Catford is a district of south east London, within the London Borough of Lewisham. It is located south west of Lewisham, the area is the civic administrative centre for the local authority, and comprises both the Town Hall & Civic Suite. The majority of Catford is located in the Rushey Green and Catford South wards within the Borough, the area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. Catford was historically part of Kent until 1889, when it was absorbed into the new London County Council, Catford covers most of SE6 postcode district. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London, Broadway Theatre is an art deco building adjoining the town hall. It is a stone structure decorated with shields and heraldic emblems. It was opened in 1932 as the Concert Hall and is now a Grade II listed building, the interior is in art deco style. The last cinema in the borough stood diagonally opposite the theatre until its closure in 2002, Catford also boasts a large Gothic police station. In 2006, a large blue pipe sculpture was unveiled outside Eros House, which was another former cinema, the 1960s and 70s had a considerable impact on the architecture of Catford. The old Town Hall of 1875, was replaced by the current Civic Suite in 1968, soon after the merger of the boroughs of Lewisham. Laurence House, where many of the Lewisham Council offices are housed, is on the site of old St Laurences Church, the original Gothic C of E St. In Rushey Green the old village water hand-pump from the 1850s survives, at the end of World War II, the 188-bungalow Excalibur Estate was laid out in Catford, and by 2011 this was the largest surviving prefab estate in Britain. However, it is now planned that all but six of the prefabs will be demolished and replaced by new housing, a few examples of Brutalist architecture survive including the Catford shopping centre and Milford Towers, designed by the architect Owen Luder in 1974. The design was to make it the Barbican of the south, architecture critic Ian Nairn praised Eros House, which is now Grade II listed as, A monster sat down in Catford and just what the place needed. No offence meant, this extension of Lewisham High Street badly wanted stiffening. Now there is a punchy concrete focus both close to and at a distance, from the heights of the Downham Estate. Rough concrete is put through all its paces, front convex eaves on Sainsburys to a tower which is either afflicted with an astounding set of visual distortions or is actually leaning. Unlike many other buildings, particularly in the universities, this one is done from real conviction
Image: Catford geograph.org.uk 98590
The Broadway Theatre.
The town centre, with the 'village green' including water pump just visible to the right