Maps and photographs of the road
We have obtained a number of maps and two aerial photographs that show the southern end of the road and its buildings, south of Foxbury, in the period between 1870 and 1991. They show the development of the road from an ancient footpath, which came from St Pauls Cray over Wood Heath, past Kemnal Manor and onto the Sidcup Road, into a grand residential road, and the later re-development of the land on which the houses were built. (Thanks to Cala Homes and Propmap for providing the maps)
Please click onto the year below, to see the maps/photographs for that year in more detail.
The footpath leading from Ashfield Lane to Kemnal Manor is clearly seen in this map. It crosses another footpath near the original Woodheath Cottage, the only residence featuring on the footpath. Wood Heath is the name given to the ancient woodland over which Kemnal Road now passes. Note the spelling od Foxberry Wood.
By 1897 the road is laid out and all the main houses and their lodges and stables have been built. Note that Nizels is without its extension, and that Wyvelsfield is still in a relatively small plot of land. Meadowcroft has its drive opening onto Ashfield Lane.
Nizels and South Home have been extended; polo stables have been built in Woodheath’s grounds; Kemnal Warren has extended its grounds eastwards.
There are more changes by 1939. Wyvelsfield is now Mulbarton Court, which has been extended to include a nursery(today called Barton). It has acquired more land, and Kemnal Warren has been demolished. The Foxearth has replaced the old Woodheath Cottage, and Hoblands has been rebuilt complete with a new swimming pool has been built. Meadowcroft’s drive is now on Kemnal Road.
This photograph was taken by Luftwaffe aircraft towards the end of the war. Apologies for the poor quality.
We can make out some of the houses very clearly on this postwar aerial photograph, (possibly 1950), but those on the west of the road are largely hidden by the trees. Note how few cars there are on the roads!
Much has changed since the war ended: Meadowcroft has gone, and Marlowe Close built, the former polo stables are separated from Hoblands, and called Woodheath, Nizels has divided into three residences, South Home has gone, replaced by flats, Casa Mia (now Columbine) has been built, Mulbarton Court has gone, but Barton remains.
The stables at Holly Bowers are named Mapledene, and a new property, Forest Ridge, has been built where Eaton Court is today, Kemnal Wood is divided into three residences, Westerland house has gone, and replaced by flats.
All the lodges, stables and cottages have separate grounds from their houses, clearly sold off, and Heathfield has been completed to the west.
The dramatic changes continued over the next 15 years: Inglewood flats have been built, and Inglewood Cottage replaced the stables, Kemnal Warren flats have been built, and Kemnal Lodge built. Mulbarton Court flats have been built, and Mulbarton Cottage extended.
Holly Bowers has gone and Mapledene flats built, and Kemnal Wood has gone without trace. Dickens Drive, Dorrit Way, Pickwick Way and Copperfield Way have been built.
Willett House has been built in Selwood’s garden. The Coach House has acquired land from Woodlands. Woodlands itself has gone.
By 1991 the story is almost up to date: Queenborough Gardens has been built behind Hoblands; Byfield and Avondale have been built in Kemnal Warren original grounds; Acorn Close and the three houses opposite South Lodge on Kemnal Road have been built, and Pickwick Way has been extended onto Selwood land.
Since 1991, South Home and Westerland have been redeveloped and renamed Oaklands and Worsley Grange. A new house, Piermont, has been built between South Lodge and Mulbarton Court, and Hoblands has a new swimming pool. Woodheath Cottage has recently been demolished.