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The new restrictions on irresponsible
dog owners have succeeded
in drawing attention to one of
Greenwich borough’s most secret
and secluded spaces.
Hidden treasure
the des- being demolished in 1938. most people at that time. He was
ignated Jackwood House itself was a a member of the national Rose
areas where owners stand to be mock-Elizabethan half timbered af- Society, so undoubtedly Lord
fi ned for taking their dogs is the fair the building of which Lord Pen- Penzance would have known him
walled garden from the old Jack- zance was keen to take credit for, and conferred with him over rose
wood House on Shooters Hill. an inscription to that eff ect carved breeding; perhaps Bartleet was 21
It’s a haven of mature trees above the mantelpiece, although in more responsible for the develop-
and shrubs with commemorative practice the house was the work of ments in rose breeding than Lord
plaques and benches for a central London architect. Penzance would publicly admit.
loved ones, an area for quiet The Lord was a keen gardener Lord Penzance’s legacy to SE9
contemplation. and is also credited with having is the walled garden and brick-
Many will be unaware of its developed 16 new rose varieties, work terracing, which it could be
existence and, entering the large which marked a substantial step speculated were adorned with his
wrought iron gate, the public forward in the development of beloved roses. Sadly, this terrac-
could be forgiven for thinking the species. ing has been allowed to become
they are entering private property Years of careful painstaking a semi-derelict eyesore. The pros-
which, until 1925, it was. work involving the hybridisation pects for its renovation and prop-
Its history is almost as secluded, of the sweet briar (rosa rubigi- er upkeep, never very likely, now
although the letter ‘P’ picked out nosa) and various old-fashioned seem even more remote given 33
above the gate with the balled- roses, are amongst the greatest that Greenwich Council has de-
crest indicating a baronetcy gives gifts of the 19th century to ro- cided to prune £500,000 from its
a clue. This stands for Lord Pen- sarians and are the ancestors of parks budget over the next three
zance, who was responsible for many of the roses available to- years, something unlikely to ap-
the building of Jackwood House day. Those not named after Lord pear in the pages of the council’s
in 1862 with the associated walled and Lady Penzance themselves now-weekly spinsheet Greenwich
garden and the elaborate brick commemorate characters in the Time. In the meantime, the terrac-
terracing which still survives. novels of Sir Walter Scott, the ing will probably become dam-
His family, many of them lead- Lord’s favoured author. aged beyond repair.
ing lawyers, seemed to make a By coincidence or otherwise, Despite this budget cut, coun-
hobby of building second or third on Shooters Hill at that time was cil staff have been instructed to
homes on Shooters Hill at that one Henry Stuart Bartleet, also a spend a substantial amount of
time, his younger brother Edward fanatical rose grower, who moved their time applying for prestigious
Wilde living in Warren Wood, near- into a house in 1874 which later ‘green fl ag’ awards for as many of
er the main road, and his cousin became Christ Church vicarage, their parks as possible, something 47
Baron Truro in Falconhurst, a lit- standing near the site of the cur- you will read about in Greenwich
tle further towards Welling. The rent modern building. Time, despite having read it here
former was a country villa-style A slowly spoken countryman, fi rst. Given that Lord Penzance’s
and the latter a portentous Ital- Bartleet appeared to occupy a legacy is falling down brick by
ianate designed mansion which substantial house with glass- brick only a stone’s throw from

eventually became a hotel before houses beyond the means of their offi ces just adds to the irony.



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