Beltwood House

Friendly chat, questions, reviews, find old friends, ancestors or anything else related to Sydenham

Moderator: frenzarin

Beltwood House

Postby LizL » 5 Jan 2009 13:10

Does anyone know what the current status is of Beltwood House? Is it privately owned? Falling into disrepair? It would be a terrible shame if the latter.

We are new to SE26 - have seen the previous discussions but there was no answer on what is happening to it now.

Much thanks!
LizL
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 5 Jan 2009 13:05
Location: se26 6ru

Beltwood House?

Postby paultreacy » 5 Jan 2009 13:12

Where is it?
paultreacy
 
Posts: 452
Joined: 10 Jun 2008 18:40
Location: Longton Grove

Postby Thomas » 5 Jan 2009 13:39

Paul - Beltwood is on Sydenham Hill - see:
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/idmap.srf....

A bit of useful background can be found here:
http://sydenham.org.uk/forum/viewtopic. ... t=beltwood

I've only ever walked past it so have not been inside (or in the gardens) but it does seem very interesting, so any information about it would be most welcome.
Thomas
 
Posts: 632
Joined: 22 Feb 2007 14:08
Location: Upper Sydenham

Beltwood House

Postby LizL » 5 Jan 2009 17:26

Many thanks Thomas. If I come across any additional information I will be sure to post it.
LizL
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 5 Jan 2009 13:05
Location: se26 6ru

Postby simon » 5 Jan 2009 19:14

I was there two years ago and it had fallen into disrepair. It was habitable, however and there was an American woman living there with her son and numerous animals. I heard last year that, after complaints from neighbours, the police and RSPCA removed all the animals and I believe the woman has left. As I understand it, she was looking after the place for the owners.
simon
 
Posts: 837
Joined: 11 Oct 2006 16:35
Location: knighton Park Road

Beltwood House

Postby LizL » 6 Jan 2009 10:56

Thanks Simon. One of the peacocks is still around! I used to work for the NZ version of the National Trust and am automatically developing a bit of a twitch to think such a house is falling into disrepair. However, it is the way things go sometimes. The wildlife seem to be enjoying a free run the estate though! Our lounge window looks out on the gardens.
LizL
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 5 Jan 2009 13:05
Location: se26 6ru

Postby Steve Grindlay » 6 Jan 2009 11:06

Beltwood is listed Grade II so, in theory, should have some degree of protection although Grade II listing seems to have done little to protect the concrete house in Lordship Lane.

Simon, the American woman was the owner. At the end of Thomas' second link above I gave a quote from the Dulwich Society's newsletter which explains the situation a year or so ago. I believe little has changed. There is, as far as I can make out, no current planning application lodged with Southwark Council.
Steve Grindlay
 
Posts: 604
Joined: 4 Oct 2004 06:07
Location: Upper Sydenham

Postby simon » 6 Jan 2009 19:24

Thanks for that Steve. I like the way the Dulwich newletter refered to her as "eccentric", more like bonkers in my experience!
LizL, as I understand it was the noise of the peacocks that caused neighbours to complain. Does the reamining one make a racket?
Went past there today and there appeared to be some activity; gates open, cars etc.
simon
 
Posts: 837
Joined: 11 Oct 2006 16:35
Location: knighton Park Road

Postby SydenhamHillAndy » 6 Jan 2009 21:44

The house was raided in 2007 after complaints from neighbours about animal welfare and animal noise issues. All of the animals including the horses were removed apart from the peacock which still lives around my garden and eats my beautiful flowers. I'd eat it for Christmas except that the neighbours seem to like it and insist on feeding it grapes. They have a life expectancy of 15 years so I will have to put up with it for another 6 years of so....

The result of the raid was an ASBO restricting the ownership of animals along with a significant fine. The issues were bad enough that it made the news and a beautifully trashy ITV special called Britain's Summer of Noise.

The house is looking dreadful, the garden which was once beautiful is now overgrown and the shrine on Sydenham Hill which arrived after a fatal car crash in summer 2007 looks like becoming a permanent fixture.

If you were to look on the internets you would find the humourous case of when the lady owner decided to start running it as a club with the problem that she didn't have a license for music or alcohol. And she would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for the sound of music and drinking of alcohol......

Also, before anyone repeats the claim, it wasn't the home of the German Ambassador and no Beatles albums were recorded there. It was however a home for occupational therapists for a while, neighbours tell me of the olden days where bikini clad lovelies would prance around the beautifully maintained lawns..... all very James Bond.
SydenhamHillAndy
 
Posts: 114
Joined: 20 Jul 2007 16:01
Location: SE26

Postby Steve Grindlay » 6 Jan 2009 22:22

SydenhamHillAndy wrote:... no Beatles albums were recorded there...

That is no doubt true, but there is a still the possibility that George Harrison visited the house. I have come across several sources (not all on the internet) which record that on 29 August 1969 “George and several busloads of journalists attended the Apple Press launch of the Radha Krishna Temple’s first recording… in the gardens of a large country house in Sydenham”. There are few other venues in Sydenham that could have hosted such an event and, as a YWCA hostel, Beltwood seems a distinct possibility.

Incidentally, when he left Sydenham George continued to the Isle of Wight festival to meet Bob Dylan. I did the same thing, but had to be satisfied with sitting in a very crowded field with Dylan barely visible in the distance.
Steve Grindlay
 
Posts: 604
Joined: 4 Oct 2004 06:07
Location: Upper Sydenham

Postby Juwlz » 6 Jan 2009 23:43

HI SydenhamHllAndy

I saw that peacock once – standing on top of the porch of one of the 60s houses on Crescent Wood Road. Thought I was seeing things. It's nice to know I wasn't.
Juwlz
 
Posts: 748
Joined: 26 Oct 2005 21:49
Location: Outer Sydenham

Postby hazel june powe » 19 Dec 2009 16:09

I was very interested and sad to read about the happenings at Beltwood earlier this year as I have very fond memories of living there 1961-62. It was used from 1961 when it had been well refurbished as a Hall of residence for around 50 student Dental Therapists. ( It had been used as a Children's Home up until then) I believe that it was used continuously for this purpose for at least 15 years. It was a delightful place to live and we certainly enjoyed the lovely grounds although I don't remember any of our year ever sunbathing in bikinis!
I think the information about the Beatles ever visiting it is pure fiction, also about the Queen honeymooning there. However, we were told that it had been built for a friend of Prince Albert's but have no idea if that is true.
hazel june powe
 
Posts: 1
Joined: 19 Dec 2009 15:45
Location: United Kingdom

Postby SydenhamHillAndy » 21 Dec 2009 12:08

To be honest, now that so many census results are available online it should be possible to find out some of the history of this once-beautiful building.

It looks particularly sad at this time of year. The grounds are completely unloved and the building is not maintained. I heard it was raided again earlier this year as illegal bio-fuel was being made on the premises. All of us nearby smelt funny things coming over the fence, seems that this was the cause.

Unfortunately the peacock is still doing well - fatter than ever to be honest.
SydenhamHillAndy
 
Posts: 114
Joined: 20 Jul 2007 16:01
Location: SE26

Postby SydenhamHillAndy » 21 Dec 2009 12:30

The question of Beltwood House's History has been going around for some time. Five minutes on the internet has thrown up some interesting information that I wanted to share.

The first thing was to see what Southwark planning thinks they have here:-

This document http://www.southwark.gov.uk/Uploads/FILE_41458.pdf states the following:

To the southeast, Beltwood House is located between Sydenham Hill
and Crescent Wood Road, within attractively landscaped grounds. This
large detached house is listed grade II, and dates to c.1855 –1863. It
was remodelled in c.1895. It is thought that the building was designed
for Edward Stanton by Barry and Barry, architects to Dulwich College.
The house is of two storeys, rendered with a slate hipped roof, with a
bracket cornice and a frieze with paterae and two rendered chimneys.
Externally the elevations contain a variation of elements including
Adamesque swags to a pediment with oculus above three central
windows supported on pilasters. The southwest or entrance front has
two curved bays to the first floor with mullioned and transomed leaded
lights, between which is a large porch with round headed cornice and a
pair of Roman Ionic columns to each side containing an open
pedimented doorway.

Armed with this information I looked in Wikipedia for Edward Stanton. The following person is one of two recognised there....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Stanton_(diplomat)

And guess what? You've all heard rumours of the German Ambassador living there? Well he was Chargé d'Affaires to the King of Bavaria at exactly the right time. Bit of a co-incidence if you ask me.

The entry is as follows:

General Sir Edward Stanton, RE, KCB, KCMG[1][2] (19 February 1827[3] – 1907[4]) was a British officer and diplomat.

Edward Stanton was the son of William H. Stanton, Esq., of Stroud, Gloucestershire. Born on 19 February 1827, he was educated at Woolwich Academy.[5] He was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on 19 December 1844.[3] He served in the Crimean War,[1] which was fought from 1853 to 1856 between the Russian Empire on one side and an alliance of France, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire on the other. From 1856 to 1857, he served on the boundary commission that determined the Russo-Turkish borders.[6]

He was appointed Consul-General in Warsaw, Poland on 7 December 1860,[7] Agent and Consul-General in Egypt on 15 May 1865,[8] and Chargé d'Affaires to the King of Bavaria on 10 May 1876.[9] During his visit to Egypt, English author and poet Edward Lear described Sir Edward Stanton as "very good-natured".[10] Sir Edward Stanton retired as a general in 1881 and received a knighthood the following year.[11]
[edit] Family

In 1862, Edward Stanton married Lady Margarette Constance Stanton. He was a relative on her mother's side of the family.[11] His son Colonel Edward Alexander Stanton (1867–1947) served in Egypt at Omdurman, was Governor of Khartoum from 1900 to 1908, and military governor of Haifa (the Phoenicia Division of Palestine) from 1918 to 1920.[12]
[edit] Honours

In addition to his British honours, Sir Edward Stanton was a Knight of the French Legion of Honour.

In the absence of any other information I think we might have a match.
SydenhamHillAndy
 
Posts: 114
Joined: 20 Jul 2007 16:01
Location: SE26

Postby Rebelmc » 21 Dec 2009 20:53

Looks good Andy.

I believe we also cleared up the Beatles connection a while back, although not on this thread.

Turns out that Apple party was down the road at The Wood, as confirmed by someone who was resident at the time.
Rebelmc
 
Posts: 170
Joined: 8 Feb 2006 15:38
Location: Sydenham

Postby Steve Grindlay » 21 Dec 2009 23:03

That would have been of some interest, SydenhamHillAndy, if the original owner had been Edward Stanton. In fact it was Edward Saxton (I'm sure I've written about this elsewhere on this site).

Saxton lived at Beltwood from 1851, when he had the house built, until his death in 1911.

This is an extract from the 1851 census, taken some six months after he moved to Sydenham Hill from Islington:

Image

This is from the 1911 census, taken shortly before he died:
Image

Saxton's time in Sydenham is well documented in census returns, street directories, legal documents relating to the ownership of Beltwood and, finally, his obituary in the Sydenham, Forest Hill and Penge Gazette of 2nd September 1911.

As far as I can make out General Sir Edward Stanton has no connection whatsoever with Sydenham, least of all with Beltwood.
Last edited by Steve Grindlay on 25 Dec 2009 00:22, edited 1 time in total.
Steve Grindlay
 
Posts: 604
Joined: 4 Oct 2004 06:07
Location: Upper Sydenham

Postby SydenhamHillAndy » 24 Dec 2009 19:11

I prefer my version.

Story continued here: http://sydenham.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=34792
Admin
SydenhamHillAndy
 
Posts: 114
Joined: 20 Jul 2007 16:01
Location: SE26


Return to Town Cafe

 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests