Camberwell Parish Church

camberwell church porch

Many random bits of heritage end up without a function. This surviving, but moved and rebuilt, fragment of medieval church porch stores a bin, a table tennis table, a pile of chairs and a number of broken lights. I mentioned the porch had been rebuilt this involved an immensely strong cement that is not harder than the flints but is far harder than the soft stone dressings.  It is the stone dressing – the material of primary historic importance – that survive from the medieval building.  You may notice the blackened surface of the soffit of the arch, this is likely to be evidence of the burning of the original, medieval church, or possibly a later fire in one of the bins.

Whilst waiting by the porch two people stopped to ask me what it was.  Both were surprised to find it was part of the medieval church.  My meeting was with the Southwark Heritage Association who are looking to attach a blue plaque to the porch and apply for grants to undertake some much needed conservation work.  Part of this application will be to provide a new, more convenient bin store and store for the organisation that use the community building.  So I will be writing a brief for the conservation work so the Association can get quotes for the conservation and investigating ways to secure the building.

For much of the day I was discussing a planning application site just to the east of Tower Bridge with the Regional Archaeology Science Advisor, Dr Sylvia Warman.  A small evaluation trench had been dropped in to see if the Bronze Age field systems known from the other side of the street extended into this area.  The trench identified a previously unknown palaeochannel.