Based in Beckenham Place Park, the Homestead is an 18th-century stable block, consisting of a stable yard with three surrounding cottages. Following an arson attack in 2011 the property has remained derelict and in a state of disrepair since. In 2018 Ash was awarded the contract for the restoration of the Homestead by Lewisham council, after receiving funding from the National Lottery to restore the park to its former glory.
The Homestead holds great significance for historical reasons with its location and size showing its importance not only to the immediate pleasure gardens and main mansion but also to the park and estate itself. The buildings are classified for their national importance with the Homestead being Grade II listed as a prime example of an early Victorian enclosed stable yard.
Ash’s restoration work involved transforming the Homestead into a café with a terrace looking onto the park as well as two environmental education classrooms. The surrounding cottages are being leased to businesses appropriate for the park setting.
A vital part of this restoration is remaining sympathetic to the existing structure which ensures the building’s historic significance is highlighted. Ash have invested time in sourcing appropriate materials, from the clock tower rebuild, based on historic images, and topped with the original weather vane. Down to plastering that followed the traditional methods of when the Homestead would have been originally constructed using animal hair to thicken the mixture. The build also involved installing a lift into the Homestead to make the building fully accessible for all users along with all associated mechanical and electrical works.
No words can truly do the full transformation justice. See for yourself and take a look at the before and after images below!