Vanbrugh Castle School

Daily Graphic Letter

[Use the back button on your browser or the heading to return]

Daily Graphic Letter : 8th August 1905


Vanbrugh Castle

To the editor of the Daily Graphic. Sir,—You often call attention to the threatened demolition of some old and interesting building, and also record its existence by a sketch. I wish you would extend such notice to the case of Vanbrugh Castle, at the top of Maze Hill, Greenwich. It was built by the well-known Sir John Vanbrugh, on whom some wit proposed an epitaph:-— Lie heavy on him, earth, for he Laid many a heavy load on thee. Whether this particular building deserved such criticism or not, the building is one of considerable antiquity, must have struck and interested every visitor to the park, and is said to be a copy of the Bastille; in fact, I believe it was at one time called Bastille House.

The house has been mutilated already in order to widen the road or footway, by the destruction of the front wall and gateway, with its gate towers, and the substitution of an incongruous wooden fence. The fact that the house is now empty and is not announced to be let, combined with what I was to!d, seems to leave no doubt that it is intended to pull the house down altogether and erect on its site, and on that of other old houses on the hill, a row of modern residences. Another quaint old house not far off, called Vanbrugh Lodge, also built by Sir John Vanbrugh, has already been pulled down for the purpose of building small houses in its extensive garden. As this part of Blackheath is dedicated to the name of Vanbrugh—there are Vanbrugh Park, Van-brush Terrace, Vanbrugh Park Road, Vanbrugh Park Road East, Vanbrugh Park Road West, Vanbrugh Fields, and Vanbrugh Hill—it seems a pity that this material explanation of the widely-spread name should disappear " unwept, unhonoured, and unsung."—Yours faithfully, Thomas Widdows.