Lambeth Road

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

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, 'Lambeth Road', in Survey of London: Volume 23, Lambeth: South Bank and Vauxhall, (London, 1951) pp. 122-124. British History Online [accessed 23 May 2024].

. "Lambeth Road", in Survey of London: Volume 23, Lambeth: South Bank and Vauxhall, (London, 1951) 122-124. British History Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

. "Lambeth Road", Survey of London: Volume 23, Lambeth: South Bank and Vauxhall, (London, 1951). 122-124. British History Online. Web. 23 May 2024,

In this section


[See plates 95 and 111.]

Lambeth Road is approximately on the site of the old road leading inland from the Horseferry. The river end of it was known as Church Street until 1876, when the subsidiary names Buxton Place, Canterbury Place, Barkham Terrace, Durham Place, Lambeth Terrace and Union Place were all abolished and the whole renamed Lambeth Road. (fn. 3)

No. 214, The Rectory

Before the Reformation most rectors of Lambeth were chaplains to Archbishops, and lived in the Palace. There was still no separate residence for the rector in Featley's time, and John Featley relates that when Dr. Featley fell sick in 1625 he left the Palace and went to his wife's house in Kennington. (fn. 8) This house is marked on the plan of the Manor of Kennington (Plate 1). In 1684 the court rolls record the admittance of the Reverend George Hooper to the “Parsonage House” and an acre of copyhold land called the Pound Close. (fn. 9) The former was on the opposite side of the road to the present rectory and it is represented in a drawing reproduced by Nichols as a double gabled house with a thatched roof. (fn. 2) It had apparently been taken down before 1778 when a private Act was obtained to enable the Archbishop of Canterbury to enfranchise part of the glebe land and waste belonging to the manor, (fn. 10) including the piece of copyhold land on which the “Parsonage House” formerly stood. This ground was subsequently let for building. Under the same Act the Archbishop granted the rector a piece of waste ground on which one of the pounds of the manor had previously stood, adjoining Pound Close (fn. n1) for the erection of a new rectory. The house was built by William Head, carpenter, and Joseph Buckmaster, plumber. (fn. 11) An east wing was added in 1828–29 but the house remained substantially unaltered until the 1939–45 war when it received serious damage.

Architectural Description

The rectory, a plain building in yellow stock brick, was originally, as shown in the view on Plate 94, of three storeys above a semi-basement. The later east wing was a storey lower and in the recent reconstruction after war damage the whole building has been reduced to the same height. The entrance has an architrave surround with a rectangular fanlight over the door. On the back of the older part of the house is a stone tablet inscribed—


Another tablet on the west side gives the builders' names and the date 1778.

Nos. 212–204 (even numbers, formerly 1–5 (consec.), Union Place)

Under the Act of 1778 (fn. 10) the rector was empowered to grant building leases of the glebe land, and two separate leases were granted to William Head and Joseph Buckmaster of part of the Pound Field with a road frontage of 400 feet. (fn. 11) Two terraces of houses were erected on the ground with a passage between them leading to a walk which abutted on the canal of the Archbishop's park. (fn. 12) Only Nos. 212–204 survive of the western terrace and No. 180 of the eastern.

Architectural Description

Both terraces were plainly built in yellow stock brick with two continuous moulded stone bands at parapet gutter level. The entrances have stuccoed surrounds and moulded imposts. No. 180 has been refronted.

Figure 39:

Nos. 214–204 Lambeth Road. Measured drawing by Evelyn Prior

No. 210 (formerly No. 2 Union Place) was leased by Buckmaster to William Singleton, carpenter, in 1784. (fn. 13) From this time to the present day Singleton's Eye Ointment has been made on these premises. There is a tradition in the firm that the preparation was invented by a Lambeth doctor, Thomas Johnson, in the 17th century. Stephen Green, the stone-potter, married a descendant of Singleton and also continued the manufacture of the ointment. (fn. 13) He lived in the house from 1829–77. (fn. 4) No. 204 (formerly No. 5 Union Place) was occupied in 1829–30 by William Thomas Moncrieff, dramatist. (fn. 4) He was successively manager of Astley's, the Coburg Theatre and Vauxhall Gardens. He wrote over 170 plays, some of them for those places of entertainment, including the famous “Tom and Jerry.” (fn. 6)

Archbishop Temple's Boy's School

This school was erected in 1902–4 on land which had been given by Archbishop Frederick Temple. Three foundations had been combined in 1753, Thomas Rich's Grammar School, Richard Laurence's Charity for the clothing and education of twenty poor boys of Lambeth Marsh, and a subscription parochial school. (fn. 7) The school moved to its present site from Hercules Road; it had previously been situated near the southern end of what is now Carlisle Lane (formerly Lambeth Green).

Nos. 160–148 and 102–96 (even)

These houses were all built on copyhold land of Lambeth Manor, Nos. 160–148 before 1788 (fn. 4) and Nos. 102–96 a few years later. (fn. 4) They are plain houses in yellow stock brick, Nos. 160–148 distinguished by a raised approach for pedestrians. Nos. 150 and 156 have bold splayed bays, and most houses have half or full Ionic pilasters to their entrances. Nos. 156–60 have rectangular fanlights over the doors and Nos. 102–96, which are less imposing, have small bowed iron balconies to the first floor windows. The entrance to No. 102 has panelled impost stones and a carved female head to the keystone.

No. 150 (formerly No. 14 Lambeth Terrace) was occupied from 1798–1803 by James Knowles (perhaps) the lexicographer. He was born in Ireland but was in England about this time. (fn. 6)

No. 148 (formerly No. 15 Lambeth Terrace) from 1788–98 was occupied by Samuel Buckmaster and in 1799–1802 by John Buckmaster. (fn. 4)

No. 100 (formerly No. 3 Durham Place) was built about 1794, (fn. 4) the first occupant being William Bligh, vice-admiral, 1794–1814 (Bligh of the Bounty). Bligh accompanied Captain Cook on his second voyage round the world in 1772–4 when bread-fruit was discovered at Otaheite. This lead to Bligh's appointment to the Bounty in 1787. The famous mutiny occurred on the voyage from Tahiti where bread-fruit plants had been collected with a view to acclimatizing them in the British West Indies. In 1805 Bligh was appointed governor of New South Wales but he had a troubled term of office and he was deposed and imprisoned by a Major Johnston, who was subsequently cashiered. (fn. 6) Bligh died in 1817 and was buried in Lambeth Churchyard (see p. 116).

No. 96 (formerly No. 1 Durham Place) was occupied in 1795–6 by Colonel (subsequently Sir) Hildebrand Oakes. He served in America, Corsica and Malta, and was created a baronet in 1813 in recognition of his services. (fn. 6)

Surrey Lodge Dwellings

In 1884 the South London Dwellings Company, with Emma Cons as the prime mover, built a quadrangle of model dwellings at the north-west corner of Lambeth Road and Kennington Road on the site of Surrey Lodge, previously the home of Sir James Wyatt. (fn. 5) Emma Cons and her niece Lilian Baylis occupied two of the cottages, Nos. 5 and 6, Morton Place, for a number of years. The range of buildings fronting Lambeth Road was destroyed during the 1939–45 war.

Lambeth (Wesleyan Methodist) Chapel

Lambeth Chapel at the south-west corner of Lambeth Road and Kennington Road (Plate 115a), was built in 1808. (fn. 1) In 1928 it was adapted for use as a mission hall and cinema but was destroyed during the 1939–45 war. A large sculptured figure representing a Street Preacher has been placed on the front wall of the new church hall on the site. (fn. 14)


  • n1. The pound is marked on Rocque's map of 1746.
  • 1. The history and antiquities of the Parish of Lambeth, by T. Allen, 1826.
  • 2. History and antiquities of the parish of Lambeth, by J. Nichols, 1786.
  • 3. L.C.C. Street naming records.
  • 4. Lambeth M.B.C. Poor rate books.
  • 5. The Old Vic, by Cicely Hamilton and Lilian Baylis, 1926.
  • 6. D.N.B.
  • 7. Lambeth Parish Church, by G.Masters, 1904.
  • 8. A succinct history of the life and death of … Daniel Featley, by John Featley, 1660.
  • 9. Church Commissioners: Deeds, 171187.
  • 10. Private Act, 18 Geo. III, cap 32.
  • 11. L.C.C.: Deeds of Lambeth Rectory.
  • 12. 1806 Lambeth Enclosure Award Map.
  • 13. Deeds in possession of L. Bull, 210, Lambeth Road.
  • 14. The Lambeth Mission Street Preacher, by Thomas Tiplady, 1950.