Thames Tributary Ravensbourne - Pool River - Bell Green
The Pool River flows northwards towards the Ravensbourne
TQ 36486 71942
Busy area around the old green in front of the pub. This had become a network of fast roads accessing the supermarket which has replaced Bell Green Gas Works with its rail access from the line to Beckenham Junction adjacent. Several gas holders remain, but for how long. The workers institute with its fine tiled front remains with a relocated war memorial. To the south Kangley and Worsley Bridge Roads retain a number of art deco factories - most now in other use by small industrial units and as offices. To the west Sydenham Road climbs to the shopping centre beyond past pubs, churches, the library and parks. The Pool River flows through the area and to the south it is now a pleasant walk through parks, and a pleasant walk has been designed along it, through parks, allotments, and byways.
Post to the north Perry Hill
Post to the east Bellingham
Post to the south New Beckenham
Adamsrill Primary School
In 1745 this area is shown as Sydenham Green. It is set in a hollow among the hills of Sydenham. It was common land divided into plots.The old green covered much of the area of the gasworks and extended down Southend Lane.
Sainsbury’s supermarket and other big shops on the Bell Green gas site.
Sydenham Green Health Centre. In re-development the old name has been revived
Livesey Memorial Hall. Social club built 1911, for employees of South Suburban Gas Company as a memorial for Sir George Livesey. In front is a faience panel with art nouveau lettering and floral stems on a green background.
Livesey Hall War Memorial, designed by Sydney March 1920, with plaques commemorating employees of the company who died in both world wars. The memorial has a life-size angel in bronze, standing on a ball entwined with serpents, with extraordinary detailing. Also a Rupert Brooke quote.
Gas Works. There was a race to provide gas to the area of Crystal Palace once it was known it was to come to Sydenham, Three Companies were established and eventually amalgamated as the Crystal Palace District Gas Company in 1854.concentrating work on this site. Bell Green Gas Works initially as the The Surrey Consumers Gas Company. It changed its name againto South Suburban Gas Company in 1904, In 1912 they amalgamated with the Bromley and West Kent Co. etc. And in 1927 The reached an agreement with the South Metropolitan. At its peak 2,000 people were employed on the site and it was one of the largest gasworks in Britain. Gas production stopped in 1969, but two gas holders remain out of four previously on the site.
59 The Bell. A classical pub c1845; an extension added later. The original 18th Bell pub was on a site which would have been inside the gas works.
65 The Old Bath House, opened as Lewisham Public Baths 1907, with a tiled ground floor and red brick upper floor, now an architectural salvage yard..
Horse trough outside the old baths. Moved 1950.
Pool River has a natural appearance at Bell Green. It was altered as part of Savacentre and a riverside walk built as a barrier to prevent contaminants leaching into the river. There is a tree and a plaque about the opening ceremony. Outlets for two streams joining from Sydenham Hill.
Bell Green Lane.
Little CherubsAbbey Trading Estate. Art Deco Factory building.
Infant school 1896.
St Michael & All Angels, a long simple brick building of 1958 by David Nye. Edwin Nash's church of 1864 was demolished following war damage; the school hall is now on the site.
St Michael’s Church of England Primary School. A substantial complex of 1871 designed by Edwin Nash, in Gothic and arts & crafts styles, with steep gables and very tall chimneys.
Haseltine Primary School. A London School Board block of 1885, with gabled dormers.
Kangley Bridge Road
This was the name of an old bridge – in the area covered by the grounds of the gasworks.
Bridge Leisure Centre on the site of the Brittanic Sports Ground – run for British Petroleum and closed 1980s.
Kent House Lane
The Sydenham brewery run by Joseph Verey in the first half of the 19th
Gardner Industrial Estate; site of J Gardner & Co, Monument Works, Beckenham. They made air-conditioning equipment.
Kent House Road
Much of the area owned by St.Olave’s Southwark.
38 Childhood home of Bill Wyman
Horse trough from Bell Green moved here and used as a planter.
Lower Sydenham Station 1857 1st January. Mid Kent Railway. Near Southend Lane. 1906 closed and resited. Decent yellow brick station
401 Railway Tavern. Pub c1867. Historic railway prints.
Home Park derives its name from the large house which was sited here, Home Park Lodge. The 7 acres of ground were purchased in 1901 by Lewisham Borough Council for £5,600
Sydenham Library. The entrance to the library was formerly on the main road, but was re-located in Home Park. It was funded by Andrew Carnegie for £4,500. Above the portico of the original entrance is the L.B.C. coat of arms. Built 1904, in red brick. Interior with arcades and three domes for top-lighting.
Byron Close flats. An old Lewisham Borough Council coat of arms on the front – different from the current one.
Our Lady and St.Philip Neri. Roman Catholic Church of 1958, designed by Walters & Kerr Bate. Square bell-tower, which was added in 1961. There is a window in the south transept with stained glass by Goddard & Gibbs showing the death of St Philip Neri.
208 Presbytery. A mock-Tudor building, half- timbered and vivid white built in 1929, for the earlier church which was further west. At the rear is a small extension which was a late 19th extension to an early 18th house used as the presbytery from 1919 to 1929, and demolished for the new building.
208 Grove House. The church was built on this site. It was the home of .Sir George Grove, the writer on music, 1860-1900, and there is a Lewisham Council plaque on the front wall. Grove, was the editor of 'Grove's Dictionary of Music and first Secretary of the Crystal Palace Company,
116 Golden Lion. An early 19th classical pub. There has been a pub on this site since 1740. It was one of the first pubs to get a variety licence – as the Golden Lion Public House and Palace of Varieties 1855-c1897. The wide forecourt was a pull-in for horse buses on their way to Penge.
Horse trough in memory of Mr. Caller 1920s
Fire hydrant iron pavement cover. Made by Ham Baker Co. Corner Larkbere Road
121 Dolphin Pub. Although it is a modern building this has been the site of a pub since at least 1733.
St.Philip's ex Catholic Primary School. A single-storey building with a slate roof which was the old Catholic Primary School. It was founded in 1874 with 56 pupils.
199-187 cottages Victorian
215 detached house c1870 with classical features.
Horse trough Kent House Road corner. Gone
Sydenham Childrens' hospital. Champion House built about 1860 faced Sydenham Road. It was used as the Children's Hospital from 1885. The large extension was added in 1924. Demolished 1991.
Cottages of the late 1860s facing each other.
Lower Sydenham Station. Between Catford Bridge and New Beckenham on the line from Lewisham to Hayes on South East Trains. Originally built on the Mid Kent Railway nearer to Southend Lane -. The present building is the third station. It was moved because the Cator Estate wanted it moved nearer their new estates. In 1906 the second station was opened on this line, quarter of a mile south of the original station – and built in cheap clapboard. In 1973 it was demolished and new CLASP station built Which was burnt down in 1989 and rebuilt again ‘in vernacular style’ with shelters and offices.
Goods yard closed June 1966
Sidings: siding to the gas works quarter of a mike away. The works had its own locos and three miles of track inside the works. In 1958 they were still bringing in 217,000 tons of coal a year. Trains came from Erith North End Sidings with seabourne coal. Closed down in 1971.
Worsley Bridge Road.
Bridge built in 1900 by Local Authority.
Mid-Kent Brick Works - boiler explosion 5 men killed 1885.
Baird TV works factory was here. After 1940 the firm was called Cinema-Television Ltd. Then later made metal detection equipment.
Dylon Factory of the 1930s for manufacture of dyes. Locally listed
Maybrey. Maybrey began in 1929 at New Cross as H. J. Maybrey. They moved to Elmers End, and then to Lower Sydenham. They were leaders in heat treated aluminium sand and gravity die castings and in the Second World War supplying aircraft builders, admiralty and armament industries. The company is now a supplier of released cast product but has moved to Crayford.
Henderson Biomedical Ltd. Make centrifuges, heat sealersand other laboratory equipment since 1987
Bromcom. British technology company. It provides schools and colleges with a Management Information System and handheld data capture devices to record and track pupil performance.
Connor. Forgotten Stations
Grace's Guide. Web site
London Borough of Lewisham. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Maybrey. Web site.