Wickham Court - Anne's Walk

Anne's Walk (or Yew Walk) was an avenue of closely-cropped Yew trees, in the grounds of Wickham Court, Coney Hall, West Wickham, Kent (Bromley area). It is reputed that this is where King Henry VIII walked with Anne Boleyn, although there is no documentary evidence in support of this. (It is, though, highly likely). Henry Heydon (a close friend of Henry VIII) lived at Wickham Court with Anne Bullen, who was the great aunt of Anne Boleyn. It was this Anne after whom the walk was probably named, and where Henry Heydon walked with her.

Unfortunately, when the house was acquired by nuns, the upkeep of the grounds became too expensive, and Yew Walk was left to Nature. Over time, it grew taller and some of the trees had to be supported with scaffolding. The trees have a preservation order on them, which means they cannot be cut down. The walk, now, is devoid of grass, and is considered too dangerous to walk through. It is now sectioned off by a high fence, and it also stands in the grounds of what was St John Rigby School. (This part of the grounds being sold off, in order to pay debts). This school was closed in August of 2007, and has remained unused ever since.

As you can see from the photographs from "Country Life", the walk was pretty spectacular. (It was claimed that the trees were so closely cropped that one could drive a carriage across them). The gardens and the walk, itself, must have been so beautiful, especially of a Summer's evening. It is a tremendous pity that it is now all but forgotten.

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