Description: Pulhamite Waterfall in Bromley Palace Park
Date Listed: 30 April 2008
English Heritage Building ID: 503799
OS Grid Reference: TQ4078269038
OS Grid Coordinates: 540782, 169038
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4029, 0.0225
785/1/10146 KENTISH WAY
30-APR-08 Pulhamite waterfall in Bromley Palace
Pulhamite artificial rock-work waterfall of c.1865; by the firm of Pulhams, garden contractors.
DESCRIPTION: The waterfall comprises a linear, bedded, mass of Pulhamite rockwork, overall approximately 15m across and 5m deep. Some of the individual rocks are over a cubic metre in size. The rockwork is set in the dam which forms the south end of the lake, with a central cleft through which water cascaded to a basin at its base (the waterfall was not working at the time of inspection in 2007). The rockwork has a brown, sandy exterior finish; in some places the exterior skin has broken off exposing the scrap-brick core of the rockwork.
HISTORY: 'Pulhamite' rock-work was developed by James Pulham (c.1820-98), the son of one the pioneers of Portland cement manufacture. In the 1840s he began to use this cement as an ingredient in the construction of artificial rock-work. Masses of clinker and scrap brickwork were assembled, cement was poured over them, and they were moulded into boulder-like formations. Various surface finishes produced highly convincing and various artificial rock types, so convincing as at times to deceive naturalists. At Bromley, after changes to the boundary of the bishopric in 1845 the Palace became the private house of Coles Child, a wealthy coal merchant. He extended the house using Richard Norman Shaw as architect in 1863, and by 1865 was ornamenting his grounds, employing James Pulham over a five year period to create what contemporary records describe as a fernery and waterfall. It is the former which stands at the north end of the lake, with the waterfall to the south.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: The Pulhamite waterfall of c.1865 at the north end of the lake at Bromley's former bishop's palace is listed for the following principal reasons:
* It is a good and little-altered example of the artificial rock work (Pulhamite) produced in the mid-C19 by James Pulham's firm
* It sits within a little-altered mid-C19 landscape setting, at the end of a lake and amidst trees.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.