautiful.

27 Horniman Drive
Traditional planting in a re-designed contemporary setting to complement modern extension and emphasise long-reaching views to North Downs. Below and beyond there is a potager-style vegetable haven. Small, low maintenance, north-facing front garden with shrubs creating a tapestry of green.

28 Horniman Drive
Garden in two sections, evolving from the owner's love of growing vegetables. Raised beds, fruit cage, greenhouse, working and wildlife areas. Deep informal flower borders under mature trees. Some uneven paths. Newly planted front garden designed for low maintenance.

53 Ringmore Rise
Corner plot with spectacular views over London. Front garden inspired by Beth Chatto's dry garden, with stunning borders in soft mauves, yellows and white. Mature rear garden is on three levels, with themed beds of herbaceous plants and shrubs, some shady, others sunny. Large pond, terraces and pergola.

15 June 2008

Redevelopment of Horniman Gardens

The Horniman Gardens have developed on a rather ad-hoc basis over the last century since they were first opened to the public. Now the Horniman Museum is developing a 'Masterplan' to guide the development of the Gardens for the next ten to twenty years.

Janet Vitmayer, Museum Director, and Kirsten Walker, Head of Collection Management and Special Projects provided an update on the current state of development of the Masterplan at the AGM of the Tewkesbury Lodge Estate Residents' Association on 27th April.

The Museum has applied for funding from a number of sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund to support their plans. At the time of the meeting, the Lottery Fund was unable to announce the outcome of the bid because of a pre-election embargo. However, it was stressed that getting the funding would mainly affect the speed with which any development could be implemented, rather than what would eventually be achieved.

The current proposals have been drawn up by an independent consultancy, Land Use Consultants, after consultation with users. The Museum is seeking feedback on the proposals over the next few months with a view to coming up with revised proposals by June. Copies of the outline proposal map with a form attached for comments are available from the Museum. Those responding will be invited to take part in the next round of consultation and it is expected that the Masterplan will be finalised in around nine months time.

Work is not expected to start until 2010. The main elements of the current proposals are:

  • Moving the boundary of the Gardens to encompass the nature trail, where it adjoins the Gardens, with the footpath between Westwood Park and London Road re-routed to run along the line of the railway and into Wood Vale (rather than London Road). The nature trail could become part of a Green Chain Walk from Crystal Palace.

  • Creation of a reed bed and pond area at the northern corner of the gardens with areas managed to increase their nature conservation value. The pond area would be used by school groups for pond dipping.

  • Creating a 'Wild Play Area' using natural materials at the southern end of the nature trail and a 'kickabout' area to the north.
  • Considerable rearrangement of the area around the bandstand including restoration of the bandstand and the Dutch Barn, the provision of high quality surfacing to replace the current asphalt, moving the compost area between the top of the animal enclosure and the Horniman Drive entrance to open up views and improve sight lines from the Avenue and the construction of an education building in line with the Dutch Barn.
  • Restoration of the Sunken Garden and the use of the current African Garden as a 'living collection' area complementing exhibitions in the Museum – this area might be closed outside Museum opening hours.

Some members of the Residents’ Association thought the proposals to construct the Education Building and to close the Sunken Garden at times were controversial. There were other concerns raised at the meeting - the possibility that the developments might encourage rodents near housing and the fact that the proposed Wild Play Area was adjacent to the South Circular, possibly the most polluted area of the Gardens. However, there appeared to be general agreement that the concept of a Masterplan was a good one and The Horniman Museum was really trying to take on board comments made during consultation.

So, if you feel strongly about the future direction of the Horniman Gardens, do make sure your voice is heard.

24 April 2008

Craft Market in Forest Hill this weekend

There will be a Craft Market in the car park at Forest Hill station, Saturday 26th April 10am-3pm. Help support the idea of a craft market in the town centre by coming along, spending some money and maybe visit some of the other local shops and cafes/restaurants in the area. Weather is expected to be good!

On Sunday 27th April
at 2pm our friends at the Tewkesbury Lodge Estate Residents Association will be hosting a public meeting in the Dutch Barn, Horniman Gardens. The plans for the Gardens will be available for viewing, and after a presentation from Museum staff, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Refreshments will be available. Everyone welcome.