Teapot Garden

Picture by Ken Wilson

On a piece of land between "Joan Allen Metal Detectors" and the entrance to "Safeways" car park use to stand possibly the oldest and grandest house in Biggin Hill, "Highclere". The sign above the front door says "Ye Olde Teapot. Weekends, Apartments, Board, Residence". Another sign, above the front right window, is "The Cyclists Touring Club" emblem and shows that they catered for the cyclists that rode to Biggin Hill at the weekends. Yet another sign, on the floor to the left of the gentleman sitting on the left, points to "Haentjes' tea gardens" which later became "The Teapot Gardens".

John Nelson



On the land to the right of "Highclere" was the Teapot Gardens. To advertise the gardens to passing cyclists and the like, they used a huge 4ft teapot that stood on top of a long pole. This had "TEAPOT GARDENS" printed on the side. It could hardly have been missed.

The picture below shows the gardens with the teapot on its pole. The Main Road runs from left to right just beyond with the tress in the background on Aperfield Court Estate. A path led from the gardens, to the right, to Highclere where there was a toilet for use by visitors. They had chickens and geese roaming wild around the garden.


John Nelson


During the First and Second World Wars, units stationed at the airfield would carry out 'moonlight raids', removing the teapot from its pole and bringing it back to the airfield. It was soon returned only to be stolen again the following night by another unit.

This, alas, poor quality photograph shows pilots from the Royal Flying Corps at Biggin Hill with their 'prize'.


John Nelson

"The Teapot is ours!"


All good things must come to an end. The photograph below shows the demise of Highclere. Demolished in the 80's to make way for modern retail units.

But what has happened to the Teapot? Do you know?


Josie Cole


The Teapot lives on


There is, however, another teapot to be found in Biggin Hill. John Nelson, who has supplied many of the photographs for this site and who's Grandfather took most of them, has created a topiary teapot in his front garden. Many years of hard work and cultivation have paid off.


Tony Lewis