An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 5, East London. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1930.

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'Woolwich', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 5, East London( London, 1930), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/london/vol5/pp101-113 [accessed 23 July 2024].

'Woolwich', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 5, East London( London, 1930), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/london/vol5/pp101-113.

"Woolwich". An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 5, East London. (London, 1930), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/london/vol5/pp101-113.

In this section


(O.S. 6-in. London, Sheets (a)L, (b)P.)

The Borough of Woolwich consists of the parishes of Woolwich, Plumstead and Eltham. The principal monuments are Eltham Palace, Well Hall and Eltham Lodge.


a(1) Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene (formerly St. Lawrence), Woolwich, stands on rising ground on the S. side of the river. The existing building replaced the earlier church in 1732–38, it has a modern chancel and contains the following:—

Fittings—Bell: said to be inscribed "Willelmus Prene me fecit in honorem Sanctae Trinitatis." Prene was a late 14th-century rector and died in 1404. Plate: includes two cups of 1695, given by Thomas Argott, and a paten of the same date given by the Goldsmiths' Company.


b(2) Parish Church of St. Nicholas, Plumstead, stands on the N. side of the High Street. The walls of the old building are generally of rubble or chalk, rendered in cement or rough-cast; the dressings are of Reigate stone and the tower is of red brick; the roofs are tiled. The S. and W. walls of the Old Nave (now the S. aisle) date probably from late in the 12th century. In the 13th century the South Transept was added and a wider chancel built. Late in the 15th century a N. aisle was added and the N. arcade of the old church built. The building became ruinous in the 17th century, and in 1664 it was repaired and the West Tower built. In 1780 the N. arcade was built up, but in 1818 the N. aisle was re-built and restored to use. The church was restored in 1867–8 and in 1907–8 it was greatly enlarged, the old nave becoming the S. aisle, a new nave replacing the old N. aisle with a new N. aisle beyond it; a modern chancel was also built with N. and S. chapels, the S. chapel being on the site of the old chancel.

Eltham Lodge

Architectural Description—The old Chancel has been entirely destroyed with the exception of part of the base of the S. wall, which stood in advance of the modern S. wall. In the old wall, and now covered by a grating, is the W. jamb of a 13th-century doorway of two orders, the inner chamfered and the outer with a detached shaft retaining its moulded base. Incorporated in the modern W. arch in the N. wall is the hollow-chamfered inner order of a two-centred arch, probably of the 14th century.

The old Nave (62 ft. by 23 ft.) has a late 15th-century N. arcade of four bays with two-centred arches of two hollow-chamfered orders; the octagonal columns have concave faces and moulded capitals and bases; the responds have attached half-columns; the W. bay of the arcade is blocked by the Tower. The S. wall, at the E. end of the former nave, has a large projection with chamfered angles, representing the S. respond of the former chancel-arch; of the arch itself only two hollowchamfered voussoirs remain, at the springing level; opening into the S. transept is a late 15th-century arch, two-centred and of two hollow-chamfered orders; it springs, on the E., from a moulded corbel with a shield below, and on the W., from a semi-octagonal respond with moulded capital and base; further W. are three windows; the two easternmost modern and the westernmost of late 12th-century date, set high in the wall and of a single round-headed light; below it is the modern S. doorway; between the first two windows is the E. splay and part of the rear-arch of a blocked 12th-century window of similar character to that just described; below it is a blocked 14th-century doorway, with jambs and two-centred arch of three orders, the outer chamfered and the two inner moulded. In the W. wall is a modern window and, below it, the moulded jambs and two-centred head of the late 14th or 15th-century W. doorway.

The South Transept (17½ ft. by 16¾ ft.) is of early 13th-century date and has, on the E. side, a wall-arcade of two bays with chamfered two-centred arches; the northern arch has been blocked for the erection of a monument; of the three moulded corbels supporting the arcade only two remain; in each bay is a lancet-window, of which the northern is blocked and only visible externally; they have roll-moulded jambs and the southern has moulded splays; at the N. end of the wall are remains of a half arch at the back of the chancel-arch respond; it is now blocked, but part of the E. face is visible externally at the back of a buttress in the angle of the chancel and transept. In the S. wall is a window, all modern except perhaps parts of the splays. In the W. wall is a lancet-window, similar to those in the E. wall, but decayed on the outer face.

The West Tower (10½ ft. by 11 ft.) is of red brick and of three stages (Plate 173) with clasping buttresses at the angles, carried up as turrets, and an embattled parapet with stone copings; brick stringcourses between the buttresses mark the stages; the tower was built in 1664. The ground-stage has in the S. wall a doorway with a round head and fitted with a lower modern door. In the W. wall is a window of two round-headed lights in a round moulded head with blocked tracery-lights and moulded mullion and architrave; on the mullion is a fleur-de-lis; below the window is a modern doorway. The second stage has, in the N., S. and W. walls, a window similar to that in the stage below, but with no fleur-de-lis. The bell-chamber has in each wall a similar window.

The Roof of the former nave is modern, but rests on late 15th-century moulded stone corbels; the corbel over the second column from the W. of the N. side has a black-letter inscription "vicar Thō (Wyll . . ?)." The modern roof of the S. transept has similar corbels, one bearing a black-letter H.

Fittings—Bells: four; 1st, 2nd and 3rd by Christopher Hodson, 1686. Coffin-lid: In recess of blocked W. doorway—coped slab with cross in relief, 13th-century, much worn. Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In churchyard—to Kathron, wife of Phillip Haynes, 1690–1, and to her husband, 1690–1, headstone with skull and cross-bones. Floor-slabs: In nave—(1) with remains of Lombardic inscription, 13th or 14th-century; (2) to John Gossage, 1672, with shield-of-arms. Plate: now at St. Margaret's Church, Plumstead Common, includes a plate of 1710 on three legs and a paten of the same date. Scratchings: On stones of N. arcade, various masons' marks. Table: now used as communion-table in old chancel—with turned legs, in the form of columns, on square bases with lozenge on faces, plain rails and restored moulded edge, early 17th-century. Miscellanea: In churchyard— parts of window-head, jamb and sill, moulded corbels, etc., late 15th-century.


b(3) Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, Eltham, stands at the N.W. corner of Eltham Hill and Wellhall Road. It was entirely re-built in 1875, but retains from the old building the following:—

Fittings—Chairs: now at the Vicarage, two with upholstered backs and seats, carved arms, turned and twisted legs and rails, late 17th or early 18th-century. Monuments and Floor-slabs. Monuments: In vestibule—on W. wall, (1) to Ann, wife of Dr. Richard Owen, 1652–3, and their children, Richard, 1641–2, Charles 1648, Edward, 1678, James, 1653, Mary, 1675, Jane, 1663–4, and Blainch, 1649, also Thomas son of Richard Owen by his second wife, Amy, 1679, plain marble tablet. In churchyard—E. of chancel, (2) to Thomas Scroop, 1688 (?), headstone with cherub-heads, etc.; (3) to Samuel Spencer, 1714, headstone with skull, etc.; N. of chancel, (4) to Elizabeth Fearon, 1712–13 (?), headstone with skull; S.E. of chancel, (5) to Walter Yeates, 1713, headstone with skull, etc.; N. of N. aisle, (6) to Obedience, daughter of Stephen Bellingham, 1697, headstone with skull, etc.; (7) to Richard Houltum (?), 1699, and others with names defaced, headstone with scrolls and skulls; S. of S. aisle, (8) to Mary, wife of Robert Street, 1708–9, and others of later date, low table-tomb with moulded slab. Floor-slabs: In vestibule—(1) to Nicholas Smith, 1698, Mary his first wife, 1676, Frances his second wife, 1696 (?), and Nicholas, Elizabeth and Hester his grandchildren, also to others of later date; (2) to John Colleton, 16[35]; (3) to Katherine, wife of John Bowles, 1670, Margaret their daughter, 1666, and others later. In S. porch—(4) to John Stanyan, 1711, Elizabeth, his daughter, 1710–11, and another of later date. In churchyard—E. of chancel, (5) to George Cooke, 1699, and Mary his wife, 1695. Painting: In S. aisle—on canvas, the Annunciation, said to be by Carlo Maratti, 17th-century. Miscellanea: hemispherical stone bowl with square top of doubtful use and date.



b(4) Eltham Palace, hall, houses in various tenures, walls, bridge and moat, 550 yards S.S.W. of Eltham parish church. The walls are of ragstone, Reigate stone and brick; the roofs are tiled. The palace consisted of the main buildings standing within a moat of quadrangular form and an outer court, of which only part of the range of buildings on the W. side now remain. Elizabethan plans of both parts of the buildings survive, which form a valuable commentary on the existing remains. The buildings surviving within the moat are the great hall, the lodgings to the E. of it, the retaining wall of the moat with the bases of the buildings erected upon it on the W. face and some underground passages and substructures. The palace was built, probably on the site of an earlier house, by Anthony Bec, Bishop of Durham, c. 1296–1311. Parts of the retaining wall of the moat may be of this date, but the buildings themselves have been destroyed; the Elizabethan plan, however, indicates that Bec's building had octagonal towers at the angles and a gatehouse flanked by similar towers on the S. front. The arrangement seems to have been similar to that of the same prelate's castle at Somerton, Lincs. The palace passed into the hands of the Crown in 1311, but there is little evidence of alteration to the buildings before the time of Edward IV, except the re-building or alteration of the chapel, since destroyed, by Henry VI. The Great Hall was re-built by Edward IV, the work being in progress and nearing completion in 1479; the N. Bridge over the moat is of the same period. Much building was done at the palace under Henry VIII and Elizabeth; the former re-built the chapel which stood to the N. of the hall, but has entirely disappeared. Most of the retaining wall of the moat was re-built in brick in the 16th century, as were the ranges of lodgings on the W. front, of which the bases of the various bay windows remain. The surviving building in the outer court is also of the 16th century. The buildings were largely intact at the time of the Parliamentary survey, under the Commonwealth, but since that time have been gradually reduced to their present dimensions.

The Hall is an excellent example of its period and the bridge over the moat is also noteworthy.

Eltham Palace. Site Plan

Architectural Description — The Great Hall (Plate 174) (101½ ft. by 36 ft.) is of six bays, divided externally by buttresses; the walls are of red brick, faced with stone. The N. wall (Plate 178) is faced with Reigate-stone ashlar with a moulded parapet-string carved with grotesque heads at intervals; each bay except the westernmost has two windows each of two cinquefoiled lights with a quatrefoiled spandrel in a four-centred head with a moulded label; below the easternmost window is a doorway with moulded and shafted jambs and two-centred arch in a square head with traceried spandrels and a moulded label; projecting from the westernmost bay is a rectangular 'oriel' with a pair of windows on the outer face similar to those in the other bays, but carried down below an embattled transom and with cinquefoiled and sub-cusped heads to the lower lights. There is a similar window in the E. return wall; the blank wall on the W. has blind panelling of similar design to the window, and below it is a doorway with moulded and shafted jambs and four-centred arch; it opens into a small porch or annexe with an open four-centred arch on the W. side and a window high up in the N. wall, of two four-centred lights in a square head with a moulded label; the walls of the porch have been much altered and the former arrangement of floors, etc., obscured. The S. side (Plate 176) of the hall is generally similar to the N., but the walls, below the window-sills, are faced with squared ragstone; the doorway also has no spandrels or square head and the porch to the 'oriel' has no window; the opening on the W. side of the 'oriel' has a second four-centred arch at a much lower level. The W. end of the hall (Plate 175) is a blank wall, the lower part of rubble, and the upper part, with the gable, of brick; set in the wall, at about 20 ft. from the ground, is a stone corbel. The E. end of the hall has a doorway now covered with plaster; further S. are two original doorways each with moulded jambs and four-centred arch; one doorway is now blocked. The roof of the hall (Plate 179) is of hammerbeam type with elaborately moulded main timbers, curved braces below the hammer-beams and collars, the latter forming four-centred arches; the spandrels of these arches are cusped and the spaces between the main collars, the secondary collars and the ridge are filled with open lights with traceried heads; the side-posts are continued down below the hammer-beams as pendants and have richly moulded terminations; between the purlins are curved and cusped wind-braces; over the third bay from the W. is the hexagonal framing (Plate 188) for the former louvre. The two 'oriels' open from the hall by lofty and moulded four-centred arches with moulded and shafted responds. Each 'oriel' has a stone vault of two bays with diagonal, ridge, subsidiary and lierne ribs and carved bosses at the intersections, mostly foliage and much weathered. At the E. end of the hall is the framework of the original oak screen; it is of five bays and had two doorways; the close bays have a moulded rail and the main posts and head of the screen are also moulded; the posts have each an attached shaft with a moulded base.

Eltham Lodge

The Lodgings to the E. of the hall consist of four bays on the N. front, of which that immediately adjoining the hall has no ancient features. The other three bays are of late 15th-century date; the ground floor is ashlar-faced and contains a re-set window of two four-centred lights in a square head; further W. is a modern window set in an arch incorporating some moulded 15th-century stones; there are two other windows, both modern. The first floor projects and has exposed timberframing and a moulded bressumer; the three gables have moulded barge-boards, two with pierced tracery and one of the same form, but with carved foliage in place of the tracery; all three have panelled pendants at the apex, with moulded terminals. Three of the chimney-stacks of this building are partly old. Inside the building two doorways in the main cross-wall are of the 15th century and have stop-moulded jambs and four-centred heads. The western window in the N. wall has a collection of painted glass including seated figure of Queen Elizabeth, square panel with figures of two arquebusiers and a halberdier, German, early 17th-century; two oval panels, (a) figure of Christ as the fountain of the water of life and (b) St. Mary Magdalene anointing the feet of Christ, Dutch or German, 16th-century; oval panel with a figure of Charity; rectangular panel with figure of St. Anthony and a (?) donor, foreign, 16th-century; various fragments of inscriptions, a helm, etc. The roof of the S.W. part of the building is in three bays with cambered tie-beams and braces forming four-centred arches; the roof on the N. side has cambered tie-beams with collar and struts to the purlins.

Eltham Palace, Plan Showing Remaining Buildings

The revetment-wall of the moat is partly of stone and partly of brick, the stonework being perhaps partly of earlier date than the brickwork, which dates from the 16th century. The E. face has square projecting bastions added at the angles; the southern 120 ft. of the wall is of small coursed blocks in the lower part and of rubble finished with brick above; level with the S. face of the hall are the remains of the early 16th century embattled brick parapet with an arrow-loop in each merlon; the remainder of the wall has been much altered except the N. end, where it resembles the southernmost portion. The S. face is mainly of rubble, much altered and out of true towards the E. end. The wall for about 32 ft. from the W. angle is of 16th-century brick with black-brick diapering; it has the base of a square projecting bay at the angle and of another bay further E.; between them is the entrance to an underground passage; near the middle of the S. face are the remains of a bridge crossing the moat; they consist of part of the abutment on the palace side and of several piers spaced about 7½ ft. apart; the remains are of stone and brick, and would seem to be of 16th-century date. The W. face at the S. end (Plate 175) is of rubble with added projections in brick with black brick diapering; these projections formed the bases of five bay-windows (including the angle bay), the middle one of these has a diagonal projection in the middle and all are of the 16th century; further N. the rubble wall is supported by two large stone and brick buttresses; the remainder of the wall has been much altered and ruined, but retains portions of the bases of several projecting bays of brick; at the angle is a large projecting bastion of stone at the base and of brick above. The N. face has a stretch of fairly well preserved stone wall towards the W. with brick capping.

The Bridge (Plate 177) is of late 15th-century date and of ashlar with a later brick parapet; the four arches are of unequal size, but are all four-centred and have a double hollow-chamfer on the outer face and a horizontal moulded string-course above; the piers are provided on both sides with 'cut-water' projections finished with a tabled capping at the level of the parapet; the three northern arches of the bridge have each two hollow-chamfered ribs supporting the brick soffit; the southernmost arch is now blocked, but formerly consisted of the outer arches only, the space between being bridged by a draw-bridge.

There are at least three underground passages within the moated area and two of these are accessible, their position being shown on the plan. The passage at the S.W. angle has a pointed roof of brick and terminates on the N. in a stone doorway with chamfered jambs and two-centred head. The passage near the N.W. angle has a similar roof; to the S. of it is another passage joining two small chambers, but here the work has been much altered.

The Moat surrounds the site, but is now dry except for the N. arm.

The remains of the Conduit Head, for supplying the palace with water, stand on the E. side of the Southend Road, 1,050 yards E.S.E. of the parish church. The structure is of brick, much ruined, and dates from the 16th or 17th century; it consists of a small chamber with a pointed barrel-vault and an opening in the S.E. wall with a segmental arch. Projecting towards the N.E. is a short length of tunnel with a two-centred arch opening into it.

The Green Court of the palace adjoined the moat on the N.E. side; it had ranges of buildings on the N.W., N.E. and S.E. sides, being entered by a gatehouse in the middle of the N.E. range. The only surviving building is the greater part of the N.W. range which, according to the late 16th-century plan by John Thorpe, then included the Lord Chancellor's Lodging (Plate 180) with his buttery, the spicery and the pastry; it now forms the houses Nos. 32, 34 and 36 Courtyard. The building is of two storeys, partly with an attic; the walls are generally timber-framed and weather-boarded and the roofs are tiled. It was built, probably, early in the 16th century, but has been much altered, particularly in the 18th century, and partly re-built.

The S.W. part of the building, Nos. 36 and 34 (Plate 3), has a weather-boarded S.E. front with a projecting gabled wing at the end; this wing has a square bay-window standing on a brick plinth with three chamfered offsets and finished with a low 17th-century pediment. The rest of the front has a projecting upper storey, broken by a small gabled projection, now a porch, but probably retaining the structure of the 'oriel' of the original Hall, shown on Thorpe's plan. At the junction of the main building and the wing is a chimney-stack with original moulded bases. The windows, generally, have solid frames, mullions and transoms and are probably of late 17th-century date. The front of No. 32 (Plate 3) appears to have been reconstructed early in the 18th century; the windows have double-hung sashes with thick bars; the doorway has an architrave, carved scrolls and a pediment.

Eltham Palace. Buildings N.W. of Former Green Court

The back or N.W. elevation has been partly covered by later additions. The old portions are weather-boarded and have some late 17th-century windows with solid frames. At the back of Nos. 32 and 34 are three tower-shaped projections of stone or rubble; adjoining one of these on the S.W. is a half-round projection.

Inside the building, No. 36, now two houses, contains exposed ceiling-beams, some re-fixed linen-fold-panelling and some of 17th-century date. In a passage is an original doorway with hollowchamfered oak jambs and four-centred arch in a square head. On the first floor is a similar doorway with a battened door. The newel-staircase has a round newel and thick treads and risers. Some of the timber-framing is exposed. In No. 34 are some exposed ceiling-beams and the two fireplaces at the back are probably original. The fittings of No. 32 are, probably, of early 18th-century date and include a staircase with straight strings and turned balusters, some panelling with dado-rail, two panelled doors and some simple surrounds to the fireplaces.

The Tilt-yard Gate (Plate 8). E. of the Green Court, is of red brick and of early 16th-century date. It has double chamfered jambs and four-centred arch and is finished with a splayed coping of brick stepped up in the middle.


b(5) Wellhall, outbuilding, bridge and moat, 700 yards N. of Eltham Church. The Outbuilding, on the N. side of the moat, is of two storeys; the walls are of red brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built in 1568, the date on a tablet on the N. side; the W. part was altered early in the 18th century and later, to form a dwelling, and the E. part has been completely altered for farm purposes. The N. elevation (Plate 3) has some blue-brick diapering and a range of four-centred relieving arches, four of which have been cut into or destroyed by later openings; below the easternmost arch is an original window of seven lights with brick mullions and a square head; it is now blocked. In the adjoining bay is part of a similar window Towards the E. end of the first floor are three unglazed windows with heavy wooden bars set diagonally; the easternmost window is similar in form to the blocked window below, the others are higher and one has a transom. Near the middle of the elevation is a stone panel with the date 1568 and a cartouche-of-arms, probably of Tatershall (from whom the property came to the Ropers), a cheveron between three tigers with mirrors. The S. elevation (Plate 3) is of similar character to the N. and has a range of four-centred arches flush with the wall-face. The windows of the W. part were altered during the 17th century and the three lower ones retain their moulded frames, mullions and transom; the projecting chimney-stack is original with a later shaft set diagonally. Further E. are two re-set windows with diamond-shaped mullions, and near the E. end are two original windows with brick mullions and now blocked. The E. and W. ends are gabled with a moulded coping and square pinnacles at the base of the gables resting on corbelling; those at the E. end are moulded and panelled, the S.E. pinnacle having a simple design in the panels and, below, on one side, the initials W.R (?) presumably for William Roper, the son-in-law of Sir Thomas More; there is a panelled hexagonal pinnacle at the apex of this gable. In the wall below, at the ground-floor level, is an original window of seven lights with a square head under a four-centred arch; the mullions are of brick and the lights are now blocked. Projecting from the W. wall (Plate 3) of the building is an original chimney-stack with offsets and two square shafts, set diagonally at the top; S. of the stack, at the first-floor level, is a recess with a four-centred head enclosing a loop-light and two small openings light the roof-space or attic.

Inside the building, the only ancient features are some heavy chamfered ceiling-beams and part of the roof, which has some queen-post trusses and wind-braces.

The Bridge, over the E. arm of the moat, is of stone and of two spans with four-centred arches, chamfered at the angles; above the arches runs a splayed string-course. The bridge is of 16th-century date, but the brick parapets are a later re-building.

The Moat encloses a rectangular island about 150 ft. by 120 ft. now vacant of buildings. The banks are revetted in brick and there is an arm projecting N. from the N.W. angle.

To the S.E. of the moat is a length of 16th-century walling of brick containing a blocked mullioned window.


Eltham Lodge

b(6) Eltham Lodge, house, nearly ½ mile S.S.E. of Eltham Church, is of two storeys with basement and attics. The walls are of brick with some stone dressings; the roofs are covered with slates and lead. It was built for Sir John Shaw, between the years 1663 and 1665, by Hugh May, paymaster of the King's works. About 1752 some decorative additions were made to various rooms and there are a few modern alterations.

Eltham Lodge

The house is a handsome and complete example of its period and retains many of its original fittings, including a handsome carved staircase.

The North Front (Plate 181) is of red brick in Flemish bond with a stone band at the ground-floor level and a modillioned eaves-cornice of wood. The middle bay of the front has four Ionic pilasters of stone supporting a pediment enclosing a stone cartouche with swags, superimposed over a round opening. Between the pilasters and in the side bays are square-headed windows with flush frames and double-hung sashes; the basement-windows have plastered architraves set flush with the wall-face. The central entrance-doorway has a round keyed arch, perhaps of later date, set in the squareheaded opening, which has a frieze and cornice supported on console-brackets; it is approached by a broad flight of steps. The South Front (Plate 181) is similar in general treatment to the N., but has no pilasters or pediment. The central doorway has a projecting 18th-century porch and is flanked by two shallow round-headed recesses; in the storey above are two similar recesses. The East and West Elevations are uniform and generally similar to the S. front. Each front has a brick pilaster at each end, and between and flanking the windows on both floors are shallow recesses, all with round heads except the middle pair, which are square-headed. The E. elevation is partly covered by an 18th-century addition. The chimney-stacks are built in pairs and have recessed sides and moulded cappings.

Interior—The Entrance Hall, with the rooms on either side of it, and the vestibule and dining-room have mid 18th-century woodwork, etc., and this is also the date of the modelled plaster ceiling of the hall. The Breakfast-room, E. of the inner vestibule, has a panelled dado and a moulded cornice; the plaster ceiling (Plate 187) has a large panel with recessed angles, enriched mouldings and modelled fruit, flowers, etc.; the four angles have each a square panel filled with naturalistic foliage; the rest of the ceiling is occupied by four long panels enclosed by modelled plaster-work. The small room E. of the Breakfast-room has panelled walls with dado-rail and cornice; the fireplace has a bolection-moulded surround and a panelled overmantel with a landscape-painting on canvas. The small room E. of the secondary staircase is lined with re-fixed early 17th-century panelling with a narrow cornice; the fireplace (Plate 11) is flanked by pilasters with jewel-ornament and supporting an ovolo-moulded shelf; the overmantel is of two bays divided and flanked by enriched pilasters on pedestals; the bays have L-shaped panels surrounding a raised central panel with enrichment; the doorway to the adjoining staircase has a round head, with plain key-block and springing from panelled pilasters. In the basement is a doorway with early 17th-century wooden linings and a round arch, springing from moulded corbels and having a fluted key-block with pendant; the door is of two leaves each with four raised panels; three other doorways have architraves of the same period. On the first floor the rooms on the N. side were re-fitted and decorated about the middle of the 18th century. The large N.W. room was formerly two rooms, and each part retains its original ceiling (Plate 185). The larger ceiling has an enriched entablature with an eagle and two palm-branches on the W. side; in the middle is a square panel with a wide floral band continued round a circular panel in the middle of each side; the L-shaped panels in the angles are filled with scrolled acanthus-ornament. The smaller ceiling has a coved cornice round the walls and an oval band of flowers in the middle; the spandrels are filled with scrolled acanthus-ornament. The Great Parlour, on the S. side, is lined with original panelling with dado and enriched entablature; the architraves of the doors and windows are also enriched; the fireplace has a bolection-moulded surround of brown veined marble; the overmantel has a large panel with enriched mouldings and surmounted by a wreath with the names J. and D. (?) Shaw and two carved swags; in the panel is a classical landscape painted on canvas. The elaborate plaster ceiling (Plate 186) has a square recessed central panel with a modillioned cornice and a broad band of scrolled acanthus-foliage; the subsidiary panels of the ceiling have each an elliptical band with floral ornament; the spaces at the ends have cherubs, cartouches and scrolled acanthus-ornament. On the walls were six panels of Flemish tapestry, of late 17th-century date, now at the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington; they represent the story of Theodosius and the apple. The room E. of the great parlour has an original ceiling with a coved cornice and a round central panel with a band of flowers and foliage. The Great Staircase (Plates 183–4) is of the square well-type with a short flight leading from the second landing to a gallery on the W. side; this gallery has square carved and panelled posts and heavy turned balusters; two of the posts are surmounted by a vase and a basket of flowers respectively; the staircase itself has newels similar to the posts above described, with vases on the free newels and baskets on the posts against the walls; the strings have entablaturemouldings with a pulvinated frieze of bay-leaves; the space between the strings and enriched handrails is divided into panels by panelled and carved uprights, the panels being filled with pierced acanthus-scrolls, including some with amorini. The dado corresponds to the stair-rail, but has plain panels except the panels under the gallery, which have acanthus-scrolls. The external W. wall is panelled with moulded dado-rail and windowboards. The ceiling of the staircase (Plate 182) has a coved cornice terminating in a band of guilloche and foliage-ornament; within it is an oval band of fruit and flowers with scrolled foliage in the spandrels; in the oval panel is a modern painting. The walls of the staircase, hall and other rooms are lined with elaborate architectural, pictorial and other decoration on wall-paper, ascribed to the middle of the 18th century. Between the staircase and the central landing the former partition has been cut away to form a wide opening. The ceiling of the landing is coved at the sides with a band of leaves, etc., surrounding an octagonal lantern; the lantern has a moulded architrave and a balustrade with large turned balusters. The secondary staircase (Plate 27), on the E. side of the central landing, has moulded strings and handrails, heavy turned balusters and square newels with ball-terminals.

East of the house and on the N. side is an original wall enclosing a large yard and two gate-piers with pineapple terminals. East of the yard is an outbuilding, now converted into a cottage; it is of one storey, the windows have flat heads and the chimney-stack is panelled.


Monuments (7–23).

The following monuments, unless otherwise described, are of late 17th or early 18th-century date and of two storeys; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled.

Condition—Good or fairly good, unless noted.


b(7) Langerton House, on the W. side of Courtyard, 100 yards E. of No. 32 Courtyard (4), is of two storeys with attics. The E. front is symmetrically designed and has a brick band between the storeys and a wooden eaves-cornice; the doorway has Doric pilasters supporting an entablature, of which the cornice is missing; the windows have flat arches and there are three dormers in the roof.

The boundary-walls, next the road and to the N. and S. of the house, include considerable portions of 16th-century brickwork.

b(8) Range of houses (Plate 1), Nos. 29, 31 and 33, on the E. side of Courtyard, 150 yards S. of the church, has a brick band between the storeys and a wooden eaves-cornice. Inside the building, the front room of No. 33 has a half-round recess with a round moulded and enriched head, moulded imposts and carved spandrels.

b(9) Houses (Plate 1), Nos. 80, 82 and 84, on the S. side of High Street, at the E. angle of Courtyard, are of two storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed and weather-boarded and partly re-fronted in brick. Inside No. 82 is an original moulded beam, and both this house and No. 84 have a newel-staircase.

b(10) The Greyhound Inn (Plate 1), adjoining (9) on the E., was re-built c. 1720, but contains two mid 16th-century stone fireplaces (Plate 12) with stop-moulded jambs and depressed arch in a square head, with carved shields and foliage in the spandrels. In a room on the first floor is some early 17th-century panelling, re-fixed.

b(11) Cliefden House, on N. side of High Street, 150 yards E. of the church, was built, probably, c. 1720, but contains an early 17th-century staircase, enclosed by walls, but having moulded 'grip' hand-rails and square newels (Plate 26) enriched with geometrical designs and with square moulded terminals; the enriched splat-balusters against the walls have all been removed except two. On the first floor is a 16th-century panelled door with strap-hinges. The opening at the foot of the upper flight of the stairs is of early 17th-century date, with a round arch and key-block with a pierced pendant. On the second floor is a late 16th-century moulded door-frame of oak.

The stables (Plate 6), N. of the house, were built c. 1720, but incorporate an early 17th-century chimney-stack with two shafts set diagonally.

b(12) Eltham House and garden-house, 20 yards E. of (11), was partly re-fitted and re-decorated about the middle of the 18th century. The S. front (Plate 2) has square-headed window-openings and a modillioned eaves-cornice, with a modern blocking-course above. The doorway is flanked by Ionic columns, supporting an entablature and pediment. The back elevation (Plate 2) is generally similar to the front, but the upper part of the wall has been re-built; the doorway has a flat hood (Plate 10) resting on carved brackets; an oval window, lighting the stairs, has a scrolled iron grille on the inside. Inside the building, some of the rooms retain their original panelling and two fireplaces have marble surrounds. The staircase (Plate 24) has straight moulded strings, twisted balusters and square newels; the walls have original panelling and cornice.

The Garden-house (Plate 2), N. of the house, is of 18th-century date and of one storey; the walls are of red brick. The building is long and narrow and has two large windows on either side of a central feature, the bays being divided and flanked by plain pilasters. The central feature (Plate 2) is carried up above the rest of the building and is flanked by Corinthian pilasters supporting enriched entablatures and a pediment; between the pilasters is a round-headed doorway, with impost-mouldings and a carved key-stone; above it is a semi-circular, round-headed niche with an impost-moulding carried round it.

b(13) Houses and shops, Nos. 31 and 33, 70 yards E. of (12), are partly of weather-boarded timber-framing. The front has been much altered. The building was demolished in 1929.

b(14) Philpot Almshouses, range of six tenements, 120 yards E. of (13), were founded by will of Thomas Philpot, 1680, and built, according to a tablet on the front of the building, in 1694. The S. front (Plate 1) has a brick band between the storeys, raised over the doorways; the windows, of three lights, have solid frames and mullions and lead glazing; the doorways have heavy frames and flat moulded hoods; the doors are of moulded battens. Inside the building, some staircases retain their original splat-balusters.

b(15) Cottage, two tenements, standing back from the road, 50 yards N.E. of (13), is of L-shaped plan, timber-framed and weather-boarded.

b(16) House, No. 130, on the S. side of High Street, 420 yards E. of the church, is of L-shaped plan with a late 18th-century extension to the S. wing. The N. front is symmetrical and has a brick band between the storeys and three flat-topped dormer-windows in the roof. The windows are square-headed, and the central doorway is flanked by fluted pilasters with scrolled brackets and a shell-hood. The back has a wooden eaves-cornice. Inside the building is some original panelling and a room on the ground floor has a coved cornice. Several fireplaces have original moulded surrounds. The staircase has straight moulded strings, turned balusters and square newels.

b(17) Range of Cottages (demolished in 1929), Nos. 136, 138 and 140, 20 yards E. of (16) and at the corner of Pound Place.

b(18) Range of Cottages (demolished in 1929) (Plate 1), Nos. 2–16 and 18 and 20, on the W. side of Pound Place, and adjoining (17) on the S., is generally similar to (17), but with some timberframing in the upper storey.

b(19) Pippin Hall Farm, house (Plate 6), on the S. side of Bexley Road, 1,200 yards E. of the church, was built about the middle of the 17th century. The solid window and door-frames are perhaps original.


a(20) House, No. 30, on the S. side of Church Street, 260 yards W. of St. Mary's Church, has a modillioned eaves-cornice.

a(21) Houses, Nos. 15, 16 and 17, on the S. side of Church Street, 60 yards W. of (20), have a brick band between the storeys and remains of a wooden cornice to the eaves.

a(22) House and shop, No. 5 Nile Street, on the W. side of the Free Ferry Approach, 280 yards E.N.E. of the church, has been much altered. Inside the building is some re-used early 18th-century panelling.


b(23) Bostall Farm, house and barn, 700 yards E. of St. Nicholas's Church. The House (Plate 188) was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century and has a later addition at the E. end. The walls are partly timber-framed and weather-boarded. The upper storey projects and is gabled at the E. of the original block on both sides, forming a cross-wing. On the N. side are two chimney-stacks, probably of the 17th century. The lower part on the E. end is built of rubble. Inside the building, there is some exposed timberframing in the cross-wing and some original ceilingbeams.

The Barn (Plate 188), N.W. of the house, is timber-framed and weather-boarded. It was built in the 17th century and is of seven bays with side-aisles and an entrance on the S.


b(24) Mound, on Plumstead Common, 800 yards S.S.W. of St. Nicholas's Church, is of roughly circular form, 79 ft. in diameter, about 4 ft. high and with a shallow sinking in the top.