Kingswood Arts is a new not-for-profit arts centre and cultural hub, designed to support its local community through creativity. Located in a stunning 32 room mansion, we offer a range of free and affordable activities, events and performances for young people and families, involving music, drama, dance and visual arts. 

We aim to support and give voices to marginalised communities and those who face barriers to accessing arts and culture. Our programme is and always will be co-created with our local community, relevant, affordable and accessible. 


Kingswood House was first commissioned in 1811 by William Vizard, a well-connected solicitor who leased 30 acres from Dulwich College. The house was extended in the 1890s by John Lawson Johnston, the inventor of Johnston’s Fluid Beef (Bovril) and was affectionately known as Bovril Castle. The house was used during World War One as a convalescent home for Canadian Soldiers and during World War Two the basements were modified into a bomb shelter. 

In the 1950s it was acquired, along with the land, by the local authority who built the Kingswood Estate, a collection of 691 mostly council-owned dwellings that surround the house. After many years as a Community centre and Library, the house was sadly left empty but is now entering a new era as Kingswood Arts. 

Our Community

We are community hub and resource for the people living on the Kingswood Estate and surrounding areas. We've worked closely with residents, local groups and the council to develop a model where Kingswood will be accessible for all whilst still generating enough income to support the significant running costs & maintenance of the house. 

Most of our community activities are free,  especially those aimed at young people. We will also run a year round programme of community events celebrating the best in local talent that will always be open, accessible and affordable (or free!).

All of this is guided by a steering group made up of key stakeholders including representatives from the residents, local schools, political representation and crucially, young people. 

We would love to hear from local residents, parents and anyone with an interest in the future of Kingswood House! We've created a short questionnaire and run regular community updates meetings where you can find out more about the project.