Kingswood History

heyday

Family, retainers and friends at the end of the 19th Century

First mentioned in Dulwich records as Kingswood Coppice (1576). William Vizard built a Lodge here between 1811 & 1814. It was re-built as Kingswood House in the late 1800s by John Lawson Johnson & was then known as Bovril Castle. In 1919 Sir William Vestey took up residence & when he was made a Lord, took the title Baron Vestey of Kingswood, a title still held by the family

Residents of Dulwich remember having school picnics in the grounds; & Dorothy Jones, a daughter of the head groundsman, worked in the House as an under parlour maid to Lady Vestey. She remembered serving at table & peeling an orange each morning for the Lady's early morning tea. If a member of staff married, celebrations would take place at the House, & a good time would be had by all.