The Manor House needs your ideas

Autumn in the park by Bruce Allinson

Lewisham Council insists it will hand the Manor House and the library over to a community group or social enterprise on 31 August this year.

The Assembly working party wants your ideas for how the house could be used.

The council admits it has failed to capitalise on the potential of the house.

If you ever visit the building, you will know that it’s badly under-used.  The bureaucracy of hiring rooms is not easy – and even though it has a marriage licence, few couples use it.

Manor House is beautiful – a Georgian Grade ll* listed building with a view over Manor House Gardens.  It has enormous potential but its upkeep is expensive and funding from the council will be limited.  It will need to make money. 

We want your ideas for how it could be used. Take a look round:

The landing

Landing

All three floors are served by the lift

Lift

The magnificent ground floor houses the library

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There are numerous meeting rooms currently under-used

Baring Room
Baring Room

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While the basement has large rooms which are used by midwives

and children’s groups but not full-time

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Views are delightful even on a grey day

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And there are many original features including:

Fireplaces

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Georgian ceilings

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Original wine vaults

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Vaulted basement corridor

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And a cannon!

Cannon

Here are some uses we came up with:

  • More weddings with a licence for drinks and a full reception service
  • Fund raising events
  • Prom nights local schools
  • Full time nursery / crèche / afterschool club
  • Wellness centre
  • Pottery school
  • Location for filming
  • Residential use of top floor / holiday let
  • Office space
  • Corporate events
  • Catering facilities: pop up restaurants / kitchen / cookery school

Think laterally – could the library move in to the new shopping centre at Leegate if it receives permission?

Could the library move up to the first floor to free up the ground floor for a gallery/events/parties?

Could the basement be freed up for kitchens to serve the ground floor?

Do you know a company or benefactor who could take it over and make it a going concern?

Lewisham Council says it has received interest from potential users but will not divulge who. Crucially, Manor House must not be allowed to fall into disrepair in the way Grade ll* Beckenham Place (also Lewisham council-owned) has been.

Help us save Manor House!

If you have an idea about how the Manor House could be used leave a comment here, send it to us via social media (click a button below) or email us at info@leegreen.london, 

Photography by Ally Clarke

ally@allyclarke.uk

http://giddyauntphotos.uk

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