Combe Lodge

Bing asks:

“I know its a long shot, but I live in Coombe Lodge, SE7 and I’m trying to find out whether we were the first to be called Coombe Lodge or whether 12 Charlton Road is. We contacted the council to complain when they submitted planning permission and the lady at the council never really got back to us.

When I first moved here there was a lady who was quite elderly and she remembered a farm building here in Coombe Lodge/ Warren walk. This will be going back to 1940′s or something, we thought that it was redeveloped in the 60′s and the old buildings demolished (we keep finding bricks in the gardens). But keeping its name as Coombe Lodge?

Although I do remember going down to the heritage centre and not finding a Coombe Lodge address before the 60′s (before I moved to the place)

Like I say, its a long shot, I’m not sure if you have any ideas about this? or how comprehensive the book about Combe Farm is with maps and details?”

Boundaries are, I confess, not my forte. And trying to pinpoint any part of the old Combe estate is hard at the best of times.

It seems to me that, for mere reasons of clarity, having two Combe Lodges, SE7, is a bit daft. I already can’t find either of them on the usually useful Streetmap, (I’ve located them both now) but considering I can’t find any allusions to a historical Combe Lodge in any of my books, or online, I’m guessing this isn’t a big issue.

Strange, really – ‘Combe Lodge’ sounds so likely. There were definitely large houses there that could have been called something as grand as that – but, checking out Neil Rhind’s definitive Blackheath Village & Environs (2) – criminally out of print, but occasionally available second-hand – they seem to have been called anything but Combe Lodge (I’d be very happy to be contradicted here.) Maze Hill House, Mayfield Lodge, Vanbrugh Castle, The Manor House, Westcombe House, Woodlands House and several others – if there was an antique Combe Lodge it must be too far east to be in Neil Rhind’s encyclopaedic sight.

Neither can I find it in the even rarer Combe Farm, Greenwich, by Barbara Ludlow – and for her to miss something like that out would be most out of character. There is an 1864 map in the book – this, too, doesn’t mention a Combe Lodge.

I’ve been along the row of local history books on my shelves, and can’t find any reference at all, which means, I suspect, that both names are pretty modern.

Of course, there were Combe farm buildings knocking around all over that area – in fact there are still a couple left standing, round the back of the police station at the bottom of Westcombe Hill – so it’s entirely possible that your old lady did remember buildings round your place and that the bricks you keep finding are from something Combe-farmish. As far as I can tell from not-terribly-clear maps, the actual Home Farm was slightly north-east of Westcombe Park station.

If you’ve been living at your Combe Lodge since the 60s and Number 12 has only just submitted planning permission, then it seems a bit silly, if only for reasons of not driving the local postie crazy, to have another one. But, as far as I know, there’s no copyright on names (I’ve long wondered when the Victorian house at the top of Westcombe Hill decided to promote itself to being ‘Combe Farm’ – but hey – why not – I guess it could have been connected somehow…) and if the tortuous place-naming department in the Council hasn’t picked up on it, then I can’t promise any historical precedent to promote your cause. Just common sense.


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