William Harnett Blanch.

Ye parish of Camerwell : a brief account of the parish of Camberwell : its history and antiquities online

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publication evoked, displayed to much advantage his artistic powers. Mr. Ruskin
has expounded his views both in lectures and in newspapers and reviews, having, as
early as 1847, contributed articles to the Quarterly on Lord Lindsay's Christian Art.

In 1851 he advocated Pre-Raphaelism in letters to the Times, and in 1853 he lectured
in Edinburgh on Gothic Architecture.

In addition to the above-mentioned works, Mr. Ruskin has written Notes on the
Construction of Sheepfolds, and King of the Golden River, illustrated by Doyle, in
1851 ; Two Paths, and Lectures on Architecture and Painting, in 1854 ; Notes to
Pictures in the Royal Academy, Nos. 1 to 5, in 1854-9 ; Giotto and his Works in
Padua, written for the Arundel Society, of which he is a member, in 1855 ; Notes
on the Turner Collection, in 1857 ; Cambridge School of Art, Lectures on Art, and
Political Economy of Art, in 1858 ; Elements of Perspective, Lectures on Ait, and
Decoration and Manufacture, in 1859 ; Unto this Last : Four Essays, republished
from the Cornhill Magazine, in 1862 ; Ethics of the Dust : Ten Lectures ; Sesame
and Lilies : Two Lectures ; and Study of Architecture in our Schools, in 1865 ;
Crown of Wild Olive : Three Lectures, in 1866 ; and The Queen of the Air: being
a Study of the Greek Myths of Cloud and Storm.*

Mr. Ruskin was appointed Rede Lecturer at Cambridge in April, 1867 ; and the
Senate conferred the degree of LL.D. upon him, May 15.

In 1871 he proposed to devote .£5,000 for the purpose of an endowment to pay a
master of drawing in the Taylor Galleries, Oxford ; and this handsome offer was,
with some modifications, accepted by the University in January, 1872.

Another name connected with Dulwich history is that of Mr. John Goodall, of
Rydall Cottage, whose able articles in Macmillan and other magazines concerning
Dulwich and Dulwich College deservedly attracted attention at the time. He also
contributed to the recently-published edition of the Enc. Brit, an article on Edward
Alleyn, a subject to which he has devoted considerable attention ; and has lately been
engaged, in conjunction with Dr. Russell (Times correspondent), in the compilation
of a work entitled, National History of England, Civil, Military, and Domestic ; to say
nothing of innumerable articles and literary efforts of a lighter kind. Mr. Goodall is
an easy and graceful writer. His son, Mr. T. F. Goodall, who was educated at
Dulwich College, has recently produced, in connexion with Mr. Walter Severn, a very
beautiful book on The Order for Morning and Evening Prayer, Litany, and Occasional
Prayers, Illustrated with Floral and other Ornamental Borders in Coloured Outline

This work was received with great favour by the whole metropolitan press, as
indeed it deserved, for the artistic skill of its embellishment, as well as for the novel

* Men of the Time.


design of the work. The novel idea of leaving the illustrations in outline has been
adopted so that the amateur illuminator can have all the pleasure of laying on the
gold and colour without any of the trouble of conceiving and executing the design.
All the plants and flowers are delicately and beautifully drawn and artistically dis-
posed, and even if no further colour be added, the illustrations will adorn the text
and delight the eye.

„ In connexion with art may be mentioned the fact that the celebrated artist, David
Cox, lived at one time on Dulwich Common, picking up a precarious livelihood as a
teacher of drawing in suburban boarding schools ! Many of his rough drawings,
hastily hit off for the guidance of his Dulwich pupils, have lately fetched more golden
coin than it would take to cover their superficial dimensions.

At Fairwood, Sydenham Hill, for many years lived Mr. Alderman Stone, at present
Lord Mayor, and J. P. for the County of Surrey.

He was educated at St. Olave's Grammar School, in Southwark, under the eminent
scholar, Dr. Lempriere. At the usual age, being destined to the profession of the law,
he was articled to Mr. Devey, of Ely Place, and after passing the usual examination,
was admitted a solicitor and attorney in 1839. He continued in active practice until
] 864, when, finding himself in the possession of an ample fortune, and with a dis-
position to enter upon the duties of public life, which his tastes and abilities well
qualified him to undertake, he retired from the profession.

In that year he was elected, on the retirement of Mr. Alderman Conder, Alderman
for the Ward of Bassishaw; in 1867 he served the office of Sheriff of London in conjunc-
tion with Mr. Alderman M'Arthur, M.P., a year memorable for the Fenian outbreak.

Mr. Stone, when he entered the Court of Aldermen, had already acquired large
experience of public life. In 1840 and 1841 he was Under-Sheriff to Mr. Alderman
Farncombe. In 1850 he acted as honorary private secretary to the same gentleman
when he was Lord Mayor, and in that capacity arranged the banquet given at the
Mansion House to the mayors of the United Kingdom, at which the late Prince
Consort was a guest. In 1855 he was again Under-Sheriff — this time to Mr. Alder-
man Kennedy. In addition to these services, the Lord Mayor has discharged im-
portant municipal functions. For ten years he has been chairman of the Police
Committee, and for several years has been one of the representatives of the Cor-
poration at the Metropolitan Board of Works.

In Court Lane is the charming residence of Albert Crocker, Esq., one of the
guardians of the poor of this parish. The house was formerly occupied by a school,
conducted by the Rev. Philip John Butt, and was taken afterwards by the Turkish
Ambassador as a summer residence. Mr. Butt's school was much patronised by the
nobility, and the following, amongst others, were placed under his charge : — The late
Earl of Athole, Viscount Cranly, the present Earl of Lonsdale and his two brothers,
the Marquis of Normanby, &c. &c.

The " Court Farm," now carried on by Mr. Wm. Constable, has long been
associated with Dulwich ; for Colonel Constable, the father of the present occupier,
and the previous tenant, is more than 90 years of age, nearly the whole of which time
has been spent within the hamlet. He is at present one of the out-pensioners of
Dulwich College.

The grand old elm, in Half-Moon Lane, is a sight ever to be remembered — a feast


which can never satiate. As the observer admires the wild grotesqueness of its
natural beauty, he is overwhelmed with awe. At every angle of observation fresh
forms and grotesque profiles frown upon him, shooting forth contempt and commis-
seration for the " little lives of men." The grand old tree,— >

" The nodding horror of whose shady brows
Threats the forlorn and wandering traveller,"

must be several hundred years old, whilst its girth is not less than 36 feet. It is
perfectly hollow, and as many as a dozen persons can find sitting room within its
trunk. What changes have taken place in its own immediate surrounding since first


it raised its head amongst its fellows ! Queen Elizabeth, tradition says, took shelter
beneath its noble boughs, whilst Edward Alleyn was, no doubt, an admirer of its
majesty in his evening rambles through the woods, where now —

" Palaces and fanes and villas rise,
And gardens smile and cultured fields."

Its ridged and furrowed surface and mottled bark have stood the brunt of many
storms, and its whole appearance is in strong contrast with the surrounding green-
sward, with its parti-coloured carpets and inlays, reminding one of Chaucer's picture
of a garden, —

" Well ywrought with turfes newe,
Freshly turved, whereof the grene gras
So small, so thicke, 60 shorte, so frush of hewe,
Thut most-like unto grene wool, wot I, it was."


Changes, far too rapid for many of us, are coming over various parts of the hamlet,
and before long the quaint old houses, which now remind us of days gone by, will no
doubt make way for more pretentious villas of modern style ; but the old tree must
remain, for such hold has it, not only upon the affection of all who have made its
acquaintance, but also upon the ground which it can surely claim by prescriptive
right, that the edicts of governors, and the powers of an Act of Parliament ought not
to be allowed to prevail against it. Long may it nourish !

One of the noted maisons grandes of Dulwich is Belair, with its delightful expanse
of meadow, adorned here and there with grand old forest trees, to remind us of the
time when they knew not Belair, but formed part of—

The grounds contain some very curious specimens of the pollard oak, and tradition
says that these trees were so cut by Cromwell's infuriated soldiery. Much additional
charm is given to the grounds by the silver streak of water which intersects them —
said to be one of the arms of the river Effra, up which Queen Elizabeth made a
royal progress ! That the Queen did make this royal progress, is a local belief which
it would perhaps be unadvisable to doubt ; hut this much may be said, that Her
Majesty could not have selected a more charming neighbourhood to feast her royal
eyes withal.

Belair has been much altered, enlarged, and improved, since Mr. ex-Sheriff Hutton
took possession ; extensive green-houses and conservatories have been added, and
Belair has grown, in other respects, into a fine family mansion.

The house was built in 1780 by Mr. Adams, the celebrated architect and surveyor,
after whom Adam Street, Adelphi, has been named. In 1820, an assignment of the
lease took place from John Welles and others to George Swan, of Fore Street, Cripple-
gate. In 1822 Mr. Rougemont purchased the lease, which was afterwards, in 1826,
assigned to Mr. Henry Seymour Montagu. By deed, bearing date 31st December
1829, the property was assigned to Mr. Charles Banken, solicitor of Gray's Inn, and
the present lessee, C. W. C. Hutton, Esq., took the remainder of the lease from the
sisters of Mr. Ranken. Another lease has since been obtained from the College.

The London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company took about 10 acres of
ground when making their line of railway, leaving about 40 acres.

Mr. Hutton is the eldest son of the late Thomas Hutton, Esq., merchant of London.
He was educated at the City of London School, and for many years has occupied
a prominent public position. He is a justice of the peace for this parish, and usually
sits on the Bench at the Petty Sessions held at the Vestry Hall, CamberweU. He
was Sheriff of London and Middlesex 1868-9. He is also a Deputy- Lieutenant for

The Manor House, at present the residence of Mr. Westwood, is a building of
more than ordinary interest, as having been the residence of Edward Alleyn, Lord of
the Manor, and perhaps, at an earlier period, the summer retreat of the Abbots of
Bermondsey. It was formerly called " Hall Court," and was re-christened by Mr.
Frederick Doulton, M.P.„ who for sometime resided there. Other recent occupants
have been Mr. Temple, Q.C. ; and Mr. Samuel Smith, the well-known gun-maker of
Princes Street : Mr. Westwood, the present occupier, has a long lease, and about 28
acres of land, part of which he holds for building purposes. The house, since Alleyn's
time, has undergone sundry additions and alterations, and at the present time is in a
marvellous condition for so old a building — a fact which seems to confirm the belief

3 Q


that it was built before Alleyn's time, as the erection of the old college, which was
closely watched by the founder, began to tumble to pieces soon after his death. The
Manor House had been designed and built in a very different style.

The magnificent oak stair-case, and spacious entrance hall, and lofty rooms, are
worthy of the majestic actor ; and, as one looks around, the form of its dignified
host is conjured up, now receiving the poor brethren and sisters, holding consulta-
tions with the master, warden, and fellows, and anon holding converse and corre-
spondence with the great men of the land. Alleyn's life at Dulwich must have been
delightful. Possessiug ample means — much given to home comforts and duties, to
which he was so attached that within three months of losing " his good sweete harte
and loving mouse," he took unto himself another partner — regarded by his neighbours
as a man of considerable substance, and treated in a manner befitting the squire of
the place — having great worldly knowledge, serene temper, and considerable tact, —
he made many friends and few enemies ; and, as his journal teems with payments for
sundry bottles of wine when he went to London to see his friends, it is fair to assume
that his cellar at the Manor House was well filled and at the service of his visitors.

And what more delightful walks could any mortal have had than those surrounding
the fine old mansion in Alleyn's time ;— when the meadows were yellow with the crow-
foot, flushed with the sorrel, or purple with clover ; the thornbushes, white or pink
with their blossoms ; the commons, golden with mellowing fern or glowing with
purple heather ; and deciduous trees contributing their varied tints to the scene — all
this was then a reality ! — would that it were so now, and to the same extent ! — and
the shade of wood and grove, — and the ramble

"O'er many a heath, through many a woodland dun,
Through buried paths, where sleepy twilight dreama
The summer time away ; "

and the feast of satisfaction as the founder viewed the progress of his college, at the
end of a summer's stroll : — all this must have made life more than endurable at the
Manor House.

That Alleyn received at his board many distinguished men of his day, is beyond
doubt ; but, strange to relate, no scrap of evidence has yet been produced in support of
the supposition that Shakspeare ever made pilgrimage to Dulwich. It is, to say the
least of it, an extraordinary circumstance, that two such prominent characters in the
same profession should not have been brought together — or rather, that no evidence
should be forthcoming in support of such a natural supposition. Garrick, Malone,
Collier, Ingleby, Staunton, and other able and industrious workers, have toiled
diligently, and hoped unfalteringly, but without success. And yet Ben Jonson and
Michael Drayton were intimate associates both of Shakspeare and Alleyn ! They
were not divided by disparity of age, for Alleyn was Shakspeare's junior by only
two years four months and a week, and both relinquished the stage, and invested
their earnings in houses and lands at about the same time.

Casino, Dulwich Hill, one of the most charming spots within the parish, is the
residence of W. H. Stone, Esq., formerly M.P. for Portsmouth, and a Justice of the
Peace for Surrey and Hants. He is the eldest son of the late W. Stone, Esq., by
Mary, daughter of T. Piatt, Esq., and was born in 1834, and in 1864 married
Milicent, second daughter of the late Sir Arthur Helps, Clerk of the Council. He was
educated at Harrow, and Trinity College, Cambridge (B.A. 1857, M.A. 1860). The
spacious grounds adjoining the house are well known to South London residents,
as Mr. Stone has kindly allowed the Surrey Floricultural Society to hold its annual
flower-show there for several years past.


the supply of the stems and roots ; rich specimens of Alocasia metallica, the metallic
appearance of which almost denies their botanical character ; a curious bird-nest fern,
seeming to invite the belief that the warblers of the fields had selected this building
as a snug retreat in which to bill and coo and mate and rear their broods ; Lyco-
podia ; choice Croton Wisemannii ; Pandanus Veitchii ; handsome and choice pines,
and a glittering host of Nature's glories, exhibiting as many colours as the rainbow.
A stone, forming part of the structure, shows the date of erection, bearing the follow-
ing inscription : —

" H Bessemer, 1865."

Another span-house (36 by 20 it.) contains an unusual collection of heaths and
Holland plants, and at one end has a portion utilized for the growth of oranges,
camellias, &c. Adjoining this building is a forcing pit 90 ft. long and 9 ft. wide,
furnished with hot-water apparatus. With such choice fruit-trees as are culti-
vated in these grounds, it would be " Love's labour lost " to be minus a store-
house in which to preserve the gems produced at so much expense, and with such
watchful care ; and perfection in this respect has been reached. A dry building at
the eastern gable of the house is fitted up with racks, the floor of each being barred,
not solid, and each bar being rounded on the upper side, so that there are no
angularities to cut or bruise the fruit which may be placed upon them ; the openings
between the bars facilitate the passage of air for the cooling and better preservation of
the fruit, and each set of bars is the floor to a drawer, enabling any section to be
drawn out without disturbing the remainder. There are one hundred trays capable
in all of holding ten thousand apples or pears each three inches apart.

At the same gable of the house as the last-named building, but immediately fronting
the first lawn, and several miles of picturesque scenerj"-, stands a lean-to vinery 40 feet
long and of ornamental design of no common order. It has twelve handsome win-
dows of plate and figured glass, each being divided from the other by spiral columns.
The parapet is surmounted with a blaze of geraniums during the summer season.
The interior contains exuberant vines, along the glass ceiling, and is of course varied
in its collection of flowers, according to the taste of the proprietor at different
seasons. At the front of this structure, a view, perhaps unsurpassed around the
metropolis, presents itself. The grounds constituting the estate measure forty acres,
and beyond these the long and lofty ridge capped by handsome villas, far in the
distance, known as Sydenham Hill, the broad rising ground to the left }'clept Forest
Hill, the well-set and substantial residence of Mr. James Henderson, on Adon Mount,
the most prominent feature in Dulwich from this standpoint, the glittering towers
and scintillating roof, and vitreous waUs of the Crystal Palace, the woody and ver-
dure-clad hills and dales of Norwood and the district of Tulse Hill, with the inter-
vening space, constitute a picturesque scene which can have but few rivals ; and the
foreground to this magnificent panorama is a vast field of wealthy culture.

The Conservatory. — The original plan of this iron structure, we understand,
was made by Mr. Bessemer, and the details worked out under the able superintendence
of Messrs. Banks and Barry. Many of the perforated castings employed in this
structure are of extreme delicacy and beauty of finish. Among the heaviest are
several from three to four tons in weight each, while there are thousands of others
not exceeding four to eight ounces.

The conservatory has two floors or crypts, extending entirely beneath it. Massive
brick piers pass through the floors, and support the sixteen columns on which the
upper part of the structure rests.

The conservatory is formed with a large square central area surmounted by a dome.


On each side of the square there are bays or transepts, the entrance to which is
beneath three arches, rising to a height of 14 feet, and resting on columns, of which
there are sixteen. The dome is formed of 40 rolled iron ribs, separated by a frame-
work which is glazed with stained glass, encircling the dome in three distinct bands,
giving to the -whole a most beautiful effect. The dome, which is 40 feet in height,
rests on a series of bold trusses, springing from the sills of the upper windows, and
forming a division between them. The ceiling of the central part surrounding the
dome is formed into deep soffits, each filled with elaborately designed perforated gilt
panels, with an azure background formed by the flat iron roof above them. In the
Upper part of the central space there are six windows on each side, each one composed
of a single sheet of ground plate glass, engraved and painted in pale tints. These
windows all open by an ingenious contrivance worked by an attendant from the cold-
air chamber below, which is sufficiently lofty to admit of ready access.

The iron columns have a spiral groove running around them, which small spheres
are all gilt, and give to the fresh grey tint of the columns a great relief ; the capitals
are all built up with separate acanthus leaves of very light and elegant form, and are
also gilt ; and through the arches the light falls in ever-varying clusters of rays as
one walks about the conservatory. There are thousands of rosettes on these per-
forated screens, all cast separately.

The external walls are pierced with large circular-headed windows, glazed with a
single sheet of plate glass, with a small Greek border etehed round the edge, ami
narrow margins of coloured ground glass of a soft grey tint etched in patterns. The
■walls are entirely encased with polished marble, in pieces so large as to show no joints.
A richly-moulded architrave of red Devonshire marble surrounds each window and
door, and relieves by its warm colour the spaces between the windows, which are of
dark Bardillo marble, against which are placed three-quarter columns of white veined
Sicilian marble. The shafts of all twenty-four columns and the angle pilasters are
10 feet in length, each in a single piece, and surmounted by capitals carved in white
Carrara marble. Above these is a rich entablature of veined Sicilian marble running
over the Bardillo, which is ornamented over each window and door, with a rich
incised pattern of Arabesque scroll work gilt in all the sunk parts. One bay or tran-
sept forms the end of the adjoining drawing-room. The right-hand bay abuts on a
billiard-room, and a door between two windows leads on to a raised terrace, 90 feet
in length, paved with squares of black and white marble, and extending all along the
garden front of the house. The fourth bay is also divided by three equal arches, in
each of which there are mirrors of 14 feet high by 7 feet wide, silvered by a deposit
of pure silver ; and they, at all times, reflect clearly the whole interior of the building
giving it apparently double its real size. Around the sides of the building are raised
spaces for the flowers, having a sort of dwarf screen of polished dove-coloured
marble, in which are numerous gilt brass panels for the supply of warm air from the
chamber below. In the central space beneath the dome is a large basin, richly moulded
in beautiful veined Bardillo marble, with four pedestals of the same material at the
angles, which serve to support vases of white marble, containing some beautiful
specimen plants. The basin is fiUed with rare exotic ferns, and has a fan palm in the
centre. Eight similar marble pedestals are also formed in the dove marble screen
before named, on which are some choice specimens of Majolica vases by Minton, and
two from Sevres, and containing rare plants. Fendant from the ceiling are six
Majolica flower baskets containing choice ferns and other drooping foliage. There
are also eight suspended Roman lamps in bronze, with lotus leaves forming clusters of
flowers in gas jets, and also four other suspended Roman lamps of classical design,
giving in all eighty gas burners, by means of which the whole building may be at


night brilliantly illuminated ; there are also near the drawing-room door a pair of
exquisitely chased bronzed candelabra, which on ordinary occasions give sufficient
light for walking in the evening. The floor is composed of encaustic tiles and tessera
tastefully arranged in panels of quiet colours (so as not to interfere with the brilliant
colours of the flowers). In this design are embodied mosaics representing spring,
autumn, summer, and winter ; and a fifth near the entrance represents Old Time with
the date of the erection of the building on a tablet beneath him : at each of the four
angles of the central part are life-size figures of boys executed in biscuit china at
Sevres— they represent Love, Pleasure, Folly, and Repose ; they are exquisitely
modelled, and of a pure white, standing against the rich crimson background of the
niche, and supported by pedestals of Devonshire marble.

At six different parts there are semicular spaces left above the doors or windows, and
these are filled by spirited groups of chubby children in alto relievo, modelled by Wynn.

Online LibraryWilliam Harnett BlanchYe parish of Camerwell : a brief account of the parish of Camberwell : its history and antiquities → online text (page 58 of 89)