Old Walworth

Some lovely ephemera

Visit Iliffe Yard and you’ll see that once again this area of Southwark is in the process of redevelopment and regeneration.

There is the recently completed Strata Tower, nicknamed the ‘Shaver’, and opposite the Newington Library and the Cuming Museum are a number of new high rise residential developments, with more under construction. Other housing and commercial initiatives will soon replace many of the buildings that were part of the Elephant and Castle regeneration scheme of post-war and 1960s London.

In 1896 Charlie Chaplin, aged seven, and his elder brother Sydney, were here for a short time until they were transfered to a special ‘Poor Law Residential School’ for workhouse children. Author Mary Boast describes Chaplin, as one of the best loved Walworth ‘notables’. Others include Michael Caine, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Siddall, Robert Browning, John Ruskin, Samuel Palmer and George Tinworth.

Late Victorian Walworth also had blocks of flats, put up to house a growing population. The Pullens Estate, built by James Pullen, originally comprised 600 flats surrounding 4 working yards, of which about 300 flats and 3 yards now remain. Walworth was not a place of factories but small workshops in back yards, and the Pullens Estate was a scheme built with artisans and small traders in mind, so families could live and work on the premises. Today the Iliffe, Peacock and Clements Yards house our community of creative individuals and groups. As our sense of community and input to the local area continue to grow we are proud to be part of the rich cultural history of Walworth — an environment which feeds our creativity as well as supporting our commercial needs.

“Southwark should be extraordinarily proud of its cultural development over the last twenty years. With Tate Modern, the Globe, the Fashion Museum, the Design Museum and many other creative activities — Pullens Yards must continue to be one of them.”
Terence Conran.