The Bermondsey Street Conservation Area (1971)

The original Bermondsey Street Conservation Area was established in 1971 and it was, as Conservation Areas go, a strange beast. The documents supporting its establishment are well worth reading because they explain why the conservation area was established and they also describe the challenges that the conservation area will face. The text of the documents is reproduced below:


The focus of the designation was the protection of the street facades, the arches and alleyways and the medieval plot layout which was, at that time, visible behind the street elevations. Sadly, these aspects have been all but erased since the designation with most (if not all) of the alleyways and the medieval plot layout having been blocked or erased by gated developments and infill.

The photograph below is a general view of most of the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area in 1993. Many of the major sites are still undeveloped at this time. Still visible are: the British Telecom depot on Leathermarket St; Whites Grounds and Brunswick Court; Sarson's Vinegar Works; S O Rowe's tannery; the 'Printer's Yard'; the 'Old Cinema' antiques market; the Bermondsey Abbey site; Bermondsey Square and the industrial warehousing going west along Long Lane. The Sol Beer warehouse (now the home of the White Cube Gallery) can be seen with its forecourt full of articulated trucks.

Bermondsey Street and environs, 1993 © Niall Connolly

The aerial view can be seen at a larger scale in each of 4 sections below: north west; north east; southwest and south east, below. From these larger images it is possible to get a better idea of the scale of change that has overtaken the area since the early 1990s. (Click on these sectional images to see them at a larger size.)

North West ©Niall Connolly

North East ©Niall Connolly

South West ©Niall Connolly

South East ©Niall Connolly


  1. Brilliant, although I'm not seeing the northWest & southWest sections in detail.

  2. Jackstein - technical problems with Blogger. Don't quite know why but will try to sort it.

  3. Thanks in advance. Meanwhile reading the rest of the site; very informative.

  4. Jackstein - I think that the problem has been resolved. Let me know if it isn't. It may be that I need to check the layout using Google's Chrome browser to be certain that the pages are loading and displaying as I see them on my iMac.