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Decision Summary

This building has been assessed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest. The asset currently does not meet the criteria for listing. It is not listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended.

Name: 30 and 32 New Kent Road

Reference Number: 1461141


London, SE1 6TJ

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Greater London Authority
District: Southwark
District Type: London Borough
Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Decision Date: 23-Oct-2018


Summary of Building

A pair of former houses, now converted to shops and business premises, of late-C18 or C19 date, with later-C19 and C20 additions and alterations.

Reasons for currently not Listing the Building

30 and 32 New Kent Road, of the late-C18 or early C19, altered in the late-C19 and C20, are not listed for the following principal reasons:

Degree of Architectural interest:

* they have been considerably altered by later additions and alterations.

Degree of Historic interest:

* 30 and 32 New Kent Road have historic interest as buildings of pre-1840 date which may have been the first to be erected on their site in central London, but this does not outweigh the extent of alteration.

Degree of Group value:

* although they are in proximity to the Metropolitan Tabernacle, the Michael Faraday Memorial and the former Alexander Fleming House (now Metro Central Heights) (all Grade II) this does not confer special interest on such compromised buildings.


The marshy land, known as St George’s Fields was gradually developed in the C18 with a mixture of housing and institutional buildings, as was the area to its east, around Newington Butts, which included the start of the coaching road to Kent. The New Kent Road was laid out as a result of an Act of 1751 which stipulated that this and other new roads on the south bank should be not less than 80 feet wide (see SOURCES, Survey of London, XXV). The area became a transport hub in the C19 and was renamed Elephant and Castle, apparently after a coaching inn which stood there. The railway arrived in 1863 and the Underground in 1890 with the Northern Line, supplemented by the extension to the Bakerloo Line in 1906.

The area became known as the ‘Piccadilly of South London’ in the later C19 and early C20, with a department store, theatre and cinemas, as well as pubs and restaurants. Redevelopment was first considered in the 1930s by the London County Council (LCC), but nothing came of it. Bombing in the war caused much destruction, and the LCC bought up land in the area, initially to provide parking during the Festival of Britain. The area was declared a Comprehensive Development Area (as allowed by the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947) and in 1956 the LCC Planning Committee announced redevelopment over a site extending to thirty acres. A new road layout was implemented in the late 1950s, created to join the many routes which converge here. This involved the demolition of further buildings, including the original Elephant and Castle pub which was set on a triangular island site and the re-siting of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, whose prominent portico was a feature of the area.

Against this background of considerable change Nos. 30 and 32 New Kent Road appear to be of late-C18 or early-C19 date, and possibly formed part of a terrace which was amongst the first development of housing on this land. The arrival of the railway in 1863 caused the building of the viaduct to the east of No. 32 New Kent Road and would have accounted for the demolition of any houses which continued the terrace to the east. The two houses are shown on the Ordnance Survey (OS) map published in 1916 alongside another, presumably No. 28, which adjoined to their west. This was presumably later demolished to make way for the change of the Elephant and Castle Theatre into the Coronet Cinema, which adjoins the western flank of No. 30, and is treated as a separate case (UDS 1458416). At some stage in the C19 the front gardens of both 30 and 32 were built over and made into single-storey shop premises with a shared party wall. The OS map published in 1879 shows that this happened to No. 30 first, and that No. 32 had undergone a similar change by the time of the OS map of 1896. The brick front of No. 32 appears to have been largely rebuilt, perhaps as the result of enemy action in the Second World War. The shop fronts of both premises appear to date from the C20 or later, and the street-front walling of No. 32 has been largely rebuilt at first and second-floor levels.


A pair of former terraced houses, now converted to shops and business premises, of late-C18 or C19 date, with later-C19 and C20 additions and alterations.

MATERIALS and PLAN: Gault brick fronts (that of number 32 largely rebuilt), with slate and tile roofs. The buildings are of three floors with an attic and have projecting shop fronts at ground-floor level.

EXTERIOR: the shops have C20 plate glass shop windows and glazed doors with metal surrounds. To either side, and dividing the shops, are plain pilaster strips and these have projecting bracket heads with arched tops. The right hand shop front (number 30) is wider than that to the left. First and second-floor windows have segmental heads to number 32 and flat heads, with splayed, brick lintels to number 30, but this is likely to be a result of rebuilding and not to the original design. Windows at right are sashes, with replacement uPVC casements to the left. In addition to the front of number 32, the brickwork between the first and second floor windows of number 30 has also been rebuilt. The attics have Mansart roofs with slates to the lower slopes and tiles to the top. Each has two dormer windows with one placed at the centre and one to the right. That to the centre of number 30 has an arched head, which may be to the original pattern. The eastern flank wall is blank and the western flank adjoins the former Cornet Cinema (not listed).

INTERIOR: not inspected (2018).

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Cherry, B, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: London 2: South, (1994), 592, 596
Darlington, I, Survey of London: Volume 25: St George's Fields (The parishes of St George the Martyr Southwark and St Mary Newington), (1955), 41


National Grid Reference: TQ3207779031

© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 02-Jul-2022 at 03:59:05.