This ornate building in Carshalton Square was completed in 1908 and funded by the Carshalton Urban District Council, which had formed back in 1894.
The area was once the grounds of All Saints Church, and close to the site of the long-since demolished Deer-keepers Lodge – being a stone’s throw from the old boundary of Carshalton Park.
The building was designed by British architect R. Frank Atkinson, who among other notable works created the Waring & Gillow department store at 164–182 Oxford Street in 1905-6. Now Grade 2 listed and bearing a passing resemblance to the Carshalton building.
The Carshalton foundation stone was laid by the chairman of the council, Councillor Edwards, on 21 December 1906 and the building was completed in 1908 for £2,500 – about £210,000 in today’s money.
An expanding suburbia
By the mid-1920s the building was considered too small and the council moved to new offices at The Grove mansion. The first clerk of the district council, Lord Lovelock, arranged to purchase land from the final lord of the manor of Carshalton, Blake Taylor. This included the area of The Grove and around the upper pond.
The old council offices in The Square were converted for use as a library and a museum and were re-opened by the former member of parliament, Sir Thomas Worsfold, in January 1931.
By 1933 the museum failed to attract sufficient visitors and the collection was put into storage.
The Carshalton Urban District Council in northeast Surrey existed from 1894 until 1965 when it was abolished and swallowed up by the newly formed London Borough of Sutton.
The building continued to serve the people of Carshalton as a public library until that finally closed in December 2012.
The UDC were granted a coat of arms in 1952. More here…