A Little West End History


Barbe Baker Hall is named after the grandfather of a former resident of Elizabeth’s house, The Firs.


From my sister’s bathroom window can be seen the roof of this historic corrugated iron chapel. The tiled roof in the foreground is that of her purpose built workroom.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KamYPQ_qBd8&w=560&h=315]

This ‘Tin Tabernacle’ is, according to https://www.geocaching.com, ‘a survivor of several “dissenter churches” founded in the area between 1764 and 1843 and is built of corrugated iron and painted green. It has the title “Barbe-Baker Hall” after the Rev. J.T.W. Baker who was Chaplain at the South Stoneham Union (Workhouse) situated a mile away. His grandson was the well known “Man of the Trees who collected trees from around the world and planted some fine specimens in local parks.’

Barbe Baker Hall 1Barbe Baker Hall 3Barbe Baker Hall 4Corrugated iron wall

Despite its dilapidated appearance, this establishment remains a regular place of worship.

Barbe Baker Hall and The Firs

Elizabeth points out that anyone interested might like to buy her house, glimpsed in this photograph, which is currently on the market for sale: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-60590944.html

The Workhouse was, after the formation of the National Health Service in 1948, and with the addition of other premises, converted to the Moorgreen Hospital which. last year, was sold to developers.

Historic buildings have been retained and are being converted; some later, minor, buildings demolished;

The Pavilions 1

and the land filled with new flats and

The Pavilions 2The Pavilions 3The Pavilions 4

houses forming the residential development entitled The Pavilions,

The Pavilions 6The Pavilions 5Scaffolders 1Scaffolders 2Scaffolders 3

currently being constructed by Barratt Homes. The roof of the original building was, this afternoon, crawling with an army of scaffolders.

The Pavilions 7

Some of the properties are already occupied.

Apart from the now usual hold-up from horses on the road out of Beaulieu, we had an uneventful drive home from Elizabeth’, where we had stayed the night.

My sister had provided an excellent roast chicken lunch, so pizza and salad was all we needed to keep us going through evening. With this, Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I consumed more of the Douro.


  1. Wonderful share, and found that very interesting about the Tin Tabernacle, I found the video very interesting.. And those builders have a head for heights.. 🙂 thank you Derrick.

  2. They pretty much look like most of the churches I knew as a child….. Corrugated iron being the building material of choice for most roofs, fences and some buildings for many years. It became quite fashionable again in the 90’s for a brief period. That’s the colonies for you 🙂

  3. Thank you for another tour, Derrick. If I was in the market for a house in that area, I’d definitely consider Elizabeth’s! (It’s a little far for me.) 🙂

  4. Thanks for the video of the Tin Tabernacles, Derrick. My mother used to sing that song – “Jerusalem” – I don’t think I’ve heard it since the 1950s!

  5. Love the old workhouse. My great grandfather died 1880 in the Barnet Workhouse. When I went to visit it the building had sadly just been demolished.

  6. Ah yes, corrugated iron. The building material of choice for many Australian buildings, particularly in the country. We only had the roof on my childhood home. Elizabeth’s home looks delightful. I hope she has a lot of luck selling it.

  7. When I think/thought about corrugated iron I always think/thought of the Anderson shelters and believed it to have been designed for that specific purpose.
    Imagine my surprise to find that it was designed in the 1820s by some English bloke Harry Palmer, so thank you Derrick for adding some new, useless information, to my already overflowing scone of useless info, always room for a bit more 😈

  8. The old tin churches are interesting. We have a corrugated metal roof on our house. In our climate, they work much better than a conventional asphalt shingle roof.

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