Posts Tagged ‘house’

The Raven, Villas, Mansion Flats & A Bridge

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024

The Raven, Villas, Mansion Flats & A Bridge continues my walk on Friday 4th August 1989 in Battersea which began with the previous post, Council flats, Piles of Bricks, A House Hospital and Brasserie.

The Raven, pub, Battersea Church St, Westbridge Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-56
The Raven, pub, Battersea Church St, Westbridge Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-56

Also at the edge of Battersea Square, on the corner of Battersea Church Street and Westbridge Road is The Raven pub, probably the most significant building in the area, built here in the mid seventeenth century and open as the Black Raven in 1701. Grade II listed it has had various alterations since then but is the only remaining pre-Victorian building in the area. Its value was recognised by a very early listing made in 1954, although it had been extenisvely rebuilt in 1891

Unfortunately this is no longer a pub, but Melanzana, a independent ‘bar-trattoria-deli‘ which according to Camra no longer serving any real beer. You can drink Peroni or wine with your pizza or pasta. I don’t think its interior retains anything of historic interest.

Skips, House, 26, Westbridge Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-41
Skips, House, 26, Westbridge Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-41

Another image about gentrification. I’d walked back east along Westbridge Road towards Battersea Bridge Road. I think this house was being converted into four flats. This was a significant area of early middle class development in the area in the 1840s with villas with long rear gardens in contrast to the much more downmarket development of what was rapidly becoming an industrial area.

House, 4, Westbridge Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-44
House, 4, Westbridge Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-44

This and its neighbour at 2 Westbridge Road are a pair of Grade II listed Gothic villas dating from 1845, just a few yards from the junction with Battersea Bridge Road. They are included in the Westbridge Road Conservation Area, much of which was developed by 1865. The appraisal describes them as “napped flint faced Gothic villas, quite unique in the district” and gives a further description of them along with a photograph from across the street taken in winter.

In August when I made my picture the houses were largely hidden by the leaves on the trees in their garden. But my view through the open gate does show the statue in the niche at the top of the building more clearly. The pair of houses also have an unusual front wall and gates.

Cranbourne Court, 113-115, Albert Bridge Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-45
Cranbourne Court, 113-115, Albert Bridge Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-45

A number of blocks of mansion flats were built in the 1890s on the edges of Battersea Park along Prince of Wales Drive and Albert Bridge Road, their position with views across of the park making them attractive to wealthier middle-class tenants who needed to live close to the West End. Chelsea was too expensive but this area was only just south of the river and not really in those dangerous areas where posher Londoners (and taxi drivers) feared to go. Apparently adverts for some of the new blocks gave their address as Chelsea Reach, Battersea – estate agents today are still often rather inventive in their descriptions of locations.

According to the Survey of London, almost 1,000 apartments were built here between 1892 and 1902.

The development here was suggested by architect and property speculator John Halley, who had moved south to London from Glasgow in the 1880s and had already put up blocks in Kensington. His plans were too dour for London, resembling Glasgow’s tenements, and he teamed up with another architect William Isaac Chambers who pimped them up for London tastes, though other architects made changes too as The Survey of London article recounts.

Cranbourne Court was one of the last blocks to be built, with Halley again involved along with one of his earlier co-developers, Captain Juba Page Kennerley, “a colourful character who had dabbled in a variety of dubious money-making schemes” and who was “indicted for theft and declared bankrupt” in the early 1890s. An undischarged bankrupt, he had set up a building company under an alias ‘Cranbourne & Cranbourne’ who built this block in 1895.

Albert Bridge, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-31
Albert Bridge, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-31

Albert Bridge is a curious mixture, built as a modified cable-stayed bridge using the system patented by Rowland Mason Ordish and William Henry Le Feuvre in 1858. This made use of a normal parabolic cable to support the central span of the bridge but used inclined stays attached to the bridge deck and connected to the octagonal support columns by wire ropes to support the two ends of the load. Ordish’s designs, made in 1864, were only built in 1870-3.

River Thames, Albert Bridge, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-35
River Thames, Albert Bridge, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-35

When the Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan Board of Works Sir Joseph Bazalgette inspected in the bridge in 1884 he found corrosion of the staying rods had made the bridge unsafe and he added steel chains and a new timber deck.

In 1972 the bridge was again found to be unsafe, and the LCC added two concrete piers to support it in mid-river, turning the central section into a beam bridge, though the earlier cables and stays remain in place.

This was one of London’s earlier wobbly bridges (along with Battersea Bridge) and because of its closeness to Chelsea barracks a notice was attached to this “Albert Bridge Notice. All troops must break step when marching over this bridge.” It was feared that troops marching in unison could set up a resonance such as that which had been blamed for the collapse of the Broughton Suspension Bridge in Salford in 1831. The notices now on the tollboths date from 1965 but are said to be replacements of earlier notices on the bridge.

River Thames, Albert Bridge, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-34
River Thames, Albert Bridge, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-8a-34

The view upstream from the bridge across the River Thames past Battersea Bridge to tower blocks on the 1970s World’s End Estate and the Lots Road Power Station.

I walked on into Battersea Park where the next post about my walk will continue.


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A Chateau, Wix’s Lane & Shaftesbury

Friday, January 26th, 2024

Continuing my walk in Clapham on Saturday July 29th 1989 which began with Some Madness and Houses in Clapham.

Clapham Common Northside, Cedars Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-7n-24
Clapham Common Northside, Cedars Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-7n-24

This truly grand scale building facing Clapham Common is at the western edge of the London Borough of Lambeth and the road in the foreground is Cedars Road. A terrace of five mansions at 48-52 Clapham Common North side, it was built by J T Knowles in 1860 with the two ends as pavilions with roofs like those of French Renaissance chateaux. It was Grade II listed in 1969 as Knowles Terrace.

Earlier the road had been lined with villas built for rich City merchants in the mid-eighteenth century.

Clapham Common Northside, Wix's Lane, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-7n-25
Clapham Common North Side, Wix’s Lane, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-7n-25

Wix’s Lane is the boundary between Lambeth and Wandsworth, although the street sign is from the Borough of Battersea which was became a part of Wandsworth in 1965 and my map shows the boundary as running along this wall.

Charles Wix was a builder and he built a villa for himself on Clapham Common North Side on the west corner of Wix’s Lane around 1780, living there until his death in 1820. Not long after this was rebuilt as Cedars Cottage but it and its neighbours were later replaced by a rather bland red-brick terrace.

The view here gives a better view of the rather heavy ornamental work on the 1860s Knowles Terrace.

School, Wix's Lane, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-26
School, Wix’s Lane, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-26

The London School Board built Wix’s Lane School, which opened on 27th April 1903. It later became Wix County Primary School. It is now still in use as Belleville Wix Academy and also houses a Lycée Francais.

Wix’s Lane had been a field path from Clapham Common to Lavender Hill but when villas were built along this section of Clapham Common North Side they were given back entrances from it for stabling their horses and carriages. The school was the first building on its west side, taking a large section of the gardens of one of these houses, Byram House.

School, Wix's Lane, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989  89-7n-11
School, Wix’s Lane, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7n-1

The Belleville Wix Academy history page includes a quote from a 1937 school inspector ‘”in the early years it was not uncommon to see twenty or thirty children being led to and from Wix’s Lane School by maidservants“. However, it goes on to say: “now the larger houses are divided into flats, and these, as well as the smaller houses in the neighbourhood, are occupied mainly by clerical workers in the City, by local tradesman and shop keepers, and by artisans and labourers of the better type“. “Poverty exists“, it states, “although it is mainly courageously hidden“‘ .

Flats, Cedars Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-7n-12
Flats, Cedars Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-7n-12

I walked back to Cedars Road and walked up it past some rather more modern flats on my way to Wandsworth Road. Much of both sides of this tree-lined road are now covered by similar modern flats, and few of the trees are cedars. A few older houses remain but although I photographed a couple of them I’ve not put these pictures on-line.

House, Glycena Rd, Grayshott Rd,  Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7o-65
House, Glycena Rd, Grayshott Rd, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7o-65

I turned west on Wandsworth Road and then went up Acanthus Road, on my way to Brassey Square.. Acanthus Road becomes Grayshott Road, and this house is on the corner of that and Glycena Road.

This and a similar house opposite act as a gateway to the Shaftesbury Park Estate built between 1872 and 1877 by the Artizans’, Labourers’, & General Dwellings Company, about which I’ve written in previous posts. These houses and their short terraces are one of only two listed parts of the estate. It was just a little further up the road at what are now Nos 65-7 that Lord Shaftesbury formally began the estate with a memorial stone in 1872. It is still in place but I didn’t photograph it.

Sabine Rd, Brassey Square, Shaftesbury Estate, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7o-51
Sabine Rd, Brassey Square, Shaftesbury Park Estate, Battersea, Wandsworth, 1989 89-7o-51

I turned east down Sabine Road, another of the first streets to be built after that stone was laid with its message ‘Healthy homes, first condition of social progress’ in 1872. Supposedly the main figure in the 1951 Ealing comedy The Lavender Hill Mob lived in a seedy boarding house here, though none of the film was shot in the area. In just a few yards I was in Brassey Square, intended to be the centre of the estate which is now the Shaftesbury Park Estate Conservation Area.

Brassey Square which took its name from contractor Thomas Brassey and his three sons who all became MPs and had shares and it was meant to have a garden at its centre, but this was built over in 1879. This building with its frontage on Sabine Road has doors numbered 78 and 1 presumably for that road and Brassey Square respectively. The building is locally listed and is presumed to have been a part of the never-completed plan to build a library, central hall and co-operative shops fronting Brassey Square.

My account of the walk will continue in a later post.


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Tradescant, Old South Lambeth Rd and Caron

Friday, November 3rd, 2023

Tradescant, Old South Lambeth Rd and Caron continues my walk on Wednesday 19th July 1989 in Stockwell and South Lambeth which began with Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason. The previous post was Clapham Road and South Lambeth – 1989.

Houses, Tradescant Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-24
Houses, Tradescant Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-24

I took a picture (not on-line) on the corner of Tradescant Road, and then walked down it, pausing to take this single image on my way towards South Lambeth Road. I think I took this picture of an exuberantly growing hedge and a spindly small tree largely because I was thinking about the name of the street and the history behind it.

John Tradescant the Elder (c. 1570s–1638) settled in Lambeth and with his son John is said to have founded gardening as we know it in England, importing many of the trees, shrubs and plants we now grow.

He had begun his career as a gardener to the Cecil family, one of Englands richest and most politically influential families and had laid out the gardens at the Early of Salisbury’s new house, Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, travelling across Europe to find new plants for it. In 1617 he helped finance an expedition to the colony of Virginia, and among the plants this brought back was one later named Tradescantia virginiania.

John the Elder in the following years travelled to Russia, bringing back the larch tree, to Algeria coming home with apricots, gladioli and horse chestnuts, to the Middle East for Lilac, as well as to Italy and Turkey and later to France from were he introduced the poppy and scented stock. Later his son also travelled to Viginia bringing home many plants including Virginia Creeper and added to the collections which were exhibited to the public and sold from their nursery.

The family also set up the first public museum in England in the 1630s, the Lambeth Ark or Musaeum Tradescantianum, dsplaying the many curiosities natural and manmade they also brought back from their travels. Thee family were tricked out of this after the death of the younger John and his wife by the wealthy collector Elias Ashmole who later gave it to Oxford University as the main founding collection of the Ashmolean Museum.

You can see more about the family and their huge contribution to gardening at the Garden Museum which is next door to Lambeth Palace in the deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, where the Tradescants are buried.

The Tradescant’s main house, Turret House, was demolished in 1881 and two streets, Tradescant Street (now Road) and Walberswick Street (named after the Suffolk village where some of the family lived) laid out on the site.

Girl, doll, shop, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-25
Girl, doll, shop, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-25

On South Lambeth Road I came across this young girl sitting on a stool and playing with a doll outside her family shop. I didn’t want to disturb her and took this picture as she was lost in play.

House, 99, Old South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-13
House, 99, Old South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-13

The demolition of the Tradescant’s house which apparently had been long-abandoned and overgrown South Lambeth Road in 1881 enabled the South Lambeth Road to be straightened and widened in 1883, leaving a section of the old road to the east, now known as Old South Lambeth Road. No 99-105 South Lambeth Road are Grade II listed as an early 19th century terrace, with the listing noting their graceful railings which attracted me.

As you can see at the left of the picture some of these properties were in a fairly poor state in 1989. This was then the side wall of a shop, now converted to residential use and in rather better condition.

Old South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-14
Old South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-14

This section of Old South Lambeth Road is named on Google Maps as Heyford Terrace, although I think this is simply this long row of 8 terraced houses on the east side of the street, separately numbered from the rest of this short road. I think they were built as terraced housed but are now flats and are late Victorian, built not long after the rerouting of the road in 1883.

The houses at the end of the road are in Heyford Avenue, I think also developed around 1890.

House, 119, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-15
House, 119, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-15

I walked down Dorset Road and then turned left into Meadow Road to take me to Fentiman Road where I made my next picture about a quarter of a mile later. I’m rather surprised I didn’t find anything to interest me in that distance.

This house is in one of two similar short terraces immediately west of the junction with Meadow Road and I now think is No 119. The eleven other houses have similar decorative elements though the gables are varied with three patterns. I think then that many now had vigorously overgrown front gardens like this making hiding much of the ground floors, though now some are cleared for parking cars.

House, 104, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-62
House, 104, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-62

The houses opposite on the north side of the road here are rather larger and detached. Those at 106-112 are listed as is the church on the east side of this house. I think I photographed this rather than the listed buildings as for the reflection in the car and the tree shadow in the lower part of the image.

Caron's Almshouses,  Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-63
Caron’s Almshouses, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-63

A few yards further along Fentiman Road are Caron’s Almshouses, founded in 1618 by Noel Caron, Dutch Ambassador to the court of King James 1, and a popular local philanthropist who lived in South Lambeth.

Originally on Wandsworth Road, Caron’s Almshouses became unsuitable for elderly people and moved to these new buildings in Fentiman Rd in 1854. The buildings were leased to the Family Housing association in the 1990s and repaired and modernised for local women in need and officially reopened by the Dutch Ambassador in 1997.

I included these last two pictures in a post on a previous walk made two days earlier in 1989, and I’m unsure now on which of the two walks in the same area they were taken on.


Clapham Road and South Lambeth – 1989

Monday, October 30th, 2023

Clapham Road and South Lambeth continues my walk on Wednesday 19th July 1989 in Stockwell and South Lambeth which began with Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason. The previous post was Meadows, Tate Library & Albert Square.

Works, Clapham Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-64
Works, Clapham Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-64

I walked southeast out of Albert Square past the plain brick 1960’s Regency Court block of flats which replaced the damaged No 37 – the only attempt this makes to fit in with the square is to keep to the same roof line but otherwise it stands out as a drab sore thumb – I think a good modern building would have been preferable to dull mediocre. A wide avenue with some trees lining it leads to Clapham Road.

There was no gap between this typically 1930s building immediately to the north of Sir Joseph Causton’s large Printworks building and it may have been a later part of the works or a separate small factory. At its north side it joined a house, still standing. This building has been completely removed, and the space is now a road, Lett Rd, next to the Printworks which has been converted into flats and retail. The left section of the building has been replaced by a recent residential block along Lett Rd.

The Printworks was built in 1903 and Causton’s were one of the largest printing companies, making labels for various products including Marmite and Guiness, stationery and objects including brewery pub trays. During the First World War they printed many propaganda posters and those encouraging war savings. They moved to Eastleigh, Hants in 1936 and the plant was sold to the catalogue company Freemans Ltd in 1937. The company was taken over in 1984 but the name is still used for Causton Envelopes and Causton Cartons, part of the Bowater Group.

Housing, Liberty St, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-66
Housing, Liberty St, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-66

Liberty Street runs from Caldwell Street down to Durand Street behind the Printworks. It was one of the last part of the area to be developed and when these 54 flats were built as Wyke Mansions close to Caldwell Street in 1902 they faced the works across an open field. According to the Oval History site this was later built on by Freeman’s for warehousing after they took over the Printworks. Some of those buildings were demolished in 1996 to build Bakery Close and the rest demolished in 2008 by Gaillard who converted the site into modern flats. But these mansions remain. There appears to be no record of why the street was named Liberty St.

House, Garden, Brixton Rd, Angell Town, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-55
House, Garden, Brixton Rd, Angell Town, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-55

I walked along Caldwell Street to Hackford Road, then down there to Southey Road and on to Brixton Road. I think this remarkable garden of thistles which would have even sent the pessimistic and depressed Eeyore into ecstacy was at 130 Brixton Road, part of the Vassall estate let to Henry Richard Vassall, third Baron Holland. He gave building plots on 80 year leases to builders and speculators in a piecemeal fashion which probably accounts for the stuccoed No 130 adjoining the brick 132. There are brief descriptions of the houses along the road on the Survey of London.

These houses are on the west side of Brixton Road and the River Effra ran on the east side, but was put underground around 1880 and still runs there. But the buildings on that side are set well back from the road.

The Co-op Centre, 11 Mowll St, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-45
The Co-op Centre, 11 Mowll St, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-45

The Co-op Centre was built in 1898 for as a hall for Christ Church, Brixton Rd and used for worship until the church was completed in 1902. Lambeth Co-op Centre became Mowll St Business Centre in 2016. Until the late 1930s the street was named Chapel St, but was renamed to avoid confusion with other Chapel Streets in London after the Rev William Rutley Mowll, the first vicar of Christ Church on the corner of the street.

Doorway, Kinki-Bee Characters, 46 Wilkinson St, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-33
Doorway, Kinki-Bee Characters, 46 Wilkinson St, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-33

Kinki-Bee Characters was in the locally listed Venetian gothic former Stockwell and North Brixton Dispensary on the corner of Wilkinson Street and Bolney Street, South Lambeth built in 1866 to provide medical and surgical advice, medicine, and attendance. The charity was only removed from the Charity Commisions listing in 1997. In 1920 it stated its aims as providing ‘MEDICAL AND SURGICAL AID TO THE SICK CHILDREN OF POOR PERSONS RESIDENT IN THE PARISHES CHRIST CHURCH, NORTH BRIXTON; ST. MICHAEL, STOCKWELL; ST. ANDREW, STOCKWELL; ST. ANN, SOUTH LAMBETH; ST. BARNABAS, SOUTH KENNINGTON; ST STEPHEN, SOUTH LAMBETH; AND ALL SAINTS, SOUTH LAMBETH.’ The plaque on the house was restored in 2012.

Kinki-Bee Characters Limited was set up around 1952 and sold hand-painted dolls and ornaments, bottle stoppers/pourers etc as collectors items. You can still find them on eBay and other web sites. A placard inside the window has the message ‘CHILDREN WANT REAL MOTHERS NOT MADE OF STONE’.

Tradescant sculpture, St Stephen's Church, Wilkinson St, St Stephen's Terrace, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-21
Tradescant sculpture, St Stephen’s Church, Wilkinson St, St Stephen’s Terrace, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-21

The Tradescant sculpture by Hilary Cartmel was funded by the local residents’ association and unveiled by naturalist David Bellamy in 1988 and is a memorial to the Tradescant family. John Tradescant, father and son, were 17th century nurserymen and collectors of plants from around the world based in Lambeth.

The sculpture stands on the pavement in front of St Stephen’s Church, built in 1967 to replace the large Victorian building of 1861, built to seat 1,200, which was demolished. The 1967 building has since been modified to replace its narrow slit windows with larger ones. But my back was to this rather plain brick building when I took this picture, and in the background is the rather fine dispensary building from 1866 on the corner of Wilkinson St and Bolney St.

To be continued.


Meadows, Tate Library & Albert Square

Wednesday, October 25th, 2023

Meadows, Tate Library & Albert Square continues my walk on Wednesday 19th July 1989 in Stockwell and South Lambeth which began with Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason.

House, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-23
House, Meadow Place, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-23

Unfortunately the next few frames of my film were ruined in processing, though I can still see a few details on a couple of images, including the large house immediately north of Stockwell Baptist Church a house with the legend ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS at roof level which I can no longer find, but was probably further north on the same road.

This picture, taken on a second camera, is the next I still have. Meadow Place is a short street off the Old South Lambeth Road at the southern of its two junctions with South Lambeth Road. It ends at a blank brick wall, on the other side of which is the Bolney Meadow Community Centre on the 1930’s LCC Bolney Meadow Estate, at the north-west corner of the 1960s South Lambeth Estate.

In 1870 there was still some meadow land in the area; Meadow Place appears on the 25″ OS Maps with the 1871 survey as a row of a dozen houses next to St Stephens School with some small fields to the south and east, but the houses to the south of the street which remain were not then present, though they are shown on the next survey in 1893-4.

This small block, now with a roof terrace above the single storey end further from my camera is still there and looking much the same except the hanging baskets have gone. Just down the street immediately beyond this house is a narrow passage which I could not resist.

South Lambeth Library, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-24
South Lambeth Library, South Lambeth Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-24

The passage took me to an alley, Stamford Buildings, which led back to South Lambeth Road, and from which I made this view of the Library across the road. These late Victorian flats and possibly Meadow Place were built on the site of John Tradescant’s garden.

Sir Henry Tate the sugar giant who lived in Streatham gave three libraries to the area, the Tate South Lambeth Library here and other larger libraries in Brixton and Streatham.

The terms of his gift appear to be unknown, but it seems likely that he will have exacted a promise from the then local authority that the library be kept open and free of charge to server the local community in perpetuity. It remains open despite repeated attempts by Lambeth Council to demolish or close it – and the documentation surrounding the bequest remain hidden.

The library opened in 1888 and still serves the community in the area many of whom are now Portuguese. Lambeth first tried to demolish it when they built their Mawbey Brough estate in the 1970s, but it survived. Then in 1999 they tried to close over half of the boroughs twelve libraries including this one but had to drop the plans after massive public objections, led by the newly formed Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library. In 2015 the council had another go at library closures – and again a forceful campaign by the Friends saved South Lambeth.

South Lambeth Library is not a listed building (though it is locally listed), probably because it has suffered some serious losses since 1888. As designed by local architect Sidney R J Smith (who also designed the Tate Gallery) it had copper cupolas on top of the two towers as well as a large porch, its roof supported by six caryatids. The copper perhaps went to aid the war effort (along with the railings) and the porch was apparently removed in the 1950s, probably to allow road widening.

Aldebert Terrace, St Stephen's Terrace, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-11
Aldebert Terrace, St Stephen’s Terrace, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-11

I was standing in Aldebert Terrace and looking across to the splendid terrace wich runs around the corner of St Stephen’s Terrace and Aldebert Terrace. It dates from the 1860s and is now part of the Albert Square Conservation Area. The house at the left of the picture is a little later. These unlisted houses on St Stephen’s Terrace are distinguished by their ornate decoration.

Albert Square, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-12
Albert Square, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-12

Houses around Albert Square are numbered consecutively and all of the houses on the four sides of the square are Grade II listed in five groups. The square was developed on farmland which had been a part of the ancient Manor of Vauxhall following a Private Act of Parliament in 1843 on a site known as the ’14 acres’, and was completed following an agreement with him in 1846 by Islington builder John Glenn together with an ‘Ornamental Ground for the use of the Lessees of the Square in the late 1840s. All except one of the original houses remain, No 37 on the edge of the square which had been damaged by bombing being demolished and replaced by a block of flats in the early 1960s

This picture has No 11 at the extreme right and is looking towards the south-east corner of the square and includes the houses from 3-11.

Albert Square, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-13
Albert Square, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-13

At the corner of Albert Square between No 5 and No 6 I could see the rather more modern and much plainer flats on Hampson Way on the Mursell Estate, a large LCC estate designed from 1961 by the LCC Architect’s Department and built in 1963-66. A tall fence separates it from Albert Square, with no way through. The estate has a long frontage on Clapham Road and is mostly relatively low rise as in the picture.

Albert Square, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-16
Albert Square, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-16

This view is looking at the same corner as the previous picture but taken from outside No 1. Towering above the Albert Square houses is the single large tower block on the Mursell Estate, Rundell Tower, with 82 flats. The estate seems well-planned and is generally regarded as one of the better council estates in the area, though many properties are of course now privately owned.

Albert Square, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-61
Albert Square, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7f-61

My final picture of Albert Square is a view across Albert Square Garden, taken over the fence looking across to the north-west side of the square. Like many London square gardens this is a private garden, open to residents of the square and other local residents who have to pay a licence fee. Albert Square Lambeth – A report on the Central Garden by David M Robinson for English Heritage is a very detailed account about the square and London square gardens in general and in particular these gardens which are now run by the Albert Square Garden Trust.

More from this walk in later posts.


Squat, Circus, Garage & Church

Saturday, October 7th, 2023

Squat, Circus, Garage & Church continues my walk on Wednesday 19th July 1989 in Stockwell and South Lambeth which began with the previous post, Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason.

House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7g-33
House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-32

I took a couple more pictures of the previously squatted Grade II listed house at 38 Guildford Road, which ended the previous post on this walk. It now seemed firmly bricked up against further occupation.

The garden gate was only tied closed with rope, but I didn’t trespass and photographed from the pavement. At the side of the house the gate was open, announcing thyat this was 38 and The House, with the message to ‘POSTMAN DELIVER LETTERS INSIDE GARDEN PLEASE’ and some drawings, with a leaping figure and the sun for the Solstice Festival as well as smiley faces.

House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7g-33
House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-33

As the smiley faces and the LSD on the wall show, the Solstice Festival in Stockwell was an acid culture event, celebrating peace and love – part of the ‘Second Summer of Love’ in 1989 which also saw raves and parties in deserted warehouses across the UK, largely propelled by Ecstasy. But I can find no details of this Stockwell event online.

Lansdowne Circus, Lansdowne Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-35
Lansdowne Circus, Lansdowne Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-35

Landsdowne Circus is the central element of the area laid out in 1843 with houses built shortly afterwards by John Snell; the land was owned by architect James Humphreys who probably designed the houses in the then popular neo-Classical style. These houses are at 35-41 on the south-east of the circus, which I think is all Grade II listed.

The area had deteriorated considerably by the middle of the twentieth century but fortunately escaped much wartime damage. After Lambeth Council failed to find a responsible legal owner they used compulsory purchase to take control of the area in 1951. It became a conservation area in 1968.

Mondragon House, 49, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-22
Mondragon House, 49, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-22

Grade II listed neo-Jacobean style former vicarage for St Barnabas Church immediately to the south, in a neo-Jacobean style. It is listed as Mandragon House and was built between 1843 and 1850 by John Snell as the vicarage to adjoining St Barnabas Chapel.

The church was deconsecrated in 1978 and converted into flats as Ekarro House by a housing cooperative, Ekarro Housing Co-operative Limited, set up by local residents which leased the church and vicarage, and now also manages some other properties in the area still as a cooperative.

Kelvedon House, a 22 storey tower block built nearby for Lambeth council in 1966 towers 64 metres in the background.

Stockwell Bus Garage, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-23
Stockwell Bus Garage, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-23

I walked back down to Landsowne Way and could not resist another photograph of the Grade II listed concrete bus garage, one of London’s finest postwar buildings completed in 1952. I hope its concrete is still safe.

Stockwell Baptist Church, 276, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-25
Stockwell Baptist Church, 276, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-25

I turned east down Lansdowne Way to South Lambeth Road where around a hundred yards to the north I came to this fine classical church, Stockwell Baptist Church at No. 276. Again Kelvedon House towers in the background.

Stockwell Baptist Church, 276, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-12
Stockwell Baptist Church, 276, South Lambeth Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-12

The church web site has this short history:

And as it also says, it “has been part of the rich and ever-changing history of this part of London for a long while.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-92) who preached the first sermon in the chapel was a remarkable man and one of the leading non-conformist preachers of the 19th century. For 38 years he was pastor at the Metropolitan Tabernacle at the Elephant & Castle. He founded an almshouse and an orphanage in Stockwell, as well as a college named after him following his death, and set up various institutions to aid the poor, following the Bible example of Jesus and exhorting his congregations to do so too. He had great influence both nationally and internationally and campaigned for free hospitals for the poor, and against slavery which antagonised Southern Baptists in the USA. He wrote many books, some of which are still now re-published and is still held in high esteem by many, particularly evangelical Christians.

My walk continued – more shortly.


Stockwell Park, Bus Garage, Tower and Mason

Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Two days after my previous walk which had ended at Vauxhall I was back in Stockwell again on Wednesday 19th July to photograph the area to the north, walking towards South Lambeth.

House, 31 Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-33
House, 31 Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-33

Stockwell Park Road has some interesting properties particular from the mid to late Victorian era with some earlier and later properties, some now very expensive. Probably most of the large houses are now flats, but one four bedroom Georgian house here, 4 storeys including a basement and with four bedrooms was recently put on sale with a guide price of £2,100,000.

This house is something of a mystery, as you will find if you try to view it on Google Street View. It is now divided into flats. Next door is the empty site that was formerly a purpose-built nursery on the corner at 50 Groveway. I think the house still looks much as it did when I photographed it in 1989. The arched doorway with the four square windows above and the narrow slot windows in the gables, one with wood meant to cover it drew my interest and I wondered when and for what purpose it was built but found no answers.

Linden Hall, 38  Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-35
Linden Hall, 38 Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-35

Linden Hall at 38 Stockwell Park Road is also an interesting building and appears to have been built by the Lambeth Housing Movement, formed in 1927 to help low-income tenants in overcrowded conditions who could not afford private rents but whose conditions were not considered sufficiently bad for the LCC’s slum clearance schemes. In 1957 they joined with the Southwark Housing Association to become the Lambeth and Southwark Housing Society Ltd. I think these flats were built in the early 1950s.

Stockwell Bus Garage, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-56
Stockwell Bus Garage, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-56

I returned along Stockwell Park Road to Clapham Road and crossed it, going down Landsdowne Road to South Lambeth Road and continuing along it to the remarkable concrete Grade II* listed Stockwell Bus Garage, opened for London Transport in 1952. It’s a remarkable structure by Adie, Button and Partners with Thomas Bilbow and probably the most impressive early post-war modern buildings in the UK. I think it is still in good condition and doing its job as a garage now, 70 years late.

Edrich House, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-42
Edrich House, Lansdowne Way, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-42

Continuing along Lansdowne Way brought me to Edrich House which can be seen at the right of the previous image. This impressive block designed by George Finch was completed in 1968. Built using the German designed Large Panel System it contains spacious flats. It was built for Lambeth Council whose chief architect was Edward “Ted” Hollamby at a time when council leaders considered nothing was too good for the working classes. As with other similar developments the estates were well designed with communal provision at ground level. I think at right is a surgery. I think there may now be so concerns over the state of the building as the link above states “Please note that we are unaware of any lenders providing mortgages on this estate at the present time.

F W Poole, Marblemason,12, Larkhall Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-46
F W Poole, Marblemason,12, Larkhall Lane, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-46

Turning the corner into Larkhall Lane I came to the works of F W Poole, marble mason, with a good collection of marble in its front yard. The company moved out from here in in 2012 to premises in East Lane Business Park Wembley but I think has now ceased trading. This property was sold for £1 million.

House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7g-31
House, 38, Guildford Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-31

One of a number of squatted houses in the area, which had been the location of a Solstice Festival, but was by 1989 emptied and bricked up. It has since been renovated at least twice.

Its Grade II listing begins, “House, derelict at time of resurvey. Part of a planned estate built between 1843 and 1850 by John Snell. Italianate style.” It was part of a scheme for a site known as “THE 34 ACRES”.

The property now looks in good condition and has been divided into a number of flats.

My walk will continue in a later post.

Houses, Almshouses, A Pub and Cold Store

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

Houses, Almshouses, A Pub and Cold Store: The end of my walk on 17th July 1989 which began with Back in Stockwell. The previous post was Stockwell Housing and Adventure.

Terrace, 195-203, Brixton Rd, Angell Town, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-64
Terrace, 195-203, Brixton Rd, Angell Town, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-64

This terrace is on the east side of Brixton Road, with 195 on the corner with Normandy Road. They were built on a part of the large Lambeth Wick estate which was owned by the Church of England but was developed by Henry Richard Vassall, the third Baron Holland, who had adopted his wife’s maiden name of Vassall in 1800. The manor was leased to him in 1820 with a building lease that specified he had to built “houses of at least the third rate” and keep them in good repair, painting outside wood and ironwork every 4 years “and offensive trades were prohibited.”

Vassall’s lease was for 99 years and he let out small plots such as this one to builders and speculators on 80 year leases. The lease for the plot for these three-storey terraces was granted to James Crundall in 1824, but the actual date of completion of Alfred Place as they were known may have been a little later. The Grade II listing simply states early-mid C19.

The end wall facing Normandy Road has no windows – its interior layout is presumably similar to those houses in the middle of the terrace, but what would have been a massive slab of brickwork is relieved by a central pilaster and blind windows.

House, 104, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-62
House, 104, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-62

I was now on my way home and walked quickly north up Brixton Road before cutting through Crewdson Road to Clapham Rd and then turning down Fentiman Road, heading for Vauxhall Station.

It wasn’t until I stopped opposite No 124 that I made my next picture. This was built on part of the large Caron House estate which stretched north from South Lambeth Road. Fentiman Road was laid out just to the south of the large house after it and its extensive grounds were sold to Henry Beaufoy in 1838 and this unlisted mid-19th century building probably dates from shortly after this.

There are a number of other interesting buildings on this section of the road, some listed I did not stop to photograph, and I think the reflection in the car and the shadow of the tree which occupy much of the lower part of the picture may have made me stop here.

Caron's Almshouses,  Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-63
Caron’s Almshouses, 121, Fentiman Rd, South Lambeth, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-63

Sir Philip Noel Caron, Dutch Ambassador to King James I founded his almshouses in 1621 on what is now Wandsworth Road to house seven woman aged over 60, but by the 1850s these were, according to the Survey of London ‘“uncomfortable and unsuitable” for aged persons‘ and the site was sold to Price’s Patent Candle Company for their factory. They sold the site in 1865 to the Phoenix Gas Light and Coke Company, which later became part of the South-Eastern Gas Board.

The £1500 from the sale in 1853 was used to erect these new almshouses in a Tudor style in 1854 and they are now Grade II listed. Various charity amalgamations took place over the years and in the 1990s the Trustees granted a 50-year lease on the almshouses to the Family Housing Association. Modernised and repaired they were officially reopened by the Dutch Ambassador in 1997 and are still housing local women in need.

Builders Arms, pub, Wyvil Rd, Vauxhall, Lambeth 1989 89-7g-52
Builders Arms, pub, Wyvil Rd, Vauxhall, Lambeth 1989 89-7g-52

The pub was built in 1870 and an application for a licence refused in 1871 but it did open shortly afterwards, and remains open now, though under a different name. At some time in became Wyvils, then the Vauxhall Griffin, but after it was bought in around 2018 by Belle Pubs & Restaurants they renamed it the Griffin Belle. According to Camra, “Refurbished in contemporary style in 2017, with a further make-over in 2018, the interior now features varied seating, plastic foliage and an array of TV screens showing sport (can be noisy at times). Upper floor has been converted to hotel rooms.”

Still overshadowed by tall buildings (although those in my picture have been replaced by more recent versions) and on the edge of what has for some years been the largest building site in the country if not in Europe, stretching all the way to Battersea, its earlier name might have been more appropriate.

Nine Elms Cold Store, Brunswick House, Wandsworth Rd, Nine Elms, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-53
Nine Elms Cold Store, Brunswick House, Wandsworth Rd, Nine Elms, Lambeth, 1989 89-7g-53

Brunswick House is still there on one of the busiest traffic schemes in the country, at the junction of Wandsworth Road and Nine Elms Lane close to Vauxhall Cross, but the Nine Elms Cold Store is long gone, replaced by St George Wharf, which isn’t a wharf but a “landmark riverside development spanning across 7 acres of London’s newest area of regeneration” with the 48 storey Tower which is the tallest solely residential building in the UK.

Some describe it as ‘magnificent’ but others think it hideous and I’m more inclined to the latter view. The Guardian in 2016 called it “a stark symbol of the housing crisis“, with two-thirds of the apartments in the Tower “in foreign ownership, with a quarter held through secretive offshore companies based in tax havens.” At its peak is a £51 million five-storey penthouse “ultimately owned by the family of former Russian senator Andrei Guriev“.

Brunswick House has a long article on Wikipedia. It dates back to the mid seventeenth century but was extended in 1758. In 1860 it was bought by the London and South West Railway Company who used it as offices and a Scientific and Literary Institute. In 1994 it was sold to the railway staff association who again sold it in 2002. It is now a restaurant and the yard around it is used by an architectural salvage and supply company.

The Nine Elms Cold Store was built in 1964, a huge windowless monolith erected on the site of the South Metropolitan Gas Works, ideally placed to take barge loads of frozen meat and other goods from London’s docks and store them in its 150,000,000 cubic feet of cold dark space for onward distribution from the adjacent railway yard or by lorry. But when the docks ran down it was redundant, only 15 years after its construction.

According to Kennington Runoff after it closed it became “used illicitly as a cruising ground, a recording studio, a performance space and even a convenient spot for devil worshiping.” It remained in place derelict until 1999 as it was extremely difficult to demolish and it provided a popular location for filming when desolate urban industrial landscapes were required.

Vauxhall Station was a short walk down the road and I was soon sitting on a train on my way home.


Stockwell Housing and Adventure

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Stockwell Housing and Adventure: Continuing my walk on 17th July 1989 which began with Back in Stockwell.

Flats, Aytoun Place, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7d-35
Flats, Aytoun Place, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-35

In 1994, five years after I made this picture the Stockwell Park Community Trust was created in response to the high crime rate and poor housing services on the Stockwell Park Estate and surrounding areas. The estate was then ranked by the UK government in the worst ten estates in the country. Tenants on the estate got together and formed a Tenant Management Organisation to get funding to refurbish the estate which had been built around 1970 for Lambeth Council.

The Community Trust held a ballot and gained a 97% vote for them to manage the £220 million investment and managed not only to retain all the social housing but to create another five units as well as building some new private housing to help with the finances.

Working with others in the community they also tackled crime and drug dealing on the estate, reducing these massively. The estate was transferred from Lambeth to Network Housing Group in 2007 and is now managed by SW9 Community Housing.

The graffiti here refers to the well-known case of George Davis, sentenced in 1975 to 20 years for an armed robbery which for once he had no part in. Though there were probably many other Georges who were also fitted up by police.

Houses, 37-39, Lorn Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-21
Houses, 37-39, Lorn Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-21

A block of 23 acres ofland of the west side of Brixton Road was leased in 1804 by Randle Jackson, barrister-at-law and an expert on Indian affairs and Robert Slade. In 1804 they split the estate, Jackson taking the northern part. In 1832 Jackson also acquired a stretch of Stockwell Park Road.

Only a few houses along Brixton Road were built before Jackson’s death in 1837, and it was only after this around 1840 that the two streets Lorn Road and Groveway (then Grove Road) were laid out on what had been gardens and outhouses. Lorn Road forms the approach from Brixton Road to St Michael’s Church on Stockton Park Road.

These Grade II listed houses date from the 1840s and are described as cottages ornés and are very much in a Gothic style. Perhaps rather over-exuberantly Gothick.

Houses, 37-39, Lorn Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-25
Houses, 37-39, Lorn Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-25

A wider view of the two houses. There are quite a few other listed houses and others of interest from the mid and later 19th century in Lorn Road, Groveway and Stockwell Park Road which were build on the Jackson estate, but I took few pictures.

Adventure Playground, Slade Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-12
Adventure Playground, Slade Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-12

Slade Gardens gets its name from Robert Slade, proctor-at-law, who took the southern part of the estate he had leased with Randle Jackson and was suceeded by his two sons. Slade’s younger son Felix is rather better-known than his father for the art school which he enable by a bequest to University College London in 1871. The Slade School of Art was one of the earliest schools to admit women on the same basis as men.

The site was acquired by the London County Council after the Second World War when many of the houses on the site had been badly damaged by a flying bomb which killed 11 people. The LCC bought up the remaining houses and demolished them. It was opened to the public as a park in 1958 and the adventure playground is on part of the site.

Adventure Playground, Slade Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7d-13
Adventure Playground, Slade Gardens, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-13

Much of the ideas behind adventure playgrounds came from the ‘Junk Playground’ estatblished by Carl Sorenson in 1943 near Copenhagen, based on his observations of how children actually played on waste ground, building sites and bomb sites etc. The movement spread to this country and a number of such playgrounds were set up in urban areas in the decades after the war. Play leaders encouraged imaginative play and tried to prevent serious accidents as well as discouraging drug use.

I think this adventure playground was set up around 1970. In 1999 it became independently managed by local residents and a voluntary committee was formed and the playground was set up as a new charity.

House, 55, Stockwell Park Rd, Lorn Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989  89-7d-15
House, 55, Stockwell Park Rd, Lorn Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7d-15

This house has its main frontage on the Stockwell Park Road with this fairly recent extension at the side along Lorn Road.

The other half of this semi-detached house, probably dating from the late 1840s is grade II listed, but this half is not, probably because of this extension as the two halves look almost identical from the frontage on Stockwell Park Road. But although very different in character this seems to me an interesting addition.

House, 41, Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-62
House, 41, Stockwell Park Rd, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-7e-62

Another house in the area with considerable individuality, 41 Stockwell Park Road described as an ‘Irregular stuccoed early C19 house’ is Grade II listed. The house is on the corner of Groveway and I think was probably one of the first built on the road, probably in the 1840s.

It has a much less sympathetic building attached, a plain four storey modern block you can just see at the right of the picture but this has not prevented its listing – and no reason why it should. But sometimes there seems to be a large element of architectural snobbery in listing decisions.

More from Stockwell in a later post.


Girls, Houses and St John

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Girls, Houses and St John: The second and final set of missing pictures from my walk on June 4th June 1989 – continuing from Stockwell- Chapel, Church, Jazz & Housing

Two girls, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-23
Two girls, Stockwell, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-23

These two feisty young girls demanded to know what I was doing taking pictures in their manor, outside Cassell House close to the corner of Stockwell Rd and insisted that I take their picture. I think that probably they were sisters although they are dressed rather differently. The older of the two is wearing earrings. They are now 34 years older and if they see their picture I hope they like it.

Across the road you can make out Joseph Yates Timber Merchants at 17-19 Stockwell Road, whose shop was still there though boarded up in 2008. Together with the house behind it was replace by a new block shortly after, the shop becoming EZ Homeware and around 2018 a vape shop, Ez Cloudz.

House, 349, Clapham Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-25
House, 349, Clapham Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-25

I turned left around the corner into Clapham Road, walking down towards Clapham, crossing Mayflower Road to a group of impressive Queen Anne style red-brick houses – I think this was number 349.

As you can see these houses have quite long front gardens which were then rather overgrown. I think the house had long been divided into flats. There is a broken window on the ground floor which looks as if it is boarded up. These buildings are locally listed

House, 357, Clapham Rd, Clapham, 1989 89-6b-11
House, 357, Clapham Rd, Clapham, 1989 89-6b-11

This is a bay extension on 355 Clapham Road, which I found more interesting than the Grade II listed house at the left of the picture, the listing text of which begins “Substantial early C19 house, one of a pair of which the other is so much altered as not to be of special interest.” According to the Survey of London the house was first occupied in 1792.

House, 357, Clapham Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-12
House, 357, Clapham Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-12

Another view of 357 makes it clear that the two storey bay above a basement garage in the previous picture is indeed a part of this house.

I think its doorway with the two front doors is probably also a later addition, though again I found it of interest, though its listed neighbour retains its original and perhaps more common if still fine entrance. I think my taste in buildings allows rather more for eccentricity while those who make the listings are more concerned with age and consistency of style.

House, 369, Clapham Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-13
House, 369, Clapham Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-13

Listed as The Garden House with location ‘Union Mews, Lambeth, London SW9’ in 1981, this is an unusual house at 369 Clapham Road with no front door, though it does have a fairly plain Doric entrance around the side on the left. It was first occupied in 1815, and was built on land acquired by the Duke of Bedford in the early 18th century and let by him to Robert Robson. There is a fairly lengthy description of the house in the Survey of London volume orginally published by the LCC in 1956 which ends with “The premises are now occupied by Messrs. Ashton Brothers and a garden with seats extends from the pavement edge back to the house.”

My picture shows Ashton Funerals at the site in 1989 with ‘PRIVATE CHAPELS FUNERALS CREMATIONS’ and their name in large signage on rails on the frontage, and a well-kept garden, though I couldn’t resist including the Ad Hoc Wine Warehouse signs as well. The house is now flats and the Ashton signage has gone, and the wine warehouse having become car hire has now been demolished as a part of a new block of flats including and existing property at 363.

St. John the Evangelist, Clapham Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-14
St John the Evangelist, Clapham Rd, Clapham, Lambeth, 1989 89-6b-14

Built 1840-42, architect Thomas Marsh Nelson the church is Grade II listed. A confined site led to an unusual orientation. It was truncated in 1986 and the Diocese of Southwark website comments “In short, this building has suffered due to a lack of clarity from its earliest day. First of all when the east-west axis was reversed and latterly the internal alterations described above. These changes plus the ravages of dry rot have left the interior merely as a jumble of ill-defined spaces without any overall cohesion.”

However the simple classical exterior is impressive, and rather unusual for the date of construction.

Various events and visits took me out of London for the next few weekends and it was July before I could return for my next walk around part of the city.