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Victorian Folly of 'Medieval Ruins' in Bromley Palace Park

A Grade II Listed Building in Bromley, Bromley

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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

Plus Code: 9F32C239+5W

Entry Name: Victorian Folly of 'Medieval Ruins' in Bromley Palace Park

Listing Date: 10 January 1955

Last Amended: 30 April 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1186785

English Heritage Legacy ID: 358557

Location: Bromley Town, Bromley, London, BR1

County: 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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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)

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

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