The Village High Street.
Further along, on the same side, almost opposite Woolworth's stood the PARISH CLERK'S HOUSE, which, at the time of demolition about 1927/28 for road widening, was The Hawthorn Laundry.
The exact age of THE GEORGE INN is unknown but there is a reference to Richard King, at the Sign of Ye George, paying Hearth Tax in 1662. In the 'Daily Courant' of May 1715 there appeared:- "A Stage Coach is set up from Beckenham which goes from 'The George' every Monday and Saturday morning, and returns from 'Star Inn', Fish Street, London, the same days, performed by John Jobbs, who lives at 'The George' ".
Thomas Cronk, at one time the Parish Beadle, was a landlord there; he died in 1831. The Petty Sessions were regularly held there until the end of the last century. In 1886 there was still in use a Drinking Pot bearing the stamp of William III: J.G. Wheeler then kept the Inn. He was a Member of the first Sanitary Authority in Beckenham and took an active part in introducing gas lighting in Beckenham.
On the other side of the road, where W.R. Smith's bookshop now stands, stood THE OLD WOOD HOUSE. It was a picturesque old building of the Village days and may well have been originally built as a Yeoman's Hall for, although three separate shops in latter years, when pulled down it was discovered that originally it had been one large hall with a central fireplace and only a hole in the roof to let out the smoke.
THE MANOR HOUSE, as it was called, was almost adjoining. This must not be confused with the Old Manor House in Bromley Road, for it never was the seat of the Lord of the Manor. It will be remembered by its fine glass covered-way leading from the street up to the house. The grounds at the back, with an ornamental lake off the Beck, adjoined those of Village Place.
At one time it was the residence of George Grote, father of the historian, after he left Shortlands House. Later it was occupied by Dr. P.J. Curtis and after the first World War was used by the British Legion before being demolished about 1932. Boots' Stores first occupied the old site, but when they moved, the shop was used by "The House of Bewley' and now is a fruiterers' shop.
THE GREYHOUND, at the foot of Church Hill, was originally a private residence, with the Beck flowing by as an open stream, and may have been once occupied by Peter Burrell. On the bottom of a Lease dated 30th September 1691 by Peter Burrell, of London, to Rowland King, of Beckenham, of certain lands in Beckenham, there is a note - "Mr. Burrell lives over against ye pump in Beckenham" - which was presumably this residence.