This London Community Centre Used To Be A Mortuary

This London Community Centre Used To Be A Mortuary
Photo: Time and Talents

On a residential street in Rotherhithe, set back from the road in a secluded garden, is the Time & Talents Community Centre. The building is better known as The Old Mortuary, which tells you all you need to know about its past.

A mortuary was first built on this site in around 1873, although it was replaced by the current building in 1895; the original building was considered not fit for purpose as it didn't allow for segregation of those who had died of infectious diseases. It's thought that this location was chosen due to the number of bodies which would wash up in the river nearby, and because of its proximity to the docks where several fatal accidents took place.

The newer building consisted of two separate mortuaries, plus a post-mortem room and a microscope room, with some features including the high-up windows and iron girders still in existence today.

Inside, the community centre has a church-like feel. Photo: Time & Talents

The mortuary closed in 1965, and for 15 years was used as storage by Southwark Council.

The Time and Talents club moved into the building in 1980, hosting events to bring isolated people in the community together. Unless you're attending one of these events, your only chance to see inside the building is for Open House Weekend in September.

Time and Talents Centre, The Old Mortuary, St Marychurch Street, Rotherthithe, SE16 4JE.

Last Updated 02 November 2017