The Paragon, New Kent Road, Walworth, c. 1895


The Paragon, Blackheath, designed by Michael Searles and built between 1794 and 1807, is one of Blackheath's major landmarks.

He was commissioned to build it after the success of this earlier version, built for the Rolls Estate at the east end of the New Kent Road.

Searles had been the estate's surveyor since the 1770s and built this Paragon from 1787 to 1791.

The design of a crescent of pairs of houses linked by lower colonades, was employed in both.

Searles was also responsible for Surrey Square Walworth, Gloucester Circus and 155 Old Kent Road, his own residence as the Rolls Estate's surveyor.

The Paragon was demolished in 1898 to make way for a London School Board School - a sad but neat illustration of the increase in population and so the inevitable decline in character of the area.

See historic maps of Walworth