Foxbury Estate

A map of the estate 1909 Foxbury was a large estate, and there were a number of properties within the estate where servants lived. In addition to the two lodges which still stand, there were an number of buildings on the farm. The 1909 map here shows these in relation to the House and the two lodges. The names given to these buildings changed over the years, and here we use the names used in the various census returns or on the electoral register.

After Frank purchased the Homewood Estate, a number of staff lived at lodges or cottages which were part of that estate. We have not included them here.

If you click here, or on the map you will see an aerial photograph of the main estate taken, we think, in the 1920s, possibly by Edward, Frank's son.

Foxbury North Lodge

North Lodge todayThe North Lodge was, not surprisingly, and still is, located at the northern end of the property; the access from the Sidcup Road was important. The style of the house is very distinctive, and it has been in continuous occupation since it was built.

George Walker Petty* was coachman at Foxbury from 1876 until his death in 1894 following an accident. Born at Foots Cray in 1845, he lived at the Lodge with his wife Ann, (2 years his junior, born in Wales), and their children, all born in Sussex. Edward died aged 15 after being run over by a cart at Foxbury. Their other children were Edith Jane (1871), Alice Mary (1872), Ellen Maud (1874), Joseph William (1877), and Margaret (1881). Ellen died in 1912, aged 38, and George's wife Ann died in 1932 at the age of 85. Agnes Tiarks was very fond of the family, and spent much time with Ann as they both grew older. Joe emigrated to South Africa in 1896. George and Ann are buried together in St Nicholas churchyard with Ellen.

In 1891 George Hunby had moved in with his wife Louisa. He was a gardener from Hampshire, aged 45. There was no mention of children. In 1901 John Lewis Pugh was the head of household. He had been living above the stables in 1891, and now lived here with his wife, Amy (32) from London, and their 5 year old daughter Muriel, who was born in Chislehurst. John and his family were to stay at the Lodge until 1923 when he was 52. He died eight years later and is buried in St Nicholas churchyard.

In 1926 Charles England, his wife Susan, and their son George were living here. Charles died in 1934, aged 71, and is buried in St Nicholas churchyard. Alfred Bunce, a golf professional, and his wife Alice, stayed on until 1937, when the Tiarks left Foxbury.

In 1953 Jack and Winifred Taylor occupied the Lodge. It was at this time that another Winifred Taylor lived at the South Lodge; the postman must have found it confusing. The Taylors moved on in 1956, when William and Jean Smith moved in. They were to stay at the lodge until 1969, when the present owners moved in.

Foxbury South Lodge

Mrs Goemans at South LodgeThe South Lodge is situated at the southern entrance to the estate, opposite the entrance to Kemnal Lane. Originally it would have been similar in style to North Lodage, but it was rebuilt around 1920, designed by Edward May, who also designed The Foxearth opposite. It is now less distinctive than its younger sister house, but with some half-timbering. It may have been enlarged after 1939.

The first resident, John High, was the Foxbury carpenter. He was from Norfolk where he was born in 1831, and described this as his residence in 1881 with his daughter Ellen (25) who was a dressmaker. She was born in Surrey.

John Goldsmith (60) a widower, was a coachman at Foxbury living here in 1891 . His daughter Edith (25) was living with him, and was described as a housekeeper. He was born in Woodford, and she was born in Leytonstone.

Horace and GladysIn 1901 John Salmon from Orpington was living here. He was a gardener, and his wife Sarah was from Great Waltham in Essex. They were to stay here until John’s death in 1931, at the age of 76. Sarah died seventeen years later in 1948 at the age of 83. They are buried in St Nicholas churchyard. William Richard Palmer and his wife Lydia moved in the same year, and were still at the lodge at the time of the outbreak of the war.

After the war Horace and Gladys Goemans (shown right) lived here with their son Geoffrey and his wife. Horace was Land Agent at Foxbury and Homewood, and worked for Foxbury Estates after the Tiarks left, and had previously lived at Homewood Lodge. More about Horace Goemans here...

Since then, until recently, the only resident who has stayed for any length of time was Winifred Taylor, who lived at the lodge between 1952 and 1959. (She is in the photograph on The Foxearth page)

Foxbury Gardener’s Bothy

In 1881 this is the residence of Stephen Bond (46) a cowman from Cambridgeshire. He lived here with his wife, Mary Ann (41). In 1891 there were three men living here, all described as gardeners: William Lyne (20), the head, from Egham, John Jones* (28) a boarder from Wales, and Edward Coombes (15), a boarder from Loxton Somerset. By 1901 there were a different three gardeners living here, CJ Baller (23) from Reigate, H Martin (21) from Essex, and JJ Crook (19) from Gloucester.

All had gone by 1911, replaced by Bertram Smith (28), foreman gardener from Lexden Essex, and two journeymen gardeners, Sydney Cruttenden (21) from Chislehurst, and George Patterson (21), from Forfar, Dundee.

The Bothy was later occupied by the Lucas family, Herbert and Lucy. They are first mentioned in 1923, and stayed here until Foxbury was sold. George and Gladys Benson took up residence at The Bothy Flat during the war, and stayed until 1959.

Gardener’s Cottage

Staff by the glass housesArthur Albert Worley, who was Steward and Gardener for Foxbury, lived at the cottage in 1881 with his wife, five children, and a monthly nurse. Arthur was 35, and from Surrey. His wife Mary Ann was 37 from Dorset, and their children were Catherine Mary (14) born in Lee, Alice Edith (12), Ada Louise (11), Arthur Albert (9), and Florence Annie (6), all of whom were born in Chislehurst. Harriet Williams was the nurse, but for whom we don’t know.

By 1890 John Lyne had moved here with his wife and niece to be head gardener. John was 43, from Lincolnshire. His wife was 51, from Suffolk and they had seven children: Mary (19), and John (18), born in Cheshire, and Alice (14), Samuel (12), Annie (10), Frederick (9) and Alfred (7) all born in Wimbledon, where John had been gardener first to Baron Schroder, then to Agnes’s step-father, Alexander Schlusser.

John’s daughter Annie died of pleurisy in 1894, and his wife died on New Year’s Day 1900. John stayed as head gardener until 1915, and was a great comfort to Agnes Tiarks after Henry’s death. Lyne resigned in July 1915 after 25 years service. He was ill and died five months later on New Year’s Eve 1915. There was some suggestion of dishonesty at this time, but there was still affection between the families, since Agnes continued to give a quarterly allowance to John’s daughter in law until 1923.

Charles and Susan England moved in after John had left, staying until 1925, when they moved to the North Lodge. They were replaced by Albert Lee, who stayed at the Cottage until at least the start of the war.

The name appears to have been changed to Cherry Tree Cottage after the war. Julian Dowle, the internationally renowned garden designer. lived here from 1948 to 1973, firstly as a boy, and later with his wife where they raised 4 sons. He also ran his business, Cherry Tree Nursery from the same address.

Julian moved to live in New Zealand for a while, and now lives in Gloucestershire. He has won 11 Gold medals at the annual Chelsea Flower Show.

Cowman’s Cottage (1)

Kennel boy with houndsFrom 1891 there are references to another property, Cowman's Cottage, on the estate. Thomas Cowderey (50), a coachman from Whittam in Sussex gives this as his residence. His wife, Elizabeth (35) is a dairywoman from Staines, and their niece, Elizabeth Manning (10) is staying with them. They seem to have shared the property with William Blackmore (64) and his wife Mary (65). They were both from Wiltshire and he is described as a cowman on the estate. Their married daughter Annie Eaton is living with them, with her children, George (13), Annie (10) and Mary Ellen (5).

In 1901 Michael Pickwell (46) is a cowman from Oswestry. Eliza (44) is his wife, and Tom Townsend (40) has taken up residence here as well. He is a stockman from Oxfordshire, and lives there with his wife and three young sons. Jessie (32) is from north London, and their boys are Tom (5) born in Blackheath, Harold (4) and Owen (7mos) both born in Chislehurst.

By 1911, Henry Hawkesworth, a 54 year old stockman and his daughter Agnes live here. She is 30, single, and a housekeeper. Intriguingly they have a visitor recorded here, a 1 year old boy, Stanley Bonney.

Foxbury Stables

Once again, there is a return here for 1891 where there was not one ten years earlier. Joseph Hallatt* (28) from Dorset is a groom, and there are two lodgers, both of whom are also grooms: George Richwood (21) from Shoreham, Kent, and John Pugh* (21) from Montgomery.

By 1901 there were four men living here: William Seal (22) from Edenbridge; William King (24) from the Isle of Wight; Francis Durling (28) from Chislehurst; and William Pelham (19) from Seal in Kent.

In 1911 32 year old Reginald Stock, described as 2nd Coachman, was the head, living here with three grooms, James Fathers (21), from Finchley, James Hill (20) from Essex, and Jack Harriss (23) from Rochester.

By 1924 these had become the garage, and in 1924 Albert Eglesfield moved into the rooms above, where he was later to live with his wife Minnie.

The Dutch barns

Foxbury Cottage

There is another property mentioned after 1901 as being in the Foxbury grounds and referred to as Foxbury Cottage. There has been only one resident family; Benjamin W Hope and his wife Beatrice, who stayed here from 1906 until 1923. He later moved to Edgebury, where he died in 1938, aged 67. He is buried in St Nicholas churchyard with Beatrice, who died in 1957.

Home Farm

This name is first mentioned in 1963, when Charles and Edna Farmer are first mentioned. They were to stay here for 22 years. Home Farm is now the main residence in the small group of houses now on the site of the old farm.

(Those names indicated with an asterisk* are thought to feature in the group photo in the Foxbury Manor photo page. Click here to view)

The Summerhouse

One other property is known to have been built on the estate, The Summerhouse, located on the old Homewood Estate near what is now Bromley Lane. Henry Tiarks, son of Frank, lived at this house in the early 1930s until his marriage to Joan Barry. He took a number of photographs, two of which are reproduced here, courtesy of Henrietta, Duchess of Bedford.


Joan Barry at Summerhouse

The house appears to have been demolshed at the time that Perry Street was built in the 1950s.