A tree in Beckenham planted in the Victorian times has been left completely destroyed after being hit by a powerful bolt of lightning. 

The 100ft Californian Red Wood was struck in the early hours of Saturday morning, leaving it split in two and effectively felled.

News Shopper:

The tree is around 150 years-old and has stood in the grounds of Oakfield House in South Eden Park Road since the property was built in 1870. 

Owner John Deane, 63, says he heard an almighty boom when the lightning hit and is "devastated" it was so badly damaged.

He explained: "We heard it but didn't see the full extent of what had happened until the morning. My tree surgeon said, 'well that's gone hasn't it', when he came round to have a look.

"It was planted as a 10-year-old when the house was built in 1870 - it's such a shame, I'm devastated, I really am.

"It was a major attraction in our grounds."

News Shopper:

Lightning over Hayes, nearby, at the weekend 

Mr Deane, who runs Oakfield House, a large bed and breakfast, with his wife, said the tree has a protection order in place and Bromley Council will soon decide how to deal with it.

See more photos from the weekend's lightning storm here