It comes from Some Records of Eltham which was published in 1903 and written by Rev. Elphinstone Rivers who was vicar of the parish church from 1895.*
In time I will go digging for more on the author but at present I am marvelling in this old book which my sister Jill found.
The chapters cover the early history of Eltham, include a heap of old documents and some fine pictures which brings me back to this one of Well Hall.
This had been built in 1733 and survived until 1930.
I like what the Rev. Elphinstone Rivers wrote about the spot, "seen from the roadway, the present comparatively modern farm house does not strike the beholder as being of great interest.
The old fashioned cottages a little to the north are of a
much more picturesque character.
If one takes the trouble to enter the farmhouse-yard, however, and walk around the back of the stables, he will encounter a fragment of an antique moat and just beyond he will see a picturesque gable end and chimney stack of ancient brickwork which formed a portion of the venerable mansion of the Ropers.
Now for that alone I am pretty pleased our Jill found the book, and I rather think there will be more from Rev. Elphinstone Rivers.
Alas the identity of the man sitting by the moat will I fear never be discovered, but then I haven't read through the book so we shall see.
Picture; of the Moat at Well circ 1903, from Some Records of Eltham
*Some Records of Eltham 1060-1903, Rev. Elphinstone Rivers, 1903