Thames Tributary Effra - Gipsy Hill

Thames Tributary Effra
A tributary flows northwards having come from Jasper Passage and the lower end of Colby Road. It joins Gipsy Hill, at a junction with Dulwich Wood Avenue, and then flows alongside it and it then goes to Clive Avenue.
Another tributary joins it at Hamilton Road beyond the Paxton Pub at the junction where Gipsy Road, Alleyn Park and Gipsy Hill meet.

Post to the west Norwood
Post to the north Dulwich College
Post to the south Crystal Palace

Alleyn Park
Named for Edward Alleyn, Tudor founder of Dulwich College

Baird Gardens
TV inventor J.C.Baird lived in Crescent Wood Road.

Bowen Drive
Named for Charles Bowen, a Law Lord and Governor of Dulwich College.
Kingswood Estate. A post Second-World-War L.C.C. estate built in the grounds of Kingswood House. The area used to be held by Dulwich College and the blocks of flats are name after fellows of Dulwich College.
Round Green – an old oak is the site of the former green
Kingswood House. This could have been named after Edward King who was a tenant of Dulwich manor in 1535. William Vizard built Kingswood Lodge in 1811. He was a solicitor working on the divorce of George IV and he was the Queen's adviser. In the 1890s John Lawson Johnston, inventor of Bovril, bought the house. He added the entrance, battlements and a wing. During the First World War it was a Canadian military hospital and later became a nursing home until it was bought by Sir William Vestey. In a poor state after the Second World War it in 1956 it became a community centre and library.
Sir Ernest Shackleton Pub - another old boy of Dulwich

Bowley Lane
Built in 1984 and linking the Spinney Gardens estate to Farquhar Road. The road creates the area now managed as Dulwich Upper Wood
On the site of the Crystal Palace High Level Station. Turntable area is now used for parking. Arcading in the retaining wall. Partial view of the tunnel entrance

Was the name of parcels of land owned by the College in the area of Dulwich Village.

Cawnpore Street
14 Railway Bell. Railway memorablia

Colby Road
Edward Colby was schoolmaster of Dulwich College in 1645
39 plaque to Annie Besant. 1847-1933. Plaque says ‘social reformer, lived here in 1874’ Plaque erected 1963.

Crystal Palace Parade
Site of Crystal Palace High Level Station. Opened 1st August 1865 by the London, Chatham & Dover Railway to tap the traffic to Crystal Palace. The Governors of Dulwich College insisted that the railway maintained standards on its land – so Charles Barry built a grandiose Gothic terminus which was very big, cost £100,000, with four big chateau style turrets. Peto and Betts were responsible for its design. In 1895 it was renamed ‘Crystal Palace & Upper Norwood’. Between 1917 and 1919 it closed. In 1923 it was renamed 'High Level'. In 1926 only an average of 13 passengers in each train from Crystal Palace and then Crystal Palace burnt down – During the fire The Fire Brigade set up a temporary HQ in the Station and crowds of spectators invaded the sidings, climbing on to carriages for a better view and A special train was laid on to take them home. In 1940 the site was used to store buffet and restaurant cars. It reopened in 1946 but there were More rats and bats were there than people. In 1954 the last public service ran and a special steam service, the Palace Centenarian, the next day. In 1956 the tracks were lifted and in 1961, the terminus was demolished. Only a few arcaded walls are left & 24 bays of passageways through to the palace. The site has been redeveloped for housing. The subway remains.
Housing. A competition for low-cost energy saving housing on this site was won in 1981 by J. Palejowski. The layout complements the railway remains; the houses are designed with projecting vertical glazed conservatories intended as solar collectors.
Tiled chamber under the road which was the Subway from the High Level Station leading straight into the Crystal Palace. It is faced with red and cream brickwork. Three parallel rows of octagonal brick column with mushroom-flared heads and diaper patterning. It was all done by Italian cathedral craftsmen and is Almost the only survivor of the station.
TV Transmitter. 740 high BBC. Dates from the early 1950s and is the only self supporting unguyed lattice tower in the country. Tallest structure in London. The station was constructed in the mid-1950s among the ruins of the Crystal Palace. The Aquarium on which it is mostly built was partially destroyed in 1941 during the demolition of the Palace's north water tower. Built by specialist, Painter Brothers.
Side entrance to the site remained into the 1990s.

Dulwich Wood Avenue
Wates estates replacing mansions - by Austin Vernon and partners architects to Dulwich College. Originally called ‘The Avenue’ the name was changed in 1939.
24-28 Italianate villas by the College Surveyor, Charles Barry Jun. These were the first to be built here.
Long meadow - open space managed by London Borough of Southwark. Also called ‘Belle’ or ‘Bell’ Meadow.

Dulwich Wood Park
Part of a route to link Crystal Palace with the College in 1854.Called Victoria Road and re-named in 1876

Farquhar Road
Crystal Palace Station buildings fronted onto the road.The road still runs on bridges over the site of the rail line.
Originally called Cold Blow Lane. Named for George Farquhar first secretary to Crystal Palace Co.
Dulwich Upper Wood. This was part of the Great North Wood and belonged to the Abbot of Bermondsey sold in 1605 to Edward Alleyn who set up the College of God's Gift. In the wood are two lines of ancient pollarded trees and a ditch - marking divisions of the Great North Wood. It became part of Vicars Oak Coppice which was cleared in the 1870s and eight villas built in Farquhar Road. Some of these houses were bombed others were demolished as derelict - only no. 18 remained. The basements of the houses remain a feature of the wood. Following the building Spinney Gardens in 1984 the wood was taken over by TRUE. The wood fringes the road and is covers an embankment. The trees have colonised the grounds of the houses although some oaks, 400 years old, remain from the earlier ancient woodland. There is sessile oak as well as cherry laurel, rhododendron, false acacia and sycamore. There is an area of coppice and a nature trail. Nature reserve. There is a pond and bog garden created by puddling the underlying London clay, an herb garden, fern and fungi gardens...

Fountain Drive
In 1938 there was a drinking fountain there at the top. Marked the boundaries of four local authorities—before the 1974 reorganisation.

Gypsy Hill
Gipsy Hill. Named, like nearby Gipsy Road, from the gypsies who frequented this once wooded area in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th. It had been named by Thurlow and was sold on his death. Development followed the enclosure of Norwood Common in 1810. Blocks of flats were built between the world wars, and have replaced many of the largest houses. There is a wonderful view - this is the highest point around London and is said to be level with the cross of St. Paul’s,
A stream ran alongside the road, with a spring near the site of Christ Church,Windmill on the top and there were plans for another.
Gypsy House. This was in the angle of Gipsy Hill and Gipsy Road. Demolished about 1810. It was timber-built and where gypsies lived until the early 19th. Margaret Finch lived there when she was Queen of the Gypsies and Samuel Pepys recorded his wife's visit there in 1668 to have her fortune told. Margaret lived in a tepee-like structure made from branches, at the foot of an ancient tree. Allegedly, she was 109 when she died in 1740 and had to be buried in a deep, square box because she had sat cross-legged for so long that her limbs could not be straightened. No evidence that the title of queen meant anything at all.
Christ Church. Built by John Giles in 1859. Also Large, with a tall tower completed 1889 and lots of plate tracery.Burnt down in the 1980s and since rebuilt, the original tower remains.
10 three floor brick built police station. Designed by Charles Reeves, Metropolitan Police Surveyor, in 1854. Converted for use as police flats in 1948.
78 This was French's Dairy, there are said to be still cow rings in the back wall. French’s cows lived in a field at the bottom of the hill.
79 Gypsy Hill Tavern
Gypsy Hill Station 1856. Between Crystal Palace and West Norwood on Southern Rail. Opened as part of West End of London and Crystal Palace Railway LBSCR – for the opening of Crystal Palace at Norwood. First station outside Crystal Palace Low Level.
132 Colby Arms.

Gypsy Road
255 The Paxton Italianate pub. Now called The Mansion. Looming tower and black turret windows

Lyall Avenue
Dulwich Wood Nursery School and Children’s Centre for LB Southwark. Woodland play areas.
Langbourne Primary School. Used temporarily by Harris Boys Academy.

Kingswood Drive
St.Margaret Clitherow. Catholic Church 1974

Paxton Green
Seems to be the name of the roundabout at the junction of Gipsy Hill and Alleyn Park. Could have been Gypsy Hill Field, supposed to be site of a plague pit

Springs from this area feed the Effra running via Belair and Herne.Originally this was Reservoir Road and links College Road with Sydenham Hill. , Named after Paxton’s house ‘Rockhills which was at the junction of Crystal Palace Parade and Westwood Hill
Reservoir built 1857 by the Lambeth Water Company to supply Forest Hill and Lower Sydenham. Demolished in 1984 leaving the arches as a feature.

Rouse Gardens
Named after a Director of the Midland Bank who was a Dulwich College old boy

Seeley Drive
Seeley was Assistant Master of Dulwich College 1885-1950

Spinney Gardens
Housing Estate built in 1986.

Sydenham Hill
Very old road, over a kilometre in length, it sweeps round in an inverted S curve along a 100 metre high ridge, along the Lewisham Southwark boundary as well as that of the Dulwich College Estate. It is an ancient highway and Roman objects were found in a gravel pit here in 1806. Houses were built here in the early 19th but while some have survived, others are replaced by housing estates and flats.
11 looks like an early 18th Regency villa, but is actually late 19th.Now flats.
12 Grange Court. A substantial classical house 1861, with round-headed windows on three levels and decorative details.
14 Gothic with barge boarded gabled bays, probably c.1860
16 The Wood Mansion in a Tudor style. The central part is linked to end pavilions and it looks almost symmetrical. The original building was 1840, but it was extended 1855 and redesigned by Sir Joseph Paxton for Lady Hunloke, mistress of the Duke of Devonshire. A coach-house at the rear is basically c1840, but also altered.
17 Dilkhoosh, classical house c1860, with a colonnade added in the later 19th. Plaque to Sir Francis Pettit Smith pioneer of the screw-propeller. He lived here 1864-1870. The screw-propeller overtook the paddle-wheel as the standard method of steam-ship propulsion.
18 stuccoed Regency villa, c1840.
28 Highfield. Classical house c1855.Now Abbeyfield Extra Care Home.
31Moss Grange. At one time a caravan was kept in the forecourt as a shrine to the owner’s son – Captain Lancaster. He was a long distance flyer and having flown the Atlantic was charged in the US with Mrs.Keith Miller of the murder of her husband. They were acquitted but he was lost with his plane.
34 The Cedars. Enormous. Built in 1894 for Charles Ash Body. By the entrance the staircase windows is ornamental stonework with the monogram CAB. Roman objects have been found in the grounds and 1816 boundary stones. It has been The Salvation Army International College for Officers since 1950 and they have built extensions in the grounds.
34a Sydenham Hill House, an irregular mock-Jacobean house of 1898 said to have been built in Teutonic style for a German. Tower with a battlemented oriel and a parapet.
39 Dulwich Wood House. Stuccoed pub, Italianate, built 1858. It has a central square lookout tower with ranges on either side. With a rustic air.
41 Beltwood. Eccentric mansion c1854, in grounds which occupy much of the space between Sydenham Hill and Crescent Wood Road and the house is at the end of a byway. It has a magnificent facade facing south with a circular window and Wedgwood style classical decoration. Holly hedge round it
46 Castlebar, mansion of 1879, now Castlebar Care House. The scale is enormous. Ionic porch with a tower and another tower leading up to the roof
Boundary stone
57a Crescent Wood Cottage stuccoed with a turret. It was originally an outbuilding of Beltwood
Hexagonal pillar box
Horse trough top of the hill. Gone

Tylney Avenue
Tylney was a Tudor Master of the Revels. Alleyn’s theatres had to be licensed by him.

Woodland Road
Woodland Hill Hall built as a schoolroom and community building for Christ Church 1874, soup kitchen and library added 1880. Since redeveloped.
Paxton Primary School, built by Walls Bros. for the London School Board as a school for 800 children. The architect was T. J. Bailey, opening 1887


Dave Morgan said…
Sterling work! Would just add that all the place names spelt 'Gypsy' around Gipsy Hill should all be spelt with an 'I' (ie, Gipsy), only using 'gypsy' with a 'Y' when referring to people not places.
Richard Greenleaf said…
Crystal Palace Transmitter - is not the only tower of its type. The Croydon tower one mile south is a similar but smaller structure. It is no longer the tallest structure in London - the Shard is taller.
Gipsy Hill - is not the highest point around London - Shooters Hill is higher in south London and Highgate/Hampstead are higher in north London.
The Paxton Primary School described here was demolished many years ago. The current Paxton Primary is a modern replacement.
Simon said…
It's quite pleasing to note that The Mansion pub is once again named The Paxton.

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