BRIXTON HILL, EAST SIDE
The northern section of the road now called
Brixton Hill was formerly called Brixton Cause
way. The name Brixton (with many variations)
dates from at least the 11th century, and its
derivation has been suggested as “(At) the stone
of Beohtsige (Brightsige)”. (ref. 238) Manning and
Bray suggested that the Causeway derived its
name from this stone, (ref. 239) but they also quoted
another explanation that in the 14th century
Sir John de Burstow (or Bristow) repaired this
piece of road with stone, and that it was subsequently
known as Burstow or Bristow Cause
way. (ref. 240) The earliest known reference to a cause
way is contained in a will of 1530, when Hugh
Action left £20 for making and repairing the
highway from Streatham Church to the foot of
“Bristowe Cawsey”. (ref. 241) The names Rush Common,
or Rushey Green, and Watery Lane (now
Brixton Water Lane) both suggest that the area
was marshy. At some date before 1530, and
possibly even in Roman times (see page 5), the
road was evidently embanked or paved.
Rush Common bordered the whole length of
the east side of Brixton Hill, and the Inclosure
Act of 1806 provided that no buildings should be
erected on the Common within 150 feet of the
road. When building began in the 1820s at the
south end of the road, the houses were set well
back with long narrow front gardens.
Nos. 123–129 (odd) Brixton Hill
These houses were erected between 1824 and
1830. (ref. 174) Nos. 123 and 125 are a plain uninteresting
pair of stock brick houses of two storeys
with an attic storey in a slated mansard roof.
They also have semi-basements and their entrances
are in side wings of slightly less height.
No. 127, a stucco-fronted detached villa of the
same number of storeys, has a central pedimented
porch with Tuscan-type columns which are
grossly moulded at their bases. The house is
dilapidated and empty. No. 129 is finished with
overhanging eaves; it is a poor stucco-fronted
villa with a badly detailed Greek Doric porch at
Brixton Hill Methodist Mission Church
Formerly Elm Park Methodist Chapel
The first chapel to be erected on this site was
built in 1824; it was entirely rebuilt in 1856–7,
William Wesley Jenkins being the architect. (ref. 242)
This second chapel was totally destroyed by
enemy action in the war of 1939–45.
Nos. 139–167 (odd) Brixton Hill
Nos. 139–145, formerly Nos. 1–4 (consec.) Brixton Hill
Terrace; Nos. 151–161, formerly Nos. 1–6 (consec.) Brunswick
These houses were erected between 1816 and
1824; (ref. 174) Nos. 155, 157 and 159 were described
as empty in 1824, and an inscription on No. 163
states that it was erected in 1820 (Plate 59a).
Nos. 139–145, a stucco-fronted three-storeyed
terrace finished with a cornice and blocking course,
are plain houses devoid of ornament except for the
fluted quadrant reveals to the entrances. The
houses are joined by a plain band at first-floor level
and are channelled through the ground storey.
Nos. 147 and 149 are a plain pair of stock brick
houses of three storeys which have their entrances
contained in recessed wings of the same height.
Except for the first-floor lattice-type cast-iron
balconies at No. 147, the houses lack ornament.
No. 151, another plain three-storey stock brick
house, is only of interest in the unusual treatment
of the ground-floor windows on each side of the
entrance. They are of gauged flat type set in
shallow rectangular recesses which also have
gauged heads. No.153, slightly taller than No.
151, is stucco-fronted, plain and of little interest.
There is a rectangular panel set in the middle of
the blocking course above the parapet cornice.
Nos. 155 and 157 form a stucco-fronted pair of
three storeys and are finished with a cornice and
blocking course. They are joined by a plain first-floor
band and the ground storey is channelled.
The two first-floor windows of each house have
splay-ended guards of cast-iron with standard
wave and anthemion ornament. Each doorway
has fluted reveals.
The abutting terrace, Nos. 159–167, sited at
a slightly higher level because of the slope of
Brixton Hill, is similar, though No. 163, which
has a long architrave-framed panel, inscribed
“BRUNSWICK HOUSE. 1820.” at second-floor
level, is of greater width and has three
instead of two windows on the upper floors.
This terrace also differs in having a mansard-roofed
attic storey behind its balustraded parapets.
Except at No. 167, the first-floor windows of
each house are joined by balconies borne on
St. Matthias Church, Upper Tulse Hill
The site of this church formed part of the
Manor of Lambeth and was bought in 1881 from
the Trustees of Stockwell Orphanage. The cost
of the land was borne by a relative of the minister.
Owing to lack of funds a temporary iron church
was erected to serve the needs of the locality.
This building proved unsatisfactory, the heat in
the summer becoming so intense that members of
the congregation were sometimes unable to sit
through a whole service. (ref. 243) The foundation stone
of the permanent church was laid on June 2, 1894,
by Mrs. Selina Lingham. The architects were
John Thomas Newman and William Jacques and
the builders Messrs. James Longley and Co. (ref. 145)
The church provided accommodation for 780
people, and was dedicated in December of the
same year; owing to outstanding debts it was not
consecrated until March 25, 1899. A Consolidated
Chapelry was assigned in the same year. (ref. 243)
The church stands on a sloping site and is a
plain red brick building sparingly dressed with
stone; the roofs are tiled. All the windows are
lancets and there are lean-to aisles at each side
of the clerestoried nave. There is a tall gabled
vestry projecting on the south side. The interior,
which is also of red brick, has five bays of stone
arcading with alternating circular and octagonal
piers flanking the nave; the chancel is apsidal,
and the altar has a stone canopied reredos with
panels at each side inscribed with the Lord's
Prayer, the Creed and the Commandments.