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Dent-de-Lion, three Lions Rampant and the Edgware Road

Sticks and stones..., so the saying goes, but what is really behind a name? Well in this case a huge amount of history, for amongst the property deeds of the Powell-Cotton settled estates of Hampstead, I have found strong connections to Garlinge, near Margate in Thanet.

Two Stables, labelled East and West, were part of a significant marriage settlement, part of a dowry from Henry Horace Powell-Cotton to his future wife, Matilda Christina Gordon. These were close to the property of Sir Thomas Maryon, Lord of the Manor of Hampstead in the early 1800`s. The salient point is that these stables were positioned off the Edgware Road, in a newly formed road, in 1883, named Dent-de-Lion.

This rather unusual name was also the name of a 14th century estate, not far from Quex Park, which was bought by Lord Holland, in the 18th century, and his son, Charles Fox, who sold it to John Powell. This included Grove House, the childhood home of Major Percy Powell-Cotton. So why the interest in names? Many of the roads in this area of London have Thanet names, Acol Rd, Fordwych Rd, Minster Rd, possibly because they were built on farmland acquired by John Powell, in 1773, in the area of Shoot-up Hill Farm. The lion`s tooth has some intriguing historical connections dating back to 1300 and beyond.

The earliest evidence can be traced to St. John`s Churchyard, Margate, to the grave of Sir John Daundelyon who was buried there in 1445, and whose Flemish bell was hung in the church. Back at the mansion in Garlinge in 1703 a secret room was found on the right hand side of the crenellated gateway. This could have harboured up to 10 people in troubled times, with Church or State.

Another historian visited this gateway, in 1719, and found an heraldic coat of arms in Saxon characters. This depicted `sable, 3 lions rampant between 2 bars dancette, argent`. On the left `demi-lion with a monster `dent` or tooth`.  By 1888 a fire had destroyed much of the old mansion save the ruined gateway, whose crenellations may have emphasised the corruption of the original DaundeLyon name. This was the Margate estate, which had closer connections with the London home, Park House, than we might imagine, for both were active in the on the social scene.

Park House, Fulham, was the London residence of the Powell family, and had formal gardens a pleasure ground and wooded walks. The mansion at Dent-de-lion, Garlinge had a bowling green, flowerbeds, an orchestra, dancing, public breakfasts, tea-drinking and an MC.

These shared metropolitan delights remind us of the social milieu of the 18th and 19th centuries where the farms and fields gave way to the building of suburban London and rise of the seaside resorts like Margate . The wedding gift was then highly appropriate in linking the stables and Dent-de-Lion Rd with those Thanet connections which were so close to Quex Park and to Park Lodge.

With thanks to Jennie Burgess and Birchington Heritage Trust.          Eileen Mount.

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