FAQs

Where can I find old pictures of Brixton?

  • Lambeth Archives holds an extensive picture collection. Much of it has been digitised and is available online. Bear in mind it can be difficult to trace particular streets or buildings, especially because names may have changed. If you cannot find what you are looking for online, try visiting the archive information.
  • London Metropolitan Archives is the main repository for records from the Greater London Council and its predecessors or satellites, including the London County Council and the old London School Board. This is the best place to start researching any school, and also many London-wide organisations. There is also a digitised picture collection available online.
  • The Brixton Society has access to some images, particularly Edwardian postcards, a small photo archive from the Brixton Challenge programme of 1993-98, and some 35mm slides of local sites post-1970. If Lambeth Archives or the LMA are unable to help, you are welcome to contact us at info@brixtonsociety.org.uk.
Which is Brixton’s oldest house?
back garden of 46 Acre Lane

The back garden of 46 Acre Lane from a postcard c.1906

The answer depends on how you define Brixton, or even a house.

The oldest building in the area is St. Andrew’s Church at Stockwell Green, founded in 1767 but much altered a century later. Some early domestic buildings have since changed to other uses; otherwise two blocks in Stockwell Road would qualify. Opposite the Stockwell Park Estate is Queen’s Row of 1786, long since adapted into shops.  Nearer to Stockwell tube station, two pairs of houses (40-46) fronting the YMCA complex were built between 1781 and 1788.

One cottage on the east side of Brixton Hill was claimed to go back to at least 1786, being built as an encroachment on Rush Common 20 years before the 1806 Inclosure Act. This is no.95, later expanded into a whole parade of shops between Josephine Avenue and Arodene Road.

The first truly urban terrace in our town centre was Brixton Place in 1800, but only half a house now survives, concealed above Reliance Arcade.

The earliest still in residential use are survivors from the first 15 years of the 19th century.  Nos. 309-313 Brixton Road originated in 1801-2. Off the north end of the road, 5 Prima Road, facing St. Mark’s churchyard, was built under a lease granted in 1801. The following year, the same builder, William Broadhurst, was responsible for 22 & 24 Brixton Road.

In Acre Lane, the oldest survivor is No.46, opposite Tesco, from 1808. Cottages at 208-214 are thought to date from c.1815. There are a few cottages of similar date around New Park Road, approaching the South Circular, such as Brashier’s Cottage. 1-3 Effra Road, now the Black Cultural Archives, also dates from 1810-15. In Brockwell Park, the Hall dates from 1811-13.

Following soon after these, there are many surviving buildings along Brixton Road from the first wave of ribbon development which followed the opening of Vauxhall Bridge in 1816 – the same