Bethel Asylum

53-57 Havil Street, Camberwell, SE5 7SB


In 1838 William Peacock erected Bethel Asylum as almshouses. The plain 2-storey building accommodated 12 poor elderly women.

Five years earlier, in 1833, Peacock had donated a piece of land in Westmoreland Place, behind the site of his future almshouses to the Aged Pilgrims' Friend Society on which to build their first almshouses - the Aged Pilgrims' Asylum, which opened in 1837. When he died in 1844 the Society permitted him to be buried in a vault beneath the quadrangle of their Asylum. In the centre of the quadrangle is a monument dedicated to him.


Current status

The Grade II listed building is now private housing.

Havil Street was renumbered at some time during the 20th century and the almshouses are now at Nos. 159-163.

N.B. Photographs obtained in December 2009

Bethel Asylum

The almshouses were Grade II listed in 1972.

Bethel Asylum

The central entrance has a stone plaque above the door.

Aged Pilgrims' Asylum

The plaque is faded and almost illegible. It states: BETHEL ASYLYM for twelve aged women erected 1838 by William Peacock, Esq.

References (Accessed 1st June 2021)

Allport D 1841 Collections, Illustrative of the Geology, History, Antiquities, and Associations of Camberwell, and the Neighbourhood. Self-published.
Blanch WH 1875 Ye Parish of Camerwell. A Brief Account of the Parish of Camberwell, its History and Antiquities. London, E.W. Allen.

Last updated 1st June 2021

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