A Brief History of Rowhill Grange
Rowhill Grange was built in 1868 as the “Summer House” for 18-year-old Alice Alexander. Alice and her family lived here until 1916 when the house was sold to Sir George Cole, a breeder of Shetland ponies.
It is believed that Sir George was Lord Mayor of London and he resided here until 1928 when the property was sold to Mr Leslie Wates, who with his wife Lucy, created a family home with a beautiful garden surrounded by woodland. It was in fact their gardener who planted the spruce tree, which stands so impressively opposite the main entrance.
Mr Wates travelled every day from Rowhill to Charlton where he was MD of Johnson & Phillips Ltd; and from there to his solicitors’ office in London. Mr Wates’ eldest son married just before the outbreak of the war and when he was called up in 1940, his wife came to live at Rowhill. During this period, the family spent a good deal of time, in and out of the cellar, alias the bomb shelter.
In 1977 the property was sold to Michael Feasey, a local butcher who converted it into a Country House Hotel and Restaurant in 1987.
In 1994 Rowhill Grange changed hands and since, the new owners have carried out an extensive refurbishment programme. Through meticulous care when planning, they have managed to retain the traditional beauty of the building and surroundings.
Adjoining the main building is the original coaching house of Rowhill Grange, which is now known as the Clockhouse Suite due to its impressive clock. This clock is believed to have originated from Swanley Town Hall and weighs in at over a ton. The traditional charm of the Clockhouse makes it an ideal venue for weddings or private parties.