Roger Mears Architect was appointed by Southwark Council to work on the restoration of the East Lodge in 2020.

The East Lodge forms one of the pair of lodges at the northern entrance to Nunhead Cemetery. The East Lodge (a Grade II Listed Building) has been on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register since 1988 and has been in a state of serious decay ever since. The lodge has had scaffolding and a temporary roof for over 20 years to provide some protection and shore up the structure, while decisions on its future were made.

Nunhead, November 2020

The Council aims to remove the East Lodge from the Heritage-at-Risk register. The Lodge will be restored as closely as possible to its original design externally. We will aim to use reclaimed materials from the site including bricks, stone, timber, panelling etc. and restore them to their original location wherever possible. Elsewhere we will source like-for-like replacements.

This project aims to provide spaces for community use for local groups and many rooms are designed to be multi-purpose. A café based inside the Lodge is proposed as enabling development, to ensure the economic sustainability of the project. We are also aiming to minimise the carbon footprint of the development as well as its future operation. The restored building will have insulation and double glazing, air-source heat pumps, as well as bespoke innovations including re-using the chimneys for ventilation, and traditional Victorian awnings for shading in the summer.

We initially carried out a review of the existing information available (surveys, feasibility study, architectural and structural reports) and discussed the brief with key stakeholders (London Borough of Southwark, Historic England and the Friends of Nunhead Cemetery etc).  We then analysed the significance of the structures before developing initial proposals.

Survey of standing structures and analysis of significance

The scheme was granted planning approval in December 2021 and we are currently assisting the Council with producing the core elements of a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding in 2022.

In the meantime, we are on site carrying out Phase 2 of structural stabilisation. These works will take down much of the dense scaffolding and concrete ballast around the exterior of the building and remove other scaffolding, ties and bracing internally. The existing structure will be repaired to be self-supporting with robust connections. We will achieve this by installing new timber joists over-boarded with plywood, new internal structural steels, new elbow ties and additional building and rebuilding of some of the brick walls. These interim structural works will allow the building to be stabilised and made safe until the main restoration project can begin.

3D Aerial views