Southwark streets

Southwark www.southwark.gov.uk

Angel, Webber Street
On the site presently occupied by Nos. 27-31 Webber Street stood the Angel Public House at this time and adjacent was the Marshall Building.
By the 1970s the Angel and Marshall Building had been replaced by warehouse. 21 Webber Street had become a print works and 35 Valentine Place a large joinery works.
Austral Street
The 1830 map indicates the existence of South Street (now Austral Street) and East Street (now Orient Street) had only been partially built on.

Ayres Street
The dense grain of local small buildings was in part eroded after the Second World War. As redevelopment occurred, larger blocks, occupied by single uses, replaced the Georgian and Victorian houses, shops and warehouses. This is particularly evident in the area between Ayres Street and Southwark Bridge Road. The impact of this has tended to reduce the sense of enclosure to the streets.
Balaclava Road
The name of the road – Balaclava Road – records both the date of the development and famous military victories of the Crimean War still fresh in the public’s mind at that time.
Barge House Alley
Barge House Alley leads to Barge House Stairs, a route down to the Thames foreshore, and the foreshore itself. Historically, the area was used for light industrial purposes, relating generally to riverside and docking industry.
Barge House Street
Oxo Tower Wharf is a refurbished warehouse building off of Barge House Street. Its presence gives the area an industrial feel reminiscent of the many warehouses which created a dense urban grain once commonplace along the southern shore of the Thames. There were two key buildings; Stamford Wharf and Nelson’s Wharf, both representing the rapidly disappearing 19th and early 20th-century warehousing characteristic of riverside dock industries. The 19th century Nelsons Wharf was demolished in the 1970s. The site of Nelson’s Wharf has been landscaped into a park area – Bernie Spain Gardens. Elements of Stamford Wharf are still extant, and now known as Oxo Tower Wharf.
Bear Gardens
Bear Gardens lies on the south side of the River Thames to the west of Southwark Bridge. It included buildings on the east side of New Globe Walk, the north side of Park Street, the west side of Rose Alley, Bear Gardens and part of Bankside. It also extended half way across the River Thames to abut the boundary with the City of London. The conservation area contains the Scheduled Monument of the Hope Playhouse and three bear gardens, which are nationally important archaeological sites. The pattern of the area still recognisably derives from its medieval and post-medieval development, with densely-packed buildings lining the river, linked back to its hinterland by narrow lanes and alleys. Bear Gardens is one, although it widens in the approximate location of the last bear baiting ring. The intensification of waterside industries in the 18th and 19th centuries has reinforced this pattern. This tight and dense urban grain still exist today particularly in Bear Gardens. The riverscape is another important element of the conservation area’s character. The river walk offers a wide-open space in direct contrast with the intimacy of Bear Gardens.

Bellenden Road
There are the grounds of the two schools either side of Bellenden Road. Most of the area was constructed between the early 19th century and early 20th century, using a relatively limited range of materials to classical and, later, revivalist architectural styles.
The open space between Elm Grove and the northern end of Bellenden Road, then called Victoria Road at this point, was occupied by a finger of development.
Bermondsey
Bermondsey was listed in the Domesday Book (1086), deriving its name from Ey,Beormund’s Ey, or ‘Beormund’s Ey, island’. The name described the original settlement, which was on high land in the south of the Conservation Area amid marshes and streams that almost surrounded it.
West of the area, Borough and the London Bridge area have a history dating to Roman times. Roman inhumations and other features have been found in Bermondsey. Within the Conservation Area, Saxon stone coffins were discovered during excavations of the mediaeval abbey prior to the construction of Tower Bridge Road, and it is believed that a small monastery existed around 700 AD.
As industries grew, more people moved into the area, and land that had been market gardens was built on for houses. During the 19th century there was heavy development: Borough census returns were 27,465 in 1801, 65,932 in 1851, and 136,660 in 1891. Many of the people moving into the area were poor and insufficient housing led to problems of overcrowding and disease
By the 1920s many areas had been reduced to slums. There was a strong movement of social reform in Bermondsey that led to demolition and rebuilding of housing. The area suffered significant bombing in WW2, which led to further redevelopment and the introduction of public gardens in some of the destroyed areas.
In the 1980s and 90s the same warehouse buildings attracted residential conversion, providing opportunities for “loft style” living close to the centre of London. Established links with antiques and design have increasingly attracted high value businesses in art and other creative fields, attended by associated restaurants and cafés.

Bermondsey Priory
In 1086 Bermondsey was part of a royal manor belonging to King William and consisted of a settlement and farmland. There was also a new church – St Saviours, around which Bermondsey Priory was founded in 1082 by Aylwin Child. The monks of Bermondsey were of the Cluniac order who in 1117, according to the Annals of Bermondsey Abbey (1433), found a holy cross near the Thames.
Subsequently the Abbey became a destination for pilgrims, who reached the Abbey via London Bridge and along Bermondsey Street from the north, or via Long Lane from the west. Bermondsey became one of the principal religious houses in the country and was elevated to the status of Abbey in 1399. It owned most of the land around it until it was dissolved in 1538 by Henry VIII.
Bermondsey Square
Excavations at Bermondsey Square have recovered remains of a farming community and a potential elite roman building.
Bermondsey became known as a resort from the 16th century. In about 1780, Thomas Keyse developed an art gallery and pleasure garden around a spring near to what came to be known as Spa Road. It was a popular visiting place for people from the City of London and many social events and entertainments took place. New houses were built, including Bermondsey Square, of which only a 19th century fragment survives.
After the war, new economic activities began to develop in Bermondsey. The warehouses lent themselves well to a range of storage and workshop uses and Bermondsey established itself as something of a centre for the antiques trade. The New Caledonian Antiques Market began in Bermondsey Square in 1950.
Bermondsey Square is based on its inner courtyard, and the gabled buildings at 5-7 Grange Walk retain medieval fabric of a building originally located within the abbey complex. The abbey itself lay on the north side of its courtyard (Bermondsey Square) on the line of Abbey Road to the southern side of St. Mary Magdalene’s churchyard.
The section of Tower Bridge Road was newly created and cut diagonally through Bermondsey Square, demolishing the east side. The other three sides remained until the latter half of the 20th century; now only the southwest corner of the original square stands.
The present day use of the square for the New Caledonian Market dates to 1855, when it was founded by Prince Albert in Islington, north London.
Following the Second World War, it was re-established as a livestock / flea market, evolving into today’s antiques market.
Bermondsey Street
The historic street pattern has largely remained, but is built up by 18th century houses and shops, and by 19th and 20th century warehouse and office buildings. At its heart lies St. Mary Magdalen Church and churchyard. The combination of mediaeval scale and industrial detail creates a very distinctive townscape of narrow streets and building plots, arched alleyways to rear yards, warehouse architecture.
The Bermondsey Street area grew up around Bermondsey Abbey – the square itself is on the site of the inner courtyard. Housing grew up around the Abbey for ordinary people who worked there, and in 1597 Bermondsey was described in Gerarde’s Herbal as a country village. From its origins as a pilgrims’ trail, Bermondsey Street became the high street of the village and the Church of St Mary Magdalene (now the oldest building in Bermondsey) was built for the people who lived and worked on the abbey land.
Bermondsey Street was an important route leading from the river south-eastwards out of London. The street frontage was well builtup, but extensive gardens lay behind on both sides.
As a result of the leather industry, associated businesses developed, in particular hatters who used the wool from the animals. The Woolpack pub in Bermondsey Street was a reminder of this until recently renamed The London Scotia Bar.
The major inheritance from this early phase of development is the pattern of building frontage and plots along Bermondsey Street. Narrow, relatively long plots allowed as many properties as possible to put their best face to the street, keeping kitchen gardens, workshops and other utility space and yards behind.

A typical frontage width of 4.5 to 5 metres is still preserved in much of Bermondsey Street, the width doubled sometimes where ownerships have combined but maintaining the rhythm and scale. Gates and arches allowed direct access into the sites behind. In the most distinctive parts of the street, these elements remain, albeit after numerous rounds of rebuilding.

Because Bermondsey Street originated as a causeway over marshy land towards Bermondsey Abbey, lower areas each side were slow to be developed. Gardens behind the main street frontages remained intact until the 18th century when development at the north end intensified and old lanes such as Parish Street (now split between Whites Grounds and Druid Street) became built up too. With industrialisation, there was increasing pressure to develop sites behind the street frontages, and numerous accesses developed between buildings into yards and gardens.
While there are relatively few significant streets adjoining Bermondsey Street from the east and the west, frequent, narrow, arched entrances through the street frontage remain a distinctive feature.

The construction of the London and Greenwich Railway viaduct in 1838 cut Bermondsey Street off from the riverside perceptually. The expansion and redevelopment of the dockland area north of the railway evolved separately and differently from Bermondsey Street. To some extent this has protected Bermondsey Street, allowing it to retain much of its mediaeval scale and layout. 19th century industrial buildings introduced into the street follow the pattern of narrow mediaeval plots, and key historic elements such as the 18th century shops at nos. 68-78 have remained.
Blackfriars Road
Richard Horwood’s map of1799 shows Blackfriars Road then known as Great Surrey Street. It had 22 small cottages between the intersections with Webber Street and Boundary Row (then George Row). The two sets of terraces were interrupted by Valentine Row. The nine houses to the north of Valentine Row had small yards and were known as Valentine Place. The terrace to the south – Phoenix Place; the site presently occupied by Bridgehouse Court – was located around the perimeter of a triangular central court to the rear.
Great Surrey Street was renamed Blackfriars Road in 1829.
Blenheim Grove
In 1823/4 a Baptist Chapel was built on the corner of Blenheim Grove to serve the middle class residents of the area.
The construction of the railway to Peckham Rye Station cut through the block between Holly Grove and Blenheim Grove. Although it destroyed the northern side of Blenheim Grove, the broad integrity of the street plan, was retained.
Bonar Road
The early part of the 20th century was a period of stability rather than significant change in Peckham. A 1916 map of Southwark indicates some changes though. The gardens to the Peckham Hill Street houses; south of Commercial Way, had been reduced in size for the construction of Bonar Road. This road served the new Borough Council Depot. Between the canal and Bonar Road small terraced houses were also constructed.
Post World War II saw the clearance of the terrace housing on Bonar Road and the creation of the allotment gardens and the construction of Whitten Timber Yard.
Borough
The importance of Borough High Street as the primary route into the City of London from the south for 2000 years is the most powerful influence on the area, and this street still forms the spine of the area.
By the 15th century, the northern part of Borough around St. Saviours and St. Thomas had become quite tightly packed with buildings, described around 1600 by John Stow with the words “The Borough of Southwark… consisteth of divers streets, ways and winding lanes”. Newcourt’s map of 1658 shows this winding street pattern, leading to the ferry landing at Winchester Wharf and other wharves on the river from the market area in front of the town hall. The curving alignment of present-day Stoney Street defining the western edge of Borough is clearly evident and its junction with Borough High Street is a key location where space widens out in front of the Town Hall.
The pattern of primary streets is more or less established, with the landmark location of St. George’s Church at the junction of Long Lane, Kent Street and George Street (later Great Dover Street and Borough High Street respectively). However, while Borough High Street itself had become tightly developed during this period, the map shows that the area behind it was still gardens and fields. These subsequently developed as the numerous yards and alleys that gave access to new buildings on the back-land.
Previously most streets in the area had been narrow and congested, and the only space of significant width was in front of the Town Hall where historic routes to London Bridge and Winchester Wharf had previously converged. The priority of streets through the area changed significantly, moving the focus of the street pattern away from the market area in front of the old Town Hall. The Town Hall itself was redeveloped as Town Hall Chambers (The Slug and Lettuce pub) in 1862-3, and lost prominence as an island site. Nevertheless, the later war memorial marks the location as a significant location in the street scene.
The enormous variety of commercial activity in Borough continued, often occupying premises and sites that had been established for centuries on long narrow-fronted sites. There were many different businesses on Borough High street, including clothes and furniture shops, ironmongers, and estate agents. Field and Son, who still occupy one of the plots, have been there since 1804.
Borough’s lively mix of commercial activities continued to provide the essence of its character through the 20th century. Second World War bombing affected Guy’s Hospital and residential areas south of Union Street. The east wing of Guy’s was rebuilt more or less exactly, but modern redevelopment characterises the south end of Borough High Street..
However, Borough’s proximity to the City of London and good underground links give it advantages in continuing to attract office business. Commerce continues in the area with office uses in new and converted buildings and with a lively shopping street to serve the workforce. And the Market itself has remained, still the most distinctive element of a distinctive Conservation Area. Moreover, with the opening in 1999 of the specialist foods retail market on Fridays and Saturdays, it has become a vibrant and successful public attraction.
Borough High Street
With the exception of Southwark Cathedral, the George Inn and modern intrusions the building stock is of the 18th, 19th and early 20th century, designed on Classical principles.
Although exploited by prehistoric communities, the development of the area commenced with the construction of a permanent bridge across the Thames built by the Romans shortly after the invasion of Britain in 43A.D.
A Roman road, the forerunner of Borough High Street, lay just to the east of its present position and crossed the bridge into the provincial capital of Londinium established on the north bank of the river. A large suburb was soon established on the southern bridgehead, located on the higher sand and gravel islands surrounded by water channels, marsh and mudflats which typified the natural topography of north Southwark.
The importance of London Bridge as an access point to London drew the two important Roman Highways from the south together near to the location of the present day St. George the Martyr’s church.
These were Watling Street from Dover and the English Channel, and Stane Street from Chichester and the Sussex Coast. The same pattern exists today, and the overall layout of Borough was thus established at a very early date.
‘Burgh’ or borough meant fortified place and Southwark was listed as a ‘burgh’ in 910 in the Anglo Saxon “Burghal Hideage”, a list of burghs measured by area. It is referred to as “Suðringa geweorch” at this time, meaning “the defence works of the people of Surrey”. By the time of the Domesday Book (1086) it was contracted to Sudwerca.
The Middle Ages saw the foundation of that other great Borough institution, the Market. It originates from a market that was held on Old London Bridge, and then in Borough High Street from as early as 1276, selling everything from bullocks to flour.
Borough became noted for its skilled craftsmen, of whom many were religious refugees and had to live outside the City to avoid restrictions that would have been placed on them there. Glass making and weaving were typical immigrant trades.
It was not until 1750 that other bridges were built over the river in addition to London Bridge. Transport by coach had become a major feature of 18th century commercial life, and many of the coaches travelling south from London set off from Borough. Inns had been established along the High Street since the Middle Ages to service travellers, including the famous Tabard (recorded as early as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales) and The George. Many were rebuilt following Southwark’s “ Great Fire” in 1676.
The railway arrived in 1836, challenging and quickly replacing the old coaching businesses. Its effects were far reaching, resulting in the loss of the inns as a physical and economic resource, and in the major impact of the viaducts on the townscape.
The pattern of the mediaeval street frontage remains in most of Borough High Street and establishes one of the most important characteristics of development on the street – its tall, narrow property frontages. When first built up, premises made the most of street frontage for their commercial and public face but retained deep plots behind, on which to service the house and/or business on the street.
Yards, stabling and kitchen gardens would all be accommodated in the one site, resulting in “burgage” plots characterised by a long, thin plan form.
The same pattern of development was adopted for the coaching inns that lined Borough High Street, with long yards accessed through carriage arches from the street. Frontages are typically 4 to 5 metres wide in Borough High Street, but some are narrower. Where ownerships have been combined, double frontages are possible (e.g. the restored Georgian house at nos. 50-52), but the distinctiveness of Borough High Street is best retained where the 4-5 metre rhythm is maintained along the street elevation.
By the 16th century the present line of Borough High Street from St. George the Martyr’s church was established to approximately the present day junction with Southwark Street. There were many lanes and alleys linking Cathedral Street (then Church Street) and Borough High Street, all tightly built up. Cathedral Street connected, as it still does, to St. Saviours Dock (now St. Mary Overie’s Dock and not to be confused with the dock of the same name in Bermondsey).
In 1831, London Bridge was rebuilt 50 metres further west so that the previous structure could remain in place until its replacement was complete. A new section of the street was designed on a straighter alignment to the bridge, demolishing buildings immediately east of the Cathedral, creating a broader approach to the bridge, and opening up the space into the Cathedral grounds.
This was the first of a number of major nineteenth-century infrastructure projects that introduced a more metropolitan character.
Boundary Row
Boundary Row – formerly George Row – bounds the northern edge of the Valentine Place Conservation Area.
The 1879 OS Map shows the local area occupied by terraces of small cottages mixed with industry and showed George Row renamed as Boundary Row. The road marked the boundary of Christ Church parish with St. George the Martyr.
Brandon House/Suffolk Place
Brandon House/Suffolk Place was the palace of the Dukes of Suffolk. Much of the area of this property has been excavated on the site which stands at the north-west junction of Borough High Street and Marshalsea Road.
There appears to be little historical evidence for the development of the site, but Wyngarde’s Panorama of London, drawn 1543-44, shows the house in some detail. Based upon the evidence of the Panorama, between 1518 and 1522 Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk, extended an existing late medieval courtyard house with a block of four stories, crowned with six onion-domed towers. To the north of this block, roughly on the line of Borough High Street, the panorama suggests a further north-south range was built. Finds from the site show the building was elaborately decorated with moulded terracotta. The archaeological evidence suggests that these were the main elements of the site, but out of the view of the illustrator it is most likely there were another courtyard and other buildings.
The archaeological work undertaken on the site of modern Brandon House, and earlier finds demonstrate that the remains of the Tudor building continue to the north, east, south and west of the site.
In 1550 Edward VI issued a charter passing the crown’s extensive landholdings in Southwark to the City of London. The site of Brandon House, and the lands immediately associated with it remained in Royal possession and were excluded from the charter.
Mary I passed the house and its immediate lands to the Archbishop of York. The archbishop proceeded to demolish the house and the site was redeveloped as part of the town.
Brandon Street
A cooperage and timber yard is seen on the corner of Sarah Ann Street (now Larcom Street) and Brandon Street by 1873
After the Second World War, learance of terraces on Brandon Street between Larcom Street and Charleston Street, took place. Contemporary maps show of engineering works and chemical works fronting Brandon Street.
Bricklayer’s Arms Railway Station
The Bricklayer’s Arms Railway Station was constructed around 1843 and was the first station to be controlled by a signal box. After some use, it fell into redundancy as a passenger station and in 1852 its passenger services were transferred to London Bridge.
The railway station retained its functions as a goods station with the attendant train sheds, wagon houses and stables occupying much of the land to the east.
Bridgehouse Court
Bridgehouse Court was built on the site of a former cabinet works.
Brook Street
By 1830, buildings fronted both sides of Brook Street (now Brook Drive) although the street had existed since before 1800, it did not take urban form for more than half a century.
Browning Street
The 1863-73 OS map shows part of the conservation area had been built by this time with terraces fronting Wansey Street, Brandon Street, Charles Street, Cotham Street, York Buildings and York Street (later renamed Browning Street).
This was originally called York Street
Burbage Road
Burbage Road was created in 1883.
The Stradella Road Conservation Area is situated to the east of the Herne Hill Railway line. The conservation area is principally of properties in Stradella and Winterbrook Roads, and includes bordering properties in Burbage Road and Half Moon Lane.
Cadiz Street
The first significant development appears to have begun during the later years of, or immediately after the end of, the Napoleonic Wars, as the local street names suggest.
The Siege of Cadiz was the turning point of the Peninsular War, though Cadiz Street does not appear as a separate street from Trafalgar Road until post-war maps.
Though the local street pattern was determined by the rapid development of the early years of the nineteenth century, and that pattern survives little changed since then, the majority of the housing from that period has been lost. Only the terraced houses on the south side of Cadiz Street and a number of houses on the west side of Dawes Street are possible survivors of that first phase of development.

Camberwell
The name Camberwell has a variety of possible meanings. However the place had a reputation as a spa with health-giving properties, so its most likely meaning is that of camber as ‘crooked’ referring to water from a well that could cure crippled (crooked) people.

One of the first references to Camberwell is in the Domesday Book (1086) as a village or manor with its own church and land for ploughing and growing corn, and with meadows and woods. The recorded Lord of the Manor was Haimo, Sheriff of Surrey. Later it was passed by marriage to the Earl of Gloucester and then in the 1400-1500s to the Duke of Buckingham. The first local government of Camberwell was formed in 1674, when The Vestry was appointed. This lasted until 1900 when the Borough Council replaced it.

The village had its own mill and supported itself from the surrounding fields. Barley was grown and there was a brew-house in what was to become Peckham Road. It had trade from London supplying the city with fresh fruit and vegetables and milk, and many market gardens grew up in the area. St Giles, the parish church of Camberwell is mentioned in the Domesday Book, although the medieval church was replaced by the present buildings in 1844 following a fire that destroyed the original church in 1841.

Camberwell began to develop from a country village during Georgian times because of its reputation for clean air, and improvements in transport. The most significant of these advances was the construction of new bridges over the Thames to bypass the congestion of London Bridge which in turn led to the construction of a new local road network. Camberwell New Road, for example, was opened in 1818 to link Camberwell with Vauxhall Bridge, which was built in 1816. Other roads constructed or improved at this time include Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell Road, and Peckham Road.

By 1800 two firms each ran coaches 7 times a day from Camberwell to Gracechurch Street in the City. This was a relatively expensive form of transport as tolls had to be paid.

In the mid 1800s the horse-drawn bus was developed and began to come into use in Camberwell: the first buses were used in 1851 and transported people to the Great Exhibition. The original bus company, Tillings, were very successful and eventually became incorporated into London Transport.

In 1862 a railway line was opened to Camberwell, followed by stations at East Dulwich and later Denmark Hill. This advance allowed less wealthy people to commute to London. The service was very popular, and in 1871 it attracted competition from the tram companies using lines in the street. By the early 1900s at peak times around Camberwell Green as many as 250 trams passed every hour on 14 different routes.

Continued increase in available transport led to further change in the character of Camberwell from a semi-rural village to an inner city suburb. This urbanisation attracted new business and in 1899 the London County Bank erected its impressive turreted building on the north corner of Camberwell New Road. The curving north side of Camberwell Church Street is part of one of the Victorian redevelopments undertaken in the 1880s when the road was widened for the trams. The Camberwell Vestry opened Camberwell Baths (now Camberwell Leisure Centre in Artichoke Place) in 1891. The Father Red Cap, recently renamed Nollywood and formerly the Redstar, was opened in 1853 as a music hall.

Significant middle class suburbs were built during the Victoria era, for example, De Crespigny Park, but ease of access and the development boom in Camberwell undermined its exclusivity, and wealthier people moved away from the area. The older, large family houses steadily underwent conversion into multiple occupancy, and areas of much denser housing were developed for the new class of people coming in. In time, the worst of this development fell into decline, with unsanitary and overcrowded conditions.

In response to the worsening public health problems in Camberwell associated with high density slum housing, philanthropic organisations that had been working to improve housing in the inner areas of Southwark began to take an interest in the area. In 1910 flats were erected on Camberwell Green by the Peabody Trust followed by the Samuel Lewis Trust Buildings in 1915. Further redevelopment of the area was necessary following World War II when air attacks destroyed some 5,650 houses in the area.

The main threat to the physical character of the area has through much of its history been under-investment because of low incomes and property values. At the end of the 20th century, increasing affluence started coming to neighbouring residential areas, and thepotential to raise the quality of the facilities, services and buildings that Camberwell Green offers. Both public and private money can assist in the area’s regeneration – Jephson Street has been restored by a Housing Association for example. It is important that its architectural and townscape heritage continues to be a beneficiary of such improvements.

Camberwell Art School
Camberwell Art School was built (1896 – 1898) as a result of donations from Passmore Edwards, a well-known benefactor to London libraries. The building was designed by Maurice Adams and opened in 1898 by Sir Edward Poynter. Southwark Council thus became the first authority in London to run its own art gallery, museum and school of art. During World War II the building was used as a food store but part of it was destroyed by bombing and has never been rebuilt.
The later 20th century provided the large concrete extension of the Art School, designed in about 1960 by Murray Ward and Partners, and the adjacent petrol station.
Camberwell Green
Camberwell Green is centred on the junction of Camberwell New Road and Camberwell Church Street.
Camberwell is well known for its fair, which originated in 1279 and was held on Camberwell Green at the end of August, finishing on the feast day of St Giles. Such autumn fairs were important commercial occasions: often for the hiring of the workforce for another twelve months following the summer harvest. Camberwell Fair was held for three weeks originally, but by the 1700s it lasted only 3 days and was for entertainment only. It was eventually abolished in 1855 and the site was handed over to the Vestry to make sure that the green stayed an open space.
The open landscape of the late 18th and early 19th centuries was punctuated by a few significant houses, such as East House, where Robert Browning’s father was educated at Dr Wanostrocht’s Academy. Several of these houses were leased to the Royal Naval School in 1832 before it moved to Greenwich. Then, from 1846, the buildings were used as the Camberwell House Mental Asylum and until recently they provided offices for the Council. The houses were served by Camden Church, built in 1795 for the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connexion, and much enlarged in 1814.

Camberwell Grove
Before houses in were built Camberwell Grove it was well known for its tavern, called Grove House, with tea gardens and a bowling green which attracted visitors from London on day trips. Camberwell Hall adjoined it and was a fashionable venue for balls during the 18th century. Both the Tavern (though now rebuilt) and Camberwell Hall stand today. Camberwell Hall is now a private school.
Camberwell Grove was built after 1776 when an earlier mansion house and land belonging to the Cock family was sold and demolished. The earliest terraces are on the eastern side. 33-45 and 79-85 date from 1770-80s when Dr Lettsom owned land at top of hill. 169-183 Grove Crescent were built in 1819 and in the same year Grove Chapel was built.
Camberwell Grove has a Conservation Area based on two long residential streets of Camberwell Grove and Grove Lane, built between the 1770s and 1840s. It also includes areas of historic interest in Champion Park, Denmark Hill and Grove Park. The northern end of the conservation area is characterised by local shops and restaurants and includes St. Giles Church. The western side of the conservation area between Denmark Hill and Grove Lane has a strong institutional character based on the extensive building complexes of the Maudsley Hospital and Salvation Army College. Camberwell Grove, Grove Park and Grove Lane are characterised by residential developments dating from the late Georgian through to the Edwardian period. The houses from the 18thand 19th centuries follow classical themes, whereas those from the late 19th century adopt a more vernacular ‘English’ expression.
Camberwell New Road
From 1815 Camberwell New Road was developed. This connected Camberwell Green with Vauxhall Bridge, which opened in 1816.
Camberwell New Road has significant architecture from several distinct phases, of which the most important are the late Georgian terraces, all of which are listed. In the side streets, are groups of mainly terraced houses dating from the mid- to the later 19th century, with a few detached or semi-detached villas or mansion flats. The layout of the area largely derives from its rapid growth as part of the urbanisation of London in the early part of the 19th century and the new road between Kennington and Camberwell Green provided an opportunity for new development along its length.

Caroline Gardens
In 1959, when the Licensed Victuallers decided to move their old people from the Licensed Victuallers’ Almshouses to new homes at Denham, Southwark Council acquired the property. Caroline Sophie Secker had lived at the asylum until she died in 1845 at the age of 57. She was the widow of James Secker who was engaged as a royal marine at the battle of Trafalgar and is believed to have caught Nelson in his arms after he received his fatal wound. She gave her name to the estate.
The estate is made up of 175 dwellings in total which are let to the ‘over 50’s’, the vast majority of these are one bed houses on two floors. The former Board Room at the end of the south wing is now Southwark Council Social Services Day Centre for elderly and handicapped persons. 12A Asylum Road is the Social Services Day Centre and the East Peckham Consortium uses 12B Asylum Road as offices.
The Asylum Chapel has suffered the most within the complex over the years and is currently included on English Heritage’s national register of buildings at risk. The chapel was bomb damaged during the Second World War and the temporary roof erected after the war has yet to be properly replaced. The interior of the building has largely been gutted although many of the stone tablets and stained glass windows are still in place, albeit in need of attention. The building was used in its present shell form for much of the 1990’s by local artists but is now empty. The setting up of a building preservation trust is being investigated to develop a possible scheme for the repair and refurbishment of the Chapel as a community facility for residents.
Casino Avenue
In 1899 the Dulwich College estate governors petitioned the Charity Commissioners for permission to use Casino House as a home for soldiers wounded in the Boer War. They claimed that “the house has been vacant about five years, and is … unlikely to find a residential tenant on account of its unusual size and the rapidly changing character of the neighbourhood”. The Charity Commissioners would not agree to this and the governors would not entertain the only offer they received for the land, which was for the erection of a large number of “small class property” in terraces of ten houses with 20 foot frontages.
Casino Avenue, constructed in 1922, is part of the Sunray Estate which was eventually built on the site of the house and was named after it.
Cathay Street
In areas such as King’s Stairs Gardens and to the east of Fulford Street, the south of Paradise Street and east of Cathay Street, the area is heavily wooded and characterised by mounded and articulated land forms. The layout of the local roads in the conservation area generally dates from before 1800, although the buildings fronting the roads date from throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
Chaplin Close
Pleasant Retreat – now Chaplin Close – consisted of small terraced houses at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Charles Street
Charles Street was built from 1863 onwards with terraces being the main building type. St. John’s Church and the adjacent National Schools were built at the western end of Charles Street. Fields and gardens remained in 1873 to the north, between Charles Street and Wansey Street.
Charleston Street
By 1896 the layout to the south of St John’s church had been altered. Terraces fronting the southern side of Charles Street (renamed Charleston Street) had been constructed, Turquand Street and Colworth Grove had been laid out.
Two terraces on the northern side of Charleston Street were damaged beyond repair by Second World War bombing.
Choumert Road
Choumert Road has a more commercial character than nearby streets.
It is named after George Choumert who built South Street Terrace on Rye Lane in 1815 followed by Holly Grove (then George Street) between 1816 and 1822.
Church of the Most Precious Blood
(Near Union Street) The Church of the Most Precious Blood was built in 1892

Clink Street
The Domesday Book records a Minster, or large church, known as the Priory of St. Mary Overie belonging to the Augustinian Canons. The Priory later founded St. Thomas’s Hospital in the area that is now largely occupied by London Bridge Station, which displaced the hospital to its present day site at Lambeth. In the 12th-century, the Bishops of Winchester established their Palace and surrounding estate in the area around today’s Clink Street.
Modern changes in industrial and trading commerce have had their effect in Southwark. The move of shipping freight to containers handled at Tilbury Docks led to the decline of that business in the small area of warehouses around Clink Street, with replacement of some by office buildings such as Minerva House and No. 1 London Bridge. The Hop Exchange closed as a result of technological changes in the brewing industry towards pre-made hop pellets and essences.
Cobourg Road
Cobourg Road is one of the earliest developments, away from the Old Kent Road, in north Peckham and dates from the 1820s. These are mostly detached and semi detached houses of 3 to 4 storeys. Interspersed are rows of later 19th century 2 storey housing on Oakley Place, Loncroft Road and on Cobourg Road itself. This housing appears to be contemporaneous with Cobourg Road Primary School, the former St. Mark’s Church (now New Peckham Mosque) and St. George’s Methodist Church.
Commercial Way
Greenwood’s map from 1830 is an indicator of the change to the area, following cutting of the Grand Surrey Canal. By 1830 the southern end of the area had been developed southwards from Commercial Way (then known as New Road) down towards to Peckham High Street.
The canal head now occupied the site of the former Peckham Manor House. To the north of Commercial Way, no development had yet taken place and open land remained.
A map from 1879 shows New Road having been renamed Commercial Way and the area to the north being developed.
In the area now occupied by the Commercial Way Recreation Ground, small terraced house on tight plots had been constructed. This was with exception of those houses constructed onto Commercial Way itself, where the properties and gardens were comparable to those on Peckham Hill Street.
Consort Road
The heart of the area is the open space of Nunhead Green and the buildings surrounding it, together with the roads immediately approaching it. These include parts of Evelina Road, Nunhead Grove, Linden Grove, Nunhead Lane, Scylla Road, Consort Road and Gordon Road.
In 1834 the Girdlers’ Company built a range of seven houses in Albert (now Consort) Road for freemen of the Company or their wives, to commemorate Cuthbert Beeston, who had been Master of the Company in 1570; and in 1852 the Metropolitan Beer and Wine Trade Society erected a range, also of seven houses, on the north side of Nunhead Green.
The original terraces on the west side of Consort Road were nearly all redeveloped during the second half of the 20th century, leaving only the grade II listed Beeston’s Gift Almshouses, which were the first houses in the street to be built. The original terrace of 7 almshouses was erected for the Girdlers’ Company in 1834 as a balanced, 2-storeyed stuccoed composition in the Tudor style with prominent, hexagonal chimneystacks. Later, single-storey ranges have been added to the north and south to enclose the front garden.
On the east side of Consort Road 2-storey mid and later 19th century terrace housing survives between Ellery Street and Monteagle Way with, at the south end of the road, the Relief Station of 1901, a plain, but interesting structure in yellow and red brick.
Cotham Street
Cotham Street dates from before 1873 when it appeared on the OS map.
Crampton Street
Crampton Street is part of the Pullens Estate Conservation Area is located south of the Elephant and Castle. The conservation area is characterised by later 19th century tenement buildings with attached rear workshops.
Crosby Row
Stretching north from Walworth, Crosby Row (c.1780-1820) was built. It was a series of artisan dwellings, relatively small in scale, up to three storeys on narrow plots..
Dalwood Street
The First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1873 shows tightly-spaced terraces of houses to the west of Vestry Road, north of Dalwood Street (then called South Street) and east of Bushey Hill Road.
A post-war housing development on the south side of Dalwood Street was less successful in architectural terms.
Dekker Road
Camberwell borough council was at odds with the Dulwich College estate governors. The borough had been one of the first in London to adopt part III of the 1890 Housing of the Working Classes Act, under which they were enabled to acquire land compulsorily to build dwellings. They were conscious that much of the vacant land in the borough was located in Dulwich and in 1901 they wrote to the governors asking for a grant of land to build working class housing.
In the event, the governors themselves had a group of working class cottages erected in Dekker Road and the borough council did not pursue the matter, satisfied that, for the time being additional working class housing had been provided at no cost to the ratepayers.
Dulwich (Village)
The ancient manor of Dulwich is first mentioned in the records of 967 as a tiny hamlet, granted by King Edgar to one of his thanes. Later, in 1127, in the reign of Henry I, the land was granted to Bermondsey Abbey, and remained in their possession until the Abbey’s dissolution in 1540.
In 1605 the Crown sold the land for £5000 to Edward Alleyn, a noted actor –manager of the day, who founded his “College of God’s Gift”, invariably known as Dulwich College, in 1619, for the welfare of the old and the education of the young. The endowment of his estate was consequentially a major influence on the development of the area. Under the terms of Alleyn’s endowment of his college and its estate, the Foundation of Edward Alleyn exercised control over development on the estate. Through the Scheme of Management, it continues to this day to exercise that control, and has therefore been in large measure responsible for the present appearance of the conservation area.
The original hamlet consisted of ribbon development from North to South along a medieval route, which formed the High Street, and is now known as Dulwich Village. The mediaeval routes are still evident and include not only Dulwich Village but College and Gallery Roads, Red Post Hill and Village Way. Court Lane and Calton Avenue were probably no more than paths. This historic pattern of routes can be seen on John Rocque’s map of 1762. Right up until the 18th Century, Dulwich remained a very small place, however at this time it started to attract affluent visitors and residents. A number of properties remain from this time, most notably Bell House, dated 1767, and 103 and 105 Dulwich Village from the same period.
Acts of Parliament passed in 1805 and 1808 permitted the enclosure of common land, and as a result the village expanded. The grass verges on either side of Dulwich Village are the remnants of the common land. The shops were built in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, and as suburban London spread, so the village grew, particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The origins of the rural village can still be appreciated in the urban grain of present day Dulwich.
Dulwich tried to meet the needs of the poor by providing small, inexpensive housing to rent. This led to small pockets of development, of which Dekker Road is a good example, and also to the housing provided by ‘The Dulwich Cottages Company’ who retained Charles Barry the younger to design buildings that would complement the local context. The cottages, set in small gardens, were built in the late 1870s.There are examples remaining at Turney Road and Boxall Road, and at the south end of Calton Avenue.
The College governors, like many of the local gentry and bourgeoisie, were not enthusiastic about the arrival of the railways, but were able to take advantage of the competition to bring passengers into the capital in the 1860s to sell 100 acres of their land to the railway companies at £1000 per acre. This windfall helped the governors in establishing new College buildings in 1870 on land half a mile south of the original buildings.
The London, Chatham & Dover Railway’s main line (through West Dulwich station) was built in 1860-3. The London, Brighton & South Coast Railway’s line, serving North Dulwich station, followed in 1864-8.

The embankment and viaduct on which these lines run, create strong boundaries to the north and west sides of the area, the more so as the governors insisted that the railway structures should be built to designs of the College’s architect, so as to be worthy of the area’s character and dignity. The viaduct and a number of the bridges display the initials of Alleyn’s College.

With the arrival of the railways came a huge growth in housing and the population rose from 1,632 in 1851 to 10,247 in 1901. The farms and market gardens of East Dulwich became suburban streets and late Victorian and Edwardian roads were built up towards Herne Hill and West Dulwich.

To cater for this expansion, in 1894 St. Barnabas’ church was opened as the parish church for the newly formed parish of Dulwich, prominently located on the ridge between the old village and East Dulwich. At the same time the provision of schools was also being expanded. The Alleyn Foundation was reorganised under the provisions of an Act of Parliament of 1882, one consequence of which was the building of the new Alleyn’s School in Townley Road in 1887 and the provision of new premises for James Allen’s Girls’ School in East Dulwich Grove. The London School Board was also active, erecting new blocks in their distinctive junior school style in Turney Road.
The Dulwich Village Conservation Area is located at the southern end of the borough and Denmark Hill, Camberwell, East Dulwich, Herne Hill and Sydenham loosely border it. The character of the conservation area is established by the historic layout of property boundaries and thoroughfares, the sense of openness and greenery, views along streets as well as between buildings and other townscape characteristics. The buildings date from the mid 18th to the 21st centuries, with excellent examples of domestic architecture ranging from grand houses to humble terraces. Substantial Georgian houses and fine Victorian and Edwardian terraces sit comfortably alongside 1930s family homes. There are also good examples of 1960s architecture as well as more recently approved high quality modern developments. All of these make a positive contribution to establishing the special interest of Dulwich village.

Dulwich College
The dominating feature of the south end of the Dulwich Village is Dulwich College (1866-70), designed by Charles Barry the younger at the height of his career. Barry was instructed to design a new college ‘worthy of our aspirations and resources’. It consists of three blocks linked by arcades in ornate North Italian Renaissance style, using details derived from the Charterhouse at Pavia. The generous lawns enhance the warm red brick and terracotta decoration. The building is grade II* listed. Decorative gates dating from 1870 frame the main entrance and are listed Grade II. Mature Chestnut trees line the perimeter and mature yews frame the front entrance.
The Old Library is located at the rear entrance of the College (now the main entrance for boys and vehicles). The Library is surmounted by statues of Minerva, Mars and Justice. It was built as a memorial to old boys killed in the Boer War and was designed by the local architect Edwin T. Hall. Again, the building is set within generous grounds and mature trees.
Dulwich Toll Gate
The Toll Gate is the only surviving toll gate in London. It was established in 1789 by John Morgan, Lord of the Manor of Penge, who made up the road to give access to grazing land he leased from the College. His lease expired in 1809, whereupon Dulwich College took over responsibility for the road and the toll keeper. The toll-keeper’s cottage (listed, grade II) was erected circa 1821. The present barriers and toll booth were installed in 1993.
On the opposite side of the road is the Mill Pond, which may have been a flooded claypit. It is an attractive feature which contributes strongly to the rural character of the Village.
Nearby is a terrace of small cottages, known as Pond Cottages. These buildings date from the 18th and early 19th centuries. They may have originally housed brick makers who worked in the nearby brick field.
Dulwich Wood
The Dulwich Wood Conservation Area is located to the southeast of Dulwich Village, and its woods and commons make up the largest expanse of predominantly open space in the borough. The conservation area is bounded by College Road, Sydenham Hill, Lordship Lane and Court Lane, and as well as parkland, the area includes playing fields, allotments, and a golf course. To the north, the formal grounds of Dulwich Park are separated from Dulwich Common by the South Circular. Buildings in the conservation area tend to be around the perimeters of the open space, including some good quality Victorian houses in substantial grounds, although much as has been demolished to make way for a number of 20th century residential estates. Some of these, which were built in the 1960s or 1970s, are of some merit in their own right with attractively landscaped gardens, mature trees, and a cohesive architectural form.
East Street
This area of Walworth was first developed in the early years of the nineteenth century. The 1787 map already shows a number of track ways which later became modern roads, including East Street (then East Lane).
A map by Horwood in 1799 marks the plots of the first residential Georgian terraces that spread along the Walworth Road on land owned and leased by Henry Penton to others for building. One of the earliest areas of development occurred at Walworth’s village centre, around East Street and on the eastern side of the Walworth Road. Here during the 1780s buildings were first laid out in narrow plots. Mr Keen, a local landowner, built a terrace of seven houses on the Walworth Road south of the junction with West Lane known as Keen’s Row. Adjacent to Keen’s Row was Charlotte Row and opposite Beckford Row, a number of these houses still remain in part. Upon completion each group of buildings was given a name, sometimes that of the landowner or after important local figures, Crosby or Beckford, both having been London Mayors. These names survived until the mid-19th century, when the Walworth Road was re-numbered.
After the 1840s, around East Street and the workhouse near Westmoreland Road, smaller houses were being built. South of St. Peter’s Church, the former bowling green had already been developed in a similar manner. During this period an invasion of speculative builders began to impact on Walworth’s remaining open spaces, which were eroded away due to the demand for working class housing.
The bombing of Walworth in the Second World War was severe and the immediate area was tremendously affected. The current form of East Street dates from the post war period.
Edward III’s Manor House, Rotherhithe
Edward III’s Manor House was rediscovered during archaeological work in 1985 for the redevelopment of the site. The site of the manor house had been known as the location of a medieval building since the north and part of the east walls had been seen during an earlier phase of redevelopment of the site in 1907. Access was gained to the site in 1985 with a programme of work stretching into seasons during 1986 and 1987. The major results of the archaeological works were the excavation of the large stone building, presently displayed on site which stood within a moat. This is interpreted as the inner court of Edward III’s Manor House.
Research undertaken on the historical evidence for the Scheduled Monument indicates lands associated with the monument were located to the east of the site, between the monument and Rotherhithe Village.
Elliot’s Row
Elliott’s Row was developed before the end of the 18th century. To the east of Elliott’s Row two short streets, Pitts Street and Temple Street had also been laid out. To the north of St. George’s Road, open land still remained at this time.
By 1830, buildings fronted both sides of Gibraltar Row (now Hayles Street). Whilst buildings fronted both sides of Elliott’s Row at this time, the buildings on the western side of the road were set back significantly from their current alignment. Pitt Street (now Oswin Street) and Temple Street (a short section of which now remains as Pastor Street) reached their full length by this time. Development also fronted Pleasant Place (now Brook Drive).
The 1863-1873 OS map still shows the terrace houses on the western side of Elliott’s Row set back behind long front gardens and terrace houses fronting the eastern side. Pitt Street and Temple Street remained.
Charles Booth’s poverty map of 1898-99 classes Hayles Street, Brook Drive and the western side of Elliott’s Row as mixed, some comfortable, others poor. The western side of Elliott’s Row is classed as either poor (southern end) or fairly comfortable (northern end).
By the early 20th century the remainder of the eastern side of Elliott’s Row has been developed with tenements. Date stones indicate the central tenements date from 1896 and those at the southern end date from 1902.
By the late 1970s these sites had been developed with buildings typical of the period such as: Prospect House, Perronet House and the London College of Printing. These are large-scale buildings amalgamating small historic plots.
Elm Grove
Elm Grove in Peckham was added in the 1830s.
Ethel Street
By 1896, the OS map shows that Larcom Street and Ethel Street had been laid out on the remaining open land.
Evelina Road
A number of roads surround Nunhead Green including parts of Evelina Road, Nunhead Grove, Linden Grove, Nunhead Lane, Scylla Road, Consort Road and Gordon Road.
Falmouth Road
Falmouth Road runs north-south between Trinity Street and Harper Road and forms the eastern boundary of the conservation area.
The houses on the west side of Falmouth Road (originally known as St. George’s Road) were constructed between 1835 and 1841 on land leased by the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral, with the southern part of this road being of the earlier period. Numbers 42-55 were demolished in 1972 and the site is included within the park at Dickens Square.
Development continued further north on Corporation land to meet up with Trinity Street in 1837. The terrace from numbers 4-40 still survives and is in the formal style of Trinity Street. The Surrey Dispensary which sits on the corner of Falmouth Road and Trinity Street, was founded in 1777 to assist the poor of Southwark. It was one of several such charities operating in Victorian Southwark and is thought to be the oldest in London. The Dispensary let premises in Union Street in 1787 and moved to Falmouth Road in 1840. Since 1971, the building has been in use as a private residence.
Fort Road
After the ravages of the Second World War, there was a limited amount of infilling during the 20th century,
On the whole these new terrace properties have attempted to reflect the overall design and materials of adjoining properties. However, these new houses are plainer than their 19th century neighbours.
Furthermore the proportions of the openings to the new houses of 127-131 Fort Road are not identical to their historic neighbours.
Fulford Street
In areas such as King’s Stairs Gardens and to the east of Fulford Street, the south of Paradise Street and east of Cathay Street, the area is heavily wooded and characterised by mounded and articulated land forms. The layout of the local roads in the conservation area generally dates from before 1800, although the buildings fronting the roads date from throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
Gaywood Street
To the north of St. George’s Road a street now aligned with Gaywood Street comprising frontage development had emerged by 1830.
The 1863-1873 OS map still shows Gaywood Street and Princess Street fully developed.
Charles Booth’s poverty map of 1898-99 classes Gaywood Street and Princess Street were classed as fairly comfortable with good ordinary earnings.
Following bomb damage during World War II, parts of the area were cleared. This included the south-eastern side of Gaywood Street and to the west of Gaywood Street, Princess Street and buildings fronting the eastern side of Oswin Street.
Geraldine Street
A section of the hospital grounds, abutting Ely Place (now Geraldine Street) and the rear of West Square, were leased in 1828 by the Hospital Governors to the Governors of the sister institution of Bridewell, for the erection of a “house of occupations for the employment and relief of destitute of both sexes.” These premises, known as King Edward’s Schools, remained on this site until 1931, when the children were removed to a more rural setting. The buildings were pulled down soon after. The OS map of 1879 indicates these buildings and terraced houses on Ely Place.
Glasshill Street
Glashill Street lies within a London Borough of Southwark conservation area called King’s Bench. The wider character of the area is of a later 18th century street pattern overlaid first by the mid 19th century brick railway viaduct and then by later 19th and earlier 20th century residential, religious and industrial development, mostly of two or three storeys.
Glengall Road
Properties in Glengall Road Terrace were built in the 1840s. These Regency properties remain remarkably intact, helping to give the conservation area a distinctive 19th century character that remains despite the demolition and comprehensive redevelopment of the surrounding streets in the 1960s and 70s.
Glengall Terrace
Glengall Terrace began during the 1840s.
Globe Theatre
The Scheduled Monument of the Globe Theatre is a nationally important archaeological site.
Gordon Road
The two principal roads leading into the area from the north are Consort Road and Gordon Road, both of which were built up during the mid and later 19th century.
In Gordon Road, terraced housing survives on both sides of the road, faced with brick and stucco, with a regular rhythm of bay windows.
Grange Walk
The names Abbey Street, Grange Walk and Spa Road give an indication of the earliest defining features of the area.
During the medieval period Bermondsey Abbey developed. The boundary of the abbey estate ran to the north along the line of modern Grange Road.
Bermondsey Abbey was demolished shortly after its dissolution in the mid-16th century. The street pattern around it, however, retained key elements of its layout.
Houses from the 17th century still remain in Grange Walk.
Schooling was also provided by charities; Bermondsey United Charity School for Girls, “erected AD 1830”, still stands in Grange Walk.
Bermondsey Square is based on its inner courtyard, and the gabled buildings at 5-7 Grange Walk retain medieval fabric of a building originally located within the abbey complex. The abbey itself lay on the north side of its courtyard (Bermondsey Square) on the line of Abbey Road to the southern side of St. Mary Magdalene’s churchyard.
Grosvenor Park
Grosvenor Park gives its name to a local conservation area which is situated to the west of the Camberwell Road and the mainline railway into Elephant and Castle. Speculative builders built Grosvenor Park in the mid Victorian era. The triangular core of the conservation area contributes to its character as a tapering form and the routes into the conservation area are limited which provides a contained townscape.
Grosvenor Terrace
Grosvenor Terrace was constructed during the mid 19th century by speculative builders and buildings here from that period are generally terraced.
Grove Lane
Grove Lane was built after 1776 when an earlier mansion house and land belonging to the Cock family was sold and demolished. The earliest terraces are on the eastern side. 33-45 and 79-85 date from 1770-80s when Dr Lettsom owned land at top of hill. 169-183 Grove Crescent were built in 1819 and in the same year Grove Chapel was built. The oldest houses in Grove Lane are 18­62 on the west, built in the late 1700s and known as Queens Row.

Grove Park
The key planning principle of Grove Park was to provide fine houses with aspects onto green areas. Developed by Chadwick in the 1830s and 40s, it followed the taste for exclusive housing set overlooking green parkland and, until 1906, the larger houses on the south side of Grove Park looked onto a central garden. This approach to the speculative development of high-class housing areas was common in the London suburbs and fashionable towns in the early part of the 19th century.
Middle class suburbs expanded during the Victorian era, for example, at De Crespigny Park. These developments could not afford the extravagance of the original landscape setting of Grove Park, but street trees, front gardens and separation between pairs of houses were, and remain, important to the areas’ intended character. Development intensified with construction of small scale terraced housing on the fields east of Camberwell Grove and Lyndhurst Way and semi-detached housing on the central gardens of Grove Park.
Great Dover Street
Such was the congestion in Borough High Street by 1756 that the market was moved off the street to its present day site. Great Dover Street was constructed in 1814 to relieve the traffic on old Kent Street. Overcrowding had its obvious human consequences, too, and the 18th century saw the establishment of many humanitarian institutions – schools, and notably Guy’s Hospital in 1725 to augment the work of St. Thomas’s.
Half Moon Lane
The houses in Half Moon Lane were mostly built between 1896 and 1902. No 46, Holmhurst, was built circa 1882. The shops were built between 1895 and 1899.
The Half Moon Hotel was demolished in 1896 to make way for a replacement public house and shops. By 1905, the new Half Moon Pub and the shopping parade were completed and trading. Their overall appearance has remained substantially unaltered.
The Half Moon Public House is a Grade II* listed building of flamboyant design which forms a dramatic landmark building at the bottom of Herne Hill.
Harper Road
This area was still used for grazing and for market gardens up until the first quarter of the 19th century. In 1825 there were fruit trees bordering Horsemonger Lane (now Harper Road) and crops of horseradish, mint and kale on the plot of ground facing Great Dover Street later covered by Main’s floorcloth manufactory.
Havil Street
Havil Street was previously called Workhouse Lane because, in 1727, the Camberwell Vestry erected a workhouse at the junction with Peckham Road.
The workhouse was demolished in 1904 and replaced with a new building (29 Peckham Road) which still retains the inscription ‘Do today’s work today’. Camberwell Vestry Hall was located on the east side of Havil Street but was demolished and replaced in 1933 by Camberwell Town Hall, now offices for the Council.
Hayles Street
Gibraltar Row (now Hayles Street) was developed by the end of the 18th century.
Highshore Road
Highshore Road (formerly Hanover Street) was built in the 1830s. It featured planted front gardens and an avenue style.
The Friends Meeting House built in 1826 in what would become Highshore Road (now used by the Post Office as a depot) was evidence of the neighbourhood’s status in those days.
There was a tram depot north of the Friends Meeting House.
Holly Grove
Holly Grove is situated in the centre of Peckham, off Rye Lane. George Choumert built Holly Grove (then George Street) between 1816 and 1822.
The Holly Grove area contains some of the oldest parts of the original hamlet of Peckham. Essentially a planned development, it started to grow in size in the earlier half of the 19th century. The original plan principle was to provide terraces and semi-detached groups of houses with aspects onto green areas, a common approach to the speculative development of high-class housing areas in the London suburbs and fashionable towns during this period. Whilst this pattern has been eroded by a number of influences vestiges do remain in Holly Grove Shrubbery and Elm Grove for example.
Honor Oak Rise
Honor Oak Rise is indicative of 19th century ‘out-of-town’ residential housing, developing within an area that was predominantly farmland and woodland, sporadically developed with housing groups for rural workers, that has later been enveloped by the spread of suburban housing in the later 19th century and early 20th century. The area is notable for being adjacent to a historic area of semi-natural woodland on One Tree Hill, famed for its visit by Queen Elizabeth I, for which the original oak tree was planted on the hill-top.
Illiffe Street
James Pullen, the builder of the street, had built Peacock Street in 1888. Following this he wished to build Iliffe Street and to demolish and rebuild Manor Place, Penton Place, Crampton Street and Amelia Street. After refusals form the local authority, Pullen was allowed to build subject to conditions, one of which was that he must complete the work within three years.
There are workshops behind accessible from Illiffe Yard. These two storey workshops attached to the rear of the tenements in a mews fashion are simple and functional in appearance.
Ivydale Road
The wider area within which Nunhead Cemetery is set is known as the Waverley estate. It was built as a one-class one house-style Victorian suburb, and was one of the last large scale estates built in Peckham. Construction took place between 1884 and 1903, by the speculative builder Edward Yates, one of South London’s most prominent builder/developers. The development encircled the existing cemetery. Ivydale Road, to the east of the Cemetery, was the main thoroughfare through the estate.
Jacob Street
The Dockhead area is more open than the nearby wharf areas, with broader street spaces and lower building heights of typically three to four storeys high. The grounds surrounding the Most Holy Trinity Church enhance this feeling of spaciousness. Like the warehouses, building frontages are continuous and situated on the street, but there is space within the blocks for private gardens, yards, parking and other utilities.
Secondary warehouse buildings in the streets behind tend to be lower, typically only three storeys as in Jacob Street. The historical indications are that these developments grew up in the gardens and yards behind the main river frontage, which was already densely built up. Rocque’s map of 1746 shows this situation, while by 1784 Jacob Street and Water Lane (now Wolseley Street) had been developed, and the angled alignment of Dockhead had been established.
Jamaica Road
In 1784 the whole length of the riverside was connected behind riverfront wharves from Pickle Herring Street west of present day Tower Bridge, to beyond Rotherhithe. St Saviours Dock created the only deviation from the line. In more recent times this continuity has been lost.
Jamaica Road is a later alignment, cutting diagonally across a roughly rectilinear street pattern towards Rotherhithe, and bypassing a former route, which led up Mill Street and onto Bermondsey Wall. The area around Dockhead and along Jamaica Road has developed with a more general urban function, now providing an important route to the Surrey Docks.
Kelmore Grove
Kelmore Grove is situated in south Peckham, on the west side of Peckham Rye Common.
Kelmore Grove was developed in 1880 or just before on land acquired behind the earliest buildings facing over Peckham Rye Common.
The scale of buildings varies from two storey terraces to large scale four and five storey houses. There is a good deal of consistency in materials and detailing that reflects the period of the 19th century when the area was developed.
Kennington Park Road
Kennington Park Road is probably located on Stane Street, the Roman road from Chichester to London.
The Kennington Park Road conservation area is located to the south-east side of Kennington Park Road; the Guinness Trust Buildings mark the north-east boundary of the conservation area on Kennington Park Road. Kennington Park Place, and the boundary with the London Borough of Lambeth, marks the south-west extent of the conservation area. The conservation area is characterised by a cohesive group of late 18th and 19th century houses. The conservation area forms an ‘L’ shape with the north end of the marked by St Mary’s Church and the south stretch by Kennington Park Place dominated by the imposing Bishop’s House, and the short terrace in St Agnes Place.
King Edward Walk
During World War II some parts of the area were affected by bombing, these include sites on: Brook Drive, King Edward Walk and Barkham Terrace. The 19th century buildings destroyed were temporarily replaced with pre-fab housing and then redeveloped at a later stage in the 20th century.
King’s Stairs Gardens
In areas such as King’s Stairs Gardens and to the east of Fulford Street, the south of Paradise Street and east of Cathay Street, the area is heavily wooded and characterised by mounded and articulated land forms. The layout of the local roads in the conservation area generally dates from before 1800, although the buildings fronting the roads date from throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
To the immediate west of the Angel pub, Rotherhithe Stairs were located and further to the east, within this built-up frontage King’s Stairs are shown on the maps. The surviving King’s Stairs are one of the few remaining historic accesses to the foreshore and river.
To the south of the river frontage, by the mid 19th century, the area was a dense network of tightly packed housing arranged on the existing street blocks with courtyards and smaller scale dwellings to the centre of the blocks.
Within the area of the future King’s Stairs Gardens, around the turn of the 20th century there is evidence for clearance of existing properties and the construction of Park Buildings. This is a group of four east-west oriented tenement blocks. These blocks, and the established pattern of housing and street blocks survived into the Second World War when much of the area suffered severely from bombing.
Clearance of bombed properties is evident after the war with the waterfront between the Angel and the King’s Stairs opened at this time with continued removal of properties over the decades to the east of Fulford Street and south of Paradise Street and along the north side of Southwark Park.
By the mid 1980s the new layout of the road network linking the Rotherhithe Tunnel to Jamaica Road and Lower Road was complete, the area of King’s Stairs Gardens had been cleared of buildings and the north boundary of Southwark Park cleared of houses and opened to connect to King’s Stairs Gardens.

Kinross Street
Off Tanner Street west of Tower Bridge Road lay a Workhouse and Kinross Street – a warren of tiny terraced houses. Slum clearance allowed the construction of the present public recreation ground, which was opened in 1929.
Lant Street
Within the area around Lant Street is a significant area of Roman burials excavated on the site of 52-56 Lant Street. Whilst this is one area where Roman burials have been excavated it is likely to be part of a more extensive cemetery.
Beyond Lant Street, in the wider area, the line of Stane Street, the Roman road south to Chichester probably broadly follows the line of Borough High Street and Newington Causeway south, however, there have been very information relating to the course of the road south, so it might be the case it actually runs further to the west, within the conservation area.
Larcom Street
Originally named Sarah Ann Street
Larcom Street is notable as a surviving piece of well-enclosed mid to late 19th century urban fabric. Narrow streets in the area are fronted by terraced houses and interspersed with buildings associated with St. John’s Church; a vicarage, school, institute and a pair of symmetrical residential properties enclosing the eastern end of the church. Building heights across the area are generally uniform. The typical terraces are three-storey with canted ground floor bay windows, traditional Victorian detailing and small front gardens.
Mary Boast writes in The Story of Walworth that Edward Yates, the founder of the Yates family building firm, built Larcom Street in 1876. A building on Walworth Road was lost to accommodate the western entrance to Larcom Street. The unusual double dog-leg layout of Larcom Street appears to have arisen to respect existing garden boundaries and to give the school, and church, street frontage.
St. John’s Church was constructed between 1859 and 1860, as a result of an increase in the population of Walworth. It is likely that the adjacent school was built at a similar time. St. John’s Institute on Larcom Street, was constructed later than the church and school.
Before the introduction of a welfare state, churches provided support to the local poor. At the end of the 19th century; Arthur Jephson, the vicar of St. John’s was providing good works within the local area. A booklet published in the 1890s, Walworth Past and Present, noted of St. John’s “There are country homes for poor children, a day nursery, where infants are well cared for in the absence of their parents, and a registry for the unemployed, which has been the means of getting many a man, in want, the opportunity of earning a living.” The influence of St. John’s on the area remains evident today with the school and institute.
In 1937 the Health Services Department of the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark was opened on the corner of Larcom Street, adjacent to the library and at the edge of the conservation area. The statues of the mother and child on its roof indicate its association with family health. The Walworth Clinic, brought all the borough’s health services under one roof for the first time. The building was designed by the borough engineer Percy Smart in the ‘Moderne’ style. It is a red brick building with artificial stone dressings in a jazzy Deco style. The Walworth Clinic was one of a series of pioneering health centres built at the end of the 1930s and was statutorily listed in 2010.

Leathermarket Gardens
The tannery works have all been cleared, too, and with further clearance due to WWII bombing Leathermarket Gardens has been created as an important green focus for residents and workers in the area.

Leathermarket Street
The area had long been the centre of the leather trade, and the Bermondsey Leather Market (1833) was built on the corner of Manning Street, now Leathermarket Street. Between here and Snowsfields was tightly packed development of tanneries and tiny terraced houses. An account by Charles Dickens Junior records, “The neighbourhood in which it stands is devoted entirely to thinners and tanners, and the air reeks with evil smells. The population is peculiar, and it is a sight at twelve o’clock to see the men pouring out from all the works. Their clothes are marked with many stains; their trousers are dis-coloured by tan; some have apron and gaiters of raw hide; and about them all seems to hang a scent of blood.”
At Bermondsey the leather industry was particularly strongly established.The industry became so prominent that the construction of a Leather Exchange was begun in 1874 and the building was formally opened in August 1879. This still stands today on Leathermarket Street, although its use has changed with conversion to smaller business units.
Liberty of the Mint
The name ‘Liberty of the Mint’ comes from the establishment by Henry VIII of a royal mint at Brandon House in 1545. As part of a programme to debase the coinage, and increase production, the Southwark mint was founded along with three others at Canterbury, York and in the Tower of London. The Southwark mint was in use until 1551.
Based upon the exclusion of the site of Brandon House from the 1550 charter, the idea developed, during the 17th century, that people residing within the Mint claimed privilege of exemption for all legal civil and criminal processes. There are various descriptions of the area which state it was entered via Mint Street, the predecessor of Marshalsea Road, through a timber gateway. Other entrances to the area were gated. The Mint then became an asylum for debtors, convicts and felons. In one case, in the early 18th century, it is reported that a fraudulent bankrupt fled to the Mint. A body of residents of the Mint then attempted to fight off the Constables pursuing the bankrupt, but failed.

The Liberty survived an act of 1695-6 intended to abolish it, despite the act imposing fines of £500 and transportation, and it was not until 1723, with the passing of ‘An Act for the more effectual Execution of Justice in a pretended privileged Place in the Parish of Saint George in the County of Surrey, commonly called the Mint; and for bringing to speedy and exemplary Justice, such Offenders as are therein mentioned; and for giving Relief to such persons are proper Objects of Charity and Compassion there.’ that the area was cleared of its residents. One must question whether the liberties of the area were pretend if it took an act of parliament to abolish them.
Despite the passing of the 1722 act it appears there was no effort to clear the housing within the area. In 1819, with the construction of Southwark Bridge Road, this bypassed the Mint to the west. The construction of Marshalsea Road, completed in 1888, to reduce traffic on London Bridge, lead to the clearance of the Mint area. However some slum dwellings survived in the area of Redcross Way up to 1898.
The Mint is frequently referred to in literature, Defoe’s Moll Flanders travels through the Mint. The clearance of the area, and the 1722 Act, is mentioned in John Gay’s Beggars’ Opera. The infamous Jack Sheppard and Jonathan Wild, significant early 18th century criminals, used the Mint as a base keeping horses on Redcross Street.
Licensed Victuallers’ Almshouses
The Licensed Victualler’s Asylum was built in phases between 1827-66.
The Licensed Victuallers’ Benevolent Institution was founded in 1827. A board of management was formed following a meeting of licensed victuallers to consider ‘the advisability and feasibility of establishing an asylum in which aged or infirm members of the trade might pass the evening of life in peace and quietness’. In December of that year, they purchased the freehold land on the west side of the Old Kent Road. The appointed architect, Henry Rose, prepared plans for the erection of 101 dwellings. Each residence was to contain 3 rooms and the usual conveniences. HRH Duke of Sussex, who became patron of the institution, laid the first stone on 28th May 1828. The institution not only provided homes but other benefits including weekly money allowances, coal, medical advice and medicine.
The architect of the Licensed Victuallers’ Asylum, Henry Rose, is not particularly well known and indeed, the asylum development is his principal surviving work. He practised primarily in the Southwark area and other works include the Licensed Victuallers’ School, Kennington Lane, 1835-6, now renamed Imperial Court, and the Borough Market, 1851, rebuilt 1863-4. He also rebuilt the nave of Southwark Cathedral in 1839-40 in a feeble Gothic style that was criticised in Pugin’s ‘Contrasts’; Sir A. W. Blomfield subsequently rebuilt this in 1890-7.
The first building contract at the Licensed Victuallers’ Asylum was for the central portion of 43 separate dwellings around a green. The general body of subscribers elected prospective occupants. The south wing with 29 dwellings was ready for occupation in 1832 and the north wing with the same amount of accommodation in 1834. This phase of construction was followed in 1839 by the erection of the north and south entrance lodges.
Notable and extensive building additions were made from 1849-50 including 23 dwellings at the rear of the grounds known as the Ladies’ Wing and the first stone laid by the Prince Consort. During this time a chaplain’s residence, boardroom and a courtroom were also constructed.
The Asylum’s Chapel was constructed in 1850. In due course, several costly tablets were placed on the walls to the memory of benefactors, the most conspicuous being those to the Duke of Sussex and the Prince Consort. Impressive stained glass side windows were commissioned from the studio of Messrs Lavers, Barraud and Westlake and a magnificent altar window by Gibbs.
In 1858 arrangements were made for the construction of the Albert Wing along the western boundary of the site. This comprises 24 dwellings and the Prince Consort laid the foundation stone. The institution received royal charter in 1842 and in 1843 Prince Albert became its patron. Following his death in 1863 a statue was erected in his memory within the asylum grounds. The unveiling of the Prince Albert Statue took place on 9 August 1864 by the Prince of Wales (King Edward VII) who took up the role of royal patron.
The Duke of Edinburgh laid the foundation stone for the Smalley Wing on the northern extremity of the site in 1866. This wing comprises 10 dwellings in memory of the late secretary of the Incorporated Society of Licensed Victuallers, William Smalley. The layout and the plan form of the buildings is shown in detail on the 5 ft. to one mile Ordnance Survey plan of 1873-6.
The final phases of construction took place in 1904 with the construction of 6 houses on land formerly occupied by the chaplain’s residence and in 1914 with the erection of offices for the institution in the grounds by FE Harford.
Linden Grove
Linden Grove was laid out in the mid 19th century with spacious detached and semi-detached villas set in large gardens. Some of these properties still survive, on the west side of the road to the north of Forester Road, though they have mostly lost their large rear gardens.
The first edition of the 25” to 1 mile Ordnance Survey, surveyed in the late 1860s / early 1870s, shows the process of urban development under way. Linden Grove and Nunhead Grove, linking Nunhead Lane with the Cemetery, are partially lined with genteel detached and semidetached villas with spacious rear gardens, while other streets nearby are beginning to be built up with terraces of smaller houses.
Liverpool Grove
The Liverpool Grove Conservation Area is a notable surviving example of social housing begun in the 1890s with the backing of Octavia Hill. At the heart of the conservation area is the Grade I listed St. Peter’s Church by Sir John Soane. Throughout the conservation area the Arts and Crafts architectural character and Garden City planning principles create a background to this area that contributes to a near suburban quality of townscape. The housing typically consists of two storey terraced cottages and three storey tenements.
The earliest archaeological evidence from the vicinity of the conservation area are the remains of flint tool production dating from the Neolithic period.
The area of Liverpool Grove was first developed in the early years of the nineteenth century. Before that time, no significant urban development existed away from Walworth Road with only open field to the east of these.
Liverpool Grove and Portland Street take their names from the period immediately after the Napoleonic Wars – the Duke of Liverpool and The Earl of Portland both being Tory prime ministers during the last years of the war.
St Peter’s Church was central to the development of the area and its principal facade faces onto the entrance into the conservation area. Originally it was located between Liverpool Grove and Trafalgar Road which then formed straight routes between Walworth Road and Portland Street.
Sir John Soane 1753-1837 was appointed to design the Grade I listed St Peter’s Church. The foundation stone was laid in 1823, and the completed building consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1825.
Other than the estate building the Church Commissioners the architecture of the 19th century housing in the Liverpool Grove conservation area varies depending on when they were built. The earliest being Georgian small scale housing ranging from the small cottages on Cadiz Street or the rather more substantial small houses on the south side of Liverpool Grove.
Later Victorian houses in the conservation area are to an arts and Crafts design in a very similar character to the later estate houses and maisonettes which they are closest to .
Much of the land around St Peter’s Church belongs to the Church of England and in 1904, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners asked Octavia Hill to help in the redevelopment and management of the area. Octavia Hill, 1838-1912, was one of the most important housing reformers of the time. Her work of improving housing conditions began in the mid-1860s, with the support of John Ruskin. She also founded the National Trust. This request provided her with a great opportunity to realize her ideas and to set new housing standards for the working class people. Octavia Hill’s proposals replaced some of London’s worst rookeries (the densely populated slums where many of the poorest Londoners lived), with cottage style terraces, small blocks of flats and a recreation ground. She was not only closely involved in the re-planning of the area and the design of the dwellings, but she was also responsible for the management of the property during rebuilding.

The Arts and Craft language of the housing chosen by the Church Commissioners in the early twentieth century development still dominates much of the character of the area. It is the unifying architectural and historic character that is most prevalent in the area and is the principle justification for the designation of the conservation area.
As well as being associated with the Arts and Crafts movement Octavia Hill was also worked with Patrick Geddes and the Garden City movement. Though the estate is built with a higher density plan than was mostly favoured by The Garden City Movement and the street plan is restricted to the historic street, its influences on the townscape is evident in the avenues of trees, the design of affordable cottages with a village architectural language.
Locks Field
John Rocque’s map of 1766 shows a cluster of development either side of Walworth Road (previously known as Walworth Street) with Locks Field noted to the east of Walworth Road.
The Borough to Denmark Hill map of 1830 shows building having intensified around Elephant and Castle, along Walworth Road and on Locks Fields.
Longley Street
Longley Street is one of the roads running out of Thorburn Square.
Lyndhurst Square
Lyndhurst Square, built in 1843, is centred on a green space for the amenity of properties that front onto it.
Lyndhurst Way
Lyndhurst Way was laid out in the 1830s.
Manor Place
James Pullen built Peacock Street in 1888 and which he demolished and rebuilt Manor Place.
Marshalsea Road
With an increase in the population in the area in the eighteenth century the density of the development continued to increase with the formation of new terraces, squares and courtyards. Southwark Bridge Road was superimposed on the street pattern in the early nineteenth century to provide a link to the new bridge and development infilled the gaps created by its construction thus creating a new frontage to the new street. The incursion of the railway in the 1860s and the formation of the Marshalsea Road in 1888 completed the evolution of the current street pattern.
The new Marshalsea Road opened up and cleared areas of very poor and overcrowded housing and was ultimately made possible by the foundation of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855 to address London’s social and sanitation problems.
The north side of Marshalsea Road stands roughly on the alignment of the Borough Channel. This is one of the ‘rivers’ that characterised the landscape of prehistoric and Roman Southwark. The channel divided the south island of the Roman settlement from the ‘mainland’.
The post-war replacement of Evelina Hospital and the buildings on the junction of Marshalsea Road and Southwark Bridge Road and creation of Mint Street Gardens have opened up views to the south.
Merrick Square
Following the successful completion of development round the Holy Trinity Church the thirty-two properties of Merrick Square, to the east, were constructed on a less grandiose, and more intimate, scale between 1853 and 1856 to the designs of Corporation surveyor, Richard Suter. The square is similar in design to Trinity Church Square, but its character is very different. The houses are laid out around a formal garden and are one storey lower, and the roadway is much narrower. The private garden in the centre still has its original railings. These, unlike those in Trinity Church Square, survived World War II because they then enclosed a water tank used for fire fighting.
The site between Merrick Square and Trinity Church Square was occupied between 1861 and 1926 by Lazenby’s pickle factory. It was substantially rebuilt following severe bomb damage.
The houses lost their stucco cornicing in 1947. The Rectory at the south end was built later, in 1872, to a design by Henry Jarvis and Son.
Merrow Street
The area was first developed in the early years of the nineteenth century. The 1787 map already shows a number of track ways which later became modern roads, including Merrow Street (then Kings Row).
Mill Street
The unbroken line of warehouses that overlook the water on both sides of St Saviours Dock generates its character and also influences the character of the streets that serve them.
The practical need to maximise building areas for the business of storing goods coming in off the ships led to almost complete building coverage of plots, with no external space except for the public streets that provided essential access to them. The streets themselves were reduced to minimal widths and in Shad Thames warehouses are linked to one another with catwalks and bridges above. Buildings in the most valuable locations on the riverfront are typically built 6 or 7 and up to 9 storeys high.
Monnow Road
A map indicates that by 1879 most of the roads within the area had been constructed and the land developed. The exception was the area around St. Anne’s Church, Monnow Road and the junction of Southwark Park Road (still known as Blue Anchor Road) and Monnow Road, which remained undeveloped.
By the late 19th century Spa School (then Monnow Road School) had been constructed and it is typical of the London Board School from that time.
Moore Place
The 1830 map indicates a development; Moore Place, at the junction of Brook Street and Lambeth Road on the edge of the Bethlehem Hospital.

Morocco Street
At Bermondsey the leather industry was particularly strongly established, and its legacy can still be identified in the local street names, such as Morocco Street and Tanner street.
Naime Grove
The Sunray Estate, of which Naime Grove is part, is made up of cottage housing that is arranged in a distinctively uniform layout. Constructed between 1920-22 the area is a fine example of a smaller garden suburb development. The cottage character is accentuated by a rather rural setting consisting of mature tree lined streets, culs-de-sac, and very generous front gardens that are set off from the streets
Newington Causeway
Stane Street, the Roman road running from London to Chichester, broadly follows the line of Newington Causeway, Newington Butts and Kennington Park Road. Roman remains have been identified in the area of Camberwell Green and at Peckham, but it is most likely that this area lay outside areas of Roman settlements and away from known roads.
Nunhead
The origin of the name Nunhead is uncertain. However, it may be connected with the nunnery of St. John the Baptist, Halliwell (Shoreditch), which acquired lands in Camberwell and Peckham in the 12th century, which later formed the manor of Camberwell Friern. The name is mentioned in a deed of 1583, in which Edgar Scott sold to Thomas and William Patching a fifth part of the manor of Camberwell Buckingham, including estates “lying at Nunn-head”. The name “None Head” appears on John Rocque’s Topographical Map of the County of Surrey published in 1762.
Rocque’s 1762 map shows the area as still largely rural with the settlement at None Head no more than a small group of scattered houses on the northern and western sides of what today is Nunhead Green. During the next 80 years this situation only changed slowly. In 1842, Dewhirst’s map of the parish of Camberwell shows Nunhead as still a small hamlet surrounded by market gardens and open fields. However, it also shows the recently consecrated Nunhead Cemetery, which had been laid out on a 52 acre site on Nunhead Hill to the south of the Green in 1840, and it was this that marked the beginning of the area’s urbanisation. The Cemetery and its origins are described in the Council’s Conservation Area Appraisal for the Nunhead Cemetery Conservation Area.
At this time, Nunhead was still far enough from the bustle of the Metropolis to afford a quiet retreat for the retired. Two establishments took advantage of this to erect almshouses.
By the turn of the 20th century, the urbanisation process was virtually complete, as can be seen on the 2nd edition of the 25” Ordnance Survey. This shows the area as predominantly residential but with a few industrial and institutional buildings interspersed among the rows of houses. Conspicuous, in addition to the two groups of almshouses, are street corner public houses, a Salvation Army Citadel, nonconformist places of worship and church halls, and, in Gordon Road, a laundry and a Red Pottery Works. By the First World War there had been added to these the Passmore Edwards Library (1896), and a Relief Station (opened 1901 by the Camberwell Board of Guardians).

World War II bomb damage and subsequent housing renewal programmes were responsible for significant quantities of demolition in Peckham and Camberwell – the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell was the fourth most heavily damaged borough in London. However, the immediate Nunhead Green area was less heavily damaged than some other parts of the borough, with the result that it has to a large extent managed to preserve its 19th and early 20th century appearance.

Nunhead Cemetery
Nunhead Cemetery Conservation Area is located at Nunhead, and the boundaries broadly follow the edges of the cemetery. The roughly diamond shaped site is bordered by: Linden Grove to the northwest, Ivydale Road to the northeast and Limesford Road to the southeast. Although the dominant character of the conservation area is now derived from woodland and foliage, the buildings and fabric, including the Anglican Chapel, the Gate Lodges and monuments, particularly the Scottish Martyrs memorial, significantly add to the identity of the cemetery, having been and still remaining its ‘raison d’etre’.
The development of Nunhead Cemetery came about in response to the serious problems stemming from the previous system of burials taking place in the churchyards of local parishes. The rapidly increasing population, particularly in urban areas, meant that the churchyard system, which had been unaltered since medieval times, was no longer functionary. As early as the 1660s, John Evelyn describes the Churchyards of the City of London as being overcrowded, and calls for larger, common graveyards to be constructed outside of the city walls.
In response to churchyard overcrowding, the first public cemeteries were constructed in Liverpool and Glasgow in the late 1820s, in the same manner as the famous Pere Lachaise cemetery, opened outside of Paris in 1804.

In 1830, George Frederick Carden, a barrister-at-law convened a meeting to consider the important issue of public cemeteries, and established the General Cemetery Company, who opened the first London cemetery at Kensal Green in 1833. This was a huge success, and as a result, one Mr. Stephen Geary established the London Cemetery Company in 1836, in response to an Act of Parliament that was passed.
As a result of this new legislation, the London Cemetery Company was established and maintained two large cemeteries, these being Highgate and Nunhead, with the Eastward cemetery, designated for Whitechapel, never being realised.
The two cemeteries that were established were positioned on hillsides that face each other directly in a North to South alignment across London, with Saint Paul’s Cathedral in the centre of this line. This vista was established so that the two cemeteries can be viewed from each other.
All Saints Cemetery at Nunhead was laid out in 1840 to designs by the architect, James Bunstone Bunning, who later went on to become surveyor to the City of London. It is generally considered one of the finest early Victorian cemetery designs, Inspired by J. C. Loudon, although some evidence suggests Loudon did not entirely approve of the layout.
The intentions were to create a park-like garden, with a variety of scenes contained within. Wide stretching lawns interspersed with specimen trees between the monuments, circuitous paths and broad, tree-lined avenues gave the cemetery its original character.
Bunning took advantage of the natural topography of Nunhead Hill, by curving the pathways around the edges of the site, so that the stunning views across central London and away to the North Downs were reserved until one reached the very summit. Much of the original planting survives in mature trees of Holm oak, lime, plane, yew and ginkgo.
The main approach, from Linden Grove, is through monumental cast iron gates with Classical piers of Portland stone. These are flanked by a pair of entrance lodges in the neoClassical style, that balance the view up the grand axial drive, through a formal avenue of towering limes, and culminating in the Anglican chapel. This building, along with a Dissenter’s Chapel (now demolished,) were designed by Thomas Little. All these buildings are now listed.
There are shaft and rectangular catacombs, now filled in and sealed respectively. Most burials took place in simple plots, with a variety of tombstone types, from elaborate, grand monuments to humble headstones.
The cemetery enjoyed prosperity, popularity and professional maintenance for its first hundred years of operation. With the arrival of the railway line and the urban spread of London during the 1880s, demand was high. However, the coming of the railway in the 1860s caused considerable problems to the London Cemetery Company’s operations. Business was adversely affected at Nunhead Cemetery by the construction of the railway until its completion. The Metropolitan Board of Works and the Parish Council were also criticised for failing to keep the approach roads open. The station at Nunhead was completed in 1871, approximately 30 years after the founding of the cemetery.
After the First World War, the fortunes of the London Cemetery Company began to slowly change, due to changing burial fashions and spiraling maintenance costs. During the Second World War, the cemetery suffered greatly, from bomb damage, labour shortages and the removal of iron railings from the boundary walls to assist the war effort. The London Cemetery Company retained shares on the stock exchange up until the 1960’s. In 1969 the Company ceased trading at Nunhead and the gates of the Cemetery were locked.
The following twelve years (1969 – 1981) brought little but reclamation by nature, decay of the fabric of buildings and monuments, and vandalism. The Anglican Chapel was gutted by fire during this period, causing the loss of a fine timber roof structure and further damage to the remainder of the building. The formal lawn cemetery of the Victorian era was lost under an invasion of vegetation. The cemetery rapidly became one of the largest and most important areas of ‘natural’ secondary woodland in South-East London, at 52 acres. This is, of course, a valuable asset to the local area in terms of species diversity, wildlife and habitat as well as for leisure, recreation and educational purposes, however the overgrown charm of this site comes at the cost of thousands of monuments that have declined into an accelerated state of decay, along with eroded paths and derelict structures.
In the 1970s there was talk of putting the land forward for redevelopment. This sparked local people to form an action group to protest against the loss of this space, and to protect
those people who still owned burial rights or who had relatives interred at Nunhead. It was largely due to this action group, the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery that the cemetery has survived.
The London Borough of Southwark purchased the cemetery in 1975 for nominal sum of £1.
In 1998, a bid was put forward by Southwark Council and the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a total of £1.5 million, as a contribution towards the overall cost of £2.136 million which was needed to secure the long term future of the cemetery as a heritage, environmental, educational and leisure resource for its local community and for the wider community within London. A grant of £1.25 million was eventually awarded, and the money was designated for essential repairs to the Anglican Chapel, restoration to the gates, walls and railings, 50 quality monuments in need of urgent repair, improvements to access, and hard and soft landscaping work.
Nunhead Green
An inevitable consequence of the growth of the suburbs was the loss of open space and during the second half of the 19th century a number of voluntary bodies grew up with the objective of lobbying municipal authorities to preserve suburban open space. In Camberwell the first successful initiative was in 1857, when the public subscribed £3,000 to preserve Camberwell Green. In 1868 the entire interest of the lord of the manor in Peckham Rye, Goose Green and Nunhead Green was bought by the Vestry for £1,000 on condition that they remained open to the public in perpetuity. These were laid out and opened under the authority of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1882. Through much of the 20th century the Green was an asphalt-covered playground but it was reinstated in the 1980s and improvements were made in 2001.
The area includes two formal groups of listed almshouses, three prominent, street corner public houses, public buildings such as the Library in Gordon Road, and shops on the south side of the Green.
The Green itself is a linear space formed by the opening out of Nunhead Lane along its north side. The south side is lined with 3-storey terraces dating from the mid-later 19th century, following the alignment of the old highway. Nos. 10-22 Nunhead Green are residential but the other properties have shops on the ground floor. The terraces are faced with stock brick with stucco cornices and window dressings. This group of terraces terminates at its western end with the two-storey Man of Kent public house on the corner of Nunhead Grove, a 1930s, brown brick replacement of an earlier pub. Noteworthy also is the Edward VIII pillar box in front of No. 6 Nunhead Green, which was moved to this location in 1998.
The buildings lining the north side of the Green are more varied in character. The centre piece is the Beer and Wine Trade Homes, a Grade II listed range of almshouses dating from 1852-3, designed by the architect William Webbe in the Gothic style, in stock brick, with stone mullioned and transomed windows, high-pitched slate roofs and prominent chimney stacks. To their right is a group of five 2-storey cottages dating from the later 19th century, with stock brick upper floors above stucco bay windows on the ground floors. The group is terminated at the corner of Kirkwood Road with the Pyrotechnists Arms, a good example of a mid-19th century south London street corner pub, whose name commemorates Brock’s firework factory, which was located nearby in the 1860s and 1870s. It is faced with stock brick above the pub front with moulded stucco dressings to the windows and a stucco cornice.
To the left of the almshouses is the 2-storey, 1950s brick façade of the Salvation Army Hall, which replaced the 19th century Salvation Army Citadel destroyed in World War II. To the west of Gordon Road, the northwest corner of the Green is marked by another public house, the Nunhead Tavern. This attractive, 2-storey structure dates from 1934 but occupies a site, which has contained a public house since the 17th century. Its half-timbered construction gives it a village character, which enhances the Green’s domestic scale.
Just to the north of the Green is Nunhead Library, an attractive, red brick building built in 1896 in the Arts and Crafts style to the designs of the architect, Robert Whellock of Camberwell. Although not listed, it is a key building in the area.
Nunhead Grove
The first edition of the 25” to 1 mile Ordnance Survey, surveyed in the late 1860s / early 1870s, shows the process of urban development under way. Linden Grove and Nunhead Grove, linking Nunhead Lane with the Cemetery, are partially lined with genteel detached and semidetached villas with spacious rear gardens, while other streets nearby are beginning to be built up with terraces of smaller houses.
19th century terraced housing survives in Nunhead Grove, mostly on the south west side, but it is of later date and much more modest scale than the villas in Linden Grove.
Nunhead Lane
The approach to the Green along Nunhead Lane is marked by some noteworthy groups of mid 19th century houses. Slightly later is the group at the corner of Nunhead Grove, opposite the Man of Kent. This a 3-storey terrace of shops that reads with the terraces along the south side of the Green, with similar brick and stucco facades above the shop fronts.
Oakhurst Grove
East Dulwich Road runs east-west and provides access into Oakhurst Grove.
Following the successful completion of development around The Gardens square between 1870 and 1880, Oakhurst Grove, to the west, was constructed during the late 19th century on two long parcels.
Old Kent Road
The modern Old Kent Road broadly marks the line of Roman Watling Street, the main road connecting London with Rome. This highway ran from Richborough in Kent to Chester via London and St Albans and formed an important part of the Romano-British transport system. Evidence of Roman settlement, burials and land management has been found in the vicinity of this road and it is thought that there was a branch of the Old Kent Road leading through to Westminster.
The Old Kent Road had importance as a primary link across Southern England. The Old Kent Road is most famous as the route followed by Chaucer’s pilgrims.
Though the road is one of the earliest urban areas along the main roads from London, the area was predominately agricultural, and remained so until the 1700s.
Orient Street
An 1830 map indicates the existence of East Street (now Orient Street) and shows that it was only partially built.
The Booth poverty map of 1898-99 classes the majority of the area as fairly comfortable with good ordinary earnings. Hayles Street, Brook Drive and Orient Street were classed as mixed, some comfortable, others poor.
Pages Walk
The landscape of Southwark after the end of the last Ice Age was remarkably different to what is visible now. The retreat and melting of the glaciers left a landscape characterised by a wide River Thames which ran as a braided channel through many smaller islands.
Other rivers ran north into the Thames feeding the channels separating the islands.
Page’s Walk is located in an area of deep alluvial deposits which formed between the higher, island located in the area of Bermondsey Square and more solid geology marked by the line of the Old Kent Road.
This area between the solid ground has been interpreted as a lake or post-glacial morass. Throughout the prehistoric period archaeological evidence indicates the landscape of this area was exploited and used by many communities. As time went on the area of the lake shrank and now preserves important archaeological deposits relating to the exploitation and use of this former body of water.
During the Roman period, Southwark was probably a suburb of Londinium, the Roman provincial capital of Britain. Page’s Walk lies between two areas of important Roman archaeology.
Early post-medieval maps (John Rocque’s Map 1769 and Richard Horwood’s map 1792-1799) show the area as open fields. The Kennington to Peckham map (1830) indicates a street on the line of Page’s Walk bounded by some small buildings.
Page’s Walk originally referred to only the northern part of the current street, the southern stretch being known as Swan Street, leading to the Old Kent Road.
In the first half of the 19th century, the wider area of Bermondsey was famous for its leather goods due to the amenities provided by the tidal ditches that criss-crossed the area. By the time of the OS map of 1879, two terraces of houses had been constructed on the southern side of the street with a central access to the goods yard and tannery behind. The OS Map of 1896 indicates further changes to the area, including the construction of the Page’s Walk School to the north.
By the 1870s, Swan Street was annotated as Page’s Walk, the housing development having continued from the northern part of the street. Nos. 47-73 (odd) and Nos. 81-103 (odd) were the first houses on the site, built as two rows of terraced cottages in the 1840s.
The latter group was acquired by the South Eastern Railway Company to house workers at the Bricklayers Arms Station and Goods Depot.
Charles Booth’s poverty map of 1898-99 classes the terraced houses on Page’s Walk as mixed, some comfortable, others poor. Around the area; at that time, there was a mix of accommodation and levels of deprivation. To the west; off the Old Kent Road, households were classed as fairly comfortable, with good earnings. To the north households were classed as poor or very poor.
There was little change to Page’s Walk and the area surrounding area during the early 20th century. The Bricklayer’s Arms Station and buildings had become parcel depot. Guinness Estate built in the mid 1970s replaced earlier Guinness Trust residential block on the site. Adjoining the Guinness Estate is the Harold Estate; the flats here were constructed in the early part of the 20th century. The area immediately behind is industrial, with a number of large depots and warehouses, consistent with the character of the northern part of Page’s Walk.
The 1980s saw further change to the area with the stables on the site of the former tannery were redeveloped as a business centre, and the gap site between the No. 73 and No. 81 was filled in with three terrace houses abutting the existing ones. The buildings adjacent to No. 103 Page’s Walk were demolished and Mandela Way was built in 1984, passing along the southern end of Page’s Walk from the site of the gateway to the former railway station.
The former Page’s Walk School was converted to flats in the 1990s, and together with the Guinness Housing Estate makes the southern part of Page’s Walk a wholly residential area.
O’ Meara Street
The railway had a significant impact on Winchester Street (now O’ Meara Street) on the southside of Southwark Street. The southern end of both South Street leading from Southwark Square and Winchester Street were disrupted by the new railway lines to Charing Cross. Warehouses are also found on the triangular piece of land between Castle Street and Southwark Street, the footprint of these buildings is still discernable today.
Paradise Street
In areas such as King’s Stairs Gardens and to the east of Fulford Street, the south of Paradise Street and east of Cathay Street, the area is heavily wooded and characterised by mounded and articulated land forms. The layout of the local roads in the conservation area generally dates from before 1800, although the buildings fronting the roads date from throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
Park Street
Excavations have established the original site of the Globe Theatre, just south of Park Street.
Peacock Street
Peacock Street was built in 1888.
There are associated workshops behind the houses accessed from Peacock Yard, Illiffe Yard and Clements Yard. These two storey workshops are arranged in a mews layout.
Peckham
Peckham was first mentioned in the 11th century Domesday Book, as ‘Pecheham’. The spelling of Peckham derives from the Old English words ‘peak’ and ‘ham’, describing a village or homestead by a peak or hill. Peckham’s origins are as a small rural hamlet, without a direct connection to the metropolis. The nearest major route to the capital from Peckham having been the Old Kent Road, to the northeast. At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086 the area was held by the Bishop of Lisieux. The area was predominately agricultural, and remained so until the 1700s.
Most of Camberwell parish was still rural until the beginning of the 19th century and Peckham consisted mainly of meadows, arable land and gardens. It provided market gardens and pasture for animals being driven to the London markets, especially following transport improvements to the city. Peckham’s location and relative proximity and access via the Old Kent Road gave it a particularly prominent position within the trade.
The Peckham fair was held on common lands and then in High Street, but was abolished in 1835.
From the 17th century, Peckham developed as an out-of-town residence for courtiers and merchants and then as a holiday resort. Facilities to be found at Peckham at this time, included: public houses, a theatre, schools, non-conformist chapels and an annual fair.
In the 18th century Peckham was still officially considered a hamlet, despite these cosmopolitan and leisure-based facilities. Although from about 1722 Peckham was sometimes also referred to as a ‘town’. For example, in 1722 a list of post offices includes ‘deliveries to Peckham Town and Peckham Rye’; and a map dated 1739 detailing the possessions of the manor of Frierne also labels the settlement ‘Peckham Town’, reflecting its increasingly urbane character.
Improved communications, brought Peckham closer to the capital and facilitated its development. Regular mail deliveries (1710) and coach services (1744) to central London, improvements in roads did not have an immediate impact on suburban development. However, the opening of Blackfriars Bridge in the late 18th century and then in 1782, the establishment of two turnpike roads linking the bridge with Peckham and Dulwich; via St George’s Circus, did begin to stimulate development on the south side of the River Thames. However this was not immediately the case in Peckham. In 1672 Sir Thomas Bond built a house on the site of the former Manor House. The remainder of the land was still laid out as fields, with just two roads along the line of the present Peckham Hill Street and Peckham Park Road.
During the early 19th century Peckham continued to develop from satellite village to suburb. It saw the growth of new residential developments in Peckham by speculative builders, encouraged by the improvement in road links through Southwark to the Thames bridges. To the north of Peckham High Street, a new district, known as Peckham New Town, was built, centred on what is now Peckham Hill Street. Peckham Hill Street was formerly known as Lord Lane and skirted the grounds of Sir Thomas Bond’s mansion. It was then named Hill Street after the Hill family, which once owned the land, which was later developed, by the Shard family after 1812.
The construction of three new bridges: Vauxhall (1816), Waterloo (1817) and Southwark (1819) significantly improved links between South London and the metropolis. The improved transport links provided a lifestyle for the relatively wealthy who wanted to be near London, but who also desired clean air and the countryside. The population of the parish of Camberwell quadrupled between 1801 and 1831. However, the process of change was not consistent, with different stages of development co-existing within the same area. A Tithe Survey (published 1842), indicated that only a quarter of the surveyed land in the parish of Camberwell had been built upon by 1837-38. However, over half of the land was still being used as pasture and approximately a fifth, as arable land and market-garden.
Between 1865-66 the railway arrived in Peckham. Firstly the Crystal Palace to South London Junction Railway, followed by the South London line connecting Victoria Station and London Bridge. Both lines shared a station Peckham Rye, which built to the west of Rye Lane in 1867. In 1869 the tram network was extended across from Camberwell, along Peckham High Street. In the mid to late 19th century development throughout Peckham continued and a network of streets where developed on the former open land and as the population increased, commercial activity intensified.
During this period of development, the social cachet of Peckham changed. Whilst some upper middle-class residents remained, on the whole the genteel were replaced by: lower middle and skilled working classes.
The improvements in transport around Peckham, meant that the area grew very rapidly after 1870, attracting the aspiring middle classes. Population figures for East Dulwich and the surrounding district, which included Peckham, demonstrate the speed of growth at this time: in 1871 the population was 31,000. Only 20 years later the population had grown by 51,000 to 82,000.
Another impact on suburban development was the cutting of the Grand Surrey Canal, from Rotherhithe to near to Camberwell Road (1801-1811). In 1801 the Grand Surrey Canal Company obtained an Act for a canal from Rotherhithe to Mitcham. Originally a much larger network was planned, but only the branch to Peckham was ever opened (1826). The canal here was built on part of the Peckham Manor lands, which was acquired for the purpose in around 1807. The Peckham branch ran northwards parallel to Peckham Hill Street, with the head of the canal located to the north of Peckham High Street. Here the land was once used for wharfs, timber yards and warehouses.
Between the two world wars Peckham’s industrial base increased. The character of the area began to change as wealthier people moved out to less developed areas and the older housing stock was taken up by less affluent people moving in for work.
Heavy bombing in Peckham World War II accelerated the pre-war programme of slum clearnce. Large areas were cleared away and estates constructed. The late 19th century housing and street patterns were eradicated as the area was redeveloped for social housing from the 1960s.
This social change had a dramatic impact on much of Peckham with many areas experiencing considerable decline; however the strong and attractive environmental quality of the original development around Holly Grove has helped to maintain it as a desirable place to live. Nevertheless, economic pressures on and from the surrounding areas have led to significant loss and damage to the historic fabric of the conservation area.
In 1971 the Peckham branch of the Grand Surrey Canal was closed, following closure of the Surrey Docks. A linear park linking Peckham with Burgess Park was subsequently created by the in filling of the canal and landscaping the areas adjacent to it. Other late 20th century changes included the demolition and clearance of Hope Wharf and the terraced houses on the site of the Commercial Way Recreation Ground.
Peckham Hill Street
For most of its history, Peckham was a small settlement without a church and administratively lay within the parish of St Giles, Camberwell. Peckham fell within the county of Surrey until 1889, when it was taken into the County of London. After 1900 the area was administered by the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell until 1965, when the London Borough of Southwark was formed.
In the 13th century the Camberwell area was divided into eleven estates. One of these estates is in the area covered by the Peckham Hill Street area: Peckham Manor (also known as Camberwell Manor, or Camberwell and Peckham Manor).
Peckham Manor was located in the area to the west of Peckham Hill Street and to the north of Peckham High Street. Whitten Timber Yard is located on the site of the former Peckham Manor House. Peckham Hill Street (formerly Hill Street) was named after Mrs Martha Hill who bought Peckham Manor House in 1732.
Greenwoods map from 1830 is an indicator of the change to the area, following cutting of the Grand Surrey Canal. The map shows that groups of terraces and semi-detached houses had developed along the western side of Peckham Hill Street with the long gardens backing onto the canal towpath.
A map from 1879 confirms that by then, most of the significant changes to the conservation area had occurred. At the southern end, the gardens (Nos. 78-110 (even) Peckham High Street) backed onto the canal side wharfs. Elsewhere along Peckham Hill Street there were the occasional late 19th century infill developments such as Nos. 68-68a Peckham Hill Street. This is a pair of two storey houses at the end of a terrace. The houses have characteristic late Victorian bay windows with classical detailing around the doors and windows.
Significant late 19th century/ early 20th century developments include the remodelling of an existing public house at the southern end at Peckham Hill Street, The Globe and the construction of the Glengall Tavern at the junction with Bird in the Bush Road. The Globe was an attractive Arts and Crafts former public house, now converted to housing. These public houses were once popular places for the local working men to spend their leisure time.
At the southern end, the gardens of Peckham High Street backed onto the canal side wharfs. Elsewhere along Peckham Hill Street there were the occasional late 19th century infill developments such as Nos. 68-68a Peckham Hill Street. This is a pair of two storey houses at the end of a terrace. The houses have characteristic late Victorian bay windows with classical detailing around the doors and windows.
The 20th century Peckham Hill Street development has attempted to replicate the late 19th century housing with its brick facades and bay window. More successful is the recent two storey residential development at No. 32 Peckham Hill Street, whilst clearly modern reflects the: proportions, linearity and materials of the neighbouring properties.
Peckham Park Road
North of Peckham High Street most of the land was used for market gardens and growing crops. However, houses lined parts of the Old Kent Road and some houses existed in Peckham New Town, the area surrounding what is today Peckham Park Road. The New Town was the first local example of planned development and was promoted by the Hill Family who owned the land.
By the 1870s North Peckham, which had begun life as a middle-class suburb of the New Town but then became a poorer area, was crowded with houses and other buildings – including churches and schools. Work for local people was found in heavy and light industry.
In the Peckham area there were a number of workhouses set up following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Those in need also received aid from charities, for instance in 1834 the Peckham Pensions Society was founded, and housing was provided by charitable organisations. As well as the Licensed Victuallers, there was the Girdler’s Company who built fine almshouses in Albert (now Consort) Road in 1834 and the Metropolitan Beer and Wine Trade Society built an asylum on the north side of Nunhead Green.
Peckham Road
Peckham Road connected the villages of Peckham and Camberwell and, during the 18th century, the land between them was largely agricultural. The Stockdale plan of 1807 shows this clearly. At that time the expansion of London’s housing, which radiated from the City, had begun to affect Walworth, a short distance to the north.
The initial period of slow growth, when the area was predominantly rural, attracted low density development of large villas to this road. The survival of some of these is due to their early change of use for education and then collective use as an asylum.
During the mid- to late-19th century the area saw the greatest development as houses and, later, educational buildings replaced the fields. In 1830 residential properties started to be built along Peckham Road with smaller houses in the less prestigious side streets.
Further development was stimulated by the arrival of the horse tram and the railway. The London Chatham and Dover line was extended close to Peckham Road in the 1860s.
During the 1850s and 1860s much of the open land was developed and the increase in population led to Camden Church being extended in 1854.
Contrasting with this is the survival of the earlier villas with very large gardens, a nursery garden, and the North Surrey Brewery, which had been established for over a century.
On the south side of Peckham Road, some further villas were redeveloped in the late 19th century to provide housing, a carriage works and a Baptist Chapel.
In the 19th century, transport improvements brought pressures for new development. However, the anticipated boom in industrial uses after the construction of the Surrey Canal did not take off as much as had been expected. Instead, the new road connection to Vauxhall Bridge, the introduction of regular bus services and rail connections to the City made higher density housing possible. Terraces were developed all round the area but, in what is now the conservation area, the generous gardens of earlier property tended to be protected by their institutional uses.
The gardens to the rear of 30, 32 and 34 Peckham Road became a public park – Lucas Gardens. The gardens of the Camberwell House Lunatic Asylum and those of the Camden Nursery survived until the development of the Sceaux Gardens Estate in 1955.
Penrose Street
The ‘Plan of the Manor of Walworth’ of 1681 already shows Penrose Street as West Lane.
During the 1780s, a Mr Keen, a local landowner, built a terrace of seven houses on the Walworth Road south of the junction with West Lane known as Keen’s Row. Adjacent to Keen’s Row was Charlotte Row and opposite Beckford Row, a number of these houses still remain in part.
Penton Place
In 1774, Henry Penton, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury and Thomas Brandon, obtained permission by Act of Parliament to let their land on 99 year building leases. A requirement of the ‘Act’ was that the houses were built of brick rather than timber.
Early development on Penton’s own land occurred towards the west in the direction of the Manor House, along Manor Row, Penton Place and Amelia Row, from the 1770s onwards.
These first buildings no longer survive as they were subsequently pulled down and rebuilt in the late 19th century. The prevalence of relatively short leases, changes in architectural fashion or poor construction, meant that buildings were often upgraded on the expiry of individual leases.
Platform Wharf
By the second half of the 19th century the area was characterised by the major development of Platform, south of Bermondsey Wall East. This site was redeveloped in 1907 and again in the 1930s with the building of a bonded tobacco warehouse on site. The map evidence suggests the area immediately to the north of Platform Wharf remained open to the river with access to a wharf; the built frontage starting to the east with the listed Angel public house.
Edward III’s Manor House was rediscovered during archaeological work in 1985 for the redevelopment of the site following the demolition of the 1930s bonded tobacco warehouse of Platform Wharf in the late 1970s.
The construction of Edward III’s Mews dates to the mid 1980s, and was planned after the recognition of the archaeological significance of the Manor House.
Pontypool Place
Pontypool Place runs diagonally north-east through the Valentine Place conservation area.
The development on Pontypool Place had been built, by 1800, on a narrow thin strip of land, with houses fronting onto a narrow central court.
The small street had been named after Pontypool in South Wales, which was synonymous at the time with the manufacture of tin-plate and japanware, a popular decorative coating for pottery and ironware. It is also known that there was a Welsh community in the area at that time. The area immediately to the west was still indicated as open fields.
Providence Square
The tightest warehouse character is related to buildings with waterside access, and extends eastwards along Bermondsey Wall from St Saviours Dock. Although the sites along the river and the dock have been built up for centuries, none of the present warehouses predates 1850 with most erected between this time and the 1890s to replace earlier buildings.
Buildings on the river, both modern and traditional, retain a strong relationship with the Thames. Modern interventions such as China Wharf by CZWG and Providence Square by Lifschutz Davidson have captured the industrial character due to their block form, hard urban edge and scale.
Pullens Estate
The Pullens Estate is situated between Walworth Village and Kennington Park Road.
At the beginning of the 19th Century, the district was semi-rural with large tracts of open land behind houses fronting the streets. The open areas were rough pasture and cultivated tracts, most probably market gardens to serve London’s growing population.
By the time the Pullens Estate began to be built, the area had been fully developed for 40 to 50 years, mostly with terraced houses.
The Pullens Estate is considered to be of special architectural or historic interest as a good example of a later Victorian speculative development that combines both tenement housing and workshop units, with some shops. A significant proportion of the estate survives, with much of its original detailing intact, to form a coherent and distinctive whole. It was built by James Pullen, a local builder. Pullen acquired property in the area in the 1880s and, following the demolition of some original houses, the first block of 16 flats was erected in 1886.
The Pullens Estate was not fully developed until 1901.
The full estate comprised 684 dwellings in 12 four-storey blocks. Attached to the rear of the dwellings, arranged around four yards, there were 106 workshops in two-storey ranges. The estate also included a small number of shops, mostly located at the entrances to the yards. Although the development took several years to complete, the design principles and their execution appear to have remained consistent throughout.
The concept of homes and workplaces together was not unusual in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many industrial processes were still carried out in the home at this period, or in workshops that formed part of the home, rather than in separate factory buildings. The provision of working class housing in the later 19th century is usually associated with the philanthropic movement (“5% philanthropy”), but Pullen’s motivation seems to have been strictly commercial and the philanthropic companies usually provided housing alone, without work space. Pullen’s workshops were erected in mews type buildings at the rear of the tenement blocks, with doorways connecting the two. However, early records show that these workshops were seldom let to tenants of the flats but were used by small businesses such as carpenters and clock repairers. Originally the ground floors of these buildings were designed to be stables with the workshops above. The flats were let to people who were born on the estate or who had family already in residence and were very much in demand. The workshops were less popular, and their use seems not to have been profitable during Pullen’s ownership.
During World War II, the area’s buildings suffered some bomb damage but they were repaired and restored. The estate remained with the Pullen family until the 1940s, when the last member of the family died. Thereafter, the estate was run by directors of the company and the estates officer at the time of Miss Pullen’s death was given the house the family had lived in since the estate was built, just opposite Kennington Park.
The estate continued to be run by the company until the 1970s. However, by then its condition was deteriorating and Southwark Council was forced to step in, acquiring the estate by means of a compulsory purchase order in 1977.
Red Post Hill
Red Post Hill is part of the Sunray Estate, which is located on Denmark Hill within North Dulwich. It was built between 1920 and 1922.
Redcross Way
Redcross Way was originally Red Cross Street.
As the area developed through the mid seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a gridiron street pattern began to emerge, much of which remains today. The linear form of domestic terraced development along these streets with gardens and orchards to the area contrasts with the densely developed long narrow yards and inns that had evolved perpendicular to Borough High Street. The narrow width of streets such as Redcross Way, Great Guildford Street and Union Street reflects the age of these streets.
A dense grain of workers houses, yards, and warehouses connected with surrounding industry and other uses built up through the middle of the nineteenth century. The tiny plots, lack of open space, in the form of either public or private gardens, indicate the poverty of the area at that time. It is in the latter part of the century and the first years of the twentieth century that the impact of the social reformers can be seen, with the development of philanthropic housing (most notably Redcross Cottages and Gardens), new schools, churches and a public library.
Redcross Gardens and cottages were built in 1890.

Reverdy Road
The bomb site on Reverdy Road is now occupied by allotment gardens.
Roper Lane
Industrial activity continued to grow in Bermondsey because of the proximity of available resources, and the demand for goods by the City of London across the river. Brewing was of note, with Courages based northeast of the Conservation Area. Sarsons, the vinegar manufacturer, established a production and warehousing complex on its present site at Roper Lane in the 1820s.
Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe developed as an industrial area during the later 18th century, with a pattern of warehouses and wharfs to the river frontage with housing filling the gaps and spreading back from the river frontage. Horwood’s map of 1806 shows the pattern of street blocks to be established north of the line of Paradise Street.
Rye Lane
For most of its history, Peckham was a small settlement without a church and administratively lay within the parish of St Giles, Camberwell. Peckham fell within the county of Surrey until 1889, when it was taken into the County of London. After 1900 the area was administered by the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell until 1965, when the London Borough of Southwark was formed.
From the 17th century, Peckham developed as an out-of-town residence for courtiers and merchants and then as a holiday resort. From about 1722 Peckham was sometimes referred to as a ‘town’. Rye Lane was a historic thoroughfare, known as South Street in the eighteenth century.
By the 18th century Shard’s Terrace (No’s 91-107 Peckham High Street and No’s 126-130 Peckham Hill Street) had been developed. It formed part of the wider transformation of the area from the mid 18th century, with the Shard family owning the land around Peckham Hill Street.
During the early 19th century Peckham continued to develop from satellite village to suburb. It saw the growth of new residential developments in Peckham by speculative builders encouraged by the improvement in road links through Southwark to the Thames bridges. The construction of three new bridges: Vauxhall (1816), Waterloo (1817) and Southwark (1819) significantly improved links between South London and the metropolis.
Another impact on suburban development was the cutting of the Grand Surrey Canal, from Rotherhithe to near to Camberwell Road (1801-1811).
Only the branch to Peckham, and an extension to Camberwell Road were opened (1826). The canal here was built on part of the Peckham Manor lands, which were acquired for the purpose around 1807. The Peckham branch ran northwards parallel to Peckham Hill Street, with the head of the canal located to the north of Peckham High Street. Today the public spaces around Peckham Library, the ‘Canal Head Public Space and Surrey Canal Walk’ and Eagle Wharf are a reminder of the 19th century canal heritage of Peckham.
In the mid to late 19th century development in Peckham continued. A network of street where developed on the former open land and as the population increased, commercial activity intensified.
Although the coming of the Surrey Canal introduced a significant commercial element into Peckham, it did not immediately trigger development on the massive scale that was stimulated by the arrival of the railways in Peckham, between 1865 and 1866. Firstly the Crystal Palace to South London Junction Railway, followed by the South London line connecting Victoria Station and London Bridge. Both lines shared a station Peckham Rye, which was built to the west of Rye Lane. In 1869 the tram network was extended across Camberwell and along Peckham High Street. Although the narrow width of Rye Lane prevented the tram route from being extended along it.
With the widening of Peckham High Street in late 1870s Rye Lane became established as a major shopping street, and attracted many chain stores by the 1890s. The changing structure of suburban retailing was a significant factor in shaping central Peckham. The decline of small enterprises requiring skilled shop keeping and craftsmanship was replaced by new methods of organisation and management. This saw the emergence of large emporiums, multiple or chain stores and banks, which congregated, along with the local shops. The most prestigious of the shopping premises was Messrs. Jones and Higgins department store, which was established in 1867 at No. 3 Rye Lane. With its prominent clock tower of the 1930s, the building is still an important landmark, despite the store closing down in 1980.
The early part of the 20th century was a period of stability rather than significant change in Peckham. Rye Lane and Peckham High Street continued to prosper as a shopping centre, which resulted in commercial redevelopment, as retail premises sought to maintain fashionableness or gain advantage over their competitors. During this period a number of arcades and covered markets were built. In 1911 the first purpose-built cinema was built in 1911 and this was followed in the 1930s, with two grand picture palaces on Peckham High Street.
For central Peckham, the second half of the 20th century was a period of economic decline. The contributory factors were: a decreasing population, as older residents moved out they were replaced by a younger population, which included immigrants from overseas. Another impact on Peckham was industrial decline, which was exemplified by the closure of the Peckham Branch of the Grand Surrey Canal (1971). The fall in employment and poor state of Peckham’s economy impacted on local spending power.
Peckham’s status as a shopping centre was challenged by the reduction in local spending power and the change in shopping patterns, as supermarkets began to replace precincts and malls.
Some late 19th century housing and street patterns were eradicated as the area was redeveloped for social housing from the 1960s onwards. Further changes occurred in the 1980’s when the multi-storey car park, shopping mall and supermarket were constructed on the eastern side of Rye Lane.
Today, Rye Lane is a busy shopping centre having specialised in ethnic and bargain shopping. The upper floors of the retail premises are occasionally occupied by non-traditional churches serving the multi-cultural population.
The most significant change has been the creation of Canal Head Square, a new public space to the north of Peckham High Street and the junction with Rye Lane. The square on the former canal head is linked by a linear park along the line of the former Surrey Canal. New public buildings form two sides of the square, on the north side Peckham Library (Allsop and Sturmer) and Peckham Pulse (Southwark Building Design Services) to the west.
St George’s Circus
The site of the Circus was originally part of an area of common marshland known as Southwark Fields, agreed by Royal charter in 1377. After the 15th century, it became known as St. George’s Fields after the nearby church of St. George the Martyr. The area formed the common field of the manor and borough of Southwark and remained as agricultural land until the end of the 18th century.
Acts of Parliament were passed in 1719, 1751 and 1769 regarding the layout of the footpaths and roads across St. George’s Fields.
Blackfriars Bridge was opened in 1769 and this resulted in Robert Mylne (surveyor to the Blackfriars Bridge Committee) laying out the area in a Parisian manner. St. George’s Circus is important historically as forming part of an example of Georgian town planning on the grand scale, providing a formal termination to the broad, straight boulevard, almost a mile long, linking Blackfriars Bridge to the point where new highways diverged towards the Borough, Lambeth, Westminster and Newington.
Mylne was entrusted with the layout of Blackfriars Road up to and including the circus, in the centre of which an obelisk was erected to his designs in 1771, and George Dance the younger, as surveyor to the Bridge House Estate was responsible for laying out the arterial roads, which led off the circus.
The aim of the scheme’s promoters was to make a “handsome avenue” through the County of Surrey by which “Strangers from the Continent” might approach the Capital.
The three other roads radiating from the circus were Lambeth Road, London Road and Borough Road. A little later came St. George’s Road. These streets leading up to the circus were not fully developed with buildings until around the 1800s.
By the end of the 18th century, the Corporation of London owned the freehold of the land around St. George’s Circus. The “Bridge House Estate”, as it was known, was originally formed from lands given to the Corporation of London by the administrators of Bermondsey Abbey to provide for the upkeep of London Bridge. Plaques bearing the Bridge House Mark can still be seen on the walls of some of the houses in Borough Road and London Road.
The development of housing commensurate with civic dignity took longer than expected, owing to legal problems caused by part of the area being common land. Some poor quality housing was erected along the east side of London Road and the south side of Borough Road by James Hedger, one of the City Corporation’s main leaseholders, but when his lease was not renewed in 1810, he and his tenants rioted, demolished the buildings and sold off the materials.
In 1810 an Act was obtained which extinguished all rights of common in St. George’s Fields, thereby enabling the wholesale development of the area to take place. A further Act for Improving St. George’s Fields was passed in 1812, which enabled the Corporation to spend £20,000 on the redevelopment of the estate. This Act stated that all new building around the circus should have concave fronts and should be consistent with a minimum diameter across the Circus of 240 ft. It also specified that no houses “inferior to the 3rd building rate should be erected on the frontages of Borough Road and St. George’s Circus”.
The present Georgian buildings were erected between 1820 and 1828 under various building leases but to standard elevational designs almost certainly provided by William Mountague, who had succeeded Dance as City Surveyor in 1816.
The obelisk was replaced in 1905 with an ornate clock tower and was relocated in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park. The clock tower seems to have been disposed of by the Council in the late 1930s on the grounds that it was “a nuisance to traffic” and the obelisk was eventually returned to the Circus in 1998.
St George’s Fields
Westminster and Blackfriars Bridges were built in 1739-50 and 1760-9 respectively. These new crossing points encouraged the development of land to the south of the River.
John Rocque’s map of 1766 shows the mid 18th century road layout. This road network, which is largely still evident today, includes: New Kent Road, St George’s Road, Walworth Road, Newington Butts and Newington Causeway.
Acts of Parliament were passed in 1719, 1751 and 1769 regarding the layout of the footpaths and roads across St. George’s Fields. This resulted in Robert Mylne (surveyor to the Blackfriars Bridge Committee) laying out the area for building.
From 1812 the Bethlehem Hospital was constructed on St. George’s Fields, having moved out from Moorfields. The hospital, one of the first lunatic asylums in Europe, popularly known by the corruption ‘Bedlam,’ originated in ‘the priory of the star of Bethlehem,’ founded at Bishopsgate Without by Simon Fitzmary, Sheriff of London in 1247.
The new building, the hospital’s third home, was constructed during the period 1812–1815 to the designs of James Lewis. Alterations took place in 1835 and 1844-46 by Robert Smirke, these included: two new wings, two new galleried blocks to the rear and the construction of two lodges in the grounds. Smirke also designed the replacement for the building’s original cupola (1844-46), resulting in the current copper covered dome.
Smirke was also responsible for the adjustments to Lambeth Road during this period. Smirke’s wings were subsequently removed in 1930 by Lord Rothermere to create a park in memory of his mother, Geraldine Mary Harmsworth. The surviving central section; of the former hospital, became the Imperial War Museum in 1936.

St George’s Road
John Rocque’s map shows that in 1766 the area to the south of St. George’s Road remained fields and Richard Horwood’s Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster, 1792-1799, shows that a little later, the area to the south of St. George’s Road still remained only partially developed. In 1789 St George’s Road (then Prospect Place) was the first group of terraced houses to be built. In 1791 the West family – local landowners – granted building leases to Thomas Kendall and James Hedger, and, by 1794 three sides of West Square had been completed, with the south side being added in 1800-1810.
At the beginning of the 19th century development of the wider area intensified with a variety of uses supporting the growth of the suburbs. From 1812 the Bethlehem Hospital was constructed on St. George’s Fields; to the north of the conservation area, having moved out from Moorfields. The hospital was one of the first lunatic asylums in Europe.
The Borough to Denmark Hill map of c.1830 shows how the street network had been developed southwards from St. George’s Road by this time and the wider area had also been developed out with: housing, churches, schools, hospitals and asylums. St Saviours
In 1086 Bermondsey was part of a royal manor belonging to King William and consisted of a settlement and farmland. There was also a new church – St Saviours, around which Bermondsey Priory was founded in 1082 by Aylwin Child. The monks of Bermondsey were of the Cluniac order who in 1117, according to the Annals of Bermondsey Abbey (1433), found a holy cross near the Thames.
The first rector of St Mary Magdalene was John de Ecclesia in 1291. Between 1675 and 1679 most of the church was rebuilt incorporating its 15th century tower. The west front was rebuilt in 1830.
St Mary’s Rotherhithe
The St. Mary’s Rotherhithe Conservation Area is a fine example of a “London Village” on the riverside. The surviving historic core is a relatively small area, 3 kilometres east of Tower Bridge. It centres on the 18thcentury St. Mary’s Church and a few surrounding streets. Buildings on the northern edge of the conservation area lie right on the river wall. Surrounding the church and churchyard are remnants of the former industrial townscape dating from the 19th century. To the east lies the former Engine House and air shaft to Brunel’s tunnel and to the south, the 18th century former school on St Marychurch Street.
St Saviour’s Dock
St Saviours Dock is a part of Bermondsey, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086), deriving its name from ‘Beormund’s Ey, or island’. The name described the original settlement, which was on high land amid marshes and streams that almost surrounded it. At that time Bermondsey was part of a royal manor belonging to King William and consisted of a settlement and farmland. There was also a new church, St. Saviour’s, around which Bermondsey Abbey was founded in 1082 by Aylwin Child.
Bermondsey Abbey became one of the principal religious houses in the country during the middle ages and owned most of the land around it until, in 1538, it was dissolved by King Henry VIII.
Between 1066 and 1485 part of the area near St. Saviours Dock was owned by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who had water mills there. The area was called St. John at Thames and the name eventually became contracted to Shad Thames. The tidal creek serving the abbey was named St. Saviour’s Dock after the Abbey Church. Early maps show it as the only natural inlet in this part of the river shore. Bermondsey Abbey Mill, which ground the corn for the Abbey, was situated at the millstream which ran along what is now Mill Street beside St. Saviours Dock.
Industries began to grow up in Bermondsey because of the proximity to available resources and the demand for goods by the City of London across the river. By the beginning of the 17th century, documentary evidence suggests that both the River Thames frontage and St. Saviours Dock frontage were fully developed and by the end of 17th century both frontages of Shad Thames were developed.
There were many varied industries in Bermondsey. Around St. Saviours Dock they included leather and associated industries, and foreign goods and foods such as tea and spices. Processing and packaging firms also developed: Jacobs biscuits were based in Wolseley Street. As industries grew, more people moved into the area, and land that had been market gardens was built on for houses.
During the 19th century there was heavy development. Many of the warehouses that can be seen around St. Saviours Dock date from the period 1850 to 1890.
The area from Jacob Street to the Thames was known as Jacobs Island during 19th century, and it was here that some of the poorest people in Bermondsey lived. It was cut off from the rest of Bermondsey and its main water supply was still the old millstream, which had become a ditch. As a result of this and overcrowding disease was a constant problem. Charles Dickens mentions the area in his book, Oliver Twist, and warehouses at St Saviours are reputedly the setting for Fagin’s den.
By the 1920s, much of the housing was in poor condition and in many places was reduced to slums. There was a strong movement of social reform in Bermondsey, which led to the demolition and rebuilding of housing. In WW2 there was significant bombing in and around Bermondsey, and this resulted in the need for major rebuilding after the war. The Most Holy Trinity Church, Dockhead, is one of the more significant modern landmarks, consecrated in 1960 to replace a church that was destroyed during the war. As a Roman Catholic Church, it is also an indication of the character of populations in the area: many Irish and other Catholics moved to Bermondsey to work in its industries and then settled there.
By the 1970s the docks’ original industrial purpose had more or less ceased, and many of the buildings began to fall into dereliction. Government regeneration programmes, through agencies such as the London Docklands Development Corporation, sought new uses and life for the area. Gradually the desirability of waterside locations as places to work and live was recognised: with its proximity to the City, spectacular riverside views, and characterful and spacious buildings, St. Saviours Dock has become fashionable. Although a number of buildings have been lost to reconstruction through the 1980s and 90s, refurbishment and conversion of several of the warehouses for residential use has saved many, and the street character of the area has, by and large, been preserved.
St Thomas Street
The establishment of the St. Thomas Hospital at an early date under the auspices of the Priory of St. Mary Overie strongly influenced the pattern of development east of Borough High Street. Development was restricted to the yards and inns typical of the main street frontage of the Borough and to the hospital precinct behind, and only Tooley Street led eastwards from Borough as a throughroute.
Newcourt’s map shows how areas to the north of the hospital had become more intensively built up during the sixteenth century; but it was not until the further development of Guy’s Hospital on adjacent land that St. Thomas Street was connected right through to Bermondsey Street in the east. The early 18th century character of the street remains well preserved from its junction with Borough High Street.
Land behind St. Thomas Street was requisitioned in 1862 to enlarge the London Bridge Station terminus, leaving only the buildings on the north side of the street. The rest was redeveloped, and new commercial buildings were erected on London Bridge Street. St. Thomas’s Hospital had to move out but it is later neighbour, Guy’s, was unaffected and grew steadily through the 19th century with a medical school and associated development creating a distinctive collegiate character of contained closes and quads
Sceaux Gardens
Sceaux Gardens was named after Sceaux near Paris, with which the Borough of Camberwell had links.
Sceaux Gardens is located to the east of Camberwell Green. The local conservation area is centred on the group of late 18th century buildings around the former Town Hall in Peckham Road, with further Victorian, Edwardian and post-war buildings leading up to the junction with Southampton Way. The conservation area extends southwards along Vestry Road to encompass Lucas Gardens and northwards to include the 1950s public housing of the Sceaux Gardens Estate.
Seaux Gardens is characterised by architecture from several distinct phases: late Georgian, later 19th century housing, early 20th century public buildings and the post-war art college and public housing.
World War II bombardments had a devastating effect on the locality. Camberwell, one of the few Metropolitan Boroughs to have an architects’ department, started an ambitious programme of public housing under the direction of F O Hayes.
First in this series, and very much the showpiece, was the Sceaux Gardens Estate built in 1955. A mixed development of flats, maisonettes and bungalows was skilfully designed around retained elements of the earlier landscape. Voltaire House was built on the site of the former Camden Church.
The Estate was clearly influenced by modernist ideas about architectural form, which produced a distinct contrast with the 19th century norm of tightly packed terraced houses with their small private gardens. Its layout was also influenced, however, by the existing garden landscape.
Scylla Road
Leading into the northwest corner of the Nunhead Green is Scylla Road, once known as Nunhead Passage, an intimate-scaled cul-de-sac lined on its north side by two terraces of 2-storey cottages. Nos. 105-115 are early Victorian, with attractive brick and stucco facades; Nos. 91-103 are later and lack the stucco dressings.
Sir William Gaitskell House
Sir William Gaitskell House is located at the north-east corner of the junction between Cathay Street and Paradise Street in Rotherhithe. This is a Grade II listed building dating from 1814, which was used as a police station from 1838.
Snowfields
Many of the people moving into the area were poor and insufficient housing led to problems of overcrowding and disease. In an effort to improve the situation, several Trusts built tenement blocks, for example the Guinness Trust Buildings in Snowsfields. These were, however, available to only a relatively small number of people.
The 19th century saw the expansion of other humanitarian activities; Arthur’s Mission in Snowsfields is an example.
South London Art Gallery
The South London Art Gallery grew out of the activities of the South London Working Men’s Institute, set up in 1868. Funded by private donations, it opened in 1891. Even before completion, it attracted 2,000 visitors on a single day. By 1896, the gallery had run into financial difficulties and responsibility for it was taken over by the Camberwell Vestry, the forerunner of Southwark Council.
South Street Terrace
George Choumert built South Street Terrace on Rye Lane in 1815 followed by Holly Grove (then George Street) between 1816 and 1822.
Southampton Way
Southampton Way was an early road, originally known as Rainbow Lane, which bypassed Camberwell to the northeast.
Southwark
‘Burgh’ or borough meant fortified place and Southwark was listed as a ‘burgh’ in 910 in the Anglo Saxon “Burghal Hideage”, a list of burghs measured by area. It is referred to as “Suðringa geweorch” at this time, meaning “the defence works of the people of Surrey”. By the time of the Domesday Book (1086) it was contracted to Sudwerca.
Southwark always lived in the shadow of The City of London across the river, and provided the support necessary to maintain the capital’s metropolitan way of life. As early as 1392, a proclamation gave butchers a place in Southwark to dump their refuse, and so the link with leather working as a by-product of the butchers’ trade can be made. The raw materials needed for tanning leather were also at hand: water from the tidal streams (notably the Neckinger stream), and oak bark from south London woods.
With the only bridge link over the river, Southwark was able to develop not only as a service centre for the City, but also as an alternative location for businesses that were not welcome in the City for whatever reason.
Other activities that would be offensive in the City were established around Southwark. It accommodated industries such as butchery and brewing, which spawned associated trades in commodities such as leather and hops; and it became particularly infamous for its entertainments.
The railway arrived in Southwark in 1836, challenging and quickly replacing the old coaching businesses. Its effects were far reaching, resulting in the loss of the inns as a physical and economic resource, and in the major impact of the viaducts on the townscape.
The urban form is characterised by very narrow streets hemmed in by tall building elevations and is a response to the practical and economic need to maximise building areas for the business of storing goods coming in off the ships. The streets themselves are reduced to minimal widths and warehouses were linked to one another with catwalks and bridges overhead.
Borough Market was relocated to available land here in 1756, the site was known as “the Triangle”. In 1866, the viaduct link between London Bridge and Cannon Street Stations was built, and the urban form was further complicated by the network of arches and structures that is now occupied by Borough Market. Elements remain of the earlier street character in 18th and early 19th century shops and houses in Park Street, Bedale Street and Stoney Street.
Southwark Bridge Road
Southwark Bridge Road consists of predominantly 19th century commercial buildings.
The 19th century saw changes to the area through the building of Southwark Bridge and Southwark Bridge Road in 1819. At the junction of Union Street and Southwark Bridge Road a triangular space, now Flat Iron Square was formed. The map appears to indicate trees planted within the centre of the space at this time.

The Charles Booths poverty map of London describes the eastern side of Southwark Bridge Road as ‘middle class’ and ‘well-to-do.’
The Public Library in Southwark Bridge Road was built in 1893

Southwark Cathedral
The Priory of St. Mary Overie was rebuilt in 1106, and again in the thirteenth century following a fire. The present tower was completed in 1520. On the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, the priory became the parish church of St. Saviour. The cloisters passed to the Montague family: hence Montague Close. Only in 1905 did it become the Cathedral of St. Saviour and St. Mary Overie, serving the new diocese of Southwark and preserving both its former names.
An early feature of the south bank of the Thames was the presence of large houses and palaces where influential people could live independently of the City, but with easy access by water. The prime example in the area was the Palace of the Bishops of Winchester who had their London residence at Winchester House on the riverside until 1626. The Clink prison was established to serve the Bishops’ court of justice, and in the Civil War the Palace itself was used as a Parliamentarian prison. Subsequently it was divided up for other uses, until a fire destroyed it in 1814: the ruin of its Great Hall and Rose Window in Clink Street is all that remains above ground. The inner court of the palace is the basis for Winchester Square. The Clink Prison building survived till 1780. The remains of Winchester Palace are a scheduled ancient monument.
Religious and political upheavals of the 16th and 17th centuries led to the demise of Winchester Palace as the Bishops’ residence, and its use turned over largely to warehousing for river based trade. In time, much of the area was redeveloped with purpose-built warehouses and, although limited in area, the small quarter of riverside warehousing around Clink Street retains characteristics of 19th century London dockland streets that are so typical of areas east of Borough.

Southwark Park Road
Ownership of land lying to the south of Southwark Park Road is known to have belonged to the Steavons/West Estate from the mid 18th century until as recent as 1960.
A map from 1851 confirms that at this time the local area remained largely undeveloped apart from Southwark Park Road (then Blue Anchor Road).
By 1896, Blue Anchor Road had been renamed Southwark Park Road and a tramway ran along its length connecting Bermondsey with Rotherhithe.
When the West family began developing this area for residential use during the 1860s, as the freeholders they leased much of the land to a Mr Drake, master builder. He was responsible for the construction of many of the surrounding streets.
Southwark Street
Southwark Street is of Victorian construction.
In 1862, some 400, mostly slum, properties were demolished to make way for Southwark Street, which cut through from London Bridge to Blackfriars Road. This was engineered by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, best known for his pioneering work on London’s sewerage. It was the first street to be developed by the Metropolitan Board of Works and was the first to have a common duct underneath to take gas, water and drain pipes, and telegraph wires.
Certain historic trades developed prominence, such as the hop trade, and there were many hop merchants’ warehouses in the area. In 1866 the Hop and Malt Exchange was built as one of the main developments on Southwark Street.
Late twentieth century developments have seen street trees planted, particularly along Southwark Street and at Gatehouse Square. London Plane trees in particular are a characteristic feature of major roads throughout central London and many mature specimens may date to the 1870s.
Spa Road
The names Abbey Street, Grange Walk and Spa Road give an indication of the earliest defining features of the area. Bermondsey Abbey was demolished shortly after its dissolution in the mid-16th century. The street pattern around it, however, retained key elements of its layout.
Bermondsey became known as a resort from the 16th century. In about 1780, Thomas Keyse developed an art gallery and pleasure garden around a spring near to what came to be known as Spa Road. It was a popular visiting place for people from the City of London and many social events and entertainments took place. New houses were built, including Bermondsey Square, of which only a 19th century fragment survives.
Stradella Road
Stradella Road is situated to the east of the Herne Hill Railway line.
The mix of continuous terraces and the semi-detached houses throughout the area have substantially remained unaltered since the original development, in the later 19th/ early 20th century. The rhythm of spaces set between the pairs of houses creating gaps to the sky and greenery beyond giving a sense of the semi–rural or original suburban character which was sought by the early designers.
The land in which Stradella Road is located was the grounds of a large house and estate. In 1838 the register of owners identified it as part of the 22 acre ‘garden, pleasure ground and paddock’ attached to Springfield House. Dewhirst’s map of 1842 shows this estate and grand house and also shows market gardens on attached lands immediately to the north of Half Moon Lane. The last resident of Springfield was the well known 19th century decorator, John G. Crace.
The semi-rural character of the area at that time is illustrated in the map of 1842. Remains of the woodlands and parkland trees are still evident in the mature trees located in the back gardens of houses throughout the area and the River Effra meandered through the fields diagonally across the land which was culverted subsequently.
The 1838 and 1860s list of owners indicates “Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift in Dulwich” (The College) as owners with individuals as direct leaseholders. The College was originally a beneficiary of Edward Alleyn, a Shakespearean actor who endowed his manor of Dulwich and other properties under Royal Charter in 1619. The charity was reorganised in 1857 to provide three public schools and later in 1882 the Charity Commission established the Estates Governors to administer the estate.
The railway lines and Herne Hill Station were completed before the residential and commercial developments in the area. Plaques on a number of railway viaduct arches in Giant Arches Road are dated 1866. Although railways aided the suburban development of London at the time they were also considered responsible for the decline of areas by encouraging those seeking larger houses on bigger plots to move further outward towards the countryside.
The housing development on Stradella Road was erected over a short period of time between 1894 and 1903. The site was formerly used as paddocks, with tennis courts to the south, and a coppice and grounds to Springfield House in the south of the estate.
Herne Hill Baptist Church and Church Hall was built in 1889 and 1904 – 06 by J. Williams Stevens. It was the first Free Church permitted on Dulwich College Estates land. There is evidence of the Baptists’ presence on the church site some years before its completion. The 1894 Ordnance Survey map indicates Herne Hill Tabernacle adjacent to Springfield House.
Sumner Road
Between 1845-7 the former St. Luke’s Church of England Primary School was built on Sumner Road. The yellow brick and stone Grade II listed school was built to provide education to Peckham’s expanding population.
Sunray Avenue
By the end of the 19th century the character of the area was changing rapidly. It was proving difficult to find tenants for large houses and their extensive grounds did not always prove attractive to potential developers. The pressure from builders was for higher density, smaller houses for the lower middle classes but this was being resisted by the Dulwich College estate governors, who were concerned to keep property values on the estate high.
Casino House was demolished in 1906 but no further progress was made on the redevelopment of the site until 1918 when one of the estate governors, the architect Edwin Hall, presented a scheme for a 45 acre development including the Sunray Avenue sites. It was hoped that government help might be available for this scheme, as it was aimed at “the poorer middle classes then in the Army or Navy”. In the event this proved to be over-optimistic and the governors were not in a position to finance the scheme by themselves. Local authorities, however, did have access to subsidies under the 1919 Housing, Town Planning, etc. Act to provide housing for the working classes and to fulfil Lloyd George’s promise to provide homes fit for heroes. In 1920 the borough council threatened the governors with compulsory purchase orders for large portions of their estate, on which they proposed to erect some 2000 small houses.
The governors were not in a strong position to resist and were compelled to accept a compromise, under which, if they agreed to lease the Casino House Estate to the council, “it would not be necessary to take any land in the centre of the estate”. Subsequently, the adjacent Sunray Avenue site was also leased to the council. The council, for their part, agreed to adopt Edwin Hall’s road layout and their design was similar to the governors’, with good quality housing under garden city principles but to a higher density.
The Sunray Estate is described in the Buildings of England – London 2: South as “one of the most celebrated products of the ‘Homes fit for Heroes’ campaign”. Its construction, between 1920 and 1922, was the result of a unique combination of direct labour and building guild principles, organised by the Office of Works under its director, Sir Frank Baines, who had trained with the visionary Arts and Crafts architect C.R.Ashbee.
It is a fine example of a smaller garden suburb development. It embodies the influence of Ebenezer Howard and the theories of Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin on the Garden City, which had first been put into practice at Letchworth from 1903 and developed at the Hampstead Garden Suburb, in the pre-1914 cottage estates built by the London County Council, and in the World War I estates for munitions workers at Eltham, which Baines also designed.
Sunray Gardens
By the early 19th century, Denmark Hill contained a number of large, detached houses.
One of these was Casino House on the south east side of Herne Hill, which formed part of the Dulwich College estate. This was a substantial, neo-classical villa erected in 1797 to the designs of the architect John Nash for Richard Shaw, who was Warren Hastings’ solicitor at the time of his impeachment. The property had extensive grounds stretching down the hill to the south east, which were laid out by the noted landscape gardener Humphrey Repton. The house was demolished in 1906 but the fish pond at the bottom of the grounds survives and now forms part of Sunray Gardens.
Sutherland Square
The earliest properties around Sutherland Square date from the beginning of the 19th century. These houses on the former pleasure gardens of Walworth pre-date the railway and are typically 3 storeys. The houses on Lorrimore Road are later and are in the form of terraces or linked blocked of 2 to 3 storeys. The terraces are contemporaneous with four storey blocks on Carter Street.
The construction of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway in the 1860s had a significant impact on the character of the western side of Walworth. The line crashed through Sutherland Square, truncating the remaining undeveloped fields, by dividing them in two. Easy access along the base of the viaduct unlocked land for redevelopment and for the first time in Walworth’s history larger scale manufacturing, transport, coal and construction yards became important feature of the area.
The heart of the area was extensively damaged in World War II. The St. Wilfred’s RC Church and the developments fronting onto Penrose Street and Eglington Court form part of the post war rebuilding.

Swan Street
Swan Street takes its name from the Swan, which was a large inn with a brewhouse attached. Swan Street was formed in part out of the inn yard.
The north side of Trinity Street between Swan Street and Globe Street is an integral part of Trinity Church Square and is still numbered 45-68 in the square.
Tabard Street
In 1815, Great Dover Street was built as a bypass to improve traffic congestion in Kent Street (later Tabard Street), which was at the time the main highway from London Bridge to Kent.

Tanner Street
At Bermondsey the leather industry was particularly strongly established, and its legacy can still be identified in the local street names, such as Morocco Street and Tanner street.
The Gardens
The Gardens is a neat square of houses around a central green space.
Pressure for development raised environmental concerns in Peckham, and the local government body, the Vestry, took steps to preserve important open spaces. They bought Peckham Rye Common in 1868 to safeguard it, and established Peckham Rye Park to its south in 1894.
Planned entirely as a residential development and completed in a relatively short space of time The Gardens is an example of 19th century speculative building growth. Its phased development relates to the land parcels occupied by the former market gardens.
During the first half of the 19th century grand houses, fronting onto Peckham Rye Common, were built from East Dulwich Road to what would become the northern access road into The Gardens and on the south side of Barry Road. Reflecting the status of their owners these early developments took plots of generous width and length and classically styled houses were set well back from the road.
The built edge to the Common that this development created was completed in the early 1870s with the construction of houses along the eastern boundary of a single land parcel that, over the course of the decade, would be developed as The Gardens.
The Gardens was constructed within a single lot between 1870-1880. The east and south sides of the square were completed between 1870 and 1875, and the west and north sides completed the development between 1875 and 1880. The houses were considered to be of a better class than most around Peckham.
Mirroring the houses facing Peckham Rye the initial development of the east side of The Gardens provided sizeable plots, but development gradually intensified until completion of the last phase, on the smallest plots on the north side backing onto Kelmore Grove.
It is evident that there were plans to connect the square westwards. The northern arm of The Gardens stops unsatisfactorily against the back fences of later development in Oakhurst Grove and a gap left to complete the southern arm in a similar way was filled in by a group of four houses at the same time. The solution provides more houses and higher densities, but lacks the elegance of the original concept.
Thorburn Square
Thorburn Square and its surroundings is characterised by narrow streets fronted by terraced houses of a strong unified character, with traditional Victorian detailing and small front gardens.
The streets in the area developed after the construction of the Bricklayer’s Arms Railway extension in the 1840s. The line once formed part of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.
Contemporary accounts relate to an explosion of construction covering the entire area as the remaining pasture and grassland finally disappeared under brick during the mid to late 1800s. The wider area had a distinct economy of docking, warehousing and food manufacture that placed great pressures on land use. A substantial portion of Bermondsey was devoted to economic activity. Peak Frean and Co. and other well-known provisioners, such as: Hartley, Lipton, Lazenby and Sarsons were all located in the vicinity. Engineering, timber and the traditional leather industry also flourished.
The West family began developing this area for residential use during the 1860s, and as the freeholders they leased much of the land to a Mr Drake, master builder. He was responsible for the construction of the original Thorburn Square.
By 1896 the area had been largely constructed, including the Queen Victoria Public House.
It is on the map of 1896 that Thorburn Square is first referred to. In the centre of the square stood St Anne’s Church, formerly the central feature to a set piece residential estate from the mid Victorian era. The area is often referred to as the last remaining part of ’Old Bermondsey’ (presumably referring to an intact wholly residential quarter). It is certainly the largest old residential area remaining in North Southwark and to date remains largely intact.
The church today stands in an entirely different relationship to the surrounding streets than that for which it was originally intended. St Anne’s had been designed and built in 1869/70 by the architect J Porter to sit on the east/west axis of Fort Road and as the focal point to Thorburn Square.
Actually, the church was built first, and then followed by the surrounding small-scale streets, and finally the buildings on Thorburn Square, providing the setting for the church as the final part of the development. This unusual pattern can be seen. The original buildings surrounding the square were large, three-storey semi detached villas of the 1860s, similar to those found today of Southwark Park Road, with a wealth of elaborate detailing in stucco and wrought iron.
Booming commercial activity left very little land for residential use that in consequence was intensively developed. This fact largely accounts for the present form of the surviving 19th century pattern of development around Thorburn Square.
Charles Booth’s poverty map of 1898-99 classes the majority of the terraced houses within the Thorburn Square Conservation area were classed as fairly comfortable. In contrast, the properties on Southwark Park Road and fronting onto Thorburn Square were classed as middle class, well-to-do.
The area immediately surrounding the conservation area would once have been high-density, tightly packed residential streets of a similar nature to the remaining section around Thorburn Square. After suffering greatly from bomb damage during the Second World War, the Thorburn Square Conservation Area is the only surviving section of mid Victorian housing which once typified North Bermondsey. The area surrounding this site including the railway tracks to the south has been intensely redeveloped. Also, many derelict industrial sites to the North have since been removed and the space in-filled with low-density modern housing estates. This leaves the area as a unique site, typical of the urban form that formerly covered most of this area of South London.
The post war maps of Thorburn Square indicate that some bomb damage had occurred, but this was largely in Reverdy Road and Alma Grove. However, the area around St. Anne’s Church; with the exception of the school, remained intact. As a result of post war slum clearance, the former Thorburn Square was replaced by a fashionably ‘brutal’ housing re-development of 1968 by Southwark Borough Council. The new 3 storey development enclosed St Anne’s from all sides and truncating views of the church and totally transforming its original setting. In the choice of design and materials and by the fact that it is now a wholly pedestrian precinct, Thorburn Square stands at odds both with the original planned layout of the area and its mid/late 19th century domestic architectural character.
Thrale Street
Thrale Street lies on the western edge of the Roman settlement of Southwark, which extended southwards from the riverbank at the site of the Old London Bridge. The extent of Roman Southwark has been established by the archaeological discovery of evidence for a series of: timber houses, roads and workshops as well as a 1st century timber warehouse.
During the Medieval period, much of the area was within the estate of the Bishops of Winchester. Ribbon development grew along the Thames and on radial routes to the south, such as Borough High Street, which had been established by the Romans.
However, much of the area remained as fields until the 17th century, when the Bankside area of north Southwark became the entertainment centre of London. This happened because, in 1574, the City of London sought to limit theatrical uses by licensing them, and this caused them to migrate south of the river beyond the City’s jurisdiction.
With the theatres came bull and bear baiting, inns and brothels. There were four theatres in the area, of which the Rose was the first, but perhaps the best known is the Globe, built in 1599.
In 1642, theatres were banned by the Puritans but, by then, the area had become a major centre for industry to service the expansion of London. Brett-James’ maps of 1660 and 1708 show dramatically the pace of urbanisation in the Thrale Street area. The first Anchor Brewery on the site was established in 1710 by James Child to serve his public house on Bankside, which is still called The Anchor. Ralph Thrale worked there, and eventually became the owner. His son Henry, an MP for Southwark, let the business go into debt and in 1781 it was sold to Barclays, who’s Russian Stout was marketed extensively across north and eastern Europe. By 1840, the Anchor Brewery had eclipsed its rivals, Truman’s and Whitbread’s. It was taken over by Courage in 1955 and finally closed in 1982.
Critical to the success of north Southwark’s industries was the improvement of its road connections. Blackfriars Bridge opened in 1769 and Sir John Rennie’s Southwark Bridge was completed in 1819. The latter was constructed of cast-iron arches on granite piers and, at 240 ft, the central span was the largest ever achieved in cast iron. It was eventually replaced in 1921.
Thrale Street was then known as Castle Street and ran northwest to southeast, intersecting with Redcross Street. The road is lined with buildings on either side, to the north are gardens or allotments and beyond these a Tenter Ground.
Stanford’s Map of 1862 depicts that the gardens and Tenter Ground to the north of Thrale Street (still known as Castle Street) have been replaced by the Anchor Brewery. Also in the 1860s, the railway was extended from London Bridge Station to Blackfriars and Charing Cross on arches. On the 1879 OS map, the eastern end of Castle Street has been removed to make way for the railway viaduct. Warehouses were found on the triangular piece of land between Castle Street and Southwark Street – the footprint of these buildings is still discernable today.
There is some change to the area on the 1896 OS map, although some buildings at the western end of Castle Street have been demolished and Southwark Square is no longer shown. The Charles Booths poverty map of London; two years later, describes the houses in Castle Street as being ‘fairly comfortable’ and occupied by people with ‘good ordinary earnings’.
Whilst the road layout to Southwark Square is shown on Booths map, the houses are not indicated nor were they surveyed. By the 1916 OS map Southwark Square has completely disappeared.
The post Second World War maps indicate that a number of nearby streets had been renamed: Castle Street had become Thrale Street, Winchester Street had become O’ Meara Street and Redcross Street, Redcross Way.
Buildings at the southern end of Thrale Street had suffered significant damage during the Second World War. Also the area to the north of Thrale Street had lost a number of buildings. During the 1960s and 1970s, new buildings sprung up.
In the 1980s the buildings of the Anchor Brewery site were replaced by housing.
Timberland Close
Late 20th century developments include Timberland Close on the former Hope Wharf.
The Timberland Close houses have introduced a palette of materials (cladding system walls and profiled sheet roof), which are in contrast to the neighbouring conservation area.
Tooley Street
The relationship of Tooley Street to the riverside and the dock area has always been strong, with Bermondsey as its natural hinterland. The area between Tooley Street and the river was already fully developed in the 16th century.
The history of Tooley Street is closely connected to the parish of St Olave. The Viking invasions of Eastern England in the ninth century had resulted in settlement of Danes in London, and the early 11th century saw a second wave of unrest with claims on the Anglo Saxon throne from the Kings of Norway and Denmark. In one of many raids along English river estuaries, the Norse King, Olaf, reached the City in 1014 destroying London Bridge and defeating Danish resistance.
Subsequently Olaf was honoured by the dedication of a Church to him near the site, St Olave’s, which became established as the parish name for the next nine hundred years. By the mid-16th century, the spoken name had become corrupted to “St. Towlles”, and it is recorded as such in Hogenberg’s map from the reign of Queen Mary (1553 to 1558). “Tooley” derives from this pronunciation.
Tooley Street itself was a key route from the river crossing at London Bridge eastwards to the inner dock area of the pool of London. The route was once called Battle Bridge and the area between it and river is already shown fully developed. The name Battle Bridge would be preserved in Battlebridge Lane, which now runs between Tooley Street and the river on the east side of the Hay’s Galleria.
By the 17th century the economic strength of the Tooley Street wharves was well established. This stretch of the River Thames was known as “London’s larder”, being the primary storage area for butter, cheese and, later, canned meat. Pickle Herring Street is a late surviving name that refers to one of these businesses. In 1651 Alexander Hay took over property which became known as Hay’s Dock. The business expanded steadily, and the company eventually owned many warehouses along the river.
It is evident that a street ran behind the warehouses from Shad Thames in the east to Pickle Herring Street serving the wharves, with a grid of access streets connecting back to Tooley Street. Bermondsey Street was also fully developed on its present alignment, with a grid pattern of streets on the South side of Tooley Street. The name St Olave’s Street was still in use east of the important Bermondsey street junction in 1748.
By the 19th century there were vast riverside developments, now controlled by John Humphery, with a great deal of the construction undertaken by William Cubitt. The Hay’s Wharf complex was built between 1851 and 1857, primarily for the storage of tea, around a wet dock. It was widely considered to be the best development of its kind in London at the time. The risk of fire in the wharves was always significant, and the new buildings were among the first to be designed with a deliberately fireproof construction, using incombustible floors of brick arches on cast iron beams.
Despite this, the buildings were badly damaged in the Great Fire of Tooley Street in 1861. A large area of wharves caught alight, and despite the efforts of the London Fire Engines Establishment, the fire lasted for two weeks and killed more people than the Great Fire of 1666. Subsequently the London Fire Brigade was established. Hay’s Wharf survived the fire, but Cotton’s Wharf next door was entirely destroyed. Apart from Hay’s Wharf, only 29 to 33 Tooley Street (dating from 1840) survived the fire.
The area was quickly rebuilt following the fire. W. Snook and H. Stock were the architects responsible for many of the new buildings until the late 1880s. Cotton’s Wharf was the most substantial, but only the south-east corner of the complex (47 and 49 Tooley Street) remains. Number 27 Tooley Street, with a fine a river frontage, was taken over by the London Bridge Hospital.
The River Thames was crowded with barges and ferries and congestion on the river and over London Bridge led to the building of two new crossings; the short-lived Tower Subway for pedestrians (1869) and Tower Bridge (1894). To the south of Tooley Street, the London and Greenwich Railway began construction of a viaduct to London Bridge Station in 1834 as part of the first rail lines to reach London. It was eventually taken over and fully completed with the addition of other lines by 1850 by the South Eastern Railway. The viaduct’s arches were used for warehousing bonded goods.
The building of the railway in the 19th century disrupted the existing street pattern, although many street links were retained through long tunnels under the viaduct and station. This has resulted in a very distinctive townscape of lonely brick vaults, with a somewhat dark and intimidating character, for which this part of London has become well known.
Despite the commercial success of the warehouse businesses, there were serious problems of poverty, overcrowding and poor sanitation amongst those living in the area. New tenement blocks were built at Devon Mansions in 1875 along the south side of Tooley Street as part of the solution. The establishment of London Bridge station and the engineering of the substantial viaduct approaches to it, and a continuing expansion of business premises, also contributed to the clearance of slum housing and a general reduction in the residential population in the area.
By 1928 St. Olave’s parish was too small to exist on its own, and was combined with St Mary Magdalene in Bermondsey. The historic church of St. Olave was demolished and its wrought iron altar placed in the south aisle of St Mary Magdalene. In 1965, by Act of Parliament, Bermondsey was joined with the Metropolitan Boroughs of Camberwell and Southwark to form the London Borough of Southwark.
From 1900 the economy of the area began a move from warehousing towards more general commerce, often related to shipping.
A number of warehouses were lost to bombing during the Second World War and others in the decades after to office redevelopment, such as the Cotton Centre on the site of the former wharf. In spite of this, the storing of tea, butter, cheese etc continued in the area until the 1970s. Then, with the change in the shipping industry to large container vessels, warehousing moved out of the area to the deeper water port at Tilbury Docks near the mouth of the Thames, leading to the loss of warehouse businesses and buildings in Tooley Street.
Another significant wartime casualty was the church of St John Horselydown (Nicholas Hawksmoor and John James 1727), destroyed by bombing along with many warehouses nearby. The churchyard had been made a public garden in 1882 providing a valuable amenity in an area deficient in open space. Nasmith House (London City Mission) was built on the foundations of the church in 1976.
The listing of buildings in the 1970s and 80s arrested the loss of the architectural heritage of the area, but it has retained much less of the true London docks character that exists, for example, east of Tower Bridge. Changes to residential and particularly to office uses, and the infilling and roofing of Hay’s Wharf have altered the area’s character hugely. These changes of use have helped to maintain a small part of its earlier fabric however.
The riverside in such a central location in London is increasingly becoming a focus of public and civic interest. In the 1980s and 90s, the river walk was developed as an important recreational amenity.
The early years of the 21st century have seen the completion of the headquarters of the Greater London Assembly on vacant land east of Hay’s Galleria.
Tower Bridge
In 1086 Bermondsey was part of a royal manor belonging to King William and consisted of a settlement and farmland. There was also a new church – St Saviours, around which Bermondsey Abbey was founded in 1082 by Aylwin Child. Bermondsey Abbey became one of the principal religious houses in the country during the middle ages and owned most of the land around it until King Henry VIII dissolved the abbey in 1538. During the Middle Ages, a part of the area was also owned by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. This area was called St John at Thames a name which eventually became corrupted to Shad Thames.
In 1597 Bermondsey was described in Gerarde’s Herbal as a country village. At this time the area that is now the Tower Bridge Conservation Area was mainly meadowland called Horselydown, which had been used as pasture for grazing animals during the Middle Ages (also known as Horsedowne or Horseydown). St Olaves Grammar School was founded in 1561. The school was originally situated at the west end of Tooley Street and its present buildings (now Lambeth College) were built in the 1890s.
16th century maps show that by that date the riverside had been built up as far as where Tower Bridge now stands. During the 17th century riverside wharves extended eastwards along this bank and around the mouth of the River Neckinger. Industries began to grow up in Bermondsey because of the proximity of available resources, and the demand for goods by the City of London across the river. Beer, for example, had been brewed in Bermondsey since the Middle Ages, if not before. Courage’s brewery was founded in 1787 and their Anchor Brewery was situated near to where Tower Bridge would be built. By the end of the 17th century both frontages of Shad Thames were developed.

During the 18th century the wharves and warehouses downstream of London Bridge flourished, when the intense congestion of the City’s Legal Quays forced a relaxation of their Elizabethan monopoly over imported goods. Despite the opening of the enclosed docks in the early 19th century, the further expansion of these wharves was assured by the rapidly increasing national prosperity and the growth of free trade. In this area, the dominant force for over 100 years was Butler’s Wharf Ltd., whose massive riverside range of warehouses was rebuilt from the 1870s. In the 1880s and 1890s the landward blocks were also rebuilt, generally to a height of 6 storeys, creating the densest warehousing in London, extending inland as far as Gainsford Street. The warehouses were linked at high level by iron gangways over the narrow streets, giving the area the distinctive, canyon-like character that still, to a notable extend prevails.
As well as the ancient crossing point at London Bridge, connections to the City relied on numerous ferry crossings. Access to the ferries was via river stairs. One remaining example is Horselydown Old Stairs below the southern abutment of Tower Bridge, and there were many others. Most of these public rights of way have now been closed for public safety.
Tower Bridge, at the location of the Horselydown ferry crossing, became the first bridge downstream of London Bridge when it opened in June 1894. Its mediaeval style was intended to reflect its importance as a new approach to the Tower of London on the north side of the river. Hydraulic power was used to raise the bridge: today electricity is used.
Together with the introduction in the 19th century of the railway into London Bridge Station the construction of Tower Bridge and its approach road created some significant realignment of streets. Although some links were retained below the viaducts of these two structures, they are perceived strongly as a barrier that cuts off the old dock area from its surroundings.
In the 1940s the Second World War left the scars of significant bombing in and around the docks, with the need for major rebuilding after the war. Many gaps remained, however, until the resurgent fortunes of docklands in the 1980s.
By the 1970s the docks’ original industrial purpose had more or less ceased, and many of the buildings began to fall into dereliction. Government regeneration programmes, through agencies such as the London Docklands Development Corporation, sought new uses and life for the area. Gradually the desirability of waterside locations as places to work and live was promoted: with its proximity to the City, spectacular riverside views, and characterful and spacious buildings, the riverside has become fashionable. Although many buildings have been lost to reconstruction through the 1980s and 90s, refurbishment and conversion of many of the warehouses for residential use has saved many, and the street character of the area has by and large been preserved. The surviving street names of the area give good indications as to the history of this part of Southwark.
Tower Bridge Road
In 1894 Tower Bridge was completed with a southern approach along the new Tower Bridge Road that ended at Tooley Street. Subsequently further demolitions were authorised so that Tower Bridge Road could be extended to join Bermondsey Street at its junction with Grange Road. The section of Tower Bridge Road was thus newly created and cut diagonally through Bermondsey Square, demolishing the east side. The other three sides remained until the latter half of the 20th century; now only the southwest corner of the original square stands.
The London and Greenwich Railway viaduct and Tower Bridge Road were major engineering projects imposed over the existing street pattern and they radically altered the way the area functions. Bermondsey Street had been the major north-south route through the area, and when the railway was constructed it remained as a key route from London Bridge routed via a vaulted tunnel. When Tower Bridge Road was constructed, it provided a broad, modern street preferable to Bermondsey Street as the main link and taking over from it in importance.
The new street paralleled Church Street, now Roper Lane to the east of the Sarsons’ works. It displaced tannery works south of Tanner Street, and created the opportunity for a new city thoroughfare with the fine commercial buildings that form the eastern part of the Conservation Area.
Trafalgar Avenue
Trafalgar Avenue is situated to the south of the Old Kent Road. It is comprised principally of groups of early to mid Victorian terraced houses, typically three to four storeys. The houses in the Trafalgar Avenue were part of the first phase of development in Peckham, which occurred in the early part of the 19th century in areas close to the Old Kent Road.
Along with the Lord Nelson Public House the buildings in the road form a cohesive group.
Trafalgar Road
The first significant development appears to have begun during the later years of, or immediately after the end of, the Napoleonic Wars, as the local street names suggest.
Trinity Church Square
Trinity Church Square was completed in entirety within a comparatively short period in the early 19th century. The focal point is the Henry Wood Hall, former Holy Trinity Church at the centre of Trinity Church Square.
Most of the ground lying between Borough High Street, Great Dover Street, Falmouth Road, and Harper Road belongs to the Corporation of Trinity House.
Trinity House is the lighthouse and pilotage authority for the coasts of England and Wales and has owned the estate to the present day. The Corporation originates from a guild of mariners in Deptford who were given a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1514 to defend the pilotage of the Thames and to make laws for “the relief, increase and augmentation of this our realm of England”.
With the exception of a few small parcels of land, the ground is the same as that conveyed to the Corporation in 1661 by Christopher Merrick. Merrick, a London Merchant, acquired the land from his father who had purchased it in 1605.
Merrick was a Younger Brother of the Corporation and bestowed his part of the estate so that it could be used “for relieving, comforting, easing and maintaining the poor and decayed seamen and mariners of this Kingdom, their wives, children and widows where most need is”.
In 1737 the Corporation gave permission to their tenant, Thomas Dunn, to grub up the trees from his “Garden Ground” and convert it into “Tenter Ground”. A plan of part of the Trinity House land, made when the remainder of Dunn’s lease was sold to Thomas Allsager in 1778, shows most of it unbuilt, and this was still the case on the 1798 edition of Horwood’s map.
The Estate of which the Trinity Church Square is a part, was begun in 1813 with the formation of Trinity Street (formerly Great Suffolk Street East).
In 1824, William Chadwick applied for a building lease from the Trinity House Corporation for the development of a square around Holy Trinity Church to include the triangle of land between Cole Street, Swan Street and Great Suffolk Street East (Trinity Street). The square was designed as a select development around Holy Trinity Church, which was completed and consecrated in 1824. This was the usual practice for builders at this time. Three houses in the Square, numbers 60-62, had already been built, with Chadwick continuing the design, with the last, south-west side completed in 1832. Chadwick himself was the first occupant of number 29, the largest property in the Square.
The area was developed by a number of speculative builders. The Corporation exercised control over the type, design, and siting of the buildings by requiring that plans and elevations be submitted to their surveyor for approval before work was begun. Several groups of shops were allowed, but few entirely non-residential buildings. Gradually, between the years 1820 and 1850, properties in Trinity Street and Trinity Square (later known as Trinity Church Square) were developed as the most prestigious domestic buildings on the estate. The development took about thirty years to complete with the groups of houses reflecting the changing fashion of the period resulting in a zone of elegant houses surrounded by less grand houses.
At the eastern end, numbers 25-47 (odd) between Globe Street and Great Dover Street, were built as numbers 1-12 Trinity Terrace by W H Humpleby between 1828 and 1830. Some of these houses have lost their stucco main cornices, and their basement windows are visible above pavement level. Numbers 15-23 (odd, formerly numbers 7-11 consecutive) at the western end of Trinity Street were built in stages between 1827 and 1833, by Thomas Cotsworth and have since been demolished. Planned entirely as a residential development and completed in a relatively short space of time between 1824 and 1832, Trinity Church Square is an example of 19th century speculative building growth. Its phased development relates to the land parcels occupied by the former market gardens.
The central feature of the layout was the austere design of Holy Trinity Church and the square around it. Designed by Francis Bedford, a distinguished South London church architect, and consecrated in 1824, its construction was authorised by an Act of Parliament under which St. Peter’s, Walworth, in Liverpool Grove, was also built (by Sir John Soane in 1823). The church suffered bomb damage during the Second World War, but continued as a place of worship until 1961. It was gutted by fire and rebuilt internally in 1973-5 as an orchestral rehearsal hall under the supervision of the engineer and acoustics expert Derek Sugden of Arup Associates. It is now known as the Henry Wood Hall.
The origins of the grade II listed statue in the centre of the garden are uncertain. The back of the statue is quite plain, as though it were made for a niche, and it also shows sign of repair. It is possible that it is one of a pair of statues representing Alfred the Great and Edward the Black Prince made for the garden of Carlton House by J.M.Rysbrack in 1735.
Carlton House was demolished in 1827 and Chadwick may have bought and repaired the statue. Another theory is that the figure is one of eight medieval statues from Westminster Hall, which disappeared while the architect, Sir John Soane, was clearing the north front in the 1820s. Chadwick may have acquired one of these statues through his connection with Soane at St. Peter’s, Walworth.
Trinity Street
The building was begun in 1813 with the formation of Trinity Street (formerly Great Suffolk Street East).
Trinity Street forms the northern boundary of the Trinity Church Square Conservation Area, and runs between Borough High Street and Great Dover Street.
Although occupied by well off professional families, by the 1850s the handsome houses in Trinity Church Square and Trinity Street were becoming a comparatively wealthy oasis amongst a sea of poverty. The Borough was becoming one of the most squalid and overcrowded areas in London. More commercial operations were being developed with warehouses being built by Chadwick in Cole Street and the Lazenby Pickle Factory (now offices), built in 1861 on land between Trinity and Merrick Squares.
Shaftesbury House in Trinity Street, between Merrick Square and Falmouth Road, was built in 1957 on the site of the Catholic Apostolic Church, which was originally erected in 1853.
In 2002 a barrier was erected across Trinity Street, preventing through traffic except for bicycles. This, together with road closures at the junctions of Great Dover Street with Trinity Street, Globe Street and Swan Street, has significantly improved the environmental quality of the area generally.
During the Second World War, The Borough suffered greatly through sustained bombing. Some parts of the Trinity House Estate were affected and some buildings had to be demolished. Some were completely restored, such as numbers 48-50 which were bombed in May 1941, but rebuilt to their original design in 1954. Holy Trinity Church was restored after the War with a new copper roof. Services ended in 1961 and it was deconsecrated in 1968. It was severely damaged by fire in 1973, after which it was restored by the Southwark Rehearsal Hall Trust and is now used by London orchestras, having been renamed Henry Wood Hall after the famous conductor.
Ulwin Street
Ulwin Street was built during the mid 19th century. Many houses in the street are Victorian villas.
Union Street
Union Street lies half a kilometre south of the River Thames and runs east-west and north-south through the area. The townscape of Union Street is a mix of predominantly 19th century commercial, industrial warehousing, social housing and ecclesiastical developments. The buildings in the conservation area are in general utilitarian, modest in scale and detailing.
The natural topography of north Southwark comprises a number of high sand and gravel islands or eyots, which existed along the riverside in the prehistoric period. Several of these islands have been located through archaeological investigations. One of these is in the area of the easternmost part of Union Street.
Prehistoric occupation of these islands is supported by archaeological investigations. Fieldwork in the Union Street area has so far revealed isolated prehistoric finds, but no definite evidence of settlement or associated activity.
It is thought that Roman occupation extended as far west as Southwark Bridge Road. After the Romans the area was abandoned and it is thought to have been used as market gardens.
The 17th century maps show buildings on the line of Borough High Street with gardens and orchards at the rear. Union Street was a significant east west route parallel to the river, whilst Redcross Way (Red Cross Street) was the main north south route through the area.
18th century maps show pedestrian links between Red Cross Street and Borough High Street but Union Street was not established. St Saviours burial ground was one of many unconsecrated burial grounds in the wider area on the corner of Redcross Way and Union Street.
The eastern end of Union Street was opened in 1781 following the passing of an Act of Parliament. Queen Street and its continuation Duke Street were renamed as Union Street in 1813.
The construction of the South Eastern Railway between London Bridge and Charring Cross in early 1860s represented a second major interruption to the urban fabric.
The St. Saviour’s Parochial and National Schools was built on Union Street in 1908.
Valentine Place
Valentine Place is a small compact area west of Blackfriars Road
During the Middle Ages Southwark formed the bridgehead of London Bridge, which remained the only bridge across the Thames until the mid 18th century. Southwark was the only major settlement on the southern side of the river at this time.
Until the post-medieval period, the area to the south and west of the Thames; previously known as Southwark Fields, became known as St. George’s Fields. Before being built over, the fields served a variety of purposes including: hunting for wild fowl (which gave rise to the “Dog and Duck” pleasure gardens and later spa), recreation, and as training ground for the militia. The conservation area lay in the manor of Paris Gardens, which was a well defined area from the early medieval period. Paris Gardens appears to stem from a hide of land called Withiflete held by Bermondsey Abbey.
Westminster and Blackfriars Bridges were built in 1739-50 and 1760-9 respectively. These new crossing points encouraged the development of land to the south of the River. John Rocque’s map of 1766 shows the mid 18th century road layout. This road network, which is largely still evident today, included New Kent Road, St George’s Road, Walworth Road, Newington Butts and Newington Causeway. Acts of Parliament were passed in 1719, 1751 and 1769 regarding the layout of the footpaths and roads across St. George’s Fields. This resulted in Robert Mylne (surveyor to the Blackfriars Bridge Committee) laying out the area in a Parisian manner.
On John Rocque’s map of 1766, Valentine Place is still indicated as open fields; however a road along the present line of Webber Street is evident.
Richard Horwood’s map of 1792-1799 shows that within the Valentine Place Conservation Area, terraces of small houses had been built. These provided homes for the workers where a need had arisen due to new industries. These would have been classed as fourth rate houses under the 1774 London Building Act.
Pontypool Row was also lined with small terraced houses and located on the site occupied today by Nos. 17-35 Valentine Place.
On the site of No. 35 Valentine Place, a narrow street (Angel Place) diagonally linked Valentine Row and Valentine Place, had been built with small terraced houses. The fourth rate houses along Blackfriars Road (just outside of the conservation area) had been replaced with larger second rate houses as the area developed. By 1896 larger industrial buildings were noted on Valentine Place, the small terraced houses still prevail particular along Boundary Row. 1 Valentine Place (now demolished) had been built for a food dealer; the building constructed in 1882 replaced an earlier premise on the site.
Between 1896 and 1916 there was a period of significant change. The terraced houses were cleared away and large industrial buildings; workshops and warehouses built, particularly along Valentine Place, the eastern side of Pontypool Place and Boundary Row. Industries indicated on maps were a confectionary factory (Pascalls) on the north side of Valentine Place and cooperage nearby. The terraced houses forming Angel Place had been replaced with industry. Two public houses had also been built, one on the corner of Webber Street and Valentine Place and the other the Crown Public House on Blackfriars Road. 21 Webber Street was constructed about.1910 for the Maltina Bakery Company on the corner of Webber Street and Valentine Place.
Valentine Row
Valentine Row runs diagonally south-west through the Valentine Place conservation area.
Walcorde Avenue
By 1873, terraces were lining Walcorde Avenue, then called York Buildings. The street was renamed before 1896. Street trees were planted. Many early photographs show young trees and also mature survivors of the rural past.
Walworth
The earliest archaeological evidence from the vicinity are the remains of flint tool production dating from the Neolithic period.
The village of Walworth was listed in the Domesday Book (c.1086) as comprising of: a manor house, a church and 19 houses. This church is most likely to have been old St. Mary’s Church, located at the northern end of Newington Butts. This indicates a medieval settlement and the manor of Walworth was located in the Parish of St. Mary, Newington.
During the Middle Ages Southwark formed the bridgehead of London Bridge, which remained the only bridge across the Thames until the mid 18th century. Walworth was one of a number of outlying villages.
Old maps provide an understanding of the development of Walworth from the mid 18th century onwards. The Plan of the Manor of Walworth, produced on behalf of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury in 1681 indicates the extent of Walworth at this time and the importance of the Elephant and Castle area as a key junction. It shows that the land which now comprises the conservation area would have been fields at this time
During the Middle Ages the area surrounding Walworth was generally flat marshy land. Until the post-medieval period, the area to the south and west of the Thames; previously known as Southwark Fields, became known as St. George’s Fields. Before being built over, the fields served a variety of purposes including: hunting for wild fowl (which gave rise to the “Dog and Duck” pleasure gardens and later spa), recreation, and as training ground for the militia.
Civil war fortifications, forming part of the chain of defences erected around London during the Civic War in 1642, were also located in the vicinity.
The ‘‘Plan of the Manor of Walworth’, produced on behalf of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury in 1681 shows the extent of the manor of Walworth at this time. It indicates the importance of the Elephant and Castle area as a key junction. The extract from Thomas Moore’s map of 1662 indicates development hugging the banks of the River Thames. The settlements of Southwark, Lambeth and Vauxhall are indicated. Both these maps indicate that the surrounding land was a network of fields at the end of the 17th century.
Westminster and Blackfriars Bridges were built in 1739-50 and 1760-9 respectively. These new crossing points encouraged the development of land to the south of the River.
John Rocque’s map of 1766 shows the mid 18th century road layout. This road network, which is largely still evident today, included New Kent Road, St George’s Road, Walworth Road, Newington Butts and Newington Causeway.
At the end of the 18th century Walworth and the area around Elephant and Castle was changing from a country village to; at that time, a high-class suburb of London.
Draining of land in the early 19th century brought about an intensification of building, principally for residential use.
The new bridges and improved road networks made it easier for professionals to live out of London; in places like Walworth, and commute daily by carriage or coach into the City or Westminster. The development of West Square with impressive Georgian houses provides a surviving example of this early growth.
Walworth New Town is noted on the 1830 map. This shows the development of individual fields or parts of fields for housing, rather than wholesale change.
By the 1850s, by horse-drawn buses had appeared.
During the latter half of the 19th century Walworth’s population increased, partly as a result of displacement of the burgeoning population form the city centre through the development of factories, houses and railways. The railway arrived at Elephant and Castle in 1862. Development was intensified to accommodate the growing population and the character of the area changed from a high-class residential suburb to a crowded part of the inner city. At this time house types changed from the more spacious Georgian villas to taller blocks of flats, to accommodate high numbers of people in small spaces.
Walworth Manor House
The Pullens Estate is positioned to the north of the site of Walworth Manor House, thought to be located in the vicinity of Manor Place.
The manor house was part of the medieval village of Walworth, mentioned in the Domesday Book, which comprised the manor house, church and 19 households. No archaeological evidence of the village has been uncovered, but a map of 1681 probably represents the original location of the Saxo-Norman settlement, which straddled the present Walworth Road some 600m to the south-east of the Pullens Estate.
Walworth Road
The Walworth Road lies between to two higher gravel sites that cut through the low-lying marshes on the south side of the River Thames.
Walworth is of Saxon origin and means ‘farm of serf or Britons or where such worked’. It was first listed in the Domesday Book (c.1086) as comprising: a manor house, church and 19 houses. This church is most likely to have been old St. Mary’s Church, located at the northern end of Newington Butts. Walworth was at that time one of a number of villages lying outside the city.
The ‘Plan of the Manor of Walworth’ produced on behalf of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury (c.1681) indicates that Walworth comprised largely of fields, with a small hamlet at its core. The hamlet was centred at a crossroads with a north/south road (then known as Walworth Street) running from the city down to Camberwell. Running east/ west to the common fields were East Lane (East Street) and West Lane (Penrose Street). Also indicated are a number of lanes and field boundaries along the line of roads found in Walworth today: Westmoreland Road, Manor Place, Browning Street, Penton Place and Peacock Street. West Lane connected the Manor House and Lattam-mor ‘Lorrimore’ Common to the centre of the hamlet.
In John Rocque’s map (c.1745) Walworth comprised a Manor House with 22 settlements clustered around the village centre. Orchards, market gardens and ponds are indicated amongst the open fields. A large open area ‘Lock Field’ is noted to the east of the Walworth Road. The only other development apparent; is down at the southern end where Walworth Bridge and Camberwell Mill are also depicted, surrounded by market gardens.
Little had changed by the time of Thomas Milne survey in 1800. He produced a colour-coded land use map of London and Walworth formed part of this work. Milne’s map denotes that the majority of the land was still being used either for arable, pasture or market gardens and impacted upon by the urban expansion seen elsewhere in London.
The Toll Gate (on the site of the Red Lion Public House) defined the edge of Walworth around 1800, although the parish boundary ran along the southern edge of Walworth Common.
The character of Walworth began to change with the construction of additional bridges (Westminster and Blackfriars) over the River Thames during the mid-18th century and the draining of the land from the late 18th century. Together these changes brought about an intensification of building principally for residential use within Walworth. Another contributing factor being that parcels of land began to be leased for development. In 1774, Henry Penton, the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury and Thomas Brandon, obtained permission by Act of Parliament to let their land on 99 year building leases. A requirement of the ‘Act’ was that the houses were built of brick rather than timber. Following the old field boundaries, terraced houses began to line the Walworth Road.
A map by Horwood (c.1799) marks the plots of the first residential Georgian terraces that spread along the Walworth Road on land owned and leased by Henry Penton to others for building. One of the earliest areas of development occurred at the village centre, around East Street and on the eastern side of the Walworth Road. Here during the 1780s buildings were first laid out in narrow plots. Mr Keen, a local landowner, built a terrace of seven houses on the Walworth Road south of the junction with West Lane known as Keen’s Row.
Upon completion each group of buildings was given a name, sometimes that of the landowner or after important local figures, Crosby or Beckford, both having been London Mayors. These names survived until the mid-19th century, when the Walworth Road was re-numbered.
The second pattern of development came in the form of larger terraces such as Walworth Terrace, These grander houses were constructed in groups of terraced villas set back from the road with long gardens, also on land owned by Penton. They were typically of 4 to 5 storeys in height, with basements and raised ground floors.
Greenwood’s map (c.1830) charts changes to the area which had occurred by the beginning of the 19th century. In 1825, St. Peter’s Church by Sir John Soane had been erected on the former Walworth Fields, to meet the needs of the rising population. By 1830 both sides of the Walworth Road had been lined by continuous development. The map indicates that the prevailing pattern of growth was on the basis of construction on individual fields or parts of fields for housing, rather than wholesale redevelopment.
On the western side open land still existed immediately behind the terraces, occupied by the: Montpelier Gardens, Beehive Tea Gardens and Royal Surrey Zoological Gardens.
During the first half of the 19th century Walworth became a leisure destination, with trams and carriages bringing visitors to the Walworth Road on their way to these attractions. On the eastern side the development behind the terraces was interrupted by the three remaining fields: Walworth New Town, Walworth Fields and Walworth Common, although the size of these had been reduced due to encroachment by housing.
A comparison of Greenwood’s map and Daine’s ‘Survey of the Parish of St. Mary and St. Peter’ (c.1840) shows that a decade later some of the 18th century housing along the Walworth Road had begun to be converted into commercial uses at ground floor level.
This period also signified the rise of the chain store, with London based stores arriving in Walworth. Some of the shops that occupied the Walworth Road were founded at this time, such as Schwar & Co. (1838) and Baldwin & Son (1844). The public houses had also begun to be rebuilt in the late Georgian/ early Victorian style in order to accommodate the visitors to the gardens and at important transport interchanges.
These public houses were clustered around crossroads and stopping points, or at ends of terraces. The additional bridges which had been constructed across the River Thames and the associated new road system now allowed wealthy Londoners to reside in the former villages outlying the city. Like other areas south of the River Thames, the improved links to the city initiated Walworth’s change from first a rural village, then from a wealthy to poorer London suburb.
Maps drawn after 1840 show how development intensified in Walworth, as houses were built in private gardens to the rear. From 1857 the remainder of Walworth Common began to be developed.
A series of streets, lined with terraced houses, running parallel to both the Walworth Road and Albany Road were constructed. As demand increased, with the many new and poorer tenants that moved into Walworth, the quality of the housing began to decline.
The construction of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway in the 1860s had a significant impact on the character of the western side of Walworth. This led to the redevelopment of buildings at the southern end of the Walworth Road, to make way for Walworth Road Station which opened in 1862.
Weller’s map which followed the arrival of the railway; indicates that by 1868 the only significant area of undeveloped land was the Surrey Zoological Gardens. By now the two largest singular houses within the conservation area, Walworth House and Manor House were no longer in residential use. Walworth House had become a police station and Manor House demolished after becoming first a public house.
In the later 19th century the area consisted of closely packed with streets of working class houses and shops over former front gardens. This was in direct contrast to the more formally laid out streets to the east and west. To the rear, as leases issued after the 1774 Act came to an end, the gardens of the former Georgian terraces were amalgamated and sold for re-development usually as industrial/ manufacturing buildings or builder’s yard. The streets immediately north and south of Westmoreland Road became particularly crowded. Off the Walworth Road, small scale back land factories were accessed either via historic lanes or the newly constructed access roads.
Along the Walworth Road, the changes to the pattern of development within Walworth coincided with modifications in the model of occupation within the residential accommodation above the shops. The large Georgian houses still being used as residential properties could only now be found at the northern and southernmost ends of the conservation area. The remainder of the large Georgian houses towards the centre of the conservation area had been converted to retail, with the top floor let out to staff or tenants. This change during the 1860-80s occurred as the London based retail chains began arriving on the Walworth Road. Their employees did not necessarily want to live above the shop and so the housing gradually became rented out to other working families. By 1893, a number of single shops had been combined to make larger stores.
The library on Walworth Road was constructed by 1896, immediately adjacent to the town hall. This was opened in 1893 after a public campaign was run convincing ratepayers of Newington’s need for a library.
Where Georgian terraces still survived such as or earlier houses were located in the centre of terraces by the later 19th century these properties had become locked in by industrial development to the rear. Their remaining gardens and yards now completely inaccessible from the back. With the retail units on the Walworth Road in constant use, wholesale redevelopment of these buildings was prevented. In contrast at the end of these terraces, where access was still possible, the buildings were rebuilt during the last decades of the 19th century.
Tenement blocks replaced the smaller scale Georgian housing. At four storeys these blocks were often a storey higher than their Georgian neighbours. For the first time the retail units were purpose built and therefore flush with the upper floors. Separate access to the upper floors was incorporated into the shop front. These blocks were in the popular Gothic Revival style with Ruskin inspired polychromatic brickwork and stone detailing. At this time local banks arrived on the Walworth Road, for example Barclays Bank (c. 1888). These banks were located on prominent corner positions, where it was possible to construct new purpose built buildings.
By 1900 The Metropolitan Borough of Southwark had been formed, with Walworth at its heart. The gentile Georgian residential neighbourhood with its pleasure gardens had been replaced with tightly packed streets, filled with factories, warehouses and crowded houses. During the previous century the middle classes had moved out and been replaced by the working class or poor. The first decade of the 20th century, witnessed large scale redevelopment of the Georgian housing, south of Liverpool Grove. Entire blocks were cleared away and the present buildings constructed in Edwardian Renaissance ‘Freestyle’ or a neo-Luytens style. Other notable Edwardian developments include, Mark and Spencer which was opened on the Walworth Road in 1913, the single storey NatWest building (c. 1918) and the former Carter Street Police Station (c. 1910). The bank and police station are purpose built buildings in the ‘Free Classical’ style.
There are a number of other notable interwar buildings. The former Kennedy’s Sausages (305 Walworth Road) is a single storey building, which retains an Art Deco stain glass sunburst design (c. 1923). The building was listed Grade II in 2008, because of its surviving interior and shop front. The shop is one of the earliest branches of a small chain of South London butchers, although now converted to a pizzeria. Another notable interwar building is the Red Lion Public House, constructed circa 1930 in an Art Deco style, designed by the Truman Brewery in house architect A.E. Sewell.
In recent years there has been a steady decline in the number of pubs to be found in the area. On the Walworth Road the public houses have been turned into either betting shops (The Horse and Groom and King’s Head) or retail units (Temple Bar and Prince Alfred).

Wansey Street
Walworth Town Hall was on the corner of Wansey Street and Walworth Road. This was originally built as the Vestry Hall of the local government parish of St. Mary Newington and was officially opened in 1865. The building was further extended along Wansey Street in 1900 to form a town hall, and a public library was added on Walworth Road in 1893. The civic group was completed in 1906, with the construction of the Cuming Museum and all the buildings are Grade II listed.

In 1900 the Metropolitan Borough of Southwark was formed by the amalgamation of four old parishes: Newington, St. Saviour’s (Southwark Cathedral), St. George the Martyr and Christchurch (Blackfriars Road). Newington Vestry Hall then became Southwark Town Hall.
Four terraces on the southern side of Wansey Street were damaged beyond repair by Second World War bombing.
Webber Street
Both tinplate and japanware were manufactured in Webber Street at the turn of the nineteenth century and likely that the houses already built were associated with this industry.
Charles Booth’s poverty map of 1898-99 classes Webber Street and Boundary Row as mixed, some comfortable, others poor. Valentine Row, Valentine Place and Angel Place are classed as poor. These poorly built slums were typical of the area at that time. In contrast the buildings fronting onto Blackfriars Road were classed as middle class, wellto-do. These larger houses had been built at the end of the 18th century and early 19th century, with the development of Blackfriars Road and the other main roads in St. George’s Fields.
Welsford Street
Welsford Street is one of the roads running out of Thorburn Square.
Welsh Congregational Church
(Near Union Street) The Welsh Congregational Church was built in 1872
West Square
West Square at the heart of the conservation area named after it is one of the earliest surviving Georgian Squares in south London.
In the Roman period, development was concentrated around the only river crossing, now London Bridge, to the northeast. Apart from Roman roads leading southwards, the area comprised generally flat marshy land and was located away from the line of the roads, which broadly follow modern Newington Causeway, Newington Butts and Kennington Park Road.
Until the post-medieval period, the surrounding area to the south and west of the Thames, previously known as Southwark Fields, became known as St. George’s Fields. Before being built over, the fields served a variety of purposes including hunting for wild fowl (which gave rise to the “Dog and Duck” pleasure gardens and later spa), recreation and as training ground for the militia.
Civil war fortifications, forming part of the chain of defences erected around London during the Civic War in 1642, were also located in the vicinity. It is most likely that an artillery fort was located on the site of the ‘Dog and Duck’, now the location of the Imperial War Museum, with the defensive line running east to a fortification at the south end of the Newington Causeway and west to Lambeth Palace.
The ‘Plan of the Manor of Walworth’, produced on behalf of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury in 1681 shows the extent of the manor of Walworth at this time. It indicates the importance of the Elephant and Castle area as a key junction. The extract from Thomas Moore’s map of 1662 indicates development hugging the banks of the River Thames. The settlements of Southwark, Lambeth and Vauxhall are indicated. Both these maps indicate that the land which now comprises West Square was a network of fields at the end of the 17th century.
Westminster and Blackfriars Bridges were built in 1739-50 and 1760-9 respectively. These new crossing points encouraged the development of land to the south of the River. John Rocque’s map of 1766 shows the mid 18th century road layout. This road network, which is largely still evident today, includes: New Kent Road, St George’s Road, Walworth Road, Newington Butts and Newington Causeway.
By 1791 the West family had granted building leases to Thomas Kendall and James Hedger, and, by 1794 three sides of West Square had been completed, with the south side being added in 1800-1810.
Improvements in transport such as the new trams and trains made a mark on the development in the area as the suburbs became more accessible from the city. Between 1825-35 there was significant change nearby, including the straightening of Lambeth Road and St George’s Road, resulting in the loss of a number of older streets.
The Borough to Denmark Hill map of c.1830 shows how the street network was developing.
West Square and the southern side of St. George’s Road (Prospect Place) had been developed by this time. On the northern side of St. George’s Road a chapel building is identified. The area now known as the “Albert Triangle” is indicated as land belonging to the Philanthropic Society. The map also shows that the land to the north of Lambeth Road; leading up to Westminster Bridge Road, had not yet been developed and remained open land until the 1840s.
Laurie Terrace (now 105-147 (odd) St. George’s Road and Barkham Terrace, Lambeth Road) were built in 1842, the latter with the Union Baptist Chapel at its centre. The chapel and the western half of the terrace no longer exist, having been replaced by the private Gainsborough Nursing Home after World War II.
Between 1841 and 1849 St. George’s Roman Catholic Cathedral was built in St. George’s Road, to the north of the Bethlehem Hospital. The cathedral was designed by A.W.Pugin. and built to replace a smaller church in London Road, and to provide a larger place of worship for the many Irish labourers and their families who continued to flood into London to work on the railways and new buildings constructed around the capital.
From 1849 the terraces comprising ‘The Albert Triangle’ were built on the site of the earlier Philanthropic Society building which occupied this site from 1792. The Philanthropic Society was founded to provide for the children of criminals, to teach them a trade and make them useful citizens. In 1848 they decided to relocate to Redhill and most of the land they owned was sold off as small building plots. Other parts of this site were leased and later sold to the School for the Indigent Blind, and the Notre Dame School. Historical maps indicate that between 1879 and 1896 the streets in the Albert Triangle were renamed, by the Metropolitan Board of Works. Colnbrook Street, originally known as Richmond Street (named after the Duke of Richmond). Albert Street (named after the Prince Consort) was partly renamed Gladstone Street, a section of which already existed east St. George’s Road.
In the late 19th century Charles Booth undertook a scientific social survey of London life. The poverty map of 1898-99 classes the majority of the area as fairly comfortable with good ordinary earnings. The eastern side of West Square and northern side of St. George’s Road were classed as middle class, well-to-do.
With much of post-war development street trees have been planted, including around West Square, along St. George’s Street, Lambeth Road, Westminster Bridge Road and London Road. London Plane trees in particular are a characteristic feature of major roads throughout central London and many mature specimens may date to the 1870s. )
Westmoreland Road
In 1904, around St. Peter’s Church, Octavia Hill and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England had first begun to develop a large estate. Walworth’s slum housing was demolished and slowly replaced with cottages and blocks of flats. Following the Great War, the small terraced houses lining the streets between Westmoreland Road and Merrow Street were cleared away by the Church Commissioners and Church Army for new municipal housing projects. In 1925 the Church Army constructed on Arnside Street, residential blocks of two storeys with shared gardens and courtyards. In a comparable Arts and Craft inspired vernacular style, the Church Commissioners built three storey blocks set around communal courtyards, nearby on Horsley Street and Queens Row.
Since the Second World War, shops and street markets along the Walworth Road, Camberwell Road, East Street and Westmoreland Road have gone into decline, due to the growth of supermarkets in the area. Whilst East Street has remained a focus point for street traders, the once vibrant market on Westmoreland Road has now disappeared.
Weston Street
By the time of Hogg’s map in 1784, most of the area had been developed, and key streets like Snowsfields and Crucifix Lane were established. The construction of the railway viaduct into London Bridge Station began in 1834 and continued into the 1840s as more railway companies serving the south-east added lines. The arched construction allowed most of the old streets to remain linked north-to-south, but the lengths of the tunnels that were created effectively divorce the two ends.
The 19th century housing was replaced, initially by charitable housing such as the Guinness Trust Buildings in the 1890s and later by local authority housing.
Willow Walk
The Pages Walk Conservation Area is situated between Willow Walk and the Old Kent Road and is comprised of a row of dwellings built in the mid-19th century. The small two storey stock brick terraced houses have paired entrances. The original flat parapets have been rebuilt in a butterfly form. The conservation area has a strong unified character due to the houses having been constructed simultaneously by the same developer.
There was a tannery on the eastern corner of Swan Street (now the southern end of Pages Walk) and Willow Walk, this having been converted into stables by the 1860s.
Willowbrook Road
Willowbrook House is the former canal manager’s house and was erected in the 1840s and now home to the Willowbrook Centre. To the south of Willowbrook Road, a map from 1896 indicates that the new houses on the western side had 30 metre gardens backing on the canal towpath.
Wilson Grove
The Wilson Grove Conservation Area lies between River Thames and Jamaica Road. The conservation area is characterised by 1920s low rise terraced cottages fronting on to Wilson Grove, Emba Street and Janeway Street. The cottages were originally built by the former Bermondsey Borough Council as municipal housing in the “garden village form”, inspired by the work of Dr Alfred Salter a local pioneering doctor. The cottages display a mixture of neo-Georgian and vernacular features and are set back from the street with small front gardens and larger gardens to the rear.
Winterbrook Road
Winterbrook Road was created in 1896.
The historical land use pattern is evident in the 1875 Ordnance Survey Map of most of the area. Prior to development, the local area was sold in lots. These lots were then developed to create Stradella Road and Winterbrook Road.
The housing development on Winterbrook Road was erected over a short period of time until completion in 1903. The site was formerly used as paddocks, with tennis courts to the south, and a coppice and grounds to Springfield House in the south of the estate.



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