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Pulhamite Waterfall in Bromley Palace Park

A Grade II Listed Building in Bromley, London

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Latitude: 51.4029 / 51°24'10"N

Longitude: 0.0225 / 0°1'21"E

OS Eastings: 540782

OS Northings: 169038

OS Grid: TQ407690

Mapcode National: GBR M1.BD0

Mapcode Global: VHHNX.BZSX

Entry Name: Pulhamite Waterfall in Bromley Palace Park

Listing Date: 30 April 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392583

English Heritage Legacy ID: 503799

Location: Bromley, London, BR1

County: London

District: Bromley

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

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Listing Text

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 30/01/2014


Pulhamite waterfall in Bromley Palace Park

(Formerly listed under KENTISH WAY)



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.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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