The Paragon is a crescent of Georgian houses linked by colonnades, designed by architect Michael Searles. The houses are fronted by a private roadway and crescent-shaped communal garden, which was provided for the private use of the residents. Abutting the public open land of Blackheath, this remains as a private semi-circular lawn, gently mounded in the centre, with a scattering of trees and shrubs, including two notable mature horse chestnuts.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/11/2007
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The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
The Paragon comprises a crescent of six pairs of semi-detached houses and a central house, linked by Tuscan colonnades, fronted by an area of communal garden abutting Blackheath. The development is important in the history of suburban residential development of the late C18th/early C19th. The Paragon was built between 1794-1807 by Michael Searles (1751-1813), son of a Greenwich surveyor, who was surveyor to the Rolls Estate. He was responsible for a number of fine building schemes that have been described as 'unusually elegant and ambitious' (Pevsner), many of which were in south London although only some survive, including Gloucester Circus (q.v.) in Greenwich. Searles had already built a smaller Paragon scheme in Old Kent Road, but this has since been demolished, the name only recalled in a strip of public gardens, Paragon Gardens (q.v.). The crescent of The Paragon is fronted by a private roadway and crescent-shaped garden for the use of residents. In 1928 the garden was owned by Henry John Cator and lessees of the houses paid a rate for the upkeep of both garden and road, the maintenance overseen by a Committee of lessees and residents. At that time the garden was described as 'a rough grass plot, enclosed by posts and rails and containing some well-grown trees.' It remains as a private semi-circular lawn, gently mounded in the centre, with a scattering of trees and shrubs, including two notable mature horse chestnuts.
Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Penguin) 1999, p423; Report of the Royal Commission on London Squares, 1928