Throughout history the name evolved – Cunehale, Kimehole, Kimenhale, Kymenhole, Kemenhole, Keminghole and, of course, Kemnal.
A new book charts the history of this historic Chislehurst Street, lifting the lid on the area’s grand buildings and revealing the stories behind some of the people who lived there.
The Story of Kemnal Road Chislehurst by Tony Allen and Andrew Thomas profiles the wealthy Tiarks family who built the landmark Foxbury estate. It tells how Kemnal Manor played its role in World War II as the HQ of the Ordnance Board and includes a first-hand account of a lady who worked there. “Three bombs fell, but missed the Manor luckily. We both felt the heat from the bombs, but apart from my legs caving in we were unhurt,” recalls Gretna Evans who worked at the Manor between 1939 and 1942.
The book, which contains photos past and present, brings Kemnal Road and the story of Foxbury up-to-date when in 2009 Michael Jackson took a one-year lease on the grounds for his planned concerts at the O2 arena in Greenwich before his untimely death in Los Angeles. “It was with mixed feelings that Kemnal Road residents learned that they had lost the chance to have a global celebrity as a near neighbour,” the book concludes.
The Story of Kemnal Road Chislehurst (fourth edition) is priced £7.50 plus £1.50 postage and packaging. To order a copy click here.