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Bromley Bishops Palace

In the civil parish of Bromley.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of London Borough of Bromley.
1974 county of Greater London.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ40706909
Latitude 51.40350° Longitude 0.02142°

Bromley Bishops Palace has been described as a probable Palace.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


The Bishops of Rochester had a manor house at Bromley from early times, which was rebuilt in 1184 and altered at various later dates. This building was demolished and entirely rebuilt in 1774-6. To the south-west of this building (now Stockwell College) are some ruins of the medieval manor house, including a restored Norman arch. Part of the moat is retained and the line can be traced throughout (VCH). The site of the Bishop of Rochester's Palace is occupied by the 18th c. and later Stockwell College. A small folly at TQ 4061 6902 apparently re-uses material from it, and various pieces of masonry are scattered about the grounds. Only the E. arm of the moat survives, water-filled and in good condition; the remainder has been filled in but the N. arm can still be traced as a slight depression across flower gardens (F1 CFW 26-MAY-1964). (PastScape)

After changes to the boundary of the bishopric in 1845 the bishop's palace at Bromley became the private house of Coles Child, a wealthy coal merchant. He extended the house using Richard Norman Shaw as architect (1863), and by 1865 was ornamenting his grounds, employing James Pulham over a five year period to create what contemporary records describe as a fernery and waterfall using the 'Pulhamite' artificial rock-work for which the firm was well known. Nothing specifically is known about the folly, although it probably belongs to this phase of landscaping and may well have been constructed by the firm of Pulhams who as well as rockwork supplied structures such as bridges and balustrades. Tradition has it that it was constructed from medieval stonework dredged from the moat c.1865. Some may have been; the key features, however, were clearly new-made in the mid-C19. (Listed Building Report)

The Bishops of Rochester had a mansion at this place at a very early period. In the time of Bishop Gualeranus, or Walleran, who died in 1184, it was become so ruinous, that his successor Gilbert de Glanville, Chief Justice of England, was obliged to expend a great sum of money on the repairs. Bromley-palace has long been the only habitable house belonging to the see of Rochester. Having undergone frequent alterations and repairs, the late Bishop, finding it much decayed, pulled it down soon after he came to the see, and erected in its stead a plain brick mansion, which was finished in 1777. It stands about a quarter of a mile from the town, and is pleasantly situated on the brow of a hill, looking towards Beckenham and Hayes. A view of the old palace, as it appeared in 1756, was engraved for Hasted's History of Kent. (Lysons)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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