Old Vicarage, South Street

For years this gothicly-gloomy looking building on South Street, next door to the John Penn and Widow Smith ¬†Almshouses, has languished loveless, waiting for its moment in the sun. I’v always wondered about it, about how it came to be in such a state and what would happen to it next.

It’s the vicarage for ¬†St Paul’s church in Devonshire Road, which was never really finished, until the Seventh Day Adventists took over the remains in the 1990s and restored them (it looks as though the vicarage wasn’t part of the deal). The church was built during the big religious boom in the 1860s by one of the Teulon brothers (it’s unsure whether it’s the relatively well-known Samuel Sanders or the less-famous William Milford). It’s more clear that William Milford Teulon built the vicarage (before, surprisingly, the almshouses next door, whose style make them look much older than they are.)

I have a feeling it was always rather forbidding-looking, but certainly the spruce-up that’s going on just now is making it a hell of a lot better, revealing its brighter stock-brick colours and some of the detail that would have originally softened the building. I don’t know what it is being spruced up for (don’t even know if it’s still owned by the Church of England), but I’m assuming flats, since it was divided into apartments before. Frankly as long as it looks loved again, I’m happy to see it not bulldozed.

But I’ve had a brain-lapse. Stephen, who took these pictures, asked me what the strange monogram on the quatrefoiled panel means, and although I’m sure it’s probably obvious I just can’t think. It can’t be the architect because neither Samuel not William have the initials, in any order, HDT. It can’t be the Rev. George Blisset who’d stumped up the cash for St Pauls (as, he had for St Peters; must have been one wealthy guy) so I’m wondering if it’s either some CofE body or the initials of a biblical phrase or name in Latin.

Any thoughts?


the attachments to this post:

old vicarage 3 low
old vicarage 3 low

old vicarage 2 low
old vicarage 2 low

old vicarage 1 low
old vicarage 1 low


9 Comments to “Old Vicarage, South Street”

  1. Kate says:

    I looked at the developer plans a little while ago and I believe, if it is still correct, it will be split into 6 flats. Its a shame really as I think it would be a lovely building as a single occupancy or even if it was split into 3 larger apartments…. It just seems like it might be a little bit ‘compromised’ if they intend to cram 6 properties into the building but I guess they had to make the sums work for investors/developers and the like. It is certainly much better to see it looking spruced and cleaned up than the broken down wreck it was this time last year.
    The planning permission classes it as:
    “Conversion of four-storey detached house to form 1 x 3-bed, 2 x 2-bed and 3 x 1-bed self contained flats.”
    Details of Planning Application – 08/1132/F

  2. Paul T says:

    Interesting to see Greenwich Council rejected the application as damaging to a historic building. Then Bristol allowed the appeal, just as they did with the market. Another damaging decision foisted on us by an unaccountable, unelected body.

    It’s worth pointing out that much of the deterioration in the building has taken place since it was owned by developers.

  3. Kate says:

    I thought initially that the developers were deliberately waiting for it to get dilapidated so that they could eventually appeal for it to be torn down as it was a danger to public.

  4. James says:

    It’s amazing what a good clean up can do. Kate’s post above made me think – has Greenwich Council ever used its power to compulsory purchase a historic building that was being neglected?

  5. John says:

    Could it be ‘Holy Trinity Deptford’??
    ‘The parish of Holy Trinity, Blackheath Hill, was formed in 1849 from part of the parish of Saint Alphege, Greenwich. The church was constructed in 1839 but has now been demolished.’
    http://www.sjht.org.uk/holytrinity.html
    Haven’t finished investigations but got to go to bed!

  6. Richard says:

    Paul T. Greenwich council planning department are one of the worst departments in the entire country. It is increasingly difficult to get architects to work in the borough for private projects. This situation is not helped by the power crazed nimbys at the Greenwich Society and Ashburnham Society et al who seem to object to everything.

  7. Neil Rhind says:

    I’ve been away but no one so far as I can see has added measurably to the Greenwich South Street vicarage story. It was indeed designed by William Mitford (or Milford) Teulon, brother of the notorious S S Teulon. He also designed St Paul’s, Devonshire Drive, and the Vicarage followed. The TDH logo on the building is to mark the then incumbent of St Paul’s: the Rev Thomas Daniell Halsted. He didn’t stay long because by 1871 he was Rector of St Thomas, Edgbaston, Birmingham – where he stayed until the mid 1880s. He died in retirement in Hereford in the mid 1890s.

    Halsted (often written wrongly Halstead) was best known in ecclesiasticl circles for his work with the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. He wrote a long and detailed history of the movement which you can now read on line.

  8. Stephen says:

    Thank you very much Neil.

  9. Thank you Neil. I was happy to buy the ‘Holy Trinity Deptford’ suggestion – but your explanation is much classier.