In this year of the Festival of Britain, the “South Bank” has become
the cynosure of all eyes. Accordingly this volume contains much
that is of contemporaneous interest. Its value as a record of the
topography and buildings of North Lambeth will, however,
remain long after the South Bank Exhibition has become part of
Lambeth history. At a cursory glance the area seems lacking in architectural and historical interest, but a detailed survey has proved richly
The “South Bank” is somewhat of a misnomer. The Thames
between Vauxhall Bridge and Waterloo Bridge does not run west to
east as is commonly supposed, but south to north, so that in fact
most of the riverside area of Lambeth is on the east side of the river.
The term “South Bank” has, however, become so customary that
its use is now inevitable though it complicates the topographical
descriptions of particular places. A further difficulty which has arisen
in elucidating the topography of the area prior to the 1820's is the
vagueness of the term Lambeth Marsh which was applied generally
to much of North Lambeth. It has, for instance, proved impossible
to decide the exact viewpoint of Capon's drawing of the Marsh
reproduced in the frontispiece.
The records of the Archbishop's Manor and of Vauxhall Manor
are exceptionally full, and by kind permission of the Church Commissioners they have been freely used in preparing the volume. Thanks
are due to His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury for allowing access
to the records preserved at the Palace and for permission to make
drawings and photographs there.
Unfortunately, the majority of the Duchy of Cornwall records
could not be brought back to London from their war-time depository
in time to be of service, but in writing the history of the Manor of
Kennington the manuscript history compiled some years ago by Mr.
Rollo Clowes, a former member of the Duchy Office staff, has proved
invaluable. As always in this series the resources of the Public
Record Office, the British Museum and Somerset House have been
The parish records of Lambeth are not so complete as those of
Southwark, and in particular the set of Poor Rate books has been
sadly depleted. Such records as remain either at the Town Hall or in
the care of the Librarian have been readily produced, and the Church
authorities have been most helpful both in allowing access to records
and in giving facilities for drawing and measuring the buildings under
their control. Mr. T. F. Garnish of the Lambeth Endowed Charities
has helped in many ways, as have a number of local residents and firms
among whom special mention must be made of Doulton & Co., Ltd.
The historical parts of the volume and its compilation are the
work of Miss Ida Darlington, M.A., the Council's Librarian, who has been
assisted by Miss M. P. G. Christie, B.A. The architectural descriptions
and drawings have been prepared under the direction of the Architect by
Mr. J. H. Farrar, A.R.C.A., who wishes to acknowledge the assistance
he has received from Mr. Kenneth S. Mills, A.R.I.B.A., A.M.T.P.I.
and Mr. F. R. Buggey and other officers in his department.
Clerk of the London County Council.
The County Hall,
Westminster Bridge, S.E.1.