Most of Cator Estate is private ground, with road maintenance, lighting, cleaning, drainage being the responsibility of the owner and not the local authority. Lodge houses were erected at each of the main entrances to their land - at the Paragon,, Blackheath Park, Pond Road, Manor Way and Morden Road to keep out professional beggars, itin4rant salesmen etc who in the C19th were a great nuisance. The 1939-45 war opened up Cator's private Blackheath Park estate. Bombing led to a number of the big mansions being requisitioned for military or municipal use or for bombed-out families. After the war substantial areas of land behind South Row, The Paragon and Brooklands Park were taken by compulsory purchase for municipal developments. Other areas, including the whole of the east side off pond Road, Blackheath Park between Nos 45 and 59 and a lot of the Priory Lane area were scheduled for municipal development until prevented by vociferous action by residents and the Blackheath Society
The Cator Estate is the only estate bordering Blackheath which has kept its C18th name. It comprises 282 acres bounded by Blackheath on the north, Modern Road on the east, Blackheath Village and Lee Road on the west and Eltham Road on the south. Its present arrangement as a housing development was established in the 1820s and 1830s.
Cator bought the estate (282acres and a substantial mansion, Wricklemarsh) in August 1783 at auction for £22,500. Wricklemarsh was held successively by the Blount, Morden and Page families. By 1783 when Morden acquired it, Wricklemarsh House needed substantial repairs and he pulled it down, dismantling it with great care and selling off the materials in 1787. It is possible that some of the original house survives today in the barrel-vaulted cellars off a house called The Myth, on the east side of Pond Road and behind No 49 Blackheath Park.
In 1793 Cator began the gentle exploitation of the estate granting a number of building leases for plots which stretched from Tranquil Vale to the Paragon. One section of land was developed by Michael Searles, the Southwark architect and surveyor, whose works produced the Paragon, Paragon Place and Bryan House. There is also circumstantial evidence that he designed Colonnade House and other buildings in Montpelier Row. Two of the houses in the Paragon had been completed by 1794-95 when Searles' business affairs had fallen into disarray and he was forced to assign his property to his creditors