HISTORY Sumner Buildings

Join in these discussions today! Log in or register.
Sunday 29 June 2014 8.41pm
I'm a resident trying to find out about the history of Sumner Buildings on Sumner Street: who designed it, who was it built for... if anyone knows anything about the estate's history, I'd be really interested to know.
Wednesday 9 July 2014 12.10pm
http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/london-metropolitan-archives/the-collections/Pages/architecture-and-engineering.aspx ("Records offer a comprehensive picture from social housing estates")

Ruby, I'm presuming that it was built by the City of London Corporation -- in that it's so similar to the 19th century tenement dwellings CoLC commissioned elsewhere in London. But even if it is simply 'of a style of its day', built by, for example the LCC, and subsequently acquired by the Corporation, as the current freeholder CoLC's Planning and/or Housing Department are likely to have 'good records' (as "the world's oldest continuously elected local government body", 950 years into the job, they invariably do!)

CoLC Planning's 'home' in the North Wing of Guildhall (Monday to Friday until 4.30pm) -- map/directions... http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/who-we-are/Pages/how-to-find-us.aspx -- would be a good place to start, even if the duty officer then re-directs you to colleagues within the Heritage or Community Development teams. I certainly know that the latter team -- assisted by Kirsty Leitch Community Development Officer (kirsty.leitch@cityoflondon.gov.uk) -- is working with Tower Hamlets residents living on a CoL estate near Petticoat Lane to develop a oral history project about their homes and lives, essentially as part of the World War commemoration. So yes, they should have some useful research contact details etc to hand!

Otherwise, with reference to the URL/link at the top of this message, a visit onwards from EC2 to EC1, as many of CoLC's 'historical records' are in fact held off-site at places such as London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell, on behalf of the Corporation -- directions/map http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/london-metropolitan-archives/visitor-information/Pages/How%20to%20get%20here.aspx

Ruby, good luck ...and if you need any inspiration as to where this all might take you, you need look no further than performance artist's Fran MS's "Me Myself and Mrs Gibb" -- http://www.francescamillicanslater.co.uk/current-project/me-myself-and-mrs-gibbs/ -- a wonderful insight into when a Douglas Buildings on Marshalsea

Get yourself a little bit of funding (not impossible!) and you could then ask, without reservation, for the help of Stephen Humphrey -- easily the area's most knowledgeable and generous local historians, ex Southwark Local History Library at John Harvard Library, on Borough High Street, until L.B. Southwark 'streamlined' the team four years ago!

Stephen is still 'around' giving talks and advice and all of us the benefit of a lifetime dedicated to SE1 -- http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/7251. There really is no-one who knows our streets and buildings better, but with Stephen having been made redundant -- against all our wishes and complaints to those in 'high places' in Peckham who make such decisions in favour of the 'Southwark South' -- it seems only fair that we collectively now put a value on Stephen's 'services', although he would also no doubt be useful in directing any history project to potential sources of funding, especially if a book or some community resource were to come out of it :-)

Ruby, go research and enjoy :-)

Jane
Wednesday 9 July 2014 12.12pm
http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/london-metropolitan-archives/the-collections/Pages/architecture-and-engineering.aspx ("Records offer a comprehensive picture from social housing estates")

Ruby, I'm presuming that it was built by the City of London Corporation -- in that it's so similar to the 19th century tenement dwellings CoLC commissioned elsewhere in London. But even if it is simply 'of a style of its day', built by, for example the LCC, and subsequently acquired by the Corporation, as the current freeholder CoLC's Planning and/or Housing Department are likely to have 'good records' (as "the world's oldest continuously elected local government body", 950 years into the job, they invariably do!)

CoLC Planning's 'home' in the North Wing of Guildhall (Monday to Friday until 4.30pm) -- map/directions... http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/who-we-are/Pages/how-to-find-us.aspx -- would be a good place to start, even if the duty officer then re-directs you to colleagues within the Heritage or Community Development teams. I certainly know that the latter team -- assisted by Kirsty Leitch Community Development Officer (kirsty.leitch@cityoflondon.gov.uk) -- is working with Tower Hamlets residents living on a CoL estate near Petticoat Lane to develop a oral history project about their homes and lives, essentially as part of the World War commemoration. So yes, they should have some useful research contact details etc to hand! [CONTINUED IN FOLLOW-UP MESSAGE AS THE SYSTEM SUGGESTED THIS ONE WAS GETTING TOO LONG!]
Wednesday 9 July 2014 12.13pm
[CONTINUED FROM MESSAGE AS THE SYSTEM SUGGESTED IT WAS GETTING TOO LONG!]...

Otherwise, with reference to the URL/link at the top of this message, a visit onwards from EC2 to EC1, as many of CoLC's 'historical records' are in fact held off-site at places such as London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell, on behalf of the Corporation -- directions/map http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/visiting-the-city/archives-and-city-history/london-metropolitan-archives/visitor-information/Pages/How%20to%20get%20here.aspx

Ruby, good luck ...and if you need any inspiration as to where this all might take you, you need look no further than performance artist's Fran MS's "Me Myself and Mrs Gibb" -- http://www.francescamillicanslater.co.uk/current-project/me-myself-and-mrs-gibbs/ -- a wonderful insight into when a Douglas Buildings on Marshalsea

Get yourself a little bit of funding (not impossible!) and you could then ask, without reservation, for the help of Stephen Humphrey -- easily the area's most knowledgeable and generous local historians, ex Southwark Local History Library at John Harvard Library, on Borough High Street, until L.B. Southwark 'streamlined' the team four years ago!

Stephen is still 'around' giving talks and advice and all of us the benefit of a lifetime dedicated to SE1 -- http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/7251. There really is no-one who knows our streets and buildings better, but with Stephen having been made redundant -- against all our wishes and complaints to those in 'high places' in Peckham who make such decisions in favour of the 'Southwark South' -- it seems only fair that we collectively now put a value on Stephen's 'services', although he would also no doubt be useful in directing any history project to potential sources of funding, especially if a book or some community resource were to come out of it :-)

Ruby, go research and enjoy :-)

Jane
Monday 14 July 2014 6.58pm
Thank you so much, Jane, that's incredibly helpful!
Tuesday 15 July 2014 12.22pm
Ruby, you really are very welcome. And of course we all really need to thank James H (Leigh and Marian too), without whose 'london-se1' none of us 'SE1-ies' would, quite so easily and readily, know about or be able to help facilitate each others contribution to the social and cultural life of 'South-East-One'. Ruby, let do me know if and when any gaps appear in the research, and perhaps if you have the time and inclination let us all know the outcome of it all! Until then...
Friday 30 September 2016 5.06pm
I used to live in Sumner Buildings as a child, many years ago. Numbers 8 and 88. I found out recently that the estate was built on the site of a vinegar distillery and the land was owned by the Bishops of Winchester. The street was named after one.

There was also a church in Sumner St, at the junction of Great Guildford St, St Peters I think, and that was destroyed during the war. Must have been where the play park is now.

To post a message, please log in or register..

Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from:

Proud to belong to

Independent Community News Network