Perry Street

Originally, the road was a direct continuation from Church Lane, now Bull Lane to Footscray. Unfortunately for Lord Robert Bertie, owner of Farringtons, the road was close to his property. Not prepared to have a public road running past his front door, he had it diverted around the boundary of his estate which produced a long ‘S’ shaped bend. Much of the wall that was built alongside the new road still survived 200 years later. A wider road was built in the early 1960′s to by-pass most of the ‘S’ bend with what was left being called Old Perry Street.

Perry Street has been cited in documents as early as 1250. In fact, along with Hoolebrooke or Holbrook Lane mentioned in 1666, they are two of the oldest-known street names in Chislehurst. It is thought that Perry Street derives its name from the many pear orchards once located in the area. In 1525 resident John Warde called it Piry Streete and in 1527, Joan Cheseman, daughter and heiress of Bernard Cavell, named it Peristrete. Later in 1585 it was known as Peryestrete in Chissilhurst.

The Sydney Arms in Old Perry Street was established in the 18th century. It was previously known as The Swan, and in Pigot’s Directory of 1832 known as the White Swan naming a Matthew Tester as landlord. It was renamed in the 1880′s in honour of John Robert Townshend, 3rd Viscount Sydney. The present-day timber yard was originally a school for the local children of the Frognal and Scadbury estates and founded by Countess Sydney. The building, with its reddish facings and gables, bears her monogram of an S and two E’s over the door. The school underwent renovation work in 1891 and this is the date that appears at one end of the gable. The school bell that once hung above this point has since been removed. The Countess died in 1893 and was the last person to lie in the burial vault beneath the Scadbury Chapel in Chislehurst Parish Church.

Farringtons, originally a graceful Jacobean house with three hipped gables and three sets of tall brick built chimneys was constructed by Thomas Blinkhorn. His monogram and the date 1649 is set into the panels of the chimneys. It came into the possession of the Farringtons during the latter half of the 17th century. A famous member of the family was General Thomas Farrington whose regiment fought under Marlborough at Ramilles in 1706. He married his neighbour, Theodosia Bettenson of Scadbury, their daughter Albinia later marrying the first Duke of Ancaster. Their son, Lord Robert Bertie, inherited Farringtons and renamed it Bertie Place. On his death in 1782 it passed to the Townsends of Scadbury and Frognal.

Some of the fine Jacobean panelling of Farringtons was later removed and taken to Scadbury. It is still in perfect condition today except for a circle of tiny holes, left from when the Home Guard had hung their dartboard whilst using the room as Sector Headquarters during WWII.