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Foots Cray Place,
Information Centre,
Stable Block

QR Post 1

Location

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Foots Cray Place


This spot, marked by a bench, looks down on what was once a grand manor house, described as being “one of the most elegant in England”.


In 1752, Bourchier Cleeve, a pewterer and a writer from London, purchased the land now known as Foots Cray Meadows for £5,450.


He commissioned the building of a Palladian-style villa, that became known as Foots Cray Place in 1754. This had concepts of “symmetry, perspective and the principles of formal classical architecture from ancient Greek and Roman traditions”. This style is distinctive by its huge outer columns with stairways.


Around 1821, Foots Cray Place in its entirety was purchased by Nicholas Vansittart, the Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1812 until 1823, when he was then made Lord Bexley. He lived in the manor house until his death in 1850. 


Foots Cray Place remained in his family until it was sold in 1898 to Samuel J Waring, who was elevated to the peerage. He died in 1940 and his widow sold the property, plus the grounds, to Kent County Council for use as a museum. But on October 18, 1949, the building was damaged beyond repair by fire.


Information centre

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On looking down at the Foots Cray Place site, if you follow the made-up path to the right, you will come to what were once Foots Cray Place’s service buildings, you will reach the Information centre (200m away) with the Stable block a further 65m on.


The centre, which is operated by the Friends of Foots Cray Meadows (FFCM) in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley. The hub is designed to provide details of our history and exactly what can be enjoyed by visitors to the 97 hectares (240 acres) of open grassland, woodland and wetland.


The Meadows are recognised as an important location for nature conservation within Greater London – and in 2000 some parts (including all of the river) were declared a local nature reserve.

 

Stable block

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Behind the information Centre, these buildings were once Foots Cray Place’s service buildings, built close by in warm red brick, matched the standard of the main house and its superb surroundings.

 

The Grade II-listed building, with its landscaped gardens, has now been turned into a luxury home that London estate agents Savills described as “versatile accommodation”, including six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and four reception rooms.

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The QR Code that brought you to this page is just one of many placed across the Meadows.

Discover where you can find the other QR Codes and learn more about the areas of the Meadows they cover. 

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Learn more about the areas mentioned on this page:

Foots cray place.jpg

Foots Cray Place

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Information Centre

Stable Block cdt Savills.jpg

Stable Block

Location

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