BLEAN HOUSE 4 Victoria Road, Sidcup, Kent
By Juli Atkinson
Maps of the Land and properties
- Ordinance Survey – Sidcup in 1869 shows open fields
- Ordinance Survey – Sidcup in 1895 shows seven houses have been built on the opposite side of the road.
- Ordinance Survey – Sidcup in 1909 shows out house as one of three on our side, occupying a much larger plot than it does currently. The school is now built on the opposite corner
- Ordinance Survey – Sidcup in 1933 shows that two semi-detached houses have been built on our side of the road, but this does not impact on our plot size.
Ownership of the Land and Properties
From a combination of sources I have pieced together the following time line of ownership
The land 4 Victoria Road stands on originally formed part of the Foots Cray Manor.
1842 Edward Baugh was the first name on a legal document relating to the house.
1843 Robert Upperton (a Brighton Solicitor)
1879 John Howick
1885 George Hawkins
1895 Edward and Alfred Hawkins
1900 Joseph Forrest (paid £300 for the land)
1901 Oliver Edward Fleet-Cobb
1995 Daniel and Joanna Freil
2000 Paul and Juli Atkinson
Residents of Blean House
Interestingly, ownership is not always aligned with those resident at Blean House, I was able to find the following records of who was actually living here when:
1901 A Hawkins (who from above had sold the property to J Forrest in 1900!)
1918 – 1935 O. Fleet Cobb (Fellow of the Royal Photography Society)
1936 No one listed as resident at number 2
1938 – 1939 HE Fletcher
1958-1959 Barker (at Number 2) C Ashdown (at Number 2a)
Our house was among the first to be built in Victoria Road and consequently as more houses were added the numbering changed. Our house is called Blean House, but over time has changed from Number 2 to Number 4.
There are some gaps in the usage of Blean House, from the above you can see how the three plots on which the property originally stood have been sold off and then recombined. Each now has a property on it.
It was a family home from the time it was built until it was converted into bed sits and a flat in 1963, only to be returned to a family home by its owners in 1995.
When we moved into the property in 2000, there was a large pond at the bottom which we decided to fill in as we had very small children. Whilst digging at the bottom of the garden we discovered lots of dancing medals and badges and were advised by our neighbours that Blean House had been used as a dancing school for many years, presumably before it had been turned into bedsits in 1963. The through lounge (which is not particularly huge) was called the Ball Room!! Given the local presence of Bird College, I wonder if it had anything to do with that dance school.
In recent years additional land has been added to the plot (see above 1997) and the rear of the house has been extended and a conservatory added.
It is now, once again, a family home.