by Carolyn Ayers
This month we heard the fantastic news that two of the Trust’s assets had been awarded Listed Building Status. The Assembly Rooms, Charlton and the Gas Works War Memorial, East Greenwich, have both been awarded Grade II listing. Both the building and war memorial were recognised for their special historical and architectural significance.
The Trust is passionate about the care of these historic buildings, the uniqueness and beauty of the buildings and memorials – the polychromatic tile floor at the entrance to the Assembly Rooms and the pinky granite stone of the war memorial for instance - inspire us daily. The buildings and memorials can tell us a lot about the past, not just the fashions in architectural styles but about the people who these building were built for and dedicated to.
The Assembly Rooms is a red bricked building. The building of the Rooms was funded by Sir Spencer Maryon Wilson in the latter part of the nineteenth century and formally opened by Lady Wilson in 1881. It was intended to be used by the Community. Today it is still very much used by and for the people of Charlton and the wider community. We have all sorts going on from dance classes to taekwondo - though I’m not quite sure Sir Spencer ever envisaged taekwondo in the Assembly Rooms but I’m sure he’d have been happy that over 100 years on, the Rooms are still as important to the community as when they were first built.
The war memorial meanwhile is built of granite and dedicated to the men of the gas works who died during the first world war. It is unusual in that this war memorial is built of granite, many of the borough’s other war memorials are built of Portland stone and with the cross of sacrifice. We have a beautiful roll of honour in the museum and archive collection which lists the names of the men who died in the war, almost every name is accompanied by an image. It is humbling to see the many faces of those who gave their lives.
Roll of Honour
Polychromatic tiles at Charlton Assembly Rooms
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