No. 55 Belvedere Road

Page 50

Survey of London: Volume 23, Lambeth: South Bank and Vauxhall. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1951.

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[See plates 33, 34 and 35.]

In 1813 the land south of Peache's Wharf was occupied by John Fowler, described variously as a tin plate worker and anchorsmith. (fn. 3) In 1821 he obtained a further lease of the property and erected the house known as No. 55 Belvedere Road for his own occupation. (fn. 2)

A contemporary writer noted that Belvedere Road was undergoing great improvements “by taking down the old buildings and substituting new and elegant houses in their stead”. (fn. 1) In 1839, to the annoyance of his neighbours, Fowler converted the factory between his house and the river into a white lead works. James Goding, proprietor of the newly erected Lion Brewery, complained to his landlord, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but was countered by a report from Andrew Ure, professor of chemistry, which stated that Mr. De La Rue Junior “a partner and conductor of the said patent factory has evinced equal judgement and ingenuity in the structure … to prevent waste of product, injury to the health of workmen and nuisance to the neighbourhood.” (fn. 2) The factory buildings inculded two chimneys 60 feet high and two coke ovens. The surprising fact is not, however, that such a factory should be permitted in what was rapidly becoming and industrial neighbourhood, but that Peache and Fowler should have built such good class houses there for their own occupation. Both Peache's Wharf and Fowler's lead works are shown in the view of the Lion Brewery on Plate 31.

No. 55, with Nos. 53 and 57, which were known as King's Arms Wharf and Darfield Wharf respectively, were occupied by the London Waste Paper Co. in the 1930's. (fn. 2) They were demolished in 1949.

Architectural Description

No. 55 was a house of substantial character. Though detached, it was of terrace type without openings in the flank walls. It was in yellow stock brick and its front elevation was three windows wide to each of the ground, first and second floors. The windows had gauged flat arches and all had glazing bars to their double hung sashes. The ground storey was raised above a semi-basement and the entrance, which was reached by a short flight of steps, had and architrave surround with consoles each side designed to support a flat hood. The hood had been removed some time prior to demolition. There was a moulded band at first floor level and a bold parapet cornice above the second floor. Behind the parapet dormer windows were set in a slated mansard roof.


  • 1. The history and antiquities of the Parish of Lambeth, by T. Allen, 1826.
  • 2. L.C.C. Solicitor's Dept., Deeds.
  • 3. Church Commissioners: Deeds, 91139.