Camden is home to a vibrant community with a long history of championing equality and diversity. As a borough, we want to honour this history by celebrating the people who have made a positive contribution to the place we call home.
Over the summer, the Black Lives Matter movement highlighted that we can do more to address racism and inequality. As part of this work, the Council is reassessing the individuals memorialised in Camden. Among these is Cecil Rhodes House which will be renamed by the residents that live there.
Who was Cecil Rhodes? (1853-1902)
Cecil Rhodes was a central figure in the growth of the British Empire who believed that the white British race was superior to all other races.
He was prime minister of the Cape Colony, which is now South Africa, where he brought in new laws that allowed land to be forcibly taken from black Africans and reduced the voting rights of non-whites. These laws eventually led to apartheid in South Africa, which was a political system of racism, discrimination and segregation that didn’t end until 1991, the effects of which can still be felt today.
You can find out more about Cecil Rhodes from the recording of our resident webinar held on Monday 14 September, you can access the recording at youtu.be/DwF7O24lmNo
How will a new name be chosen?
This autumn, residents from the Goldington Estate are invited to events where they can talk about why the building name is changing, the history of the area, diversity in Camden and Cecil Rhodes himself. We hope these conversations will help residents come up with ideas for the block’s new name.
After this event we will take estate residents’ ideas and pull together a shortlist of names that will be shared with all residents.
There will then be three weeks for residents who live at Cecil Rhodes House to vote for the name they like the most. After this, we will let all residents know the most popular name, with two further weeks to tell us any further comments.
We will invite all residents of the Goldington Estate to meet with us and find out about the plans to rename Cecil Rhodes House, but only residents of Cecil Rhodes House will be able to vote on the new name.
Once the new name is agreed it will be legally changed and we will replace any signs. We will also make sure that the Post Office and emergency services are aware and we will provide you with any information you might need following a change of address.
Join the next resident drop-in
If you are a resident at Cecil Rhodes House and have any questions about the renaming of your estate, come along to our next virtual drop-in on Wednesday 20 January at 6pm to 7pm. Click here to join the drop-in
Watch our educational webinar
On Monday 14 September, we hosted a webinar with Goldington Estate residents to help start conversations about the renaming of Cecil Rhodes House. A recording of the session is available online at here.
The session includes presentations on why Cecil Rhodes should no longer be memorialised in Camden, the history of Somers Town and St Pancras, and also a number of possible suggestions for the block's new name.