Thames Tributary Earl Sluice - Camberwell

Thames Tributary Earl Sluice
Earl Sluice is said to run down Denmark Hill northwards towards Albany Road
TQ 32966 76664

Camberwell centre - busy shopping area plus the remains of an old centre round the Green with posh houses, mostly now gone.  Many pubs, and many gone, along with cinemas, bus garages and churches of all sorts of obscure demoninations and charities.

Post to the west Brixton and Stockwell
Post to the north Camberwell
Post to the south Denmark Hill
Post to the east Camberwell Art Gallery

Artichoke Lane
Camberwell Baths. Building with a many-storeyed red brick front looking a bit like a theatre. There are two pools, one of which was used as a dance hall. With a big striped brick and shaped gable. Built in 1891 they are the earliest surviving public baths by Henry Spalding and Alfred WS Cross who came to specialise in this type. 1891 of work Opened on 1 October 1892 by the Lord Mayor of London. The first plunge in Camberwell Baths was taken by boys from neighbouring School Board of London Schools. There is an original pay box in the lobby and also the floor tiles and stained glass 'Public Baths' sign. Inside, the pool hall has elaborate balcony fronts. Renovation work and upgrading is under way.

Benhill Road
161 St Giles Centre, on the site of the vicarage, built in 1967. A traditional Church Hall building.
Summer house in the Garden of the old vicarage contains stones from the mediaeval church and a notice explains this.
44 home of John Noldwritt, Custom House Agent and lecturer, Secretary of the Walworth Literary Institute 1891
50 British Lion

Brunswick Park
Brunswick Park, a small garden of flowerbeds, trees and shrubs.

‘Cambrewelle’ 1086 in the Domesday Book. ‘Cambyrwell’ 1154, ‘Camerewdle’ 1199, ‘Camberwelle’ 1241, from Old English ‘wella’ - 'spring or stream' with an obscure first element, possibly an early borrowed form of Latin camera "vault, room' in allusion to a building or other structure at the spring.

Camberwell Church Street
Forms a major shopping thoroughfare
St.Giles Church. Built on the site of an Anglo-Saxon church, recorded in the Domesday Book. St Giles is said to have been a seventh-century hermit who lived in a cave in the south of France and is the patron saint of cripples. The church was burnt down in 1841. This new building was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and Moffett as the result of a competition. Here Scott used 'real' materials, and so details were all in stone but the tracery is cut by machine. It was finished in 1844. Inside is a window of violet coloured glass designed by John Ruskin and Edward Oldfield, another window is medieval German glass imported by the vicar in the 1840's Morris windows were destroyed in the war. There are 14th sedalia and piscina from the old church. . Brasses: 15th knight and kneeling couples with children. Monument: Masterman f. 1927 lettering by Eric Gill; tablet to Captain A. Nairne 1866, by Gaffin. The organ was made by J.C. Bishop and designed by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, grandson of Charles Wesley.
Churchyard. Benedictine Monks held fairs held there. Burials include J.Wesley, wife, Lucy Warner and H.Blake. It is enclosed by old brick walls and mature tree cover
25 Funky Munky one-bar pub, formerly the Artichoke.
28 Hermit's Cave. Became a Hogshead pub. The external windows have etched panels. Semicircular bar with partial division.
65 The Castle. Was Stirling Castle
134-67 Camberwell Buildings, making best of a bad site
Wilson's Grammar School for boys. Built 1882 in red brick with stone dressings. It was designed by E.R. Robson, architect of the London School Board. Wilson's Grammar School was Camberwell's first known school. Under Royal Charter in 1615 by Edward Wilson, Vicar of St Giles's, to teach local boys, including twelve children of poor parents, Latin and Greek. A lawsuit by a Camberwell parishioner in 1843 went in favour of the governors, but the school had to pay costs. And the school had to close in 1845. The school re opened in 1882 in these new buildings close to the site of the old schoolhouse. In 1975 Wilson's Grammar School moved to Sutton. Wilson's Annexe of Camberwell College of Arts now uses it
22 Police Station, 1898. Arts and Crafts style, with a bold stone hood over the doorway. The freehold site was purchased in 1894. The land had been owned by the Metropolitan Board of Works.

Camberwell Green,
Camberwell Green is recorded as ‘Camerwell grene’ in 1572 Camberwell Fair was held here every year and lasted for weeks but Later it was only three days and was simply entertainment. It was abolished in 1855. Mendelssohn’s ‘Spring Song’ is said to have been written here. Local individuals fund raised and in 1856, the Lord of the Manor conveyed the green and the rights of the fair for £1,250 to William Wild, Frank Clarke Hills, and Charles Milhouse and they then sold the Green to the Parish.
Green Coat and National School
15-18 with big window with fan motif,
7-13, an early 19th terrace
29 Tiger – was the Silver Buckle but now returned to original name. Concrete stripped off the front
Camberwell Green Care Home
Parkside Medical Centre
Job Centre
Camberwell Green Surgery in building of 1899 for London and County Bank by A. Williams, in the Edwardian Baroque style with a corner tower like a town hall. Site of an earlier police station 1820-1893. Plaque over the door shows Mercury as the god of commerce plus thrift.

Camberwell Grove
Camberwell Grove, on the site of Camberwell Tea Gardens, is called simply ‘The Grove’ in 1816. A straight, avenue with trees and late Georgian terraces. It was built as a private avenue behind the mansion of the Cock family was built after this was sold in 1776.
26 Grove House Tavern Large two-bar pub. Called “The Grove”
35 garden, backing onto the church. A lot of colour, pots and an Artist's studio.
83 plant lovers' garden with formal of box hedging. Gravel and York stone paths
Camberwell Collegiate School Lower Spring Field, on the principles of King's College. Building 1834, by Henry Roberts. 1867 closed, and the land sold for building
Mary Datchelor School for Girls, a public school founded in 1877 and now with 650 pupils. Demolished for housing.

Camberwell New Road
St.James School next door to the tram depot and bombed. Eventually became part of the tram depot when it was rebuilt.
315 Juno’s Snooker Club was the Grand Cinema. The New Grand Hall was originally built as a function hall and for roller skating. It opened in 1909. In 1949 it became the Grand Cinema, was taken over by the Essoldo Cinemas group in 1954. It closed in 1968 and was converted to bingo hall and later snooker.
St Mary’s. Cathedral since 1977 of the Greek Orthodox Church. Built in 1873 for the Catholic Apostolic Church by Belcher. There is a tiny cloister and numerous church rooms as required by them. The church behind was large but was bombed so that part of the nave is now a small courtyard. After the Second World War the Catholic Apostolic Church had a congregation here until 1961 but The Greek Orthodox Church took it over in 1963 on a peppercorn rent and bought it in 1977.
296a The Bear pub. Was once called ‘The Station’
332 Athenaeum. Pub now in use as a shop, with a big clock outside
Southwark City Learning Centre
Sacred Heart R.C. Secondary School. Church rebuilt in 1953 by D. Plaskett Marshall. Built so as to baffle noise from the railway . Red-brick-faced buildings with black painted floor bands, by Hudson & Hammond, 1959.
283 King William IV. Built by A E Sewell for Truman’s, 1932; brick and faience exterior. Tiled fascia with lettering: 'LONDON STOUT ... OFF LICENCE ... BURTON ALES ... LONDON STOUT ... BURTON ALES'. At first floor level, two stone panels with the Truman 'eagle' trademark in a roundel and 'TRUMANS ... ESTd. 1666'
Walworth Bus Garage. Opened for horse trams 1871 as Camberwell Tram Depot and converted to electric trams in 1903. There were two horse car depots, one facing Camberwell Green, and one on Camberwell New Road, which were at right angles to each other and there were traversers between them. They were originally completely separate. Brakes had to be checked every two days because of Dog Kennel Hill so 45 pits had to be available every night. This was the original London County Council tram depot, 1891. It was the Head office of Tramway Co and became London County Council trams’ head office. Renamed Walworth in 1950. Proved very difficult to rebuild in the 1950s. Rebuilt in 1954 and included offices for bodie3s like the Sports Association. Still in use by private operators.
325 Camberwell Provident Dispensary old shop with tall chimneys in Camberwell New Road has a plaque stating: FOUNDED 1862. REBUILT BY VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS 1880.CHARLES DRUCE PRESIDENT. OTTO A. BENECKE TREASURER. This was the Camberwell Provident Dispensary, to help poor people within one-and-quarter miles of St Giles's church; to encouraged forethought and independence. Has become an Irish pub

Camberwell Road
262 Gala Bingo. The Regal Cinema opened in 1940. Initially it was project of D.J. James and to be called the Florida Cinema, but was sold to Associated British Cinemas before it was finished. It was one of the largest suburban cinemas in London in Art Deco style. The splay walls beside the proscenium opening had fluted columns, upon which were mounted slender glass light fittings and there was a decorative grille in the centre of the columns. Within weeks of opening, in it was closed by bomb damage but re-opened. In 1961 it was re-named ABC and closed in 1973.It was converted into a Bingo Hall until 2010, when it was closed and sold to a church. Grade II Listed.
319 The Red Star Bar. Was the Father Redcap and a music hall pub. Rebuilt 1853

Camberwell Station Road
Camberwell Station. 1862. Built by the London Chatham and Dover Railway. The Station was on the west side of Camberwell Station Road. In 1863 the name was changed to Camberwell New Road. In 1908 the name changed to Camberwell. In 1916 it was closed. In 1990s street level building the street building was still there and used by car mechanics.

Champion Park
Champion name dates from 1823 and commemorates the family of Philip Champion de Crespigny who died at Champion Lodge, now demolished, in 1765. The area formed part of the De Crespigny Estate and was developed around Champion Lodge on Denmark Hill from c. 1840.
William Booth Memorial College. Salvation Army Training College. Buildings of the William Booth Memorial Training College erected in 1929. It has a facade of red brick with stone dressings and a 200 ft tall square central tower. This towering structure was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott a landmark which can be seen many miles. They wanted a tower as high as the cross on St Paul's Cathedral which would be permanently illuminated to shine over the slums of London. Unfortunately it was not finished for the opening. It houses 400 students and covers nine acres. It was opened on 8 July 1929 for William Booth's 100th birthday on the most prominent site they could get.
Booth statues. Bronzes by G.E.Wade for the centenary of their births. William in a frogged frock coat with the motif of blood and fire. 'Promoted to glory'. Produced by the Morris Art Foundry. Unveiled by Duke of Kent 1929.

Coldharbour Lane
Mentioned as ‘Cool Harbour lane’ in 1787, is named from ‘Coldherbergh’ 1363. This was probably transferred from the medieval tenement so called in the City, situated on the Thames just west of London Bridge, and was acquired in 1317 by Sir John Abel who also came into possession of the Camberwell property. The Camberwell Beauty butterfly was first recorded here in 1748.
61 Sun and Doves. Plush 'cocktail bar' style lounge contrasts with traditional Public bar
Daily Times house Ash-Shahada Housing Association Limited
Denmark Place Baptist Church. The church was designed by Mr. Burrell and built by Mr. Humphries, cost £3,700, and was opened in 1825. Alterations were made in 1869. It is a plain stock brick building. The centre arch says A.D. 1823”. 66 Amaryllis Bar And Kitchen. Previously Jack Beard at the Plough
116 Wilson (Sloane Street) catering meat suppliers
120 derelict bakery
129 Coldharbour lane industrial estate
The Camberwell Foyer and Nando's restaurant. Site of Theatre Metropole built to bring West End successes to Camberwell. It had an ornate interior with private boxes. The name was changed to the Empire and in 1937 it was demolished to become an Odeon cinema. The Odeon was by Andrew Mather. And closed in 1975 with The Night Porter. The building then became a Dickie Dirts clothing warehouse.

Crawford Street
Crawford Primary School. The school is in four buildings the largest of which was built in 1884. An extension was built in 1972-5 by Roger Wilkes for the I.L.E.A. Architect's Department. The “caretaker’s house” was converted into the Sybil Phoenix Centre for pupils at risk of exclusion

Denmark Hill
Named from the hunting lodge of Prince George of Denmark, Queen Anne's husband. Runs south from Camberwell Green. Previously called Camberwell High Street.
35 Joiners Arms. Features in films 'Nil by Mouth’.
Maudsley Hospital. Built for the treatment of mental disorders, by Dr. Henry Maudsley who gave £30,000 towards its cost and bequeathed £70,000 to it in his will for research Through the London County Council. The Maudsley opened in 1923 and treated patients on a voluntary basis. On the site are Georgian houses with an administration building, and wards in red brick. The hospital was extended several times before the Second World War. The medical school became part of the University of London and it amalgamated with Bethlem Hospital as the Institute of Psychiatry.
Kings College Hospital. Founded in 1839 by Kings College, and moved here in 1913. The foundation stone was laid in 1909, and it was built in 1909-13 by W. A. Pite, with a new wing by Collcutt & Hamp, 1937. Dental hospital and school built 1965, and a nine-storey ward block 1965-8 by George Trewby Dunn.
Statue to Sir Robert Bentley Todd 1860. Moved with the hospital in 1913.
Chapel with late 19th stained glass from the former hospital. Foundation stone from 1909 and inscriptions by Eric Gill.
Grammar School once situated in extensive grounds, near the point which now forms the junction of ColdHarbour Lane. It was a handsome structure of red and white bricks, with dressings of Portland stone, and the grounds were enclosed by a high brick wall facing Denmark Hill
Camberwell Palace. The Oriental Palace of Varieties was built in 1896, at the corner of Orpheus Street, by Dan Leno. In 1899 it was rebuilt as the Camberwell Palace of Varieties with seating for 3,000. It was designed by E.A.E. Woodrow for. Gray Hill of Coventry. It n closed in 1956. Features in films 'Pool of London’.
Golden Domes Cinema on the site of Kwiksave, later known as the Rex and then as the Essoldo.
Bijou cinema on the site of the Post Office known to locals as the Bye Joe

Denmark Road
Tower Mint.Tower Heritage Centre
110 Denmark Pub. closed

D’Eynsford Road
Magistrates' Court, facing a plaza off Camberwell Green. 1965-9. Large stone building with green tinted windows. Features in films 'Different for Girls’.
D'Eynsford Estate. By Clifford Culpin & Partners, 1971-8, one of Southwark's first large low-rise estates of the 1970s (365 dwellings), almost aggressive in its use of vernacular motifs. Rugged tiled roofs with big projecting eaves, generous balconies, and intricate pathways between tiny walled back gardens.

Flaxman Road
132 Little John. One bar estate pub, display of old Camberwell and Brixton photographs on walls

Grove Lane
Developed similarly to Camberwell Grove but is now more bitty. Pleasing thoroughfare, which runs south from Camberwell Church Street to an area of tree-lined roads. Victorian houses and relics of large tree-clad estates of former years.
16 Le Petit Parisien. This was the Kerwell Arms Pub, latterly called the Dark Horse
The Grove pub. Run by Youngs. Mock Queen Anne building in red brick on a brown brick background
United Reform Church
17 Mary Datchelor House. Mary Datchelor School. The school opened in 1877 and stood on the site of a medieval manor house. In the 18th Mary, Beatrix and Sarah Datchelor left money to the 'poor inhabitants' near their home in the City of London. In 1871 the Datchelor Charity established a girls' school here. In 1881 new classrooms, a hall, library and museum were added and it was taken over by the Clothworkers' Company. The school closed in 1981. Save the Children Fund used it for a long time, but have now moved and most of the site has been demolished.
Lyndhurst Primary School – was Denmark Hill School - opened in 1905
39 Camberwell Hall built in 1748 as a pub but now a house. Used in the 19th as a meeting place. It was part of Grove House, an out of town pub for young people. There were extensive gardens and an assembly room. From 1861 part of the building for his business was used for the manufacture of parquetry. In 1984 Camberwell Hall was a carpet-laying warehouse, with a health club in the assembly rooms. It was bought in 1986 by a sculptor who lowered the space in front to restore it to its original look.
Lava Rink. An early specially built roller-skating rink opened in 1876 in a large iron building on the east side opposite Denmark Hill station. It was called the Lava Rink because the floor was made of lava from Vesuvius. The first English game of roller hockey was played here in 1885. In the 1914-1918 war, the rink became a military depot. It was burnt down in the 1920s.
Warner Road
97 Rose and Thistle
Camberwell Bus Depot. On the corner of Camberwell New Road,. Opened in June 1914 but effectively only opened in July 1919. Body overhaul work in 1940. New self contained dock unit in 1951. Still in operation in private use.

Windsor Walk
Denmark Hill Station. 1st December 1865. Between Peckham Rye and Elephant and Castle and also Victoria on South East Trains. Between Peckham Rye and Clapham High Street on Southern Trains. It was opened to serve mainly as a commute station on the line between Victoria and London Bridge and although main line trains from Victoria ran through it they didn't stop. Built by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. It has two storeys, in heavily modelled Italianate, but with French pavilion roofs, straddling a leafy cutting which made it visible from all sides. It was designed by W. Jacomb Hood. There were domed roofs at each end and a central pavilion, which was kitted out with mahogany seat and open fireplaces, with two ticket offices for the two railway companies that used the Station –other was the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. In 1980 it was gutted by fire by vandals who were never caught and the central pavilion was very badly burnt; the roof was destroyed and the walls were damaged. In 1984 The Camberwell Society, Southwark Environment Trust and British Rail worked together to restore the station and included a new pub - the Phoenix and Firkin. The whole project was supported by John Betjeman Poet Laureate, who described Denmark Hill station as 'a very fine Victorian thing'. The pub was initially called the Phoenix and Firkin to commemorate the fire, then called O'Neills and now known as the Phoenix. A Civic Trust award was given to the building in 1986. The platforms are below road level and there is a short tunnel at one end of the platforms, and road bridge at the other.
German Lutheran church was opened in 1855. It was built on land belonging to Sir Claude de Crespigny. The church was big enough to seat about 300 people. Services were conducted entirely in German. The clergyman had to be ordained by the German Protestant church, and was elected by the members for life. Everyone who subscribed for one year had a vote. The gas fittings were very decorative. The church was vacated by the German congregation in 1914. From the 1920s it was used by Open Brethren who called it Beresford church.
Addiction Sciences Building

Boast. The Story of Camberwell
Camberwell College. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Dearden. John Ruskin’s Camberwell
Field. London Place Names
Glazier. London Transport Garages
Hermits Cave. Web site
London Borough of Southwark, Web site
London Encyclopaedia
Mary Datchelor School. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Sacred Heart School. Web site
St. Giles. Web site
St.Mary's Cathedral. Web site
Salvation Army. Web site


Thanks for your work. I've posted a link from the SE5 Forum at

One tiny error I noticed. The pub in Grove Lane used to be The Kerfield Arms, not The Kerwell.
Trevor said…
For a former Camberwell resident, this is a most fascinating page.
One point re Mendlessohn's "Spring Song" (one of his famous "Songs without Words") is that it was known in England as "Camberwell Beauty". He was staying with the Benecke family while writing this piece (according to the liner notes of the Walter Gieseking recording). Otto Benecke is mentioned on the plaque at the Camberwell Dispensary.
You might like to include a link to the Cinema Treasures website ( which has a potted history of all the theatres and cinemas in the area.
Trevor said…
Ooops! - I've realised I made an error in my previous post. The name given to Spring Song was in fact Camberwell Green.
lcrenovation said…
Very interesting blog Awesome post. Your article is really informative and helpful for me and other bloggers too.
Renovations in Camberwell

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