Morden Art

Okay – no prizes for guessing this building belongs to Morden College (sorry about the fuzziness).¬†Why a lion? I have no idea – my only guess is that a turkey would have provoked sniggers among puerile Phantoms. I had a quick look in a couple of Morden College history books with no joy, but Neil Rhind’s bringing out the third in his Blackheath books at some point and I daresay the answer will have nothing to do with gobbling holiday meat.

I’ve often thought of doing a ‘collect ‘em all’, I-Spy-style trail around Greenwich and Blackheath on the various properties that bear the mark of one of the area’s biggest landowners (it’s a slightly weird thought that so much of central Greenwich is actually carved up between two charities). You’d certainly cover a fair amount of ground if you wanted to walk them all in a day.

Most of the proprietorial plaques you’ll find around town take the form of a black circle with a white lion (occasionally painted over) like this:

but I don’t know of another place where the College has built its badge into the very brickwork of one of its portfolio properties.

So folks – where is it? I’ll add a slightly wider angle later today (with, ahem, no accidental clues this time…)


Yes – of course, Dave, you’re right. But I bet not everyone notices the top of a building that looks so dull on the ground floor. Here’s a shot of the whole thing.

It is, like several buildings down Traf Road, quite a handsome fellow if you care to look up.


the attachments to this post:

Morden College shops Traf Road low
Morden College shops Traf Road low

Morden College building Traf Road low
Morden College building Traf Road low

Morden College sign
Morden College sign

Morden College brickwork
Morden College brickwork

18 Comments to “Morden Art”

  1. Dave says:

    I believe the red brick example is above the Tesco Express in Trafalgar Road

  2. Fatty Fatty BumBum says:

    There is also one built into the brickwork of number 17 Maidenstone Hill – check out google street view on the top right hand corner of the house. Av it!

  3. Nathan says:

    I wondered what these were for having seen them around! I think I’ve seen some down by Pelton Road somewhere… Not quite on topic but I was on my bike down by what is open of the Thames Path this morning by Morden Wharf and thought I’d stumbled upon a major polic incident. Turns out they it was a film crew. Anyone know what it was for, looked quite exciting!

  4. Darren says:

    Oh dear, numerous examples of “Big Cat” sightings in Greenwich, please don’t tell Essex Police :-)

  5. Nelson's Left Eye says:

    One day, we will tidy up the shop fronts, ban those horrific, cheap and tacky backlit plastic signs and give these buildings worthy occupants, like this:

    Like I say, one day.

  6. Dave says:

    Hi Phant You, like me think there is a lot of history to be discovered if we remember to look up!

    Do you know the history of the building? Was it something special or just an ordinary row of terraced dwellings ?

  7. Dave says:


    No evidence in what you show that the new signs are not backlit , only difference is that in the after pics all the shops have symmetrical fascias , a bit like lego really

  8. And always a bookies…

  9. Nick says:

    That row of shops has always fascinated me. I worked (briefly) in what was a Trident store in the mid-1970′s, which was originally a Woolworths store, and is now a Blockbusters store. Trident was the forerunner of Comet and Dixons, and sold cut-price ‘hi-fi’ equipment. The Blockbuster store has a strange upper frontage, suggesting an earlier age of grandeur, whilst the motorcycle shop to the right of Blockbusters looks just like a hasty infill between two buildings. I can’t seem to find a photographic image of that side of the road taken in earlier times. If anyone has one, I’d love to see it.

  10. Nick says:

    Incidentally, is that the remains of a pawnbroker’s sign on the upper wall of number 172 Trafalgar Road ?

  11. Nick says:

    Just looked at the 1911 census – number 172 was indeed a pawn brokers shop.

  12. Cool! I guess there had to be one somewhere…

    I’ll go and look for the remains…

  13. Nick says:

    Try to find the balls from the sign! I guess they could still be in the loft of 172 somewhere?

  14. David says:

    Well I never; had no idea that the plaques were Morden College-related. Another gem of local info I’ve learnt through the GP site! Thank you!

    Another digression: anyone have a picture of the Victoria pub on the corner of Woodland Crescent/Trafalgar Road… I can recall in my mind’s eye but….

  15. Sorry – you don’t know how many times I’ve cursed myself for not taking a pic. For some reason I assumed that they’d never knock down a historic pub (what was I thinking?) but I don’t know – one minute it was the Vic (which in my mind was always the penny black because of the sign), the next it was godawful flats…

  16. David Carson says:

    That’s the image I have! The pub sign was Old Vic’s face as on the stamp! Ha! Funny thing was that I used to drive along the road when I lived in Blackheath and think “must go into that pub…”. Then I move to SE10 after they’d demolished it and thought “I’m sure there was another pub along here!!” I will hunt a picture out! Now, what was the original pub name of the awful Rick’s Bar ? Anyone know? Phhhhaaantioommmmm!!!?

  17. I did know this – I found an old ‘what’s on’ guide (1984) when it was a music pub – but I can’t find the guide. Don’t have time to look now, but remind me later and I’ll have a search.

  18. Dave says:

    I think Rick’s Bar was called The British Queen