Mid-C19 terraced building with Manze's pie and mash shop to the ground floor, opened in 1914.
Reasons for Designation
Manze’s eel, pie and mash shop, 204-204a Deptford High Street, London Borough of Lewisham is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as an example of a distinctive London building type, that retains its characteristic shopfront and tiled interior, complete with its benches, tables, terrazzo flooring, display counter and servery.
* as a rare and well-preserved eel, pie and mash shop of the early C20, representing a distinct vernacular cuisine that formed a staple of working-class life in London;
* as a distinctive and recognisable Manze’s outlet of 1914, demonstrating an early adoption of a commercial house style for a chain of restaurants in the C20.
London's eel, pie and mash shops are descended from the strolling piemen who for centuries had provided the capital with one of its staple sources of street food. These costermongers gave poorer Londoners access to affordable and substantial hot meals. The eels - served jellied or hot - were caught in the Thames, where they were once plentiful, or were imported live from the Fens and Holland. Part of the Londoner's diet for the last millennia, eels were one of the few species that could survive in the historically polluted Thames and proved a cheaper, more accessible alternative to meat. Alongside eels, pie and mash, ‘liquor' (a type of parsley sauce) comprises the fourth canonical ingredient.
The first documented pie shop was opened on Union Street in Southwark in 1844. Henry Mayhew recorded the complaints of street piemen that 'the penny pie shops...have now got mostly all the custom, as they make the pies much larger for the money than those sold on the street' (The Morning Chronicle, ‘Labour and the Poor’; Letter XIV, 4 December 1849). By 1874, there were 33 such shops listed in the London trade directories, rising to more than 100 by the middle of the C20. The shops usually operated as both eat-in restaurants and takeaways. They followed a standard design formula of tiled and mirrored interiors with marble-topped tables in high-backed seating booths. Later in the century, the availability of other forms of fast food and the dispersal of inner London's established working-class communities led to a slow decline in trade; there are estimated to be only about 30 traditional shops still in existence, mainly concentrated in the East End and inner south-east.
The Manze chain of eel, pie and mash shops was established in the early 1900s by Michaele Manze, a native of Ravello in southern Italy whose parents had settled in Bermondsey in 1878. In 1897 he married Ada Poole, the daughter of his friend and mentor Robert Cooke, London's most successful pie-shop entrepreneur of the late C19. In 1902 the Manzes opened their first shop at 87 Tower Bridge Road, which survives and is the oldest of its kind still in operation. The shop at 204 Deptford High Street (formerly no 196, prior to renumbering) was opened in 1914 by Michaele’s brother, Pantaleone. An excerpt in the Daily Chronicle advertises for a ‘sleep in’ counter hand at P Manze, indicating accommodation for workers was provided on-site (The Daily Chronicle, 21 August 1929, p2). The building it occupies is evident on OS mapping surveyed in 1862, along with the coach house to the rear. The final bay extension to the rear was added between 1862 and 1868. The range was likely refronted in the early 1900s. The Deptford High Street Manze's shop has been handed down through the generations and the descendants of Pantaleone Manze continue to run the business to the present day (2023).
Mid-C19 terraced building with commercial unit to street and accommodation above. The eel, pie and mash shop opened in 1914.
MATERIALS: stock and red brick with flat asphalt roof. Timber hardwood shopfront with fascia signage of black Vitrolite, or similar pigmented glass, with gold lettering. Tiled interior with terrazzo floor, pressed tin ceiling and fittings of timber and marble.
PLAN: the building occupies a narrow plot on the east side of Deptford High Street and the corner of Lamerton Street. Facing the High Street is a ground-floor shop unit which is set beneath two upper storeys of domestic accommodation, with separate access from Lamerton Street.
EXTERIOR: shopfront with fascia of black Vitrolite, or similar, featuring gold signage that reads ‘204, MANZE’S, 204’ (the 1950s renumbering of the street having changed the address from 196 to 204, indicating the signage post-dates this). Below is a large sash window inscribed ‘MEAL IN A MOMENT/MANZES MEAT PIES/ALL MADE DAILY’. This window functioned as a serving hatch for takeaway sales; the frames and surrounds are of hardwood with metal trim, and below is a panelled stall-riser painted green, capped with a projecting section of the marble counter. The entrance is set-back from the street, leading to pair of glazed doors with a fanlight above. The flanking brick columns are topped with ornamental consoles. The east elevation has two sash windows with arched brick lintels to the upper storey. There are irregular metal-framed casement and sash windows to the north elevation that sit between a white concrete cill and lintel. The building extends to the rear with a lower two-storey range. The last bay is an extension, added by 1868, based on mapping evidence. All windows are currently painted green to match the Manze’s colour scheme.
INTERIOR: the pie and mash shop occupies the ground floor. The walls are clad in white and decorative green and white chevron tiles with large inset mirrors. To the left of the entranceway is the main serving area, with marble shelves built into the walls behind the counter. There is a small enclosure behind the large serving window with a panelled counter door and a marble counter, where eels were formerly displayed. The rest of the space is occupied by a series of seating booths. Between each pair of benches is a marble-topped table, supported on the wall at one end and by a cast-iron upright at the other. The benches to the booths have shaped, cast-iron supports. Opposite the main serving area and countertop are three smaller booths, behind which are seven broader booths. At the back is a door into the tiled kitchen, where fittings have been renewed.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: to the rear of the building stands an outhouse of stock brick with a gable end facing Lambert Street. There are a set of timber garage doors to the street, with blocked windows and a taking-in hatch to the gable above, which is set-back from the street. Originally a coach house for the building, it has since been used as a preparation area for Manze’s and continues to be used for this purpose (2023).