31 Penrose Street - Walworth's Victorian Sorting Office

The former puropse-built Postmen’s Office (Sorting Office) is located on the corner of Penrose Street and Penrose Grove (formally known as Cottage Grove). It was built in 1897 and designed by Sir Henry Tanner of HM Office of Works.

Documentary evidence (held at the British Postal Museum & Archives) suggests that the Department’s original intention had been to acquire the site opposite at Nos 36 & 38, but research at the time revealed these plots had once held a chapel and an associated burial site and, in light of the 'Disused Burial Grounds Act of 1884', the plans were subsequently abandoned. Attention was turned to the site opposite and Nos 25-31 were successfully purchased from a Mr Charles Wastell (meat salesman) in September 1896 for the sum of £1900.

Historic Title Deed for No 31

Documents suggest that discussion was held between the London Postal Service, The London County Council and The Office of Works as to the appropriate height and footprint of the Office. These letters are perhaps interesting in their own right in hinting at some of the tensions which existed between the Post Office and the Office of Works over who should have creative control over the Department's architecture (see J. Osley: Built for Service, 2010 and R. Hradsky in Living Leisure & Law, 2010). In February 1897, Henry Tanner, then the Government's head architect for Post Offices, supplied the designs (right down to the size of the bolts in the trusses) which were approved and had a build cost which was estimated at £2600.

Design Drawings by Henry Tanner

Design Drawings by Henry Tanner 

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A Vision for Manor Place - Old Haymarket, Liverpool

Old Haymarket Liverpool






















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Old Haymarket in Liverpool can perhaps help give those of us with a vision for the future of Manor Place Terrace something to aspire too. This was a highly successful combined new build and refurbishment project which was written up as a case study by CABE at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110118095356/http://www.cabe.org.uk/case-studies/old-haymarket

Here's hoping a similar future might yet be achieved for Manor Place. Come on Southwark, let's have some vision!

Elephant & Castle Masterplan

The masterplan for the new proposals at the Elephant & Castle have now been submitted to Southwark Council and are available to view on the council's website. You can also go into 'The Hub' on the Walworth Road to see the displays.

The development will result in major changes to our area and it is important that residents understand what is proposed and have their say. 

Additional information