CHAPTER 25: DOLBEN STREET (FORMERLY GEORGE STREET)
George Street was formed circa 1776 and the houses on either side
were completed and tenanted by 1780 when the street name first occurs in
the sewer rate books. (ref. 257) It was built across the open fields shown as "tenter
grounds" on Rocque's maps, on part of what became known as Brown's
The formation of George Street was part of the rapid development of
the area which followed the erection of Blackfriars Bridge. The street was
renamed Dolben Street in 1911 in honour of John Dolben (1625–86), Archbishop of York, who in 1671, when Bishop of Rochester, officiated at the
consecration of Christ Church. Throughout the period that these houses are
shown in the rate books and directories they have been occupied by small
tradesmen, chandlers, bakers, etc., and by artisans.
Nos. 2 to 15 (consec.), on the south side of Dolben Street, form a late
18th-century terrace of three storeys in plum-coloured brickwork but they
have undergone some alterations and rebuilding at later periods. They abut
directly on to the street with basement windows partly above ground level.
Several of the doorcases retain their simple architectural surrounds.
No. 5 Dolben Street
No. 2 has a projecting shop front with splayed sides supported on
two shaped brackets, and with an overhanging fascia, comprising a frieze and
cornice with modillions on three simple console brackets, extending over the
shop and entrance.
No. 5 has a projecting window with splayed sides and a doorcase with
moulded architrave and brackets supporting a moulded pediment.
No. 14 has a slightly bowed shop front with glazing bars and small
panes to the windows. The design appears to have been altered by the introduction of a shop door placed slightly out of centre. The original entrance
remains at the side.
Nos. 41 to 57 on the north side are, with the exception of No. 45,
the original houses dating from the latter part of the 18th century. All are
three storeys high in yellowish brick. The houses have flush panelled doors
and plain fanlights and several have remains of small early 19th century shop
fronts, now disused, and narrow hallways with simple panelled partitions and
No. 43, the office of Brown's Estate, has an added stucco cornice and
blocking course and stucco architraves to the windows.
Nos. 46 to 50 have a projecting band across at the second floor window
heads, and the ground storey openings are set in moulded round arch recesses
linked at the springing by a stone band.
Nos. 51 to 56 have their ground storeys rendered in cement.
Nos. 55 and 56 retain their hood boards and shaped brackets to the
No. 57 differs from the others. It has four windows on each of the
upper floors and a slated mansard roof with dormers behind a parapet. The
entrance is recessed with a modern brick porch addition and it has a semicircular
arched head and panelled wood sides and soffit. There are four stone steps
projecting over the pavement with wrought-iron curved railings of plain
pattern on each side. On the west side of the entrance is a later arched opening
with double doors.
No. 20 Nelson Square