Built / Designed For: Sir John Champneys (Champneis)
House & Family History: Sir John Champneys, a former lord mayor of London, built an impressive house here in 1537, very likely using stone from the nearby Abbey of St. Mary and St. Thomas the Martyr, more commonly called Lesnes Abbey. A brick addition was added to Hall Place in 1649. The House fell into many different uses after it ceased being a private residence: a school in the 19th century, a home for the United States Army during World War II (where it was used for the top secret Ultra code-breaking project), and a public library and local studies museum center, which it continues to serve as today.
Garden & Outbuildings: There are 16 acres of gardens operated today by the London Borough of Bexley.
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. I, p. 231, 1854. 2.S. Vol. II, p. 196, 1855.
Country Life: LI, 80, 1922.
Title: London's Parks & Gardens
Author: Billington, Jill; Lousada, Sandra (Photographer)
Year Published: 2003
Reference: pg. 226
Publisher: London: Frances Lincoln Limited
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat / Home of: Sir John Champneys (Champneis), Lord Mayor of London, 16th century.
Current Ownership Type: Preservation Organization
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Ownership Details: Owned and managed by the Bexley Heritage Trust.