The Monks Orchard Estate contained two adjacent farms, Park farm and Eden farm, which met at the county boundary between Surrey and Kent.
The probable origin of the name Monks Orchard is from a land-owning Addington family called Munke in 1552. There was Monks Orchard Wood of 44 acres running across the county boundary. In the 1820 sale map of the Langley estate there were three fields belonging to Eden farm each called Monks Orchard. When Lewis Loyd in 1854/5 needed a name for his new mansion he chose Monks Orchard and the name has been retained for today’s estate.
Park farm was shown on the 1762 Rocque’s map of Surrey as West Shirley farm when it was the home farm of Shirley House. In 1807 the Burrell's acquired it from John Smith and in 1820, it was described as a most desirable estate for a sportsman in the Lord Gwydir sale of the Langley estates. Paul James Le Cointe bought it in 1822 and his widow Sophia sold out in 1829 to Henry Alexander. In 1836 Park farm went to Samuel Jones Loyd. It is uncertain whether James le Cointe or Samuel Jones Loyd built the mansion Wickham Park but the name first appears on maps and documents in 1836.
The farm buildings were situated at the South East corner of a large lake and Samuel Jones Loyd’s initials could be seen with the date 1843 over the doorway of the farmhouse that he had rebuilt. Sadly the stables were demolished as dangerous in August 1994 and the adjacent farm buildings were lost in a fire on 10 November in the same year. English Heritage attempted to save the stables and the Department of Historical Manuscripts took photographs of the elegant ironwork of the stalls and the herringbone brick floors but the listing as a Grade II building came too late. The site was redeveloped as part of the expansion of The Bethlem Royal Hospital in 2004.
The Addington charge list dated 4 August 1842 shows Samuel Jones Loyd as the self occupier of Wickham Park and 236 acres for which he paid £36 18s 6d annually. Where the Dower House in The Bethlem grounds is seen today, Samuel had the mansion, Wickham Park, but the present Dower House is not Samuel’s mansion although what remains of the walled garden was his. The mansion could be reached by three long drives, each with a lodge on a main road. There were two similar lodges in the style of the White Lodge in Wickham Rd. Its twin was in Upper Elmers End Rd where it remained until 1928 when the houses were planned for both sides of the road, Eden Way and Lodge Gardens.
A deed in the Bethlem archives details the purchase of the land and dwelling house called Eden Park Lodge by Edward George Miles and William Henry Gorham, builders, for £450. Mr Burchett, the Head gardener was given a week’s notice to quit on 5 September 1928 with a recommendation that he would be retained on the staff. He had occupied the lodge for two years at a rent of 7s 6d out of his £2 per week wages.
In The Gallery there is a photograph taken from 415 Upper Elmers End Rd when snow was on the ground by the north drive before the houses were completed on the other side of the road. The Croydon Local Studies Library let us use a photograph of the lodge itself that shows the resemblance between the north and south lodges. The third lodge in a Tudor style is still there along the road towards Croydon.
Various papers held by the Bethlem museum show how Samuel Jones Loyd extended the property, buying up Eden Park farm from John Woolley in 1838 and further land at Upper Elmers End including the Rising Sun in 1847. The Spring Park estate was also acquired in February 1847.
It was about this time that Edward Lawford was living at Eden Park, the mansion of William Eden in what is now Crease Park. His son Melville Lawford kept a diary between 1842 and 1843 in which he frequently mentions visits to Mr Loyd’s pond to catch perch. He played cricket at Coombe, football in the South meadow and took part in a tableaux evening watched by neighbours including Mr and Mrs Cator and Mr and Mrs Jones Loyd. He describes an archery evening where Henry won the gentlemen’s prize and Sophy Holland from Langley farm won the Ladies. He would ride to Addington to meet the hounds and return through Spring Park to Jones Loyd’s wood off Long Lane.