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CLOCK HOUSE

Strangers to Beckenham, arriving at Clock House Station, invariably ask "Where is the Clock?" The origin of the name appears to have come from a large turret clock which used to be on the stables of a Mansion standing on the site of the present Spa and The Studio.

The house was probably built between 1703 and 1723, although there was a reference to a building there on a map dated 1623. It was a substantial, red brick mansion, a familiar landmark on the main road from Beckenham to Penge, and at one time a fine magnolia tree covered the front wall.

Sir Piercey Brett, "Admiral of the Blue", who died in 1761, once lived there and in the early part of the 19th century it was the seat of John's brother, Joseph Cator. After his death the occupiers included John Goddard, afterwards of Elmer Lodge; E. Richard Adams, also of Elmers End and for many years Churchwarden of the Parish Church; Sir Francis Tress Barry, who inaugurated the Volunteer Fire Brigade, the last tenant being John Wallace.

The gardens were well wooded and in the lake there stood a two-tier fountain which, on demolition, was placed in the ornamental water in the Croydon Road Recreation Ground.

It was natural that a new station on the Mid-Kent line in 1890 should be called 'Clock House', but six years later the house and most of the stables were pulled down, the clock being moved by the Cator family in 1896 to the stable buildings at Beckenham Place where it is still a familiar sight to visitors to the Golf Course.

For a time the stable remains were occupied by a livery stable keeper and later as part of Horsman's Nursery until finally pulled down in 1926.

Robert Borrowman wrote "we are told on good authority that there existed in the grounds a spring containing excellent medicinal properties, and we recall the fact that when the well was sunk for the present Baths, the water obtained was pronounced by experts to be of exceptionally good quality".

On the corner of Churchfields Road stood the public house "The Prince Arthur" which was destroyed by a flying bomb in August 1944. After the war the rebuilt public house was renamed "The Clock House" with a colourful sign, by a local resident, depicting the original residence of that name.

In April 2007 “The Clock House Public House ” was demolished as part of local redevelopment.


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