Inventory Site Record

St John's Cottages

St John's Cottages (Bromley)

Brief Description

St John's Cottages are a philanthropic development of 12 cottages built in the 1860s as two short terraces and two sets of pairs, which were originally separated by a roadway. This was removed in 1959/60 to become a communal garden, simply laid out as lawn with two flower and shrub beds.

Practical Information
Site location:
Maple Road, Penge
SE20 8HX
Type of site:
Private Garden
Open to public?
Opening times:
private, residents only
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: Penge East. London Overground: Penge West. Bus: 194, 227, 352, 358

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/10/2005
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

St John's Cottages are a group of 12 modest one and half-storey cottages built as a philanthropic development by Miss Dudin Brown for a 3% return. She was the daughter of John Dudin Brown, a local landowner and freeman of the Company of Watermen, who was instrumental in building the nearby Waterman's and Lighterman's Almshouses, where his monument was erected in 1855; this is now private housing and renamed Waterman's Square (q.v.). The designer of the cottages was Edwin Nash, who had designed St John's Church (q.v.) in Penge High Street; Plan no. 113 for the 12 cottages was deposited by John Warne of 2 St John Villas, Queen Adelaide Road in 1863. The buildings are in two short terraces (nos. 1-4 and 9-12) and two sets of pairs (nos. 5 & 6 and 7 & 8), facing each other to create a small courtyard, which now provides a central communal garden. This was previously roadway, which was taken away in 1959-60 according to one of the tenants who lived here as a child from the 1930s, later returning in 1958; she also remembers that in November 1958 a number of sycamores were removed. In the 1950s the front gardens to the houses were separated from the road by simple wooden fencing, which is much the same today. Separating the front gardens from the communal garden is predominantly panelled fencing or wooden stockade-style fencing. The entrance is through 2 modern iron gates, erected in 2004, and set into a low brick wall which forms the boundary with Maple Road. The garden consists of a strip of lawn into which are cut 2 beds, with a brick path halfway across, planted with shrubs and flowers. A straight concrete path runs each side between the front garden fence and the lawn.

Sources consulted:

Peter Abbott, The Book of Penge, Anerley and Crystal Palace (Halsgrove 2002), p.65.

LPGT Volunteer Research by Kristina Taylor, 2005

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ353702 (535344,170283)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
St John's Cottages Management Co owns Nos. 1-7 and 9, remainder privately owned
Site management:
St John's Cottages Management Co.
c1860s, central garden c1960
Listed structures:
Local list: St John's Cottages
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Penge High Street
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:

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