Saturday, 22 May 2010

Thames Tributary Effra - Dulwich College

Thames Tributary Effra
Springs in this area are said to have fed tributaries to the Effra in the area of Gipsy Hill.

Suburban area dominated by the buildings and legacy of Dulwich College

Post to the west West Dulwich
Post to the north Dulwich
Post to the east Sydenham Hill
Post to the south Gipsy Hill

Alleyn Park
Plane trees at the junction
63 home of Macmahon, speech therapist to George VI
65 Sequoia Gigantia in the front garden
Kingsdale Foundation School, Buikt 1959, by London County Council as a comprehensive.
38/44 Alleyn's Head site of original College Preparatory School. It was originally on the other side of the road, the site of which is now a garage. Its neighbour housed local horses as a livery stable

College Road
In 1626 Alleyn gave the site to his native parish of St.Botolph Bishopsgate. In 1804 the road was built by John Morgan and later called Penge Road. It was a direct route between Camberwell and Penge allowing access across the common as a private road through the woods. It is now a private road owned by Dulwich College Estate. Because of the steep slopes of the Effra basin main roads avoided this area, thus College Road was left to itself and the toll gate remained.
Toll gate. Set up by John Morgan, Lord of the Manor of Penge, who built the road to access his house on land leased from the College. An Act of Abolition got rid of other tollgates in London in 1864. The toll from motorists helps pay for the upkeep of the College. There is no charge at night. Tollgates were once common but most were abolished when local councils took over road maintenance. A board displays the old charges for farm animals.
Toll House on the corner of Grange Lane. Brick and tile octagonal.
St Stephen’s Church. Built 1868 on a site given by the College. It is the parish church of South Dulwich. It is a ragstone church built 1868-75 by Banks & Barry with a very tall broach spire on top of a tower. Inside the only prewar stained glass is a mural of the trial and stoning of St Stephen by Sir Edward Poynter. The west window has stained glass of St Stephen and St Paul by Moira Forsyth and under it a small nativity triptych by Charles Gurrey painted by Camille Pissarro in 1870. It was built on an unstable slope where soil is creeping below waterlogged hillsides.
Millennium Hall.

Dulwich College
Dulwich College may not be as posh as Eton or Stowe However, the buildings have character surrounded by playing fields and are set in an oasis in South London.
Dulwich College Playing Fields. Originally called Howletts Green. This was the last bit of common land in Dulwich and not enclosed until 1805.
College. The expansion of the College was the inspiration of Canon Carver, Master 1858-1883, who intended that Dulwich should become a great public school. The old Corporation had been dissolved on the orders of the Charity Commissioners and sales from building land paid for these buildings. They were built a long way away from the old ones and they were opened by the Prince of Wales in 1870. The architect was Charles Barry Jnr. who used a multitude of styles in three blocks built in bright red brick connected by cloisters including Doulton ware, tiles and granite and high walls with a selection of classical antiquities, Shakespearean characters plus Byron and Macaulay. There is a tall clock tower on the South Block and a campanile on the North. In the centre block the Lower Hall has a staircase leading up to a Great Hall. There is a Board Room, the Master's Library, and a Sanatorium from 1892 with Tudor frontage. The Library of 1902 is a memorial to the dead of the Boer War, with an extension dedicated to Canon Carver. Boarding houses include Ivyholme and Blew House, 1930's and the Pavilion. The Science block has an observatory on the roof. Alleyn's pictures were bought with compensation from the railway and the whole thing is administered by the Alleyn Trust. Famous 'Old Alleynians' include Sir Ernest Shackleton, the explorer, one of whose rescue boats is preserved in the grounds.
College Mill was on the site of the North Block. It had been built by Alleyn and pulled down in 1814,
Dulwich College gymnasium, where in the '20s and '30s major tennis tournaments were held with Fred Perry. Plain arches along the walls and a fake stone effect on top. The old Covered Courts were used by Edward VII
Athol House
Cheshire Home
Commissariat Bookshop
Woodhall

Grange Lane
Dulwich & Sydenham Golf Club. This was a gun site in the Second World War sited where it could be overlooked by the Clubhouse. It is the nearest full size golf course to Central London. London Scout Centre. Dry valleys and ditches show the course of streams coming from the woods running to the Effra

Huntslip Road
Was previously called Union Road. It crosses a slip of land owned by Hunt
Railway Bridge 1937

Low Cross Wood Lane
A footpath, wide and steep, leading from Crescent Wood Road to Sydenham Hill Station and the church. A bridle path it off what was once Low Cross Coppice from the main bulk of Dulwich Wood. The Cross showed the parish boundary and was cut on the tree. Samuel Matthews, the Dulwich hermit lived here in a hut in 1796. Friends took him to Wales; but he escaped and came back to the wood where he was murdered.
Low Cross Coppice. This is one of the 10 woods, which Alleyn reserved for firewood for the college in turn. It is a section of Dulwich Wood which was originally part of Vicars Oak Coppice, cleared for villas in the 1870s which have since been demolished. It is now a nature reserve, with fungi, plants and animals.

Lyall Avenue
Named after a Governor of Dulwich College 1891 1950.
Langbourne Primary School. 1952, two storeys, built of pre-cast horizontal concrete with cladding panels.
Nursery School, by Stillman & Eastwick Field, 1967. Built as a cluster of hexagons in white brick with pitched roofs.

Stonehills Court
Site of Stonehills House. Previously it was Oakfield,
Sydenham Hill Station. Between Penge East and West Dulwich on South Eastern Trains LCDR. It is at the end of a long gradient and sited just before the tunnel. It is in a picturesque location in a cutting with wooded slopes on all sides. From College Road a covered walkway leads steeply to a lattice bridge, probably c1900, from which covered walkways lead to the two platforms. Nature has recolonised the tunnel entrance, and there is now sycamore with lime, oak and horse chestnut. There are dandelion and lesser celandine in the spring, and dunnocks and robins are around all the time. It was opened in 1863.
Red brick tunnel entrance to the Penge Tunnel as an elliptical portal with Gibbs surround plus side piers, and a bracketed cornice. Designed by Joseph Cubitt, 1860-3. The tunnel is two kilometres long and was part of the London Chatham and Dover Railway’s plan to obtain easier access over their own tracks to Stewarts Lane. This cut out a detour to the south and through Crystal Palace, over Brighton tracks.


Sources
Clunn. The Face of London   
Darby. Dulwich. A Place in History
Dulwich and Syndenham Golf Club. Web site
Field. London Place names, 
Green. Around Dulwich
London Journal
London Encyclopaedia
Lucas. London
Nairn. Nairn's London
Nature Conservation in Southwark
Parker. North Surrey
Pevsner and Cherry. South London,
Summerson, Georgian  London

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