Case study: Southwark Park Bandstand

This bandstand design was based on the existing historic bandstand in Clapham Common and all the components were manufactured at the workshop of bespoke ironwork specialist, Dorothea.

Once the design process was completed, the components for the new bandstand were manufactured at our Bristol workshop. This included a steel sub structure covered with fibreglass giving the shell effect roof shape.  Annealed copper was press into formers to create the final effect.  All components were then transported to site for assembly by our skilled engineering services team. 

The History of the Original Southwark Bandstand

Located in Rotherhithe, South East London, Southwark Park is one of the former Metropolitan Board's first public parks opened in 1869 and designed by A. Mackenzie. The park spans 63 acres, contributing to one of the greenest areas in Central London.

The original bandstand that stood in Southwark Park was one of a pair designed by Captain Francis Fowke in 1861, commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society for their gardens in South Kensington.

Captain Francis Fowke was a British Born architect and engineer whose work generally evoked the Renaissance style. His architectural works include parts of The Royal Albert Hall, The Natural History Museum and the V&A.

When the Royal Horticultural Society closed in 1884 London County Council purchased the two bandstands putting one in Southwark Park and the other in Peckham Rye Park. Sadly, the original bandstand was melted down during WWII.

After a £2.5 million contribution from the Heritage Lottery Fund large sections of Southwark park were refurbished, including the design and build of a brand new Victorian style Bandstand by the Dorothea team modelled on Clapham Common Bandstand.

Clapham Common Bandstand is a grade II listed building and the largest example in London. For many years, it was thought to be one of the original bandstands commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society – which would have made it the oldest surviving cast iron bandstand in Europe.

However, fresh research has uncovered that the Clapham Common bandstand was in fact fabricated about 30 years later in 1890 and modelled on the original RHS ones that once stood in Peckham Rye and Southwark Parks.

Main image courtesy of Flickr


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