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Latitude: 51.4029 / 51°24'10"N
Longitude: 0.0199 / 0°1'11"E
OS Eastings: 540595
OS Northings: 169036
OS Grid: TQ405690
Mapcode National: GBR M1.9PW
Mapcode Global: VHHNX.9ZCW
Entry Name: Victorian Folly of 'Medieval Ruins' in Bromley Palace Park
Listing Date: 10 January 1955
Last Amended: 30 April 2008
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1186785
English Heritage Legacy ID: 358557
Location: Bromley, London, BR1
Electoral Ward/Division: Bromley Town
Built-Up Area: Bromley
Traditional County: Kent
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London
Church of England Parish: Bromley St Peter and St Paul
Church of England Diocese: Rochester
This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 30/01/2014
Victorian folly of 'medieval ruins' in Bromley Palace Park
(Formerly listed under RAFFORD WAY)
(Formerly listed as ROCHESTER AVENUE BROMLEY RUINS OF THE OLD PALACE)
Folly with Norman style detailing, probably of mid-1860s and by the firm of garden contrators, Pulhams.
MATERIALS: Stuccoed brick with stone, flint and possibly Pulhamite details.
PLAN: Square or rectangular (partly ruinous).
EXTERIOR: The folly stands just outside what is now the south west gateway into the civic centre complex. In the mid-C19 this was the south west corner of the pleasure grounds around the Palace. It comprises a low, flat-fronted, stuccoed brick turret with some applied stone and flint walling. Its main feature is a round-arched window in Norman style on the main south front, with raised mechanical zig-zag decoration. This may be cast Pulhamite rather than carved stone. The arch rests upon what are probably real early medieval capitals supported on the left by a possibly late C12 column with decorative capital. To the left side of the building is a blind squint, again round-headed. The rear of the structure and its roof have collapsed.
HISTORY: After changes to the boundary of the bishopric in 1845 the bishop's palace at Bromley became the private house of Coles Child, a wealthy coal merchant. He extended the house using Richard Norman Shaw as architect (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 using the 'Pulhamite' artificial rock-work for which the firm was well known. Nothing specifically is known about the folly, although it probably belongs to this phase of landscaping and may well have been constructed by the firm of Pulhams who as well as rockwork supplied structures such as bridges and balustrades. Tradition has it that it was constructed from medieval stonework dredged from the moat c.1865. Some may have been; the key features, however, were clearly new-made in the mid-C19.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: The folly of c.1865 at the south west corner of the former pleasure grounds at the former bishop's palace, Bromley, is listed for the following principal reasons:
* It is an intrinsically interesting mid-C19 folly, unusually employing Norman style decoration to evoke the spirit of the former bishop's palace.
* It is probably by Pulhams, one of the most innovative and interesting C19 firms of garden contractors
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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