There are many illustrations of a rather quaint old house in Lower Marsh which is sometimes labelled Bishop Bonner's House. Confusingly there are a few illustrations of a completely different building with the same title. Needless to say there is no evidence that either were anything to do with the notorious archbishop. From old maps it seems clear the most illustrated one stood where No 19 now is - one view erroneously titled Bishop of Rochester's palace shows the still standing Cooper's health food shop in the background. On the large scale Hodskinson and Middleton Kennington Survey of 1785 the projecting bays seen in the engravings are readily identifiable. The famous watercolour of Lower Marsh by Paul Sandby has the front of this building framing the right hand side.
The other building was much grander and more architecturally distinguished. This was possibly located at No 1 Lower Marsh where a property is noted as Bonners House on the Enclosure plan of 1806.
In Thomas Allen's history of Lambeth there is mention of there being two buildings associated with the archbishop but rather disappointingly declares one of them didn't look very old. It is reported that one of these houses was demolished in July 1823 and a fine Elizabethan ceiling from it ended up in Cottingham's Architectural Museum in the Waterloo Road. There is no information whether this ceiling survived the dispersal of the museum collection in 1851.
This article was researched by Richard Woollard