Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Ordnance survey map of GROVE CHAPEL
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Greater London Authority
Southwark (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 33013 76236


636-1/11/162 CAMBERWELL GROVE 27-SEP-72 (West side) GROVE CHAPEL

II Chapel, 1819, by David R Roper. Two mid-Victorian extensions flank the façade and there is also a hall of 1998 by the Boyd Partnership to the rear.

EXTERIOR: Stock brick chapel with hipped slate roof is a typical late Georgian 'preaching box'. The two storey neo-classical facade has a stuccoed plat band and cornice, one entrance placed centrally and additional entrances in each of the slightly projecting original end bays. The entrances are in simple neo-classical designs with moulded architraves; console brackets add a touch of grandeur to the central entrance. The windows on the façade and side elevations have gauged brick segmental arches on the ground floor and round-headed arches on the upper storey. There are two slightly lower two-storey extensions in similar style and materials to the original building flanking the façade; these do not appear on Christopher and John Greenwood's map of 1830 but are identifiable on Stanford's map of 1862 and were constructed at the same time that a gallery was added to the interior, in order to house the gallery staircases. The 1998 hall to the rear, with its simple brick elevations and round-headed or oculus windows, complements the neo-classical design of the late Georgian chapel, but is not of special interest in its own right.

INTERIOR: A large vestibule, partitioned off in the 1990s, encloses the area under the eastern gallery; the original vestibule was much shallower. Two staircases with iron stick balustrades and polished timber handrails are in the bays which flank the vestibule and lead to the gallery. The main auditorium is galleried on three sides, supported by elegant, slender, iron colonettes with decorative capitals with a solid balustrade of moulded panels and pilasters, restored after war damage. The original box pews are gone and the current seating is typical Victorian bench pews, of the same design in the gallery and the nave, which may have been introduced when the gallery was constructed in the mid-C19. The west end has a semi-circular window set in a moulded surround with a plasterwork frieze of anthemion and palmettes along its base; the stained glass was inserted in 1992. Beneath this is a wooden pulpit, designed and carved by the first minister of the chapel Joseph Irons; it is in a simple neo-classical design with projecting Ionic columns and is reached by two flights of steps with decorative iron balustrades. Many of the memorials on the walls of the chapel were removed in the 1990s, but eight survive including that of Revd Joseph Irons and his family. Doors have been inserted in the western wall and lead to the 1998 hall. The metal-paned windows date from the 1950s.

HISTORY: Grove Chapel was constructed to designs by David R Roper in 1819. The building is labelled as a Congregational Chapel on Edward Stanford's 'London and its Suburbs' map of 1862, the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1874 and the second edition of 1896. By 1916 the chapel is identified as 'Grove Chapel (Independent)'. During World War II, a V1 flying bomb landed just to the south of the chapel. The gallery collapsed and windows were blown out, but repairs were conducted soon afterwards. In 1998 a Victorian hall to the rear of the building was demolished and replaced with a modern hall with pitched roof.

Roper was an architect working mainly in South London in the early C19 and other buildings by his hand include Miller General Hospital, formerly a chapel, on Greenwich High Road, the former Haberdashers Company Almshouse of 1825 in Hackney and Brockwell Hall, Herne Hill, a gentleman's suburban villa of 1811-3. Roper also worked under the direction of architect AB Clayton on the Grade II*-listed St Mark's Church, Kennington Lane.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: Grove Chapel is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * an elegant chapel of 1819 with simple, classical elevations; * good survival of original features such as the three main entrances, three-sided gallery supported by decorated iron colonettes, mid-Victorian pews, east window with neo-classical decoration, and carved wood pulpit.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 01 Dec 2001
Reference: IOE01/05706/14
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr David March. Source Historic England Archive
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