Camden Park Road
Camden Park Road runs from York Way in the south-east to a junction at Camden Road in the north-west. It is a comparatively busy road, with one-way traffic flow. The street is broken up by a series of junctions with side streets, and contains two landmark buildings. Only the south-west side is in the Camden Square Conservation Area.
The first significant building is the former English Presbyterian Chapel, which is situated on high ground at the south-east corner of North Villas, and was completed in 1869 (fabric contains a foundation stone that was laid in 1869). There is no evidence on the building to ascertain either the type or the name of this former church One of two such churches in Camden Town, it held a congregation of six hundred. A lecture room or church hall was built immediately to the south-east; facing Camden Park Road. Inspired by. Gothic architecture, the principal facades are flint-faced, in contrast with the predominant brick of surrounding buildings. The north-east elevation of the former church and church hall consist of two steep gable ends, containing pointed arched windows with stone dressings and stone tracery work. The former church hall has a rose window. The steep roofs are covered in slate, with roof lights added in the 20th century. A prominent tower and spire mark the church's corner location. It is likely that the spire was decapitated as a result of blast damage in World War II (the entire south-west side of Camden Park Road was affected). It currently acts as a base for six unsightly mobile phone antennae. Redundant since the mid 20th century, in post-war years this building was used for commercial storage and exhibition stand manufacture, but was renovated in the late 1980s to create 'Church Studios' and 'Camden Park Road Studios'. The building has since been used as office and studio workspaces, a drop-in centre and an unstaffed radio station.
Old large scale Ordnance Survey maps describe the building thus:
- 1850: Not shown
- 1873: Described as "English Presbyterian Chapel"
- 1895: Described as "Presbyterian Chapel"
- 1916: Described as "Presbyterian Church"
- 1954: Described as "Warehouse" although I can't zoom in far enough to be certain
- 1970: As 1954
One of the quirks of Victorian Ordnance Survey maps was to list how many people could be seated in an ecclesiastical establishment, in this case 600! The adjoining building to the left is described as a Lecture Room in 1873 and a Lecture Hall in 1895
The second landmark building is situated on the north-west corner of North Villas. The Lord Stanley public house dates from the 1870s and is similar to its North Villa neighbours in terms of architectural style and use of materials. In the early 20th century, the projecting ground floor was in tiles.
The remainder of the south-west side ofthe street is made up ofthree uninterrupted terraces, dating from the. 1850s and 1860s period. They boast some fine architectural detail, and are all ofthree storeys, raised upon baSements. The construction is stock brick with slate-covered pitched roofs. The terraces share a building line set back from the road behind front gardens, and a boundary treatment marked by gateposts. Trees in front gardens and on the pavement soften the townscape. The terrace east of the church has the mOst stucco embellishment. Its brick front fayade is heavily adorned with stucco work. There are chunky stucco door and window surrounds at ail levels, but the first-floor windows are accentuated by semi-circular and triangular pediments.
These houses originally benefited from an open aspect to the north-east (lying outside the Conservation Area): a triangular open space skirted by the roughly contemporary Cliff Villas in the north and ClifIRoad in the east. The New River Company built a reservoir here prior to 1871, which survived well into the 20th century. Since the . interwar period the site has been occupied by Camelot House, a rather dominant fivestorey housing block in the neo-Classical style. The rear ofthe terraces and their gardens are visible from the side streets: for instance a glazed postwar geodesic dome behind No. 43 Camden Park Road may be seen from South Villas.
Notable Past Residents
- LB of Camden; Camden Square Conservation Area Statement, 2001