If you’re looking for a charming and historic street in London, visiting Roupell Street is a must. This hidden gem is tucked away just south of the River Thames in Waterloo and boasts impressive architecture, an interesting history, independent shops, and local eateries. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the history of the street and explore what makes it such a unique and interesting place.
The History of Roupell Street
Roupell Street is named after John Roupell, who owned the land in the early 19th century and was developed in the 1820s and 1830s during the Georgian period. Interestingly, the surrounding streets were also named after the immediate family of John Roupell. The neighbouring streets of Theed Street and Whittlesey Street had alternative names. Theed Street was John Street, Whittlesey west was Richard Street, and Whittlesey east was Catherine Street. Apparently, the names were changed because of a problem with the postmen – there were too many surrounding streets with the same names!
From 1824, the initial inhabitants of the Lambeth Estate may have been individuals with professions such as builders, joiners, printers, furniture makers, saddlers, blacksmiths, clothing makers, butchers, bakers, teachers, or nurses. And at first, all the houses were rented.
Roupell Street has played a significant role in popular culture over the years. In addition to its filming location, the street has also been referenced in literature and music. For example, Charles Dickens is said to have been a frequent visitor to the street, and he is believed to have used it as inspiration for some of his works. More recently, Roupell Street has become a popular spot for Instagrammers and bloggers (like us!) drawn to the street’s unique charm and beautiful architecture.
The World’s First Circus at Halfpenny Hatch
Did you know Roupell Street was once home to the world’s first circus? Back in the 18th century, a man named Philip Astley, a former cavalry sergeant, decided to showcase his horse-riding skills by performing stunts and tricks in an open field near Halfpenny Hatch. He then decided to add more entertainment to his shows by including clowns, acrobats, and other performers.
This led to the birth of the modern circus, and Astley’s shows became wildly popular, eventually leading to the establishment of the first permanent circus building in London. And so, Roupell Street became the birthplace of one of the world’s most beloved and iconic forms of entertainment. So, next time you’re strolling down Roupell Street, take a moment to remember its colourful history and the man who started it all. Who knew a simple horse-riding show would become such a magical and wondrous spectacle?
Roupell Street Conservation Area
Another thing that sets Roupell Street apart is its strong sense of community. The street’s residents are passionate about preserving its unique character and are actively involved in local events and initiatives. They have their own residents association, known as LERA – Lambeth Estate Residents Association, and the area is a designated conservation area protected by the conservation designation, which means that the local council must approve any changes made to the buildings or public spaces to ensure that the area remains true to its historical roots.
This has helped to preserve the area’s unique character, helping to make it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Other streets included in the conservation area are Brad Street, Theed Street, Windmill Walk, Whittlesey Street and Cornwall Road.
The Street Today
One of the most striking features of the street and surrounding streets is its stunning Georgian architecture, which is really well preserved. Repetition of terrace buildings often looks great, don’t you think? The terraces of the conservation area resemble an older Northern industrial terrace like you’d find in Manchester or Sheffield, not a street just a few hundred metres from London’s bustling and vibrant Southbank.
Many of the buildings on the street have been beautifully preserved, and walking down the street feels like you’re stepping back in time. The street is most famous for its use as a filming location, but there’s a little more on offer than terrace houses, old-school cars and its fame. Along Roupell Street, you’ll find a pub named The Kings Arms and a cake shop called Konditor. Not far away, there’s a fish and chip shop and another pub called The White Hart, just around the corner on Cornwall Road.
How to Visit Roupell Street
If you’re planning a trip to London, add Roupell Street to your itinerary. The street is just a short walk from Waterloo Station and is easily accessible by public transport. There’s Waterloo East train station right next to Brad Street. It’s the perfect place to spend a short while strolling through the historic streets and taking a few Insta-worthy snaps.
Location & Map
📍Roupell Street, Waterloo, London
Roupell Street is a true hidden gem in the heart of London. Its stunning Georgian architecture, independent shops, and a strong sense of community make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience what London offers. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a charming place to spend a bit of time wandering around, this place is not to be missed.
Is Roupell Street worth visiting?
If you’re in the area, yes, it’s worth visiting. It’s an attractive street with a fascinating history, plus it’s in a great location, right by Waterloo and Southbank, where there are plenty of other things to help tie in a great visit.
Is Roupell Street free to visit?
Yes, the street is a public street and free to visit.
What has been filmed in Roupell Street?
All sorts have been filmed at Roupell Street. It is a popular filming location used on TV and the big screen. The street has seen the likes of James Bond, Eastenders, DNA Journey, The Aeronauts, Legend, Call the Midwife, Pennyworth and Doctor Who, plus dozens more filmed there.
Are there any restrictions on filming or photography on the street?
There are no restrictions on filming or photography, but you should respect the resident’s privacy. Don’t forget – real people live along the street.
Can I bring my dog to Roupell Street?
Yes, you can take your dog to the street. Remember to keep them under control and clean up after them,
What is the best time of year to visit Roupell Street?
The street is beautiful year-round, and the time of year you visit makes no difference.
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