An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 5, East London. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1930.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
(O.S. 6 in. London, Sheets (a)P, (b)S, (c)T.)
The Borough of Lewisham includes the civil parishes of Lewisham and Lee. The principal monuments are Lewisham Vicarage, Colfe's Almshouses, the chapel of Boone's Almshouses and the house now called Spencer House and Perceval House.
a(1) Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, on the W. side of the High Street, was re-built in 1775–7 with the exception of the West Tower, which is of late 15th-century date except the 18th-century top stage; the walls are of ragstone and flint with freestone dressings.
Architectural Description—The West Tower (14 ft. by 11½ ft.) is of four stages (Plate 99) with diagonal buttresses at the western angles, a chamfered plinth and a stair-turret at the S.E. angle. It is of late 15th-century date except for the topmost stage, which is of the 18th-century. The two-centred tower-arch is of three moulded orders, the two outer continuous, the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. In the S. wall is the doorway to the stair-turret with moulded jambs and four-centred arch. The W. window is modern except the jambs and four-centred arch; below is the W. doorway, also modern except for the internal splays and four-centred arch. The decayed stones of the former W. doorway are built up in the Vicarage garden. In the W. wall of the second stage is a much restored single-light window with moulded jambs and three-centred arch under a square moulded label. The N., S. and W. walls of the third stage have each a window of two four-centred lights in a four-centred head with a moulded label; all have been much restored and those in the N. and S. walls are blocked.
The floor of the third stage has original beams and joists.
Fittings—Brass: In nave—on N. wall, to George Hatteclyff, 1514, inscription only. Chairs: In chancel—two with richly carved backs turned legs and shaped framing, possibly late 17th-century; in vestry—similar chair, late 17th-century. Monuments: In nave—on N. wall, (1) to Margaret, wife successively of Jasper Valentine and Abraham Colfe, 1643–4, plain tablet. In churchyard—on S. wall of church, (2) to Abraham Colf, minister of the parish, 1657, plain stone tablet; S. of chancel, (3) to Mary Lucas, 1698, and John Lucas, 1702, table-tomb; S. of nave, headstones with skulls, cross bones, etc.; (4) to Richard Evens, ; (5) to Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Evens, 1710–11. Plate (Plate 19): includes two flagons of 1646 given in 1686, and a cup of 1684 and paten of 1685 both given in 1686.
a(2) Parish Church of St. Margaret, Lee, stands in Lee Lane. The church was entirely re-built in 1839–41 on the opposite side of the road from the old building, of which only the lower part of the West Tower remains. The walls of the tower are of ragstone and flint rubble rendered in cement and repaired with brick and with limestone dressings. It was built probably in the 15th century.
Architectural Description—The West Tower (7½ ft. by 10¾ ft.) is ruined and heavily covered with ivy; only the ground and part of the second stage remain, the latter covered by a lean-to roof. There are traces on the E. face of the junction of an aisleless nave and the tower has diagonal buttresses at the western angles. The tower-arch in the E. wall is four-centred and of two chamfered orders continued down the responds; it has been much repaired with brick and has a modern brick blocking. In the S. wall is a modern opening and in the W. wall is a blocked window; the N. and S. walls have each a blocked window with a three-centred rear-arch.
Fittings—In modern church—Brasses: In N. aisle—on N. wall, (1) to Nicholas Ansley, 1593, sergeant of the cellar to Queen Elizabeth, kneeling figure in plate armour with ruff and sword with panelled prayer-desk in front, all set in a stone tablet with side pilasters and round arch having a fluted and reeded border and straps; above is a plate with achievement-of-arms of Annesley; on E. wall, (2) of Isabell (Hatteclyf) wife of Nicholas Annesley, 1582, figure of woman with French cap, ruff, etc.; palimpsest on back of inscription, the lion of St. Mark, inscription now on N. wall; (3) of Elizabeth Couhyll, 1513, figure of woman with pedimental head-dress and long girdle; (4) to [Henry] Byrde, 1545, gentleman of the bedchamber, inscription only. Monuments: On old tower—on E. face, (1) to Bryan Anslye, 1604, and Awdry (Tirrell) his wife, 1591, plain tablet erected by Cordell Hervey his daughter; other parts perhaps of same monument are now fixed at E. end of N. aisle of modern church and include a cartouche-of-arms and a kneeling figure of a son in civil dress. In old churchyard, E. of tower, (2) to Abraham Sherman, M.A., 1654, minister of the parish, table-tomb with modern sides. Plate (Plate 19): includes flagon of 1673, given by Christopher Boone in the same year and with his arms; Elizabethan cup and cover-paten, given by Nicholas Annesley in 1593 and with his arms; large stand-paten probably of 1700 and a dish probably of 1704.
Condition—Of tower, bad and overgrown with ivy.
a(3) Church of the Ascension stands on the E. side of Dartmouth Row, about 1 mile N.N.E. of St. Mary's Church, Lewisham. The walls are probably of brick, but are mainly plastered externally; the roofs are covered with slates. The chapel was founded by Mrs. Susannah Graham, late in the 17th century but before 1695. The only part of this building which appears to survive is the apse and a short bay to the W. of it, which may belong to the original structure. The nave was built about 1834.
Architectural Description—The Apse is covered by a plastered semi-dome and has a squareheaded window at each side; a third window, in the middle, is now blocked. The walls, internally, have modern decoration and the semi-dome is coffered with a plaster enrichment in each panel. Between the apse and the chancel are two fluted Corinthian columns with pilasters as responds and supporting entablatures over the side openings; the middle opening has a round arch with three cherub-heads on the key-block. The chancel, forming the adjoining bay on the W., has a segmental plaster ceiling, but the other features are modern.
Fittings—Plate: includes a cup of 1655, and a foreign 17th-century spoon with a figure of St. Paul on the handle and a shield and lozenge-of-arms on the bowl.
a(4) Boone's Chapel (Plate 100), now a reading room, was formerly the chapel of the almshouses founded c. 1680–3 by Christopher Boone and Mary his wife. The almshouses were demolished in 1877. The walls are of brick with stone dressings and the roofs are tiled.
The chapel is an interesting example of its period.
The elevations are of red brick with rusticated stone quoins, and three faces are finished with a modillioned eaves-cornice and pediment. The main roof is hipped and supports a round timber cupola with six small columns and as many segmental arches; it is finished with a cornice and lead-covered dome. The S. front has a squareheaded doorway with architrave, pilaster-strips and console-brackets supporting a cornice; the door is of two leaves, each with four raised panels externally and three internally. Flanking the doorway are two round-headed windows, with moulded architraves and plain imposts and scrolled key-blocks; above the doorway is an oval window with moulded architrave and four scrolled keyblocks. The W. elevation has a doorway with a plain architrave; higher up are three oval windows similar to that in the W. front, but two of them are modern. The E. elevation is similar to the W., but with a single central oval window only. The N. elevation has a central projection with rusticated quoins and a wooden cornice; the window has a wooden frame with two mullions and a transom; the middle light is wider than the others and has a round head rising above the transom, and a scrolled key-block.
The interior has a plain flat ceiling with a deep coved cornice round the walls and modelled cherub-heads in the angles. The recess has an elliptical arched ceiling (Plate 23) with conventional foliage in the spandrels above the arch and with five moulded panels on the reveals and soffit; these panels are filled with foliage-sprays and three have cherub-heads in addition. The walls are panelled to more than half their height and finished with a moulded cornice. On either side the S. doorway are large panels with capping and plinth.
a(5) Colfe's Almshouses, on the W. side of the High Street, 140 yards S. of Lewisham Parish Church, are of one storey with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. The almshouses were built in 1664–6 and were restored in 1907. They form a long rectangular block with a slightly projecting cross-wing containing the chapel, in the middle, and three tenements on either side of it. The East Elevation (Plate 171) has rusticated quoins of brick and a brick band above the ground-floor windows; the cross-wing is carried up above the eaves and has four oval panels, two to each storey; the doorway has a semi-circular keyed arch of wood set in a square head; above this is an enriched panel with inscription surmounted by a cartouche with the arms of the Leathersellers' Company and Colfe. The inscription reads "Ano. decimo sexto Caroli 2 anoq. dm. 1664. The gift of Mr. Abraham Colfe, late vicar of this Parish whereof the Company of Leathersellers in London are according to the desire of his will by Act of Parliment appointed Governors and by the said Company the same gift is enlarged." The windows generally have original solid frames and the tenement-doors are ledged and braced. The West Elevation has a large three-light window in the cross-wing, with transoms to the side lights and a round head to the middle light. The roofs are all hipped.
a(6) The Vicarage, at the corner of Ladywell Road and High Street, 120 yards N.E. of Lewisham Parish Church, is of two storeys with basement and attics. The walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. The house was built on an almost square plan c. 1692–3, and has modern additions on the N. and W. The South Front (Plate 1) is symmetrical and has a brick band between the storeys and a modillioned eaves-cornice; there are four windows on the ground and five on the first floor, all with solid frames, mullion and transom; the doorway in the middle has a moulded architrave and cornice and a pedimented hood supported on two carved brackets. The Back Elevation has a coved eaves-cornice and two original windows. Inside the building the original staircase has moulded strings and hand-rail and turned and twisted balusters; the back staircase has turned balusters also original. The Dining Room and Inner Hall on the ground floor are panelled throughout, and between the Hall and staircase is a panelled elliptical arch with moulded architrave, resting on panelled pilasters. Other rooms on the first floor are partly panelled and the staircase has a panelled dado.
a(7) Pentland House, on the S. side of Old Road, about 660 yards S. of St. Margaret's, Lee, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of cement-rendered brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built, probably, early in the 18th century and has later additions on the E. and W. The N. front has moulded bands between the storeys and below the cornice, which is moulded and coved. The back elevation (Plate 1) is similar, but the eaves-cornice is incomplete.
Inside the building the staircase on the W. side of the house has square newels, straight moulded strings and hand-rails; the space between is filled with raised panelling; the stairs, from the second floor to the attic, have turned balusters and newels with ball-terminals. The main staircase has moulded strings and hand-rails and square newels surmounted by fluted vases of fruit and flowers, perhaps brought from elsewhere and of late 17th-century date. The N.W. room, on the first floor, has an enriched plaster ceiling (Plate 23) with a large central panel having half-round projections at the ends and surrounded by a moulded band with modelled fruit and flowers; in the spandrels are acanthus-scrolls.
a(8) House, now divided and called Spencer House and Perceval House, on the E. side of Dartmouth Row and N. of the church of the Ascension, is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of brick with stone dressings and the roofs are covered with slates and lead. It was built, probably, c. 1690 and has an 18th-century addition on the N. side.
The house is an interesting example of its period and the staircase is noteworthy.
The W. front (Plate 4) has a slightly projecting central bay with rusticated stone quoins. The plinth is moulded and there is a band between the storeys; the eaves-cornice appears to be of the 18th century. The doorway (Plate 4) in the central bay has an architrave and narrow panelled pilasters with scrolled brackets supporting a cornice: below the cornice is a frieze carved with scrolled foliage and a mask; the door itself is of eight panels. The doorway, in the S. wing, is similar, but has a pulvinated frieze. The windows have each a stone key-block carved with a grotesque mask. The E. front has projecting side-wings with rusticated stone quoins, but otherwise the general arrangement and the windows are similar to those on the W. front.
Interior—The principal front room on the ground floor has bolection-moulded panelling in two heights, with a dado-rail and cornice; the door has six fielded panels. The main back room has an enriched cornice with scrolled modillions; the door is of six panels. The back room in the S. wing has an enriched cornice. On the first floor the front room has a door, like that in the room below, and a moulded marble surround to the fireplace, with a wooden shelf. The side room, now part of a staircase, has a moulded cornice. The back rooms have enriched cornices; the S. room has a moulded shelf to the fireplace and panelled linings to the windows. The main staircase (Plate 26) has moulded strings and handrails, turned balusters and square double-newels set side by side with panelled faces; the hall has a simple dado and is paved with marble squares, set diagonally.
At the end of the former garden, now in another occupation, are two brick gate-piers, with moulded stone bases and caps and stone scrolls at the sides. The wrought-iron gate has a scrolled overthrow and a band of scroll-work at the level of the lock.
a(9) House, No. 20, on the W. side of Dartmouth Row, and 150 yards N. of the church of the Ascension, is of three storeys with cellars; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built at the end of the 17th century, but was altered in the 18th and 19th centuries. Inside the building, the front room on the ground floor has panelling in two heights with a dado-rail and coved cornice. Between the passage and the hall is a round arch with fluted pilasters on the responds and moulded imposts; the soffit is carved with a bird and scrolled foliage. The rooms on the first floor have plain panelling.
a(10) House, No. 22, adjoining (9) on the S., is of two storeys with cellars and attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built at the end of the 17th century, but has been subsequently altered. The E. front has a doorway with panelled pilasters, scrolled brackets and a pediment. Inside the building, several rooms have moulded cornices. Between the hall and the staircase is a round arch with panelled pilasters and moulded imposts. The N.E. room, on the first floor, has plain panelling and a bolection-moulded surround to the fireplace. The staircase has close moulded strings, square newels and turned balusters.
b(11) Grove House, on the S.E. side of Sydenham Road, about 2 miles S.S.W. of St. Mary's, Lewisham, is of two storeys with attics and cellars; the walls are timber-framed and weather-boarded and the roofs are tiled. It was built early in the 18th century, but was enlarged and re-fitted later in the same century. The front has a modillioned eaves-cornice. Inside the building, the E. room in front is lined with simple moulded panelling in two heights, with dado-rail and cornice.
High Street, Lewisham. E. side:—
a(12) House, 291, High Street, 120 yards N.E. of St. Mary's Church, is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. The house was built late in the 17th century. The W. front has brick bands between the storeys and a gable to the northern half of the front.
a(13) Houses, Nos. 311–313, 70 yards S. of (12), are of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are tiled. They were built late in the 17th or early in the 18th century, but have been much altered.
a(14) House, two tenements, Nos. 323 and 325, 30 yards S. of (13), is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of brick and the roofs are covered with slates. It was built late in the 17th century and has a later addition at the back. The front has a brick band between the storeys and two gables. The central chimney-stack is cross-shaped on plan. Inside the building is a heavy chamfered beam.
c(15) Bellingham Farm, house (Plate 6) on the W. side of the road to Bromley and about 1½ miles S. of St. Mary's, Lewisham, is of two storeys; the walls are of weather-boarded timber-framing and brick and the roofs are tiled. It was built late in the 16th or early in the 17th century and has later or modern additions on the N. and W. The general plan is L-shaped with the wings extending towards the W. and S. On the E. side of the S. wing is an original chimney stack (Plate 6) with crow-stepped offsets; further N. is an original window of three lights with a moulded frame. Inside the building, a room on the ground floor of the W. wing has an original moulded ceiling-beam, and another room has a cupboard-door of early 17th-century panelling; a room in the S. wing has a dado of similar panelling. On the first floor a room (Plate 11) in the S. wing is lined with early 17th-century panelling, with doors of similar character; the cupboard-door is hung on shaped strap-hinges. Other rooms have similar panelled doors and remains of panelling.
a(16) Whitfield's Mount, on Blackheath, is a low mound about 2 ft. high and roughly rectangular in form, measuring about 62 ft. by 46 ft. It has been much altered in outline by gravel-digging.