Current Projects

Sector: Public realm
Project: St. Mark’s Churchyard and Farmer’s Market
Location: Kennington, South London
Client: London Borough of Lambeth and the Oval Community Partnership

Set in the leafy St. Mark’s churchyard, Kennington, south London, the Oval Farmers’ Market takes place every Saturday selling locally made and traditional fare.  Established in 2007 and located in a prominant position opposite Oval tube station and close to the famous Oval cricket ground, the market has become a popular local event, regularly attracting over 350 visitors from the surrounding area and further afield.  It has had a positive impact on the local community by providing a much needed social and economic stimulus in an otherwise commercially neglected part of London. 

St. Mark’s Church is a Grade II* listed building and is one of the four ‘Waterloo Churches’ built in south London in 1824 to celebrate the victory in the Napoleonic wars.  Severely damaged in World War II, the Church lay derelict for many years before undergoing an extensive restoration and re-opening in 1960.  During the restoration most of the gravestones were lifted from the churchyard and stored next to the southern boundary where they remain to this day.  The churchyard was conveyed to the Council in 1950 and the Council now maintains it as a public space although it remains consecrated ground.

Today the churchyard is a popular open space with a character and intimacy that contrasts with the adjacent, but much larger, Kennington Park.  However its condition has deteriorated in recent years and the popularity of the weekly Farmers’ Market is beginning to impose additional pressures.

Lambeth Council, working with the Oval Community Partnership, a non-profit organisation whose aim is to improve the quality of life for people living or working in the Oval area, were keen to build on the success of the market.  Their aim was to improve the market facilities and enhance the setting of the listed building, whilst also enhancing the churchyard as a public space and community hub offering a range of events and activities.

Landscape Perspective was appointed by Lambeth Council to work with the Oval Community Partnership and key stakeholders, including the Church authorities, English Heritage and the Council, to prepare detailed proposals to facilitate these ambitions.  Key to the process was a public consultation which focussed on two community events held in the summer of 2010, and from which detailed proposals were drawn up.

As well as winning the overwhelming support of the local community, these gained the formal support of the Church Council, and the Chancellor of the Diocese.  The proposals will form the basis of applications for planning and listed building consent, and for financial support via Section 106 agreements and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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