History

The site has been part of industrial London ever since a Victorian entrepreneur and visionary gave his name to the Peckham landmark over 100 years ago.

The Bussey Building

Dating from the late 19th century, the Bussey Building was named after sporting goods manufacturer, and eminent Victorian industrialist, George Gibson Bussey. This handsome, reinforced concrete, industrial structure and its red-brick shell sees most of its decorative features on the side that faces Peckham Rye’s railway tracks.

The building was generally used to manufacture sporting goods, such as cricket bats made mainly from Bussey’s own Willow Farm in Suffolk and the company supplied equipment to W G Grace, one of the most famous cricketers in history. The most notorious Bussey bat was called The Demon Driver while other inventions included a gyro trap (a predecessor to clay-pigeon shooting kit), a dining table that converted into a billiards table, and a device that enabled a golfer to practice his swings without the inconvenience of having to retrieve balls.

“Probably one of the last really big early 20th century industrial buildings in Peckham, of which there were once quite a few” — Peckham Vision

The Bussey Building also created munitions, possibly during both wars, and the basement was said to have doubled as an air raid shelter in World War II. To this day, the old factory features a wealth of historic industrial features in their raw state. There are also incomparable views of central London from various rooftops as, when the factory was built, it was one of Peckham’s tallest buildings.

Holdron's Department Store

Holdrons Arcade dates back to a 1930s department store, situated on London’s Golden Mile- “once the busiest trading centre in the world after Oxford St”. It was even bought by John Lewis partnership in 1940 from Selfridges, but sold off in 1949. A fire service sub station existed there in World War II, and a large part of the Rye Lane frontage survived until 2003, but was destroyed by fire. It was noted for its twin shopping arcades and, today, one of which is still in use and a famed shopping destination once again.

Copeland Park

Once reflecting Peckham’s industrial heritage, this collection of historic buildings houses a vast and diverse range of commercial and creative enterprises. Other buildings on the site include single-storey warehouses, modern gallery spaces and two Victorian terrace houses.

Through local campaigning, most notably from Peckham Vision, Copeland Park was saved from being turned into a tram depot by the council and TfL in 2009. Read more about the proposals in Peckham Vision’s archives.