History
History

History

Camden Place dates back as far as 1609 and is named after the famous Elizabethan scholar, historian and antiquary, William Camden, who in order to escape the plague came to Chislehurst.

In 1717 Robert Weston began the rebuilding of the existing mansion. There were a number of extensions commissioned in 1780, by Charles Pratt, later to become Lord Camden, who later became Lord Chancellor. He employed George Dance RA, the architect of the Guild Hall, to remodel the building and provide the insight to the extensions. The parts of the house dating from this time include – the Mixed lounge, the Oval Room, the Office and the beautiful oak panelled Entrance hall with its two secret doors.

Home to Napoleon III

In 1807 Thomson Bonar, a Russian merchant also employed George Dance and made extensive alterations to the house adding the Eating Room, now the Billiard Room and most of the Kitchen wing. Among the extensive outbuildings you will see a well which can be found to the left of the lake. Thomson’s son was to inherit the property, he then passed on the ownership to Count Mirfelt, Prince Esterhazy and Count Lieven.

Nathaniel Strode, an ardent Francophile, bought the house in 1860 and in 1870 made some alterations which comprise a large part of the present house. The exiled Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie lived in the house from 1870.

Social hub for the South East

Queen Victoria was a regular visitor of Empress Eugenie, particularly in the early years of their residency.

The Emperor died in 1873 and was buried in the neighbouring St Mary’s Church. His Son, the Prince Imperial, was also buried at St Mary’s Church following his death in the Zulu War in 1879.

His funeral reputedly more spectacular than his father’s with the Prince of Wales and the Royal Dukes as pall bearers and approximately 100,000 spectators watching the cortege pass. In 1881, the people of Chislehurst erected a monument to the Prince Imperial.

In 1890, William Willett, the promoter of the idea of Daylight Savings, bought the park. His idea was inspired in fact by his early morning walks through the glorious grounds.

Conveniently placed for the church and the common, Camden Place has always been central to the social and business life of Chislehurst.

We invite you to join with them to experience the wonders of over three centuries of hospitality.

 
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Weddings at Camden Place

Weddings at Camden Place

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Evening Wedding Ceremonies at Camden Place

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