Brockwell Hall is a late Georgian Country House built between 1811-13 for John Blades, a wealthy Ludgate Hill glass maker, as the centre piece of his Park Estate. It replaced the old Brockwell Hall sited down by Norwood Road. The perimeter of today's Park reflects the boundary of the original estate.
Brockwell Hall, now a Grade II* listed building, was designed by the architect D.R. Roper (also responsible for St Marks, Kennington) in a style, loosely termed, 'free Grecian' and is a plain but fine example of its kind.
It consists of a main residential block with a stone portico to the main entrance on the north elevation, complemented by a curved bay on the south side. A service wing connects the main house to the stable yard and stable block. The brick bay and cast iron verandah on the south side and the 'Raj' style bell turret on the service wing are Victorian additions.
The real merit of this complex of buildings is the way they nestle so discreetly along the ridge of the hill, commanding the centre of the Park without being too dominant and overbearing. The building and the surrounding paths afford wonderful vistas and views of London.
On the death of John Blades in 1829 the Hall and Estate passed by marriage to the Blackburn family who lived there until 1888 when it was acquired by the London County Council for the people of Lambeth and London as a public park.
The purchase followed a campaign led by Thomas Lynn Bristowe, the first MP for Norwood, who was instrumental in raising funds from public, church, charity and private subscription. It was ironic that the man who did so much to secure the Park should expire of a heart attack on the steps of Brockwell Hall shortly after taking part in the opening ceremony on 6th June 1892.
Since 1892 the Hall has served the Park user as a place of refreshment from the Café on the ground floor. It was restored after extensive fire damage to the main block in February 1990, and so presents us with a view that is very close to the original Georgian concept of a country house set in a park estate.