Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lambeth North

The second station on the Bakerloo line when travelling North. A deep level station at 70 feet below street level. Access to street level is by lift or by climbing an 84 step spiral staircase.

The station is at the junction of Westminster Bridge Road and Baylis Road. When it first opened it was called Kennington Road but after a few months it became Westminster Bridge Road station. Then in 1917 it was changed to its current name of Lambeth North.

Across the road is the Oasis Church Waterloo offering a range of services providing all aspects of support for the surrounding  community.

Continuing down St George's Road you come to St George's RC Cathedral. It doesn't look particularly impressive from the outside but the inside is magnificent.

Walking in the opposite direction along Westminster Bridge Road, brings you out on Lambeth Palace Road.  This is the site of St Thomas's Hospital. The hospital moved here in 1862 from Southwark where it had provided treatment and shelter for the poor since at least the 12th cent.

In 1859 Florence Nightingale began her nursing school at the hospital. There is a museum dedicated to Florence Nightingale in the grounds of the hospital.

On the opposite side of the road to the hospital is Archbishop's Park. The park was originally part of Lambeth Palace, the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1901 nine acres of land from the Archbishop's garden was given to the people of Lambeth on an indefinite lease

This is Morton's Tower built in 1490 and is the entrance into Lambeth Palace which is still used as the London home of  the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England.

Around the corner from the Palace on Lambeth Road is a deconsecrated church which is now The Garden Museum more info here

On Westminster Bridge Road just a few minutes walk from Lambeth North station is one of the strangest railway stations I have ever come across. At No 121 is the remains of the entrance to what used to be  London Necropolis Station. The sole purpose of this station was to transport dead bodies and their funeral parties to Brookwood Cemetery. This cemetery was once the largest in the world and was built to cope with the overcrowding of the London burial grounds. This began in 1854 and continued into the 1930s by which time other cemeteries in London were built. When bodies arrived at Brookwood there were two exits -  a South station for the Anglicans and a North station for any others. In 1941 bombing destroyed the line and the Necropolis Railway line was closed.

Walking along Hercules Road away from Lambeth North you will pass the site  where William Blake, the poet and artist, lived. Looking out on the right there is a short tunnel going beneath the railway lines and lining the walls are some mosaics describing extracts  from Blake's poems.

Turning left onto Lambeth Road and then right you arrive at Lambeth Walk made famous from the music hall song and dance featured in the musical Me and my Girl. The Lambeth Walk became a dance craze in the 30s and 40s

Anytime you're Lambeth way
Any evening, any day,
You'll find us all doin' the Lambeth walk.

The first building you see was built in the art deco style during the 1950s. It was the Lambeth public laundry and slipper baths before becoming  a health centre. The large doors on either side were the entrances into the baths. In the 50s very few houses had bathrooms or facilities for washing clothes so most local councils provided bath houses.

Continuing down Lambeth Walk this building cannot escape notice. Built in 1910, Pelham Mission Hall is now the sculpture studio of Morley College. If you look closely you will see its distinctive outdoor pulpit.

Looking at this corner building I noticed a stone with an inscription. With close inspection I read this unusual declaration.

Turning right onto Old Paradise Street  I walked to the end and entered the Old Paradise Gardens. The site was used as a burial ground between 1703 and 1853. Many of the old gravestones line the walls and it's still possible to see these cigar shaped tombs embedded in the grass.

This stone marks the spot of the 1825 Watch House where the parish's drunk and disorderly were locked up until they were sober enough to leave.

Since the 1970s the park has been landscaped with new shrubs, plants and a playground and fountains.

The name of this Victorian  pub - The Windmill is a reminder of the days when there were 3 windmills in this area.
Walking further down Lambeth High Street and you see such a mixture of architecture from different periods of history. The building that stands out is the old showroom of the Royal Doulton  Pottery Company.

The building is covered with terracotta tiles of various designs. The offices eventually moved to Staffordshire to be close to the factory where the pottery was produced.

Further down Black Prince Road turn into Newport Street to see this building which used to be Beaufoy's Ragged School. Ragged schools provided an education for the poor. They were open on Sundays as many children worked on the other days of the week.  By the late Victorian period there were several hundred of these schools around England until the Education Act of 1870 provided free state education so these schools were either run by the State or closed. This school was sponsored by the Beaufoy family and is said to have held 1000 children.

Sharing with Our World Tuesday


  1. Coincidence? Maybe not. Sydney had a similar train running from the main city railway station to a cemetery, named Rookwood.

  2. You must have eagle eyes to find all these interesting buildings, plaques, parks and cemeteries. London has so much history. Interesting to see the Archbishop lives at Lambeth. I remember that song too.

  3. I wish I had seen all this things during my few visitings. Thank you for showing this nice places.

  4. Aw, I missed the Blake mosaics. I just happened upon the Royal Doulton building and took a ton of photos. It's gorgeous. So much to see, do I really want to go to China?!

  5. I really love all the detail and photos you put in for your walks and you have some great places to go there.

  6. So much history and surely so many secrets in those old structures.

  7. I certainly hope that you are saving this to put in a book. What a wonderful touring tool it would be.!

  8. Brilliant walk. Interesting to see the station at the other end of the brook wood line. I've been to brookwood and wondered where the line went.. You showed some great places to visit.

  9. What a wonderful walking tour! The Royal Doulton building is beautiful!

  10. Wonderful series of photos ~ I feel like I have been with you on your special journey ~ thanks,

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  11. Great set of captures of some beautiful buildings !!!

  12. Great series! And thanks for all the explanations, you could be an excellent guide!

  13. Wow, that's a lot to take in. I like the clock on the station building.


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