Carn Brea School, Sundridge Avenue, Bickley, 1973

Carn Brea School, Sundridge Avenue, Bickley, 1973

Built as Oatlands in 1893 for German banker, George Zwilgmeyer, on land that was becoming available as the Sundridge Park estate was broken up, this style of house was already becoming old fashioned.

Large and brooding, there was a growing surplus of this type of accommodation even in very affluent areas such as Bickley. Becoming vacant shortly before the first world war, its future lay in institutional use.

Carn Brea, a school for boys aged from 8 to 14 and one of many medium sized private schools that operated in the district between the wars, opened in 1923 and survived for 50 years.

During the war when the school was evacuated to Cranleigh College in Surrey, the building was used by the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada; possibly following the destruction of East Hall Manor, their premises in Orpington, destroyed by a wartime bomb in 1940.

On its closure the building was demolished and the site returned to residential use, being covered in a development of smaller but still up-market houses.

Copyright: Kentish Times.

See historic maps of Bickley