RAS trip to Lesnes Abbey and Eltham Palace
See separate note for travel arrangements
• Friday 7th June 2019
• All travel is within Zone 4
• Lesnes Abbey and Woods is a free, public site, run by the London Borough of Bexley; if a Monday is chosen, we would have to ask for the café to be opened; if we go on another, Friday, it is open for hot/cold drinks and snacks and sandwiches. Abbey Wood on Southern is the nearest station and Lesnes Abbey is about a 15-minute walk.
Lesnes is a ruined Augustinian abbey site, which now overlooks the Thamesmead Estate. It was founded in 1178 by Richard de Luci, who was involved in the plot to murder Thomas Becket. The Abbey also has links with the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. It was one of the earliest abbeys to be closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525. The site was excavated and published by Alfred Clapham in 1910, there are some finds on display in the Greenwich Heritage Centre. The LCC acquired the site in 1930 and has been a public park since then. What is there to see: most of the walls still exist and it’s a good opportunity to view a monastic abbey with its accompanying buildings in London. There are good descriptive boards, and an app which members can download on their mobile phone and I could talk to anyone who was particularly interested.
• Eltham Palace and Gardens are run by English Heritage, members are free. Entrance normally costs: £17.00 or £15.30 for concessions. Eltham Palace is accessed via Mottingham Station on Southern and it is possible to go from Abbey Wood to Mottingham directly. There is a reasonably steep hill to walk from the station to the site entrance although it is just one bus stop ride up the hill and then a short walk back, for those who would prefer. There are 4 buses which go south in that direction from near the station. The site is open from 10am-6pm Sunday-Friday.
Eltham Palace Great Hall is a magnificent hammer beam roof built for Edward IV in the 1470’s Henry VIII spent much of his childhood there. Eltham Palace is probably better known for the 20th century mansion built and furnished by the Courtauld family in the 1930s. EH describe it as ‘a triumph of style, taste and ahead-of-the-time home comforts. The site has the usual EH comforts; a good café, a shop, audio tours etc.
The day does require comfortable footwear and some stamina