A Beckenham Walk

Route & what to see

london-footprints.co.uk

This 3 mile walk starts at Beckenham Junction Station and finishes at the War Memorial from where there are buses or you can walk back to the station via the High Street or Rectory Road. There are plenty of places for refreshments along the High Street or you may like to stop on the route which passes through two parks.
A Quiz Walk variation of this walk is available on the site [
click here]

From Beckenham Junction Station cross at the lights to the Green
This owes its existance to the Luftwaft as it was a densely developed area, including the Railway Hotel, before WWII bombing. There is a parish boundary marker that came from another site.

Walk along to the parish church
The small village church was rebuilt between 1885-1903. There are some attractive post-war stained glass windows, a number of memorials and a coffin cart. The lychgate is 13th century, repaired in 1924. Across the road is a milestone first erected in 1713.

Turn left into Bromley Road
The restaurant building next to NatWest Bank occupies the site of the Old Manor House, owned by the St John, Cator and Hoare families. It served as council offices until 1932. The adjoining Public Hall was designed by George Vigers in 1883. Next to this was Beckenham's second fire station built from the manor house stables in 1905. The engine house has been rebuilt as flats but some firemen's houses of 1926 remain. Anthony Rawlins, a city merchant, died in Beckenham in 1694 and left 50 with which the vestry built almhouses. The three cottages have been modernised and still serve as almshouses. Bromley Road infant's school was originally built in 1818 as a National School with 2 classrooms and a master's house. It was extended in 1906.

Continue along Bromley Road and past the shops turn right into Crescent Road
There is an old coach house at numbers 2B & 2C

Go first right through Limes Road
Stanley Cottages were built in 1874

At the 'Jolly Woodman' go left down Chancery Lane - or stop off for a pint!
This lane is shown on a map of 1769. The oldest properties are numbers 29-43 including the blacksmith's forge at number 39 which was still operating in 1902. There is a more uniform mid-19th century terrace opposite.

Go left along Wickham Road and first right into Court Downs Road. At the end of the road enter Kelsey Park on the left
This was part of Kelsey Manor. The grounds were purchased for public use in 1913 and the house demolished in 1921.

Beyond the flower beds cross the river to the left and continue along the path.
The River Beck which runs through the park has been dammed to form the lakes. A variety of birds are to be found including herons which nest on the island. It is also popluar with colourful parakeets!

Where the path divides bear left for the cafe (adjacent to the playground). From behind the cafe return to and cross the bridge between the lakes or continue along and cross at the end of the south lake. In either case follow the lakeside path to the right.
Beyond the rose garden to the left was the site of the Kelsey Manor House. After serving as a Hoare residence it became a school and then a WWI hospital.

Beyond the ornamental flower beds take either the lower lakeside path or the upper path.
The Friends of Kelsey Park have an information centre here (open weekends).

At the end of the lake exit to the left into Manor Way and go right
The large houses here were built from 1912-1937. The yellow house with arched windows (pictured in header) was a tied cottage for the baliff of the Kelsey Estate.

Take second left along Stanmore Terrace and go right into Burnhill Road
The Coach & Horses pub is 18th century.

Go through Kelsey Square into the High Street
The barbers on the corner occupies the first fire station premises which had local board offices above. There is a restored pump with a lion's head on this building.

Go left along the High Street
The entrance to the new development is on the site of the former police station, used until 1884.

First left into Village Way
The corner chemist's shop stands on the site of the Pavilion Cinema of 1914. The Catholic church, dedicated to St Edmund, was designed by J O'Hanlon in 1937.

Just past Sainsbury's delivery entrance follow the sign into the Recreation Ground and take the track across the grass to the children's playground. Then take the path going right towards the exit alongside The Beacon.
The park opened to the public in 1891.

Go right along Croydon Road
The cottage hospital opened in 1872 with 4 beds and charged patients 6d per day. The original building has been incorporated into the new health centre.

The walk finishes at the War Memorial
The cinema opposite opened as the Regal in 1930 replacing the Pavilion. It was refurbished and its Art Deco features restored several years ago but the popular ballroom was lost to provide additional screens.

 

london-footprints 2010

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