VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!

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Mr D
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Joined: 28 Sep 2006 23:19
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Big House in Venner Road - 88 Venner Road - Crofton Lodge

Post by Mr D » 28 Sep 2006 23:31

What a Fantastic House - Must be at least 200 years old, the proportions are huge!

Does anyone know who lives there or owns it?

I recall many years back hearing (grape vine stuff) that it was going to be a backdrop for a movie, did anyone else hear that?

Does anyone know if this house is or will be for sale? Surely it can't be vacant and a developer doesn't know about it!

Must be the best kept secret in Sydenham!

Any help appreciated![/b]

leenewham
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Post by leenewham » 4 Jan 2008 11:36

Are there any pictures of this house?

I just got back from getting married in El Salvador in Central america so I haven't been posting!

I agree with everything you say Greg and agree that 60 and 70's urban planners need their heads looking at.

It's still going on though with old houses being knocked down by developers to develop the unloved buildings of tomorrow. If only we took a lesson from Butlers Wharf etc where older buildings were adapted and converted to new or modern uses.

Ho hum.

leenewham
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Post by leenewham » 4 Jan 2008 11:43

Are there any pictures of this house?

I just got back from getting married in El Salvador in Central america so I haven't been posting!

I agree with everything you say Greg and agree that 60 and 70's urban planners need their heads looking at.

It's still going on though with old houses being knocked down by developers to develop the unloved buildings of tomorrow. If only we took a lesson from Butlers Wharf etc where older buildings were adapted and converted to new or modern uses.

Ho hum.

Falkor
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Post by Falkor » 4 Jan 2008 11:52

Congrats Lee!

I think it's the same house in this topic, for which I posted a pic:
http://forum.sydenham.org.uk/viewtopic. ... fe269ff870

Eagle
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Eagle » 22 Mar 2012 14:49

I know elderly people who lived in the house next door in the 50's and 60's and like me intrigued by the house.
I see it is valued at GBP 935.000.00 odd , although not sure it will get that.
Venner Rd is divided into two parts ,that up to 88a which is old Victorian houses , now flats , terrible 70's housing in Canal walk and old Victorian terrace up to 27 which was saved from demolition by Laurence Oliver and others plus Joe and Raymond. These seem to be all flats now

Towards Penge from 90 is Edwardian / late victorian houses which look mostly in good condition and I think mostly are still one house , not flats.

Being as 88 on the border of the nice area towards Penge and the rather drab area towards Sydenham not sure if latter will drag the price down.

Does anyone know if 88 is still two flats or conveted back into one house. Was converted into flats in the 50's.

Newboy
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Newboy » 7 Jul 2012 06:52

Hi Everyone,
I throught I could add a bit of an update on 'Crofton Lodge' at 88 Venner Road, hope to be able to share some new information and see if you historical experts out there can help me to move my own searches along.
One month ago, my partner and I were lucky enough to buy 88 Venner Road and are starting our work to make sure it is safe, habitable and secure. It is still one single house (although from what we read it was converted to flats in the 1960s) and we are keen to unravel and document its history.
First is the question of when it was built - which I am not yet clear on. The house, from what you shared is not shown on maps of 1878 which means it was bukt after that date. Does anyone have access to subsequent maps that would show it for the first time?

Interestingly, I believe I have discovered why it has the name of Crofton Lodge. In 1891, the house is owned by George Cory Scoles and he lives with his wife Frances, their three children and a servant. George is a solicitor born in Hammersmith and his father was a well known architect of the time Joseph John Scoles who designed various high profile buildings. The Scoles family home in Argyle Place, Hammersmith was called Crofton Lodge and we can only assume that the Venner Road house was named after that. Perhaps Joseph had a hand in designing the house and may explain its unusual style within the area? The family seems to also have some strong US connections (with George emigrating there to Redondo Beach, California in 1894 and living their until his death in 1920) and this also may explain some of the houses 'New Orleans' charm!

My question would be - was George Scoles the first person to own the house? In 1881 he was living at another address in the area 'Elmcroft, Silverdale' which is a place I don't know. Then in te 1891 census he is in Venner Road. Would the house be built as late as the 1880's? When do the houses start to appear on Venner Road?

In the 1901 census the house is lived in by a widow - Lydia Roberts and three servants and she appears to have previously been the landlady of a pub locally.

In 1911, the house is owned by the Arliss family whose son Leslie went on to be a screenwriter and film director working on films with stars such as Margaret Lockwood http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Arliss

If anyone can help me discover more about this amazing house, it would be great to hear from you.
Thanks.

Eagle
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Eagle » 8 Jul 2012 09:37

Newboy welcome

You have certainly purchased an amazing property. I may be able to assist you will some history but not way back.
In 50's and 60's I lived in Venner and knew the neighbours to your house on both sides. I still know the neighbours who lived in 86 and will ask them . They have told me stories about your house.

Venner Road in general was built in two sections. ( i think ) . The Mid Victorian section , about 1850's/60s down to Tredown. The Penge end I think is Edwardian. Your house older , but not sure by how much.

Road devolped after the Railway , but it does seem not immediatly as think the railway came through latest 40's.

Steve Grindley is the expert on the history of the area and hopefully he will pick up your request.

Newboy
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Newboy » 9 Jul 2012 19:31

Thank you - the house is certainly very enjoyable to live in - and even more interesting to find out about. I guess the neighbour at 86 is Tim, we have been speaking and he has shared some information with us.
I would be really pleased to hear from Steve who I noticed on these forums is a real Sydenham expert!

Eagle
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Eagle » 9 Jul 2012 19:38

Sorry Newboy
the people I know and knew do not still live in either house.

Will try to find out more info for you.

Eagle
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Eagle » 11 Jul 2012 12:07

I have spoken to the people whose father owned 86 , 88 and 88a before the war. Infact he built 88a and 86 in the extensive grounds of 88.

They believe , although not sure , he purchased from the family of actor George Arliss , who apparently lived from 1868 to 1944. He had purchased the house for his sister to live in.


Not sure when built but surely nowhere in Venner built before the railway , which would have been in the 1830's.

If you want to research further strongly recommend the Lewisham Local History Section at Lewisham Library . It is in the main library just past Ladywell. I found them keen to assist.

Newboy
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Newboy » 16 Jul 2012 21:37

Hi Eagle.

Thanks for this information Eagle.

Having done mroe investigation, however, I think that the connection with actor George Arliss may be mistaken. George Arliss's actual name was George Augustus Andrews. He chose the name Arliss as a stage name as one of his first names was Arliss.
Therefore all of his familiy, including his sisters are named Andrews.

However the Arliss family that were living in Crofton Lodge, Venner Road seem to be unconnected. The head of the household worked at teh Gas works in Sydenham (which I read was a really significant concern around that time. It was their son Leslie who went on to a well-known film career.

Curioser and Curioser!

Eagle
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Eagle » 17 Jul 2012 09:48

Hi Newboy
Glad to be of help and only passing on info.

It is certainly a lovely house you have.

ScolesFamily
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Location: California USA

Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by ScolesFamily » 20 Aug 2012 22:20

Hello Newboy,
Congratulations on purchasing my great-grandfather's house! George Cory Scoles' daughter Ruby (listed as Kristie in the 1891 census) was my grandmother. I've seen the pictures online while doing genealogy, and it looks amazing. I'm sure you'll restore its grandness (is there such a word?) Your research is excellent. I can only add a few items. The 1891 census does not include son Francis, who was at school at Prior Park College. George's father Joseph John Scoles died in 1863, so he probably didn't have a direct influence on the design of the house. But George had two brothers who were also architects, so maybe they had an influence. JJ Scoles' house in Hammersmith was indeed called Crofton Lodge. There's some sketchy family history going back to a town called Crofton in England, but I'm having a hard time confirming. A few family stories: George and the family emigrated to California in 1894 due to financial setbacks. One of his sisters was already here. His wife Frances did not want to leave England since they had three children buried at the Ladywell & Brockley Cemetery in Lewisham. My mom told me they had a 3 story house with a private garden, downstairs maid, upstairs maid, and gardener. They could see the Crystal Palace from their house. Frances would not do housework when they came to California (too used to maids), so George and the kids did all the work. Frances also loved little dogs and supposedly always had at least one as a pet. In the 1950's, grandma Ruby and her sister Rita traveled to England and visited the house. Supposedly they were very disappointed that it was run down and there were toys and other items strewn around the front area.
All the best of luck to you in your new home. Hope it brings you years of happiness.

Eagle
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Eagle » 23 Aug 2012 13:08

What a lovely and informative post and great people in California viewing the site.

Newboy
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Newboy » 24 Aug 2012 12:08

Indeed Eagle - we have made contact and have promised to show this lady round if she ever makes a trip to Sydenham!

ElyBUK1
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by ElyBUK1 » 3 Aug 2014 17:01

What an interesting discussion! I live in the row of red brick Victorian houses, which was referred to earlier as the first developed part of Venner Rd.

My husband and I (from Western Canada) bought the freehold of #55/55a in 2012, so we moved in around the same time as the owners of #88. I am a keen runner, so I have seen all of the day-by-day improvements that have been made to #88 over the past couple of years. I have always admired the house and even more so now, now that it looks like the exterior is all finished. I love the drive, landscaping, etc. I can tell it's been a real labour of love! Congratulations.

Now, if anyone has any info on my row of Victorian houses, I would be grateful! All the KFH agent told me was that the houses were developed in response to the relocation of the Crystal Palace from Hyde Park to Sydenham in the 1850s.

Newboy
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Re: VENNER ROAD 'CROFTON LODGE' DETACHED VILLA

Post by Newboy » 23 Aug 2014 11:44

I have posted a message to you on the other thread about Venner Road.

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