Thames Tributary Effra -Sydenham Hill

Thames Tributary Effra
Springs feeding the Effra rise in the area and flow north west

Post to the west Dulwich College

Post to the east Forest Hill Station

Charlecote Grove
There are a number of houses of 1838. John Scott Russell lived in the road.
2, with late 19th additions including a porch and an extension.
Baxter’s Field. Blue plaque to printer George Baxter on the entrance. A small local park with an area of open grassland which includes a children’s playground.

Cox's Walk
A rural lane lined with oaks, cut through the woods in the early 18th. It goes from Sydenham Hill alongside Sydenham Hill Wood.

Crescent Wood Road
This road sweeps round to enclose an oval-shaped plateau on the ridge of Sydenham Hill. At the eastern end is Sydenham Hill Wood. At the western end are Low Cross Wood Lane and some interesting houses.
Crescent Wood Railway tunnel underneath. 400 yards.
St Giles Camberwell iron parish marker at the junction with Sydenham Hill. 1870.
1 The Lion House. Lyncombe, Gothic red brick house with gables. Late 1860s, with a lodge in front.
Grotto in the rear of one of the gardens.
2 -4 are similar large Gothic red brick houses, of the late 1860s
3 Georgian style, but late 1860s. Blue plaque: 'John Logie R Baird 1888-1946 television pioneer lived here'. Baird lived here 1934-46, and invented the colour television receiver here. Plaque erected 1977.
Six Pillars. 1935, Lubetkin. Built For the Head Master of Dulwich College Preparatory School. It has a wing shape governed by the site, but it is otherwise a simple building by Valentine Harding & Tecton, 1933-5. The Six yellow pillars support a blank white upper floor. Brick is used because this is Dulwich College land and that is what the trustees wanted. Listed Grade II.
Countisbury House Lawns, block of council flats, lots of nice flowers in the grass

Eliot Bank
Not made up and can become muddy at times. There is a remnant of an old boundary hedge with hawthorn and oak pollards. Springs from this area feeds the Effra via Lordship Lane, Dulwich and Herne hillFeatherstone Lodge - Phoenix House. Large house with Tudor windows and a tower over a Gothic door. 1855. Phoenix House used for drug rehabilitation centre from the 70's
Forest Estate. L.C.C point blocks. Built 1957-8. The steep drop to Forest Hill makes a dramatic site for some early tower blocks. Central Green,
Lewisham Boundary stones. Remnant of boundary hedge on the boundary of Lewisham parish. Enclosed by Earl St. Germains.
Finger post at the top of the hill. There was also a gradient post and cattle trough
Fransfield Grove
Fire hydrant. Base plus a round pipe with a screw knob.

Kelvin Grove
Name of old road on the school buildings
Kelvin Grove School, a multi-gabled London School Board building of 1876, which was originally Sydenham Hill School. The separate smaller building to the north was added by the London County Council after 1902. Originally designed by Henry Dawson for the British and Foreign Schools Society. Additions by the London School Board in 1876, 1887, and after 1902
9-15 Kelvin Grove, an impressive Italianate group, one pair and five detached

Kirkdale cuts through the middle of what Sydenham Common. It descends from the roundabout at the junction of Sydenham Hill and Eliot Bank. At the junction with Dartmouth Road are some shops.
4 Whitehead House, early 1850s, pilasters with stone capitals.
6, 1850s, with columns inside square bays.
24, c 1820, with an Ionic porch
89/91, weather-boarded cottages of the 1820s.
110 Woodman. A building c1831 which became a pub in the 1840s and was rebuilt in the 1850s.
122/130, a stuccoed early 19th group, all except no 128 with projecting shop fronts
126 oriel window.
134/142 High Street Buildings, a shopping development c1895, a fanciful block with lots of pinnacles and terracotta work.
150 Fox & Hounds. A pub, originally of 1824, but rebuilt 1894.
152 Farnborough House, a superb stuccoed villa c1840; the Doric porch has columns, and there is a very bold ground floor bow to the left.
Bridge House Estates property marker on the path to Lammas Green, a Corporation of London estate
Cobb's Corner. Roundabout. The corner building, with a dome, was added in 1902 by Walter Cobb to his drapery shop. This had opened in 1860 in adjoining premises on Kirkdale. Became a great success but was bombed. The rebuilt premises are now flats.
Drinking fountain at Jews Walk junction. Inscription to say erected by Lewisham Board of Works for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. Second inscription to say restored in 1977 by the Sydenham Society.
Drinking fountain at junction with Dartmouth Road, large fountain with a gas lamp above it.
Eliot Lodge. Gothic house built 1857 but doubled in size in 1870. The earlier part is nearest the road. James Hunt lived there. There is a gatepost of patterned stone and coloured brick. The house has an octagonal tower with a tapering top. It has many gables and odd corners
Grove Centre House. Built late 1840s, with a columned porch. It is offices for The Grove Centre next door.
Sydenham United Free Church. A low flat building of 1974, replacing the Congregational Church-in-the- 1867, demolished 1972.
Julian Taylor Path. A terrace built 1982, in the style of Oak Cottage.
Monument in baroque style of 1897, commemorating the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, designed by Alexander
Oak Cottage twin gables and Tudor windows; part is early 1850s, and it was the lodge for houses in Eliot Bank. The rest is later 19th.
Sydenham Public Lecture Hall. A building with an arcaded front with polychrome decoration. Built in 1861 by Henry Dawson based on a design by Sir Joseph Paxton. It was used as a lecture hall and then as a school for the British and Foreign Bible Schools Society, and later became New Woodlands School. The extensions on either side with chimneys and bay windows are c1900.

Lapse Wood
This was one of the portions of the woods divided by Alleyn to provide fuel. Southwark Council in 1985 wanted to build here, but lost at public enquiry.

Little Brownings
A small remnant of an old boundary hedge with hawthorn and old oak pollards, and ancient woodland.

Mount Ash Road
Terraces c1870
46/48, with porches on either side

Panmure Road
20/22, pair of the late 1840s

Peckermans Wood
One of the ten woods which Alleyn put by for firewood. Another spring feeds the Effra via Dulwich Common and Herne Hill. This is called the Ambrook River.

Radlett Avenue
Eliot Bank Primary School on grounds of Woodthorpe

Shackleton Close
Council Estate with buildings in a streamlined Art Deco style

Sydenham Hill
Leat alongside much of the road, collecting runoff.
Dulwich Wood. Highest bit of the Claygate beds. Water from springs here, feeding the Effra, has undercut the slope, causing it to steepen sharply. There are springs near the junction of Crescent Wood Road and Sydenham Hill – the highest springs in the arc of the whole hill range. This is known locally as Ambrook River. This is the last of the Dulwich coppices - part of chain of oak woods which went from Selhurst to Brockley. Alleyn had 10 coppices on the hill and they were managed by the Estate and leased out. These were economic woodlands and not enclosed. Following the building of Crystal Palace they were sold off in building lots. This bit is still owned by Dulwich Estates. The managed structure of the wood is clear, with standard oaks still obvious even with the loss of coppice.
Sydenham Hill Woods. These woods once belonged to the Abbey of Bermondsey and formed a chain linking New Cross with Norwood Common called the Great North Wood. In the 17C they were acquired by Edward Alleyn and devolved to Dulwich College. By the end of the 19th the Board of Governors was developing the ridge for housing and the railway line was cut through to Crystal Palace. In 1979 LB Southwark bought the lease for council housing and it has been managed by the London Wildlife Trust since 1982. To it are joined by the grounds of Fernbank and Lapsewood, demolished houses, and also the area of the old railway line. It remains ancient woodland, despite the railway, and together with Dulwich Wood to the west of it, it is the largest surviving fragment of the Great North Wood. It has winding paths on a steep hillside and can be entered from Cox's Walk footbridge or Crescent Wood Road. The old track bed is followed by a footpath. A row of green posts parallel with the track-bed separates Sydenham Hill Wood from Dulwich Wood. It is bordered by a large private golf course. The nature reserve is on a steep clay hillside and is dominated by sessile oak and hornbeam but there are several glades. The under storey is holly and hazel. There are bluebells, wood sorrel, lesser celandine and wild garlic growing close to the former railway with Foxgloves and red campion close to a small pond, which can flood in winter and there is a damp hollow of uncertain origin. A cedar of Lebanon is a relic of the plants in the grounds of the demolished Victorian housing. There are many birds, and fox families as well as grey squirrels. Other species are leopard slugs, rare spiders, wasps & flies, and stag beetles.
Crescent Wood Tunnel in Sydenham Hill Woods. Parapet over a red brick tunnel entrance which runs 300 metres to the south at the site of Upper Sydenham Station on the Crystal Palace High Level Railway. It opened 1865, and closed 1954.
Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Golf Course. This was part of Dulwich Common and tree Clumps remains from the Great North Wood. It is unimproved grass land which was once used for grazing. There is a stretch of acid grassland dominated by red fescue. The ponds are part of the Ambrook River which is coming down from the woods above to flow onwards to the Effra. The stream follows an obvious valley.
131 Pantiles, looks like an early 19th Georgian house, but it was built in 1932.
St Giles Camberwell parish marker of 1870 inside the gateway of 131.
133 & 135. The central part of 133 is part of Holly Brow, an early 19th house - the wings were added in the mid 19th. Behind 135, is the other part of the early 19th house, still called Holly Brow but extended and stuccoed. Holly Brow was a telegraph building for the Admiralty in 1795. Signals came from West Square in Lambeth to Telegraph Hill, Nunhead. In 1821 it was turned into a house and then, probably in the 1920s-1930s was made into two houses,
Beechgrove stood between Lapsewood and The Hoo
Lammas Green. Designed by Donald McMorran for the City of London. It is made up of terraces round a circular village green with a cedar tree.
Corporation of London lamppost 1878 at the entrance to Lammas Green,
Bridge House Estate property marker 1816.
Bridge House Estate marker - on the footpath leading to Kirkdale, 1816.

Sydenham Rise
Camberwell stone Property marker

Thorpewood Avenue
The area was part of Sydenham Common
Belvedere House 1865.
Eliot Bank School. A community primary school, with nursery. There are several grass and tarmac-covered play areas, the pond and wild life area.

Wells Park Road
104 Duke of Edinburgh. Pleasant pub. 1866,
109 The Talma, 1863
151 -159 Upper Sydenham Station. 1st August 1884 opened on the Crystal Palace High Level line. 1917-1919 closed. 1944-46 closed again and 1954 finally closed. . It was situated between two tunnels and approached by steps down the Combe which was prone to landslips.  Built to encourage development it had the lowest passenger numbers of any station on the line. No roof on the toilet and lots of corrugated iron.  Electricty from LESCO at Deptford. 
151 -159 Old stationmaster's house cum booking office, of 1884. Now a private house.
Signal Box. Closed 1924.


Simon said…
Thanks, Edith.

I notice Six Pillars is currently for sale, if anyone has a spare £1.7 million lying around:

A minor point, but the agents give the built date as 1934. I wouldn't know which is correct.

Popular posts from this blog

Bromley by Bow

South Norwood

River Lea/Bow Creek Canning Town