2018 Bexley

1046½. Bexley 1981 1983 1986 and 2018 – Hall Place

At the end of last September, we took ourselves down to Hall Place which is between Bexley Village and Crayford.

The place was built in two main stages, 1537 and the 1649 by City of London merchants. The first stage nicked stones from Lesnes Abbey which had recently been closed by Wolsey as under seven monks lived there (young weren’t they?). The second made absolutely no attempt to blend in.

It was in and out of private hands and was used by the US Army in WW2. When Doris visited it, LB Bexley were using it for their library service. As they’ve now sold the libraries that is not its use anymore and one can go inside. But we didn’t.

We did grab a guide sheet.

Here it is. Note North is ‘down’ here.

A guide. Most of the pictures were taken around 16, 17 and 18

I’m sure Doris went there for an afternoon out admiring the flowers. She would probably love the floral displays and art galleries. Our purpose was to try and recreate the photos to compare ‘then and now’. I printed out eight pages of photographs of the place that Doris had taken in the eighties and we wandered around.

What I’ll do is seperate it into galleries, with Doris’ shot(s) and ours together. See the captions for which is which.

The Bit facing South. The trees have gone and walls have appeared. This side houses the entrance to the house with its galleries etc.


South West Corner No 1. The roses are still there and in the same pattern. Look at the ugly vent in the third window rightwards from the nearest corner and the blocked up round wind the other direction. Both replaced and nicer now. You can see the old and new parts of the building clearly here. The 2018 shots also have the higher hedge/trees blocking the face of the building.


South West Corner No 2. The trellis has disappeared and where Mrs WDEOD is standing has been levelled and steps added.


South West Corner from the other side of the Cray. Next time I bring my shears. How am I expected to take photos if they let trees grow in the way.


Closer to the South Front. Actually quite a few of the rooms had those window vents. Must have been very stuffy in there. You can also clearly see additional brickwork and steps.


West side from the Rose Garden. This shows the topiary off quite well. Different times of the year so different stages of blooming I guess.


Looking back towards the Cray from the Topiary path. Big bush, dear big bush, gone.


And from the other way. Not too sure what the sign at the back was for, by the fire escape. Builders? Actually perhaps the bush has not gone but is making its ways (slowly) to Bexleyheath.


Tudor Windows. Two lots.


Topiary Path. These was planted to mark the coronation of the Queen. Later on there are plants added to mark her 90th. Not sure she’s ever visited the place. Someone ring her and ask.

And look at those cones spoiling my shot. I tried to get Mrs WDEOD to stand in front of them.


North West corner. Suprising amount of growth.


North West corner. From further away.


The forbidden garden. The only open entrance is through the building. The unhelpful staff told us they only use it for wedding photos. It was a bit short notice for Mrs WDEOD and me to get hitched again. So I got surly, which didn’t go down too well. Then later we found the lego model. And then probably the same vantage that Doris used.


Outside. One the way back home, I left Mrs WDEOD in the warm and went up to the road to take the shot from Bourne Rd. The little girls by the road sign were East European and asked me what the building was. They thought it was a church. Mammon not god.


Enclosed / Elizabethan Garden. Had a bit of trouble replicating these shots as the points of reference had changed. Whilst building this post I just said sod it and chucked them all in. The block like privet hedges appear to be on the map. Whilst Mrs WDEOD tried to work it out I got bored and took close ups of the flowers.


The neglected east side.


Some other shots from both Doris and me.


The ‘B’ side of the leaflet.

If you would like to see where Doris visited, select somewhere from this map or use the Category drop down –

I must try to find a UK of these.

4 comments

    1. I did want to try those slider photographs where you have two shots and you can move a border side to side to see ‘now and then’. That looks far too hard though! Have a look at the Exeter photos where Doris took a shot of two guys, one with a big bushy beard on a bench. First my two youngest tried to replicate it (the bench had disappeared since then) and then I persuaded a hipster dude and his friend to stand there.

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