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Sidcup Manor House

Sidcup Manor House stands on the site of an earlier building called Shotts Farm, so called after earlier owners of that name.

In 1727 Mr. Thomas Tryon, a substantial landowner in the area, owned the property. When he married he "gave" the farm to his wife Mary Yarde. In 1747 Thomas Tryon committed suicide at Frognal (another of his properties). He had run into financial difficulties. In 1787 Mary Tryon, nee Yarde, died, and the farm was sold by the Court of Chancery.

Mr Charles Stuart Minshaw was the next owner of Shotts Farm. He had previously been Lord of the Manor of Footscray. Around 1790 (no exact date can be found), he erected the present building, which, until 1832 was known as Place Green House. After 1832 it was called Sidcup House.

By his will of 1804, Minshaw left the farm to his daughters - Mary Charles (who married Edward Bough) and Elizabeth Stuart (who married Robert Upperton). When the estate was divided in 1843 Place Green House fell to Mr and Mrs Upperton. The names of major land-owning families remain in street names around Sidcup today. Upperton Road was built in the post-war period on an area of his land. In 1858 the Uppertons sold the house to Miss Elizabeth Jane Lewin. Over the years it was occupied by a number of tenants: -

1839 Mrs Manners
1844 Mrs James Cousens
1861 Mr Herbert Jenner
1864 Mrs Dunscombe
1871 Mr E.P.J. Howe of Lincolns Inn, Barrister-at-Law
1881 Miss Angelina Hoare
1882 Mr Henry Curtis Nisbett, Solicitor
1893 Mr Edgar John Elgood of Lincolns Inn, Barrister-at-Law and J.P. for Kent

It was not until the late 1860s early 1870s that the house was called Manor House when the occupiers were the Misses Hoare. The house was being rented in 1893 by a Mr Elgood; in 1905 he bought it and kept it until 1911. The development of the Elgood Estate now began. Houses were built along the east side of Elm Road, the north side of The Green and later, Grassington Road.

From 1911 until the outbreak of War in 1939 the house was used as a school; the Westburton School, a high class school for girls, the Manor House School for Girls, and the Manor House School for Girls and little Boys. Maud Emily Blofeld, the principal of the Manor House School for Girls, bought the Manor House for £250 in 1920.

In 1939 the house was used as nursing home - The Manor House Nursing Home. Miss Blofeld sold the Manor House in 1937 to Mrs Annie Fisher. She rented it to the Kent Red Cross Headquarters for £65 per year.

In 1950 the house came onto the market again, the Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban District Council bought it for the sum of £10,000. After extensive repairs costing £11,000 the house was re-opened as council offices. Notice was given to the Red Cross terminating their tenancy on 25th March 1951. The house was for many years the home of Bexley London Borough's Directorate of Development Services and also the Town Planning and Chief Valuers Department. Since 1993 it has been the Borough's Registry Office.

Architecture

The house is made of pinky brick laid with, for that date, remarkable roughness. It is three storeys high. The facade facing the Green, is of five bays. The three middle bays are as it were a frontispiece, pedimented, with white stringcourses and the centre window under a giant sunk arch. The porch comprises four very thin Tuscan columns and the window above it is the original Venetian. There are seven windows on the north side, all but the central are one in two full-scale bows.

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