The grounds of the former Bishops Palace. A quarter of the parkland was sold in November 2019 (including the listed folly and 2 buildings that Bromley Council have allowed to become in bad repair), and it is expected that the ‘Urban Open Space’ status from this land will be stripped so the new owners can build housing.
The Park and palace grounds incorporate
The Listed 18th Century Folly
Ice house adapted to be a summer house and boat house
The folly for the BIshops Palace was Grade II listed by English Heritage in 1955 because:
* It is an intrinsically interesting mid-c19th folly, unusually employing Norman-style decoration to evoke the spirit of the former bishop’s palacr.
* It is by Pulhams, one of the most innovative and interesting c19th firms of garden contractors.
This lead cistern says that it was installed by Bishop of Rochester, Joseph Wilcocks. He carried out renovations and improvements to the palace. Thanks to Bromley Borough Local History. The whereabouts of the cistern is not now know, it was last on the land that the council has sold for housing development.
View over moat from St Blaise’s well (2019) Rediscovered in 1754 (by the Bishop’s domestic chaplain, a Rev Mr Hardwick); a spring seeping into the moat was identified as a chalybeate spring, complete with buried ancient oak steps. “Chalybeate” means that the water contains minerals, usually iron. There was a fashion for ‘Spa’ cures from…
The original ice well was built in the mid 1700s, when the well-to-do would store ice, collected from marshes around the Thames or even as far as Norway, in the winter, and would be served in the summer. This ice well was then remodelled, by Pulhams, in the Victorian era, so that it also had…
The Pulham’s Rockery and Pulham’s Fernery were fashionable garden installations in the late Victorian era. Pulhams had invented an early form of concrete, which looks quite convincingly like rocks – but was much easier to install
Below are photos, old and new, of the Palace Park.