Expression of interest process for Baths published!

Following pressure from the Lewisham Building Preservation Trust (LBPT),  the Council has announced that it will invite expressions of interest from potential development partners for the refurbishment of the Old Baths in Ladywell (AKA Play Tower) in January .

A five stage process is envisaged with short-listed bids to be announced in March and an eventual partner chosen in May.  The Council has stated that community views on the short-listed bids will be sought between March and the end of April and LBPT is hoping to have a role in this process.

Between £4-5m in funds are going to be needed to in restoration costs and given the state that the building has been allowed to fall into, it is likely that the date of Summer 2019 for a re-opening is overly optimistic.

Please share the call for expressions of interest far and wide so as many potential uses as possible come forward.


Lewisham War Memorials listed on our application

Joe O’Donnell, on behalf of the Lewisham Buildings Preservation Trust, has had two Lewisham war memorials  listed to mark this year’s Remembrance Day celebration- midway through the centenary of the First World War.  The Trust is asking the public to supply the precise location of two other war memorials it would like to see listed.

Joe O’Donnell of the Lewisham Buildings Preservation Trust said: ‘I am very pleased that these memorials have been recognised as being of national interest. The listing means that the memorials now have extra protection in the planning system and funding can be applied for restoration- as I understand the Vicar at Stephen’s Church intends to. I hope the public will contact the trust with the precise location of two other civilian war memorials in Ladywell cemetery. Lewisham has a great number of historic buildings. The Lewisham Buildings Preservation Trust want to make sure that they are recognised and protected.’

The first War Memorial to be Grade II listed on the Trust’s application is Lewisham’s main war memorial on Lewisham High Street. The site for the memorial was donated by the Earl of Dartmouth and the Lewisham Park Trustees. The memorial was designed by E A Stone, a London-based architect, with the foundation stone being laid by Harry Chiesman, Mayor of Lewisham, on 6 November 1920. You can read the full details of the listing text here:

St Stephen’s Church War Memorial has also been Grade II listed on Mr O’Donnell’s application. The memorial there takes the form of a hooded Calvary cross with a carved figure of Christ. The memorial was unveiled on 3 September 1921 by Lieut-Col Eric Ball. Read the full listing description here The Vicar has stated that following the listing he intends to apply for funding for restoration.

The trust is seeking the precise location of a large headstone in Ladywell cemetery inscribed with names of civilians killed in air raids during the First World War so that it can apply for listing. The Trust is also seeking the location of a cross in Brockley cemetery in memory of those killed by German Zeppelins Raids. If you can provide any information please contact Joe O’Donnell or the Lewisham Buildings Preservation Trust on Twitter @JosephJODonnell or @LewishamBPTlewisham-war-memorial-with-pillars-dedicated-to-the-11th-lewisham-battalion-qs-orwk-regiment

Historic England decided not to list the remaining parts of Lewisham Hospital War Memorial due to the extensive damage it had suffered.  On 26 July 1944 the hospital was hit by a V1 rocket: this seems to have been when the memorial was severely damaged. The remaining fragments were salvaged and stored in the hospital, where they were re-discovered in the 1990s during building works. On 4 August 1998 they were re-dedicated by the Hospital Chaplain, Reverend Annie Shaw in a small garden between Lewisham High Street and the former library where they remain.

The list description for the Roman Catholic Church of St Saviour and Sts John Baptist and Evangelist on Lewisham High Street has also been updated to include reference to the mosaic war memorial over the entrance door.

Playtower latest at Ladywell Assembly this Thursday

Ladywell Assembly
Thursday, 14th July, 2016 7.00 pm St Andrew’s Centre, Brockley Road, London SE4 2SA

We will be speaking at this Thursday’s Ladywell Assembly. The Council will also be giving more details of the  Expression of Interest process for the old Ladywell Baths/ playtower site which is now expected to run through August.

Come along!

Lewisham Council consults on future of Beckenham Place Park

The stage one bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund contained a draft masterplan showing some of  Lewisham Council’s development ideas for Beckenham Place Park. You can view the plan here

Tell the Council your views by emailing

This mansion was built about 1773 for John Cator (1728-1806). You can read more in the listing description here.

Redevelopment of art deco gem – Tower House, Lewisham

Building Design Magazine has reported that  Barr Gazetas has won consent to convert the 1930s Tower House former department store. The building will receive a two storey roof extension.

You can see Barr Gazetas proposed restoration of the front of the building here.

It is a shame that the opportunity has not been taken to reinstall the stunning neon decoration which once covered the front as seen in this 1933 video of the opening ceremony. This would create a real architectural landmark for Lewisham.tower_house