Holcombe Manor was built in 1887 as a house by the first mayor of Chatham, George Winch (September 20, 1842 – February 22, 1914), for him and his wife Mary Clarke Bluette to live in. Mary was brought up in the village of Holcombe Rogus, Devon. Winch built the new family house in a near-identical style to that of her childhood home, Holcombe Court in Devon, calling it Holcombe. There was a lake in the grounds, and a sunken Italian garden. The original building was later extended past the conservatories.
In 1909 Holcombe Manor was put up for auction. The lots were the house itself, the local football ground, Chatham Town F.C., and the surrounding woodland. This area is now occupied by houses, shops and so on.
In 1920 the house became home to Chatham Grammar School for Boys, after which more buildings were built to accommodate students. These temporary buildings remained on the site of the sunken garden for about forty years until the year 2000, when construction on the Performing Arts block was started. The last remnants of the garden were destroyed as the steps leading out from the Manor's library down to the garden were demolished and the area bricked over. Today the English and Science ("B" Block") stands on the site of the lake.
- "CGSB Online". Retrieved 2007-05-15.
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