The Manor of Kennington in London formed part of the original Duchy Estate under the Charter of 1337. Although it is hard to imagine today, the land then was largely agricultural. It took the building Vauxhall Bridge in 1812 and Waterloo Bridge in 1817 to open the way for development in this part of the Duchy, as London began to spread.
In the following decades, Kennington grew into a vibrant neighbourhood and the Duchy played an integral role in the building and sale of residential and commercial properties. During the 1920s and 30s some significant sites were sold, most notably to the armed forces, whilst the 1950s heralded the arrival of new office blocks and flats for single, young professionals. The majority of the residential estate was sold to the London & Quadrant housing association in 1990. Today, the Duchy owns 16 flats and 23 houses.
Lambeth County Court
With these remaining properties, the Duchy operates a policy of retention. In other words, it refurbishes and re-lets rather than selling a property if a vacancy arises. In response to problems faced by elderly tenants, the Duchy also took the decision to freeze rents for this group under the direction of The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, following their visit to Kennington in 2002
Lambeth County Court
HRH meeting Prince's Trust young people on a personal development course
More recently, in January 2013, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Pathways project for ex-offenders, which is based in Kennington and supported by the Duchy, as well as meeting Prince's Trust young people on a personal development course taking place at The Oval cricket ground.
The Oval is a historical asset owned by the Duchy, and Surrey County Cricket Club became the sole leaseholder of the ground in 1874. Since then the Duchy has been involved with many improvements, from the rebuilding of the Pavilion in 1895 to 1897, right through to the new Pavilion portico completed in 2013
Over the last 15 years the commercial portfolio, including historical assets like The Oval and office premises, has expanded with investments in a variety of properties outside London. In 2005, the Duchy took the strategic decision to sell the retail property portfolio within its holdings. Currently the commercial portfolio consists of 18 properties and is valued at £124 million.
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