The Catford Constitutional Club occupies the oldest building in Catford at Elmwood, Broadway Catford.
Elmwood, the farmhouse was built in 1736 by Nelgarde Doggett who gave his name to Nelgarde and Doggett roads in Catford. At that time there were very few houses in Catford and it was still mainly rural farmland. According to a mention on Edith’s Streets, the farmhouse was adjacent to Catford Manor with a large pond which in 1844 was connected to a flow from Springfield.
According to London 2: South volume 2, Elmwood was a three bay house that was added to over the years. It is hidden by a mid 19th century extension with ironwork. The core of the old building can be seen, but is partly hidden by 20th century extensions.
Prior to opening up as the Catford Constitutional Club the building stood empty for over a decade. Before that it was home to the Catford Conservative Club.
If it’s history is anything like its neighbour Catford Manor, then it probably changed hands a few times before the Catford Conservative Club took up occupation. We know from The Journal of the Quekett Microscopical that a G A H Dean resided there in May 22, 1868.
A record from the 10 (Kent) Cadet Regiment shows that the Conservative Club was there in 1913 as their history starts at a meeting at the club in July 1913.
Our Regimental history really starts at a meeting in the Catford Conservative Club in Lewisham in July 1913. The meeting was between Officers of the Lewisham Battalion of the National Reserve who decided that something ought to be done to prevent so many young lads running ‘wild’ before they were old enough to join the Regular Army. A war with Germany was imminent and these Officers felt that some form of preparation would be useful. The cadet force was still in its infancy but approaches were made to the War Office for permission to establish a Cadet Battalion in the area of North West Kent.
Pub Company Antic London took over the building in 2013 and have been running it as a very successful pub ever since however, the building is part of the planned re-development of the Catford Centre so we may well lose it. A lot of the original features remain so you should visit this pub at least once it if isn’t already part of your regular night out.
This is the briefest of histories but if you have any information about the old farmhouse or pictures of the buildings from back in the day or can direct me to any books, please share either in the comments or via email.