Listed buildings of Blackfen

LOCAL LIST

A locally listed heritage asset is a building or structure which is deemed to be of local architectural or historic interest and is included on the local heritage list drawn up by Bexley Council. There are several in Blackfen, and a few just outside which are so close it seemed a shame to omit them here. They make a positive contribution to the area’s local character and sense of place, and they are offered some level of protection by the local planning authority.

177-179 Blackfen Road (corner of Burleigh Avenue). Known as Westwood Cottages, or Maxwell’s Cottages, they were built in 1890 to house workers on Westwood Farm. A footpath led to the farmhouse which was at the site now occupied by the children’s playground at The Green.

George Staples pub, 271 Blackfen Road (formerly The Woodman). Built in 1931 by the architect, Kenneth Dalgliesh, it replaced an earlier pub on the site.

Edward VIII pillar box, Tyrrell Avenue. Only a small number of letter boxes were made during the short reign of Edward VIII in 1936 and after his abdication, most boxes bearing his cypher were modified or replaced. So a surviving one is a rare sight.

ARP warden’s shelter, Wellington Avenue, near The Oval. Used during the Second World War as part of a network of shelters for ARP wardens.

The Three Blackbirds pub, 118 Blendon Road. Licensed as far back as 1717, it was rebuilt after being gutted by a fire around 1900.

Blendon Lodge, 167 Blendon Road. The West Lodge, built in 1855/56 stands at the corner of Blendon Road and The Drive. It had four rooms and a garden and housed various staff of Blendon Hall which was demolished in 1934. (The East Lodge, built at the same time as the West Lodge, was at the corner of today’s Beechway and was demolished in the 1930s).

STATUTORY LIST

Listing of a building or structure on the national Statutory List marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.

The Chapel House, 497 Blackfen Road – Grade II listed. Decoration giving the impression of a ‘chapel’ was added to the cottage when John Boyd of Danson acquired the parcel of land on which it was sited.

Jay’s Cottages, 1, 2, and 2a Blendon Road – Grade II listed. Jay’s Cottages, originally known as Blendon Villas, have stood in Blendon Road since the early 18th century to house workers on the Blendon Hall estate. They still have a lack of rear windows which was intended to stop the inhabitants gazing over the grounds of the Hall and invading the privacy of the Hall’s wealthy residents!

 

Tombstone at the Chapel House

The Chapel House is a well-known landmark in Blackfen Road, near Blendon. Originally a small cottage, it was modified into a folly in the 1760s when John Boyd of Danson acquired the land on which it was sited. The turret, spire and pointed windows give the impression of a chapel, but it has always only ever been a dwelling house.

The Chapel House in 2010, now looking neglected

The Chapel House in 2010, now looking neglected

In the garden of the Chapel House was a well. Garth Groombridge, who wrote a history of the building in 1955, asserts that “the well was some sort of pilgrim’s halting place in medieval times”. But then Groombridge did have some eccentric views…. [See ‘comments’ below]

The Chapel House in 2010, with its tomb-covered well

The Chapel House in 2010, with its tomb-covered well

A mock tomb was built to cover the well, and on the ‘tombstone’ was a skull and crossbones. According to Groombridge the skull and crossbones was a joke and was meant to deter people from trying to drink from the well. This was either because the water had become unsafe to drink or (more likely) John Boyd didn’t want riff-raff venturing onto his newly-acquired land which he had incorporated into his Danson estate.

Not much remains of the skull and crossbones on the 'tombstone', 2010

Not much remains of the skull and crossbones on the ‘tombstone’, 2010