Sidcup Rotary Club


District 1120   RI Club No 19449

Founded 1935

The Rotary Club of Sidcup meets on Wednesdays at Chislehurst Golf Club, Camden Place, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 5HJ . First, third and fifth Wednesday 7.15pm for 7.30pm, second and fourth Wednesday 12.45pm for 1.00pm.

Please click here for directions.


THE HISTORY OF CAMDEN PLACE, CHISLEHURST


Since 2003 we have held our weekly meetings at Camden Place, Chislehurst.  This magnificent building is now the home of Chislehurst Golf Club but its origins go back to 1609 when the historian and topographer William Camden came to Chislehurst.  Many places in the area commemorate his name today.  He was an eminent but simple man who expressed the wish that he be buried ‘where it shall please God to call me to His mercie.’  The powers that be didn’t see it that way and he now rests in Westminster Abbey.


Over the years the house has been rebuilt a number of times by various owners.  In the 1860’s Nathaniel William Strode introduced a French flavour.  He acquired the 18th century oak panelling which can still be seen in the main dining room, from Chateau de Bercy in France.  He also went to great trouble to obtain French furniture and fittings for the interior.


All this paid off in 1870 after the Battle of Sedan which was a disaster for the French.  The Empress Eugenie Napoleon and her young son, the Prince Imperial fled Paris and arrived in Chislehurst. They took up residence in Camden Place at a rental of £300 per annum.  The Emperor himself, Louis, Napoleon III, arrived after his release by Bismarck in 1871.  


He died in 1873, the Prince Imperial was killed in the Zulu wars of 1879 and Eugenie moved to Farnborough, Hampshire in 1888 – taking the remains of her husband and son with her.


There is a house just outside the main gates called ‘The Cedars’ which was built by William Willett, famous for Daylight Saving.  The idea caused a great deal of controversy at the time and sadly, Willett did not live to see it introduced.  It became law in 1916, one year after his death.