Camden Place dates originally from the early 18th century, although the main entrance was built in the late 1860s. An earlier house was built in the early 17th century by the scholar William Camden slightly to the north of the present building. It was replaced in 1717 by Robert Weston who gave it the name Camden Place. Various subsequent owners altered and extended it, including Charles Pratt, later Lord Camden (who bought it in 1760, and whose additions included the large bow window in 1780, seen in this photo), Thomas Bonar (who owned Camden Place in the early 19th century - he and his wife were murdered by a servant in 1813 and their tomb is in St Nicholas' Churchyard), and Nathaniel Strode (who moved in in 1860 and made substantial alterations including the frontage - TQ4370 : Camden Place
The most famous residents of Camden Place were the French Imperial family, with whom Strode had close contacts. The Empress Eugenie and the Prince Imperial fled to Britain in 1870 following the capture of her husband Napoleon III after his defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, and was given use of Camden Place; the Emperor followed in 1871 on his release, dying here two years later. He was buried in a specially built mortuary chapel at nearby St Mary's Church (see TQ4469 : St Mary's Church
). The Empress subsequently moved to Farnborough in Hampshire in 1881 following the death of the Prince Imperial in South Africa in 1879.
Strode then returned to Camden Place but died in 1890, after which the estate was sold. Some of the land was bought for building by local resident and developer (and campaigner for Summer Time), William Willett, but the house itself and much of the land was sold to Chislehurst Golf Club in 1894, with the house serving used as its club house. It is grade II* listed - for listing particulars see Link