Welcome to Oval History

A website dedicated to the hidden history of the Oval area of London (and bits of Stockwell)

From the moment I moved to this area I became immediately enchanted with it’s history, that which could be seen easily and that which was not so obvious. Searching online, talking to local people and visiting the wonderful Lambeth Archives I discovered that the history of our area is only accessible piecemeal, in fragments scattered all over the internet, in archives and in the streets and buildings themselves.

The aim of this project is to draw it all together and in doing so to bring the past to life. The focus is on the people that once lived here, interesting facts and photographs, maps and curious stories. Oval History is entirely non-profit, completely self funded, and has no advertising or sponsorship, it’s just one person with a passion.  I hope that you find it interesting.  Chris – The Editor.

This website will for now only focus on the history of the area within this map, my aim is to expand this with time.  You can either use the drop down menus at the top of every page to navigate around the site or click directly on the sections below…


Most Popular sections…

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Lily Othen   Russell-Hotel.jpg Cranworth-Gardens-1921-to-19641.jpg1

14 Responses to

  1. Popple says:

    I love you 😀 xxxx

  2. John Bates says:

    Hi Chris
    I found your “Oval History” website very interesting, as I have been researching my ancestry.
    My Great Great Grand Father John Bates lived in Lambeth in 1851 & 1861 (Census) then at 21 Kennington P Road Southwalk in 1871, later at 33 Clapham Road Lambeth in 1881, possibly with his eight sisters ! he died in Croydon in 1885 where his son John Bates lived age 84. (He was a furniture dealer)
    What interests me most is Issac Bates of Kennington, brickmaker, mentioned in your Nos 35-41.
    Do you know anything more about him ? or about number 33 ?
    Regards John Bates

  3. Josephine kier says:

    Well done for putting all of this together! Fascinating 🙂

  4. Tom Dow says:

    I lived on Dorset Road, the flats, delivered papers for Sid Newton, the newsagent. Attended Kennington Secondary, 1950-until the Christmas of 52.
    Somewhere in the vicinity there was a girls school. I think the name was East or West Lawn and I was hoping for information in regards to any girl who attended that school in the early fifties.

  5. Robin Stevens says:

    Kay Stiff, I hope you are this as I replied to yourr comments under Clapham Road.

  6. Richard Smith says:

    The school was lawn lane at vauxhaul

  7. Colin Gianella says:

    I find your website very interesting. I was born just off Mostyn road in 1944 at the last knocking of WW2. The little road I lived in was Eskdale Villas and only has 7 houses in it before it turned into St Lawrence road. I lived in No1, right opposite Mostyn Road Methodist Church. Sadly it’s all been redeveloped now so I can’t revisit my old stomping ground. Eskdale Villas never appeared on any maps therefore difficult to locate. Almost like it didn’t exist ! I should love to hear from anyone who remembers anything of the area.

    • Maralyn says:

      I’m looking for my sister’s school friend Ann Gray who lived in or around Mostyn Road until around 1965/66. She lived with a younger sister and parents. Ann was born in 1945 and went to Kennington/Vauxhall Girls’ School. I have checked the Electoral Register with Lambeth Council but they cannot find the family, although they lived in the area for a number of years!

      Would you have known the family, or have any knowledge of them?

    • Caroline Hewson says:

      There is a photo of Eskdale Villas on the Lambeth Landmark website. Described as St Lawrence Road seen from Mostyn Road, with Eskdale Villas on the right.

  8. Debbie Perryman says:

    SO happy to find your website! I live in the US but I’m fascinated with most everything British. I love learning and my current obsession is with the different types of housing in the UK. I’m sure your page will find in some blanks. Thank you!

  9. Anything on a 147 Blackwell street?
    I visited there in 1953 with my mum and my sister

  10. Pearl Catlin says:

    I am Pearl who lived in Stockwell Park Crescent.
    I am now 91 and taking another look at the website – (blog)
    Marvellous job. Funny how one’s interest is so keenly aroused about the past when one gets older.

  11. andrew says:

    There was an extrodinary development after dilietto took over Wilson’s. The business was then operating from the South Lambeth Road shop. I am a bit hazy on the sequence, but I think that the Brixton shop was let out and the back part used as storage, plus accommodation above. Di Lietto sought to rebuild the back part and operate from there – the South Lambeth Road premises had structural problems, such that part of the first floor outer wall suddenly fell into the road.

    Bizarrely, Lambeth planning officers wanted to refuse planning permission. They said – and I not making this up- that baking bread would make an unpleasant smell. So there was a local campaign, and planning permission was granted

  12. Graham Rich says:

    I lived at 5 Eskdale Villas from around 1938 till 1941
    bomb damage moved us out! Grandparent (Pogson)
    House. Went to School Akerman Road.

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