History of Scadbury Lodge


Georgian Era was a period in British history from 1714 to c. 1830–1837, named after the Hanoverian kings George I, George II, George III and George IV. The definition of the Georgian era is also often extended to include the relatively short reign of William IV, which ended with his death in 1837

Victorian Era was the time in which Victoria was on the throne (1837-1901)

Edwardian Era was the time in which her son, Edward VII was on the throne (1901-1910). This architectural style is considered to have continued to around 1920


The Lodge was built around 1800 AD. It is Grade II listed by Historic England as a ‘Cottage Orné’ – ie a small cottage with ‘rustic’ features. The windows are Gothic in style. It is typical of the new estate buildings commissioned by aristocratic landowners of the time. The Scadbury estate was then owned by John Thomas Townshend, 2nd Viscount Sydney, (1764-1831). The Lodge was a fashionable addition to the estate.

The original building had a front room with a bay, verandas to the side, with two further rooms behind and had a thatched roof supported by rustic columns. Outside at the back were a wash-house and privy. Water came from a well in the back garden. The structure was timber-framed with brick infill. A brick extension was in place by 1868 as shown on an old Ordnance Survey map. This contained a kitchen and living area. Other changes followed and by the 1960s the house had an inside bathroom and the thatched roof had been replaced with tiles.

The Lodge is situated by the drive which was originally the main entrance into the Scadbury estate. The tenant was responsible for opening and closing the gate to members of the family and visitors. Queen Victoria would have passed the Lodge on her visit to Frognal and Scadbury in 1872.

Census records show that the Lodge was normally occupied by the estate gamekeeper or estate bailiff. In 1871 the gamekeeper was Charles Jeal with his wife Maria. Their 8-year old nephew Henry – recorded in the census as a ‘gatekeeper’ – lived with them. In 1911 Robert Thornbury with his wife Emma and three children lived there. He worked at Scadbury for 50 years. The Scadbury estate was owned by the Marsham-Townshend family when the estate was sold to Bromley council in 1983. Some estate properties were retained by the family as they were occupied by tenant estate workers. This house became empty in 2012 and was sold by the family.

Michael Meekums –Orpington and District Archaeological Society – April 2021

Further information – www.odas.org.uk

It appears that the windows frames were changed four times in the Lodge’s lifetime.

The original window frames looked as they do today. It would appear these window frames were changed prior to 1900 with window openings at the bottom half of the frame only.

These were changed to white plastic windows before 2000.

The current frames were installed in 2017.