549 Lordship Lane, London

Lordship Lane 1.jpg

What’s so special about this place?

549 Lordship Lane is a substantial domestic dwelling that was built around 1873 as a Parsonage to St Peter’s Church and was part of the rapidly expanding development of the Dulwich College Estate which followed the relocation of the Crystal Palace to Sydenham.  Designed by Charles Barry Jnr (also architect for Dulwich College), 549 Lordship Lane was constructed using an innovative concrete construction – ‘Drake’s patent apparatus’. It is Gothic in style, with pointed arches to the large bay windows which provide it with a distinctive look.

Why was the building under threat?

The Grade II listed building had been derelict for a number of years, to the extent that it featured on the national buildings at risk register (maintained by Historic England) at the highest category of risk.  The London Borough of Southwark initiated a Public Enquiry in 2010 as a precursor to a Compulsory Purchase Order, after which the building was handed onto the Heritage of London Trust (Operations) Ltd (‘HOLTOP’), a building preservation trust.

How was it saved?

With the previous owner seeking to demolish the property it was compulsorily purchased by Southwark Borough Council against the background of a back to back agreement with HOLTOP who took ownership of the building, repaired and restored it, creating five flats.

How is the building used now?

Once practical completion had been achieved, HOLTOP passed ownership on to Hexagon Housing Association, based in South London, to take on ownership. The building now contains five flats that have been sold on a shared ownership basis to provide much-needed affordable housing for local families. The project won a RICS Award in 2014 for building conservation. It provides an excellent example of how building preservation trusts and other similar social and community enterprises can deliver social impact through heritage led regeneration.

How did the AHF help?

The AHF provided early-stage grants amounting to £25,000 to help the client assess the condition of the building and to facilitate the sourcing of grants to fund the restoration work. However the main source of financial support have been three loans for working capital amounting to £740,000. Most historic building restoration projects, even if fully funded from grants, are likely to require working capital to ensure cashflow is maintained throughout the project in between grant payments from different funders. This allows contractors and professionals to be paid on time, thus minimising the risk to all involved and reducing the likelihood of overruns and overspending against budgeted costs.


549 Lordship Lane, Southwark, London


Heritage of London Trust Operations (HOLTOP)


Grade II Listed

New Use:

Affordable housing

AHF Funding:

2007: OAG - £7,500

2009: PDG - £17,500

2010: Loan - £660,000

2011: Loan - £50,000

2011: Loan - £30,000

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EnglandOliver Brodrick-Ward