Tag Archives: Open House

Open House London 2011

Blackheath Society Vice-presidents Neil Rhind and Tony Aldous will be carrying out a guided walk (same route both days) looking at some of Blackheath’s best Georgian and early Victorian buildings on its south east corner. Meet outside the Princess of Wales’s pub. Walks approx. 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Maximum numbers 30. Tickets (free) available on a first-come first-served basis from 10.45 am (Saturday) and 2.45 pm (Sunday).
Saturday 17th September (tomorrow) – 11am
Sunday 18th September – 3pm

This should be excellent. Neil Rhind is always an interesting speaker, author of the excellent Blackheath Village & Environs series, and knows more than is healthy about the history of this area!

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Filed under blackheath, books, history

Sightseeing near Blackheath

Severndroog Castle

This creepy looking building is 9 minutes from Blackheath by train. 3 stops away from London takes you to Falconwood, where a fair amount of steep walking through forests eventually opens up to reveal this curious building. It is called Severndroog Castle, although it is more of a folly than a castle. It was the subject of a BBC Restoration programme, although it never actually got restored. The walk from the station takes you down a bland A-road, then down a forest path for a few minutes.

Severndroog Castle fields nearbyThe forest opens up to reveal Oxleas Meadow, which according to a sign nearby, has a water reservoir beneath it.

Severndroog Castle cafe nearby

At the top of the hill is a nice little cafe, selling teas, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and ice creams.

More aimless wandering through the forest (an A-to-Z really isn’t the best way to navigate when there aren’t any roads), and the Castle appears near the top of the hill.

Severndroog Castle cracked wallIt really is quite strange. It’s in a pretty terrible state, with cracks down the walls, and graffiti around what would have been the main entrance. I wouldn’t like to come and see it at night…

Severndroog Castle Fake Window

The upper windows have been shattered, and the lower ones have been blocked up, apart from the fake painted windows, which stare at you like blind eyes.

This plaque explains that the castle was built to:

“commemorate that gallant officers achievements in the East Indies, during his command of the Company’s Marine Forces in those seas, and in particular to record the conquest of the Castle of Severndroog off the coast of Malabar, which fell to his superior valour and able conduct on the 2nd day of April 1755”

The castle was built by Sir William James’ grieving wife to commemorate her husband. Her husband was part of the East India Company, which might explain why the place feels creepy…

The castle was opened to visitors last year, as part of the Open House event, and from the look of the open house website, it will be accessible this year on the weekend of 20th & 21st September.

Finally, take a look at this astonishing photograph of the castle by flickr user Short Sharp Shot. Most of his photos are taken around south east London, and all of them are great.

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Filed under Not Blackheath but nearby, things to do