Until the 19th century Stanstead Road was simply a track between fields from Catford to Sydenham. Perry Street, now Perry Hill, was lined with large Elizabethan Houses and is where the development of Sydenham began.
The oldest structure in this area is probably a Celtic track that ran from London along the Old Kent Road, then through Peckham and Brockley towards the coast. The Romans gravelled the track and used it to transport goods to and from the coast.
Until the 19th century Stanstead Road was simply a track between fields from Catford to Sydenham. Perry Street, now Perry Hill, was lined with large Elizabethan Houses and is where the development of Sydenham began. In the 17th Century Stanstead Road was known as Stanyhurst Lane. This meant “a lane in a stony place”. It was also known as Stoney Lane.
It has been suggested that the architect of the current version of Stanstead Lodge was Herbert Arnold Satchell (1860-1922). The building was described as “Third quarter of c19 in Gothic style. Fairly high pitched, slated roof has several chimneys with orntamental terra cotta shafts. Stucco, with cornice and battlemented parapet. Rear elevation with crow stepped gable”.
Residents of Stanstead Lodge
1843-1860: Joseph Skilbeck (1799-1860) and Louisa Ann Skilbeck. Catford Bridge station opened in 1857 and Catford station in 1892 so Joseph Skilbeck would have travelled to the City by horse and carriage.
1853-1881: Charles James Northcote (1817-1878) and Isabella Northcote Charles James was a shipping agent; after his death his wife continued living in the house until the early 1880s when she moved to Harefield House, Mayow Road.
1888-1890: Oliver Bryant, barrister
1891-1899: Robert Girvin (b abt 1833) and Gertrude Girvin grain and metal merchant
1901-1941: Henry Gardner (1860-1941) and Florence Gardner metal merchant
During WW2 Stanstead Lodge was used as a school
1949-2003: Darby and Joan Club
2003: Lewisham Elders’ Resource Centre
Joseph Skillbeck (1799-1860)
Skilbeck Bros ran one of the oldest businesses in the City, drysalters and dealers in preserved meats and pickles, founded in 1650.
In 1808 John Joseph Skilbeck took over the business from his grandfather William Gouthit.
From about 1831 the business was continued by his sons Joseph Skilbeck and John Skilbeck.
Joseph and his wife Louisa lived at Stanstead Lodge from at least 1843 until Joseph’s death in 1860.
In 1861 Louisa and their children were living in St Marylebone.
Many records of the company are held at the London Metropolitan Archives.
Robert Girvin (abt 1833)
Robert Girvin was a grain and metal merchant. He and his wife Gertrude lived at Stanstead Lodge from 1891 to 1899 when they moved to Ashbourne, in Lawrie Park Gardens.
Robert Girvin’s daughter Gertrude Annette Brenda (known simply as Brenda) was born in Perry Hill in 1884. She was a prolific author and served in the Women’s Royal Naval Service during the Second World War.
Brenda lived in London and Croyde, Devon with her lifelong companion, Monica Cosens with whom she wrote a number of plays. She died in 1970.
Henry Gardner lived at Stanstead Lodge between 1901 and 1941. He was the Chairman of H Gardner & Co, Metal Exchange, Leadenhall Avenue.
The Darby & Joan Club(1949-2003)
With thanks to Steve Grindlay, from whose talk this information was extracted.