The White House
The White House, number 52 Penge High Street, is one of the oldest early Victorian houses in Penge before the rapid building programme following the construction of the Crystal Palace in the former grounds of Penge Place in 1854. It now functions as the premises of Oasis Dental care.
Built in 1840 when Penge was still a semi-rural area and the youthful Victoria had just acceded to the throne (1837), the White House predates the Royal Watermen’s Almshouses (1841), the Royal Naval Asylum (1848) and St John’s Church (1850). The occupants must have been aware of the last vistas of Penge Common before its total enclosure.
Now a nationally-listed Grade ll building, Historic England has this to say about its architecture:
‘Historic England: PENGE HIGH STREET, SE2O No 52 (The White House)
II Circa 1840. Two storeys stuccoed with slate roof. The guttering has lion’s heads at intervals hiding the joins. Two curved bays, two C19 casements and centre blank. The ground floor windows have three lights and are surmounted by architraves and brackets. There is a six-panelled door with a rectangular fanlight set in an architrave with brackets.’
In some ways the design harks back to the preceding Georgian period with its curved windows and fanlight.
Next door, number 50 became a nationally-listed Grade ll building in 1973.
Although built at the same time, number 50 is very different in style, and as if bolted on to the White House. The two-storied building with dormer windows has served several purposes over the years from Youth Club to Penge Social Club. Many friendships were forged at the Social Club over the years.
Historic England has this to say about the building:
‘50 HIGH STREET, PENGE, SE20 Circa 1840. 2 storeys stuccoed with dormers. 2 parallel ranges. Slate roof. 2 dormers. 3 C19 casements set in architraves. Ground floor has round headed windows with keystones. The main entrance is at right angles to the High Street and has 5 windows with many blanks. The eaves cornice is supported by moulded brackets. Modern porch.’
The buildings are built in an imposing style when Penge was a sought-after area for the monied and enterprising.
See Historic England link for number 50: The White House Lisiting