Jump to content


Photo

Beltwood House


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 chalky

chalky

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 26 September 2003 - 10:26 AM

Hi every one new to this site, just stumbled on it ( with Jeeves help!)
does anyone know anything about Beltwood house? It is situated just past Dulwich wood house pub on main road of sydenham hill, my daughter and I are both fasinated by if having past it everyday for years but can't seem to find any info on it it is a very sheltered house because of the bushes, but there are pillars at the front A long drive and a gate house. I do remember the gardens being open a couple of years ago but unfortunatly didnt get the time to take a look. does anyone out there know the history of the place? have a decent picture? There was a sign up recently that made me smile everytime I passed " HORSEY POO POO FOR SALE!" so who ever owns the house certainly has a sense of humour!

any info apprieciated just to put my curiosity to rest thanks all

Ellen

#2 Becky2

Becky2

    Member

  • Members 2
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 214 posts

Posted 03 October 2003 - 11:01 AM

A while ago it was a residence for trainee dentists. I am not sure if this is still the case.

About 12-15 years ago I went to a party there and it is a beautiful house from what I remember, big staircases, well kept gardens etc etc.

#3 hazels

hazels

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 24 October 2003 - 05:13 PM

Hello Chalky and Becky2
We'd really like to know about Beltwood (House? Mansion? - it seems to go under a number of names...) too. We visited there this morning and found no-one at home. It is a beautiful house and someone in the pub next door said it had been open for the recent London Open House weekend and there were 'queues down the drive'. We were also told it is owned by 'an American woman' who opens it to refugees (!) We were also told there were problems with rats coming into the pub from the property(!). What we do know about its history is that in 1960 it was known as the Sydenham Babies Home and run by an adoption agency called The Mission of Hope. We have no idea when it stopped being this and began being something else. All we can find out on the net is that it is licensed for marriages and conferences and events are held there - though this is hard to believe as the place is not now very plush or well kept. But we're sure it must have a fascinating history. DOES ANYONE OUT THERE KNOW MORE?
Yes, round the back there were bales of straw so there must be horses there.

#4 Cordelia

Cordelia

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 05 November 2003 - 08:42 PM

I worked at Beltwood as a nursing cadet from 1954-55. I was 17 years old . The person in charge was Matron, I think her name was Miss Jones, a rather austere figure, her uniform was a white doctors coat, we wore light purple dresses and starched white caps that we had to make up ourselves so that we had a' tail' at the back. It took ages, it was so fiddley. The babies wards were downstaires in two large rooms over-looking the gardens, and next to matron's room which was very grand. The babies bathroom was across the corridor, some of the tiles had little pictures of animals on them. one of them looked very like my dog at home and I used to feel dreadfully home sick when I saw it. Upstairs was the toddler's nursery. I was allocated to the babies ward so never saw the toddler's department. We were told the babies were from poor families and were convalescing from serious illness. Nothing was mentioned about adoption, single mothers etc, it would have been very hush-hush in those days!.We worked very hard, not only looking after the babies, but we had to cook when Mrs White the cook had her day off or when she had sick-leave. We worked in the gardens too, which were lovely. I had to weed the rose beds which were to the front of the house. We also had to boil up the terry- towelling nappies round the back of the house in an open fronted room, which thinking about it now was probably a stable at one time. We also had to clean the floors. The main entrance hall was very imposing with parquet floors and a sweeping staircase, but as one progressed through the house the rooms became smaller and upstairs they were quite pokey. We shared the larger rooms, we all had to live in apart from older local women. We were all known by our last names. I became quite ill while I was working there and had to be hospitalized. I never went back.

#5 hazels

hazels

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 09 November 2003 - 09:21 PM

Cordelia

Thank you for your very interesting information about Beltwood.
I was at that home in 1960 as a baby and was adopted shortly afterwards.
You can imagine my feelings to walk up the drive and see this "mansion"of a
place that at one time I had lived in. (even though it was only for a few months)
Your description really brings the inside alive to me and helps piece my story together.
At the time you were working there who was your employer?. The adoption agency that my mum and dad used was "The Mission of Hope" and I was wondering if this was the case when you worked there.
Once again thank you for taking the time to share your memories.

Hazels

#6 Guest_Bex_*

Guest_Bex_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 November 2003 - 02:13 PM

Hi Everyone
Earlier in the year I went to Beltwood Mansion, because I was deperately looking for a venue for my wedding reception.
I rather foolishly had high hopes that it would be a stunning, restored private house with period features.
However its the dingiest, most depressing house Ive ever seen.
It is owned by a strange bunch of aging hippies. We described it at the time as a Kibbutz.
Im sure it was once a very grand house, but now it is neglected, smelly and in need of a lot of work.
Bex
xxx P.S. I did end up finding a perfect wedding venue in the end - but not in South London...

#7 Cordelia

Cordelia

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 06 December 2003 - 04:14 PM

Hello Hazel,

When I worked at Beltwood, I hadn't a clue that the babies we cared for were up for adoption. We were told they were convalescent, although thinking back no parents visited and the babies stayed for quite a while. I suppose that we nursing cadets were regarded as being too young to know the full story. I had not heard ogf the Mission of Hope, and I thought that Beltwood, or the Sydenham Babies Hospital as it was known belonged to the Bromley and Beckenham group of Hospitals. Most of us went on to Bromley Hospital to train as nurses. As far as I can remember, the Matron was a Miss Jones, she had a Health Visitor friend from Chichester who used to visit frequntly, her name was Miss Phillips. The babies were very well cared for in a regimental sort of way. Strict feeding, bathing and bedtime hours were kept, and although we were children ourselves we did fuss over the babies and we all had our favourites. Mine was called Robert, he was such a cute little fellow; he would be around 50 years old now!.

Cordelia

#8 dawnwas

dawnwas

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 26 September 2005 - 03:50 AM

:) Hi.I am new to all of this,and could not manage to add a reply to the existing thread on this topic.
I lived at Beltwood House Sydenham during the 1980's.The House was used for training Dental Therapists to live during the first year of their 2 year training course at New Cross Hospital.We were sellected from all over the UK including the islands,and I loved the year I lived there.The House was beautiful.A long driveway,a gatekeepers cottage at the entrance.Beautiful pillars at the front,and a small servants cottage at the rear...thats where I lived.Next to this was I think old stables that had been converted upstairs to accomodate more girls.Inside the main house,there was a fantastic sweeping staircase opening out into a foyer,and the rooms downstairs...a lounge room and then a dining room had beautiful original fireplaces.There was talk when I was there of the house being haunted,and that the sitings did feature in a book of ghost stories...I have not tracked it down..but the ghost came down the staircase apparantly..I vaguely remember a servants staircase as well.We were all 18 yr olds away from home,and the house was run by a caretaker couple and the cook at the time was a nun.I am trying to find out more about the house for my own enjoyment and would to hear from anyone else on the subject,,,this may prompt me to remember more.
Dawn Australia

#9 Becky2

Becky2

    Member

  • Members 2
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 214 posts

Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:12 AM

I lived on Crescent Wood Road, then Sydenham Hill when i was little and my parents used to get babysitters from amongst the dental students who lived at Beltwood.

I wonder if you ever babysat me?

#10 Sylvester

Sylvester

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 1,620 posts

Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:52 PM

Hi Dawn in Australia! Beltwood House has been refurbished now and is advertised as a wedding and party venue. They were going to have an "open garden" day in the summer but it didn't take place for some reason. There are pictures on their web site which you could Google for - sorry I don't have the link here.
aka Pie

#11 dawnwas

dawnwas

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 09 October 2005 - 11:13 AM

Dear Becky and Sylvester.
Firstly.Becky...several of the girls babysat for local families.I only did it a couple of times and cannot remember who for.I was always busy travelling back to my family at the weekends in the Midlands.Can you remember anyones names,or where they were from?
Secondly,Sylvester...thankyou for the update.I guess the house would make a lovely wedding venue.The staircase and entryhall alone would be gorgeous for photos.I would love to have a look inside again...it holds many memories.Cheers.Dawn