public footpath

Keston

Keston was a one-time village in Kent, now part of the London Borough of Bromley. It lies on the edge of Hayes Common.

Its small church is unusual in that does not have a dedication to a saint.

The River Ravensbourne has its source at Keston Ponds. The "London LOOP" walk passes the ponds (where many a small boy caught his first roach, perch &c.) on its way from Farnborough to West Wickham.

Keston village is served by two London Transport bus links:

146 Bromley North - Downe; 246 Bromley North - Westerham (Chartwell during the summer)

Keston Park

Keston also has a gated community called Keston Park where exclusive homes are located. Keston Park covers an area of approximately 140 acres and supports approximately 200 residential properties of high architectural and spatial standards.

The Park is bounded by Westerham Road to the west, Croydon Road to the north and Farnborough Common to the north east.

There are eight roads in the Park namely:

Beech Dell, Forest Drive, Forest Ridge, Holwood Park Avenue, Longdon Wood, Mark Close, Ninhams Wood, Pine Glade

The land on which the Park stands was part of the Holwood Estate owned by the Earl of Derby.

Its most famous past resident is undoubtedly former prime minister Margaret Thatcher who with her late husband Denis raised their then young children, Mark and Carol. Others include Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman, Arsenal and England footballer, Kenny Samson, Derek Tullett of Tullett & Tokyo Moneybrokers (now Tullett Stewart) and founder of Direct Line, Peter Woods.

History

When Frederick Rogers bought 143 acres of land from the Earl of Derby on 9th January 1923 it was for the purpose of developing Keston Park.

The land was known as the Keston Lodge Estate. Keston Lodge was the dower house to Holwood House and was occupied by Lady Ashton. It was probably regarded at the time as a separate part of the Holwood Estate and was divided from it by the public footpath which runs from Farnborough Common, almost opposite Hilda vale Road, to Westerham Road, near to Fishponds Road.

Keston Lodge itself later became the Keston Park Hotel. It was taken down in the 1960s. The site is now developed as Keston Park Close.

The stables of the old Keston Lodge remained until the late 1970s when they too were demolished to make way for three new houses in Forest Ridge.

Keston Lodge was approached through the present entrance to Forest Ridge/Forest Drive on Croydon Road. The drive ran up the line of Forest Ridge, curving back around the stables to the left to come out in front of the south side of the house.

An unfenced road is shown on early maps on the line of the present Forest Drive and this was probably the main link between Keston Lodge and Holwood House.

Holwood Park Avenue lies on the line of the north carriageway from Holwood House. According to some early maps the north cariageway was used as the principal entrance to Holwood House.

There was a further access onto Croydon Road and another lodge house at Poynters Lodge near Gap House. Access is now gained to Holwood House along the west carriageway which comes out into Westerham Road at Bowens Lodge.

As well as Holwood House and the old lodges, there are still some physical remains of the Keston Lodge Estate. Jesmond Cottage, now renamed Bushwood at 30 Forest Drive is older than the rest of the houses on the Park. Close behind it are the walls of the old kitchen garden and greenhouses which used to serve the estate. The garden and greenhouses covered a substantial area and incorporated two ponds in the run of the stream between Forest Drive and forest ridge.

Further west is the old pavilion which dates from the time when the lower part of Longdon Wood was a cricket ground.

Farnborough Park is located near by which is also a gated community and less than a mile away from Keston Park.

William Wilberforce was a frequent visitor to the area as his close friend, William Pitt the younger, lived in Holwood estate. It was on top of the vale of Keston near to an oak tree that he discussed the abolition of slavery with his friend, Pitt. Only the partial dead remains of the 'Wilberforce oak' are left but a new oak tree has been planted in its place. A stone bench, 'Wilberforce seat', commemorating the event, now marks the spot and bears the inscription from his diary "Just above a steep descent into the vale of Keston, I resolved to give notice ... in the House of Commons of my intention to bring forward the abolition of the Slave Trade."

The relationship between Keston Park and Farnborough Park

There is a relationship between the two gated communities, Keston Park and Farnborough Park. Every year they hold a Golf Challenge Day at Westerham golf course. All residents from Keston Park and Farnborough Park are invited to compete for winning the trophy for their team.

Keston Park Events

Keston Park hosts several day-trips and events every year exclusive to Keston Park residents. They have quartley meetings and they also have Ladies trips to restaurants and theatres.

River Ravensbourne

The River Ravensbourne rises at Keston Ponds. The Ravensbourne is 11 miles (17.4 km) in length and it flows through the London Boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich. Since 1991, Quaggy Waterways Action Group (QWAG) have spent millions maintaining the River Ravensbourne.

Windmills

Keston has had three windmills over the centuries. The post mill built in 1716 that still stands on Keston Common, a smock mill known as Olive's mill, built in 1824 and burnt down between 1878 and 1885, and a third mill, which stood at Holwood Park.

Transport

Rail

The nearest railway stations are Hayes railway station (1.6 miles away) and West Wickham railway station (2.7 miles away).

Bus

There are two bus routes in and out of Keston; the 146 from Bromley North to Downe and the 246 from Bromley North to Westerham, which stops off at Coney Hall , Biggin Hill and Hayes railway station and also goes to Chartwell during the summer period.

Nearest places

Nearest railway stations

References

External links

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