Lamorbey House

The Grade II listed Lamorbey House is the focal point of our parkland campus. Enjoy our virtual tour of the house and the grounds.


Facade

In 1837 the house was given a fashionable Jacobean façade, influenced in design by nearby Charlton House.

Library

Ballroom


​Staircase and Wind Dial

Lawn by the Lake

 

 

Lamorbey Timeline
 

814
The manor was given to Archbishop of Canterbury, Wilfred, by the King of Mercia, Cenwulf.


1200
Evidence of residents living on the site.


1500
The manor belonged to ‘an antient family called in deede Lamienby, alias Sparrow’. [‘Lamienby’ originated from the village of Lamonby, near Penrith, in modern Cumbria.]


1664
Hearth tax return: the main residence on the site had ten chimneys.


Early eighteenth century
A series of property sales relating to the site took place. William Steele, a director of the East India Company purchased 326 acres that extended to boundaries on modern-day Hurst Road, Penhill Road, Blackfen Road, Burnt Oak Lane and Halfway Street.

The current Lamorbey House was built in c. 1745 and extensively altered in 1784. As part of the alterations, a new drive was built that extended from the new front of the house over a bridge over the lake to Hurst Road, where a former lodge house still stands.


1783
Dr David Orme and his family lived in Lamorbey House. He was a graduate from the University of Edinburgh and he earnt his living as a ‘man midwife’ in the City of London Lying-In Hospital.

David Orme died at the age of 84 in 1812. His estate passed to another part of his family, the Malcolms, who were also Scottish. The Malcolms’ fortune was made in Jamaican sugar plantations.


1837
Lamorbey House, owned by Neil Malcolm, was redesigned by John Shaw. Two staircases were moved; various inner walls were demolished. An extra storey was added to two wings. The house was given a fashionable Jacobean façade, influenced in design by Charlton House.


1850-1910
The house was rented out by the Malcolm family. During this period, workers’ housing was built Burnt Oak Lane, near the junction with Halfway Street.


1910
Lamorbey House was sold by the Malcolm family and became a hotel until 1946. It was initially known as ‘Lamorbey Park Residential Hotel’ and was described as a ‘first-class residential boarding establishment.’  During this period, the Coach House was still used to accommodate horses on the ground floor. Up to 22 hotel staff were housed in five bedrooms on the first floor of the Coach House.


1933
Fringes of the Lamorbey estate began to be sold off for housing as the area’s population increased rapidly. The population of the Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban District rose from 27,000 in 1931 to 63,000 in 1939. A three-bedroomed house could be bought in Penhill Park in 1932 for £395!


1946
Lamorbey House became an adult education centre operated by the local council.


1951
Part of Lamorbey House was used to become home to Rose Bruford’s new college.

 

Sources:

John Newman and Nikolaus Pevsner, West Kent and the Weald, Penguin, 1969.

Oliver Wooller, The Great Estates: Six Country Houses in the London Borough of Bexley, Bexley Council, 2000.