A Chaplin in Kennington Walk

Route & what to see


A 2 mile walk looking at sites in Kennington associated with Charlie Chaplin. It begins at Oval tube station and finishes at Waterloo.

Exit the station and cross to Kennington Park.
At the junction (Kennington Gate) C meet Hetty Kelly, a fellow artiste, and took her on a date to the West End. Mother discharged the family from the workhouse and they spent the day in Kennington Park, eating cherries and playing catch ball [

Walk through the park and exit into Kennington Road.
The Horns Tavern and assembly rooms formerly stood on this corner. C rehearsed a sketch he wrote in an upper room [

Continue along Kennington Road.
C attended the Kennington Road School whilst living with his father.

Right into Milver Street then left into Methley Street.
Mother took a top floor back room in Methley Street (marked with plaque) near Hayward's Pickle factory in Bowden Street. At the end of the street was a slaughterhouse and C once saw a runaway sheep being chased [

Walk through Bowden Street into Cleaver Street and go left.
C was sent to the cookshop next to the White Hart to buy corned beef. On another occasion he listened to music at the pub [

Right along Kennington Road
C attended school in Sancroft Street (building gone). There is a plaque on number 287 where C lived with his father whilst mother was in an aslyum. The family occupied two rooms on the first floor. Further along on the left was the site of Pownall Terrace 'a row of old derelict houses' where the Chaplins lived for some time in a garret room [
pix]. They also lived in Chester Street (now Chester Way) in two rooms over a barber's shop. Mother covered orange crates with cretonne to furnish it.

Continue along Kennington Road.
The McCarthys (family friends) lived in Walcott Mansions (now Gardens). C would play theatres with son Wally after school and stay for supper. At the corner with Brook Drive was the Tankard pub where C watched 'the elite of vaudeville' on Sundays [

Go left at Lambeth Road then left into Lambeth Walk
The original 'Lambeth Walk' was an evening promenade by the predominantly poor residents of North Lambeth. The walk was popularised by Noel Gay who wrote the song 'Doin' The Lambeth Walk' with its catchy tune for the 1937 musical comedy 'Me and My Girl'. There are four mosaics of Chaplin by South Bank Mosaics.

Return to the crossroads
On the corner of Lambeth Road was the Three Stags where C saw his father for the last time [
pix]. Mother regularly attended Christ Church taking C along. It was destroyed by bombing in 1940 but the tower was retained in the new chapel and office development [pix].

Left at Westminster Bridge Road.
The family lived in a basement room in Oakley Street (now Baylis Road) where C remembered being unwell. The Canterbury Music Hall, where C watched his father perform, stood at the junction with Lower Marsh [

Left around the roundabout
C's father was in St Thomas's Hospital prior to his death in 1901 (aged 37).

Right along York Road to Waterloo Station.


london-footprints.co.uk 2011

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