The Walworth Town Hall complex

/The Walworth Town Hall complex
The Walworth Town Hall complex 2019-03-22T11:45:33+00:00

This elegant collection of buildings is Grade II listed and located next to the Walworth Conservation area at the rear of the site. They create a striking street frontage on to Walworth Road and form a group of historically important buildings together with John Smith House on the opposite side of the road. Although constructed in a number of phases, the architectural ensemble is coherent and visually harmonious due to the consistency of its material palette and detailing, with red brick animated by fine portland stone banding and ornamental details.

WTH also has a frontage onto Wansey Street, now Walworth Square completed by Lendlease. Walworth Square is a new public space connecting Walworth with Elephant and Castle and marking the entrance to Elephant Park. The square provides the setting for the new Southwark memorial by Kenny Hunter and related civic events. The space has been designed to be flexible to host public events and activities. It is intended to be an active and engaging space with ground floor retail and hospitality businesses and greening throughout the square. The creation of Walworth Square provides an improved setting for the WTH and an opportunity to create a new entrance to the building.

The historic complex is constructed around the St Mary Newington Vestry Hall which dates from 1865. It consists of the Vestry Hall (1865), The Newington Library (1892), The Town Hall extension (1902), The Cuming Museum (1902- 1906) and The Members Room (1947).

The existing GIA totalling 4,772 Sq m (51,365 Sq F) is arranged as follows

Walworth Town Hall

Floor GIA (Sq M) GIA (Sq Ft)
2 607 6,535
1 872 9,391
Ground 898 9,665
Basement 681 7,330
TOTAL 3,058 32,921

Newington Library and Cuming

Floor GIA (Sq M) GIA (Sq Ft)
3 129 1,393
2 148 1,593
1 401 4,311
Ground 506 5,444
Basement 529 5,698
TOTAL 1,713 18,440

Based on drawings supplied by Abel Architects. These areas have not been verified by Southwark Council or Montagu Evans. Full measured plans are included in the online dataroom.

Since 1965 the Vestry Hall has housed municipal offices and, for a period, the registry office. The Cuming museum was situated in the Town Hall from 2006 until the fire (after moving from the purpose built Cuming Building to the rear of the Library). Newington Library was erected as a result of the 1850 Public Libraries Act. The act was a part of the efforts taken to educate the working classes; even so it took much persistence on the part of the local community to get the library built. The Old Town Hall forms a significant group with the Public Library and Health Centre on Walworth Road.

In 2013 a fire put the buildings out of action. Since then, the council has committed significant public funds to dry out and stabilise the fabric of the building and reinstate the Vestry Hall roof on Walworth Road.