Camberwell Town Hall

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Camberwell Town Hall


Southwark town hall 1.jpg
Camberwell Town Hall
Grid reference: TQ33257676
Location: 51°28’27"N, 0°4’58"W
Town: Camberwell
Address: Peckham Road
Built 1934
By: Culpin and Bowers
Classical style
Condition: Now student accommodation

Camberwell Town Hall is a municipal building in Peckham Road, Camberwell, in the heavily urbanised parts of north-eastern Surrey.


The building was commissioned to replace an ageing 19th-century vestry hall on the site which had been designed by Edward Power in a mixture of French Renaissance style and Italianate style for the Parish of St Giles; the old vestry hall was only partially demolished to make way for the current building and significant elements of it are still visible in the western elevation of the new building along Havil Street.[1][2][3] The old vestry hall had become the headquarters of the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell as "Camberwell Town Hall" in 1900.[1]

The new building was designed by Culpin and Bowers in the Classical style and built by Galbraith Brothers.[1] It was officially opened by the mayor, Councillor S. E. Hall, on 10 October 1934.[4] The design involved a symmetrical main frontage with three bays facing onto Peckham Road; the central bay featured an arched doorway with a keystone in the form of the helm of a ship on the ground floor; there was a tall recess on the first, second and third floors flanked by four huge composite order antae with a clock and a pedestal above.[1] Internally, the principal rooms were the council chamber and the mayor's parlour both on the first floor.[1] The council chamber featured the original coved ceiling and pilastered walls, which had been recovered from the vestry hall, together with completely new seating furniture for the council members.[1]

The building took over the role of headquarters of the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell and continued to be the local seat of government, when the enlarged Southwark council was formed in 1965. It then became known as "Southwark Town Hall" and benefited from some refurbishment works in the reception area in 1980.[1]

After the council moved to 160 Tooley Street in March 2009,[5] the building was sold to a developer, Alumno Developments, in December 2014.[6] Works to convert the property into student accommodation to a design by Jestico and Whiles for Goldsmiths College were completed in 2016.[7] Memorials to council staff who had died in the First and Second World Wars were taken down during the works and transferred to Tooley Street.[8] The works, which involved extending the building further north along Harvil Street, also facilitated provision of a new auditorium for "Theatre Peckham", which provides performing arts classes for young people, as well as a new café and some self-contained artists' studios within the new complex.[9][10][11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "London's Town Halls". Historic England. p. 174. Retrieved 12 May 2020. 
  2. "Peckham Road Cultural Heritage Desk-Based Assessment". AB Heritage. 9 August 2010. p. 19. Retrieved 12 May 2020. 
  3. Walford, Edward: 'Camberwell' in 'Old and New London', Volume 6 (1878) pages 269-286
  4. Beasley, John D. (2010). Camberwell Through Time. Amberley Publishing. ISBN 978-1848685635. 
  5. "Southwark Council begins move to Tooley Street offices". London SE1. 2 March 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2020. 
  6. "Southwark's Town Hall sell off". 35 per cent. Retrieved 13 May 2020. 
  7. "Town halls of residence: students move into former Southwark Town Hall in Peckham". Southwark News. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2020. 
  8. "Camberwell war memorials rededicated in Tooley Street ceremony". London SE1. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2020. 
  9. "Southwark Town Hall". EOS Facades. Retrieved 25 April 2020. 
  10. "Southwark Town Hall". Alumno Developments. Retrieved 12 May 2020. 
  11. "Southwark Town Hall Building". E-Architect. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2020.