Bessemer House, Denmark Hill, Camberwell, c. 1910


Bessemer House and its neighbour, Bessemer Grange, were in the top division of Denmark Hill's mansions.

The home and estate was bought by industrialist and inventor Henry Bessemer in 1863. Despite its name the house predates the purchase, and previously was part of the Dulwich College Estate.

The house was used as a hotel in the war years and the site redeveloped as Council Housing after World War II.

Bessemer employed the estate surveyor, Charles Barry, to extend the existing house and to build many new buildings including glasshouses, a huge conservatory, an astronomical observatory and a model farm.

Bessemer lived there until his death in 1898.