The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

the main Central Hill estate
Central Hill Estate, photo via

Central Hill estate turned down for listing

We are dismayed that our application to list the Central Hill estate in south London, which was supported by the architect Kate Macintosh and twenty residents of the estate, has been turned down. This decision places one of London’s most exceptional and progressive post-war housing estates in a hugely vulnerable position. We are now at risk of losing an architectural gem, and hundreds of residents are at risk of losing their much-loved homes.

This early example of a high-density low-rise estate was designed by the Lambeth Architect’s Department under Ted Hollamby with lead architect Rosemary Stjernstedt, one of the pioneering female architects of the time.  Her contribution to post-war social architecture has been long overlooked and the opportunity to address this by listing Central Hill has been forgone.

C20 Director Catherine Croft says “I think that Historic England’s analysis misses the point.  It denigrates the estate by saying that it ‘Relies on the drama of its topography for much of its effect, rather than the virtuosity of its architecture’ whereas it seems to me that virtuosity  is not necessarily something that social housing should be striving for.”

Read full details of why we think this estate deserves to be listed: C20 Listing Application for Central Hill