Thames Tributary Effra - Brockwell Park
Various tributaries to the Effra meet in this area and flow northwards. The precise channel of the river is unclear but tributaries rejoin north of Brockwell Park,
TQ 30971 74626
Brockwell Park provides an interesting and varied open space, plus its lido, as the roads climb up out of busy Brixton. There are residential roads all around, churches, and schools.
Post to the west Brixton
Post to the east Herne Hill
Post to the south Tulse Hill
Post to the north Brixton
1 Artist's walled garden at rear of house.
2 Old Stables behind in Arlingford Mews
Brixton Water Lane
One of the lanes of medieval Brixton. The Effra was joined here by a tributary from the pond in Brockwell Park and they run in a sewer 40 feet below the road,
46-48 Listed, as are the forecourt walls
55-56 Houses built by John Blades in 1815 along Brixton Water Lane for estate staff Listed.
60-64 Listed, as are the forecourt walls
Brockwell Park (Northern section only)
Brockwell Park is part of what was a once larger Brockwell Estate. If Brockwell is an old name, it may mean ‘badger stream', from Old English, and this thus might be an old name for Effra.
Old English Garden with a Shakespeare garden which had every specimen of plant referred to by the bard. It was laid out by Col. Sexby. This it is on the site of the former walled kitchen garden and was the first to be featured in a London park. It had a well and a sundial which was 8 feet up a wall. In the centre was a pond with a fountain, stocked with goldfish. Listed walls.
Pond with coots, moorhens and mallards as well as red-eared terrapins. It is protected with a concrete surround and with a depth of perhaps three feet at the edges, deepening toward the middle. Before the Second World War it was used for swimming and changing rooms were available as well as a springboard. This ended through eye an infection. It was also used by serious model boaters. During the War, the pond was fenced off and a stick of three German bombs fell in it. After the war it was used for tethered hydroplane racing. A pylon was erected in the middle of the lake, and the boats were raced against the clock, at the end of a wire and powered by diesel engines. The Big Pond overflows via a pipe and a waterfall into an ornamental pond
Ornamental lake. Ducks with duck nesting boxes. The surrounding vegetation consists mostly of exotic species such as swamp cypress and blue Atlas cedar. Fed by a pipe from the big pond
Second ornamental lake, fed by a stream from the first pond. Ducks and wildfowl and an island refuge. Overflowed into a stream,
Third pond - artificial concrete used by children and has a maximum depth of about 18 inches. It is paved round its entire area, making it ideal for paddling and toy boats. Drains via an overflow pipe, into the adjacent Big Pond,
Stream which is a tributary of the River Effra. This is the only place where the river can be seen above ground. Trees mark the underground passage of this tributary of the River Effra. It continues inside the park railings as far as Herne Hill where it joins the main branch flowing down from Upper Norwood. It disappears into a bushy area at the lower end of the park and flows into a hole covered with a grating
Brockwell Lido grade II listed. Built 1937. Designed by H A Rowbotham and T L Smithson, architects for the LCC Parks Department. It is identical to the one in Victoria Park. It replaced use of the pond for bathing. Popularly known locally as "Brixton Beach.” It was closed in 1990 but through local pressure it was re-opened in 1995. An extension has been built to the original design.
The Beach café
Aviary which used to be near the Old English Garden. Replaced by two pergolas against the walls.
Remains of a model village next door to the aviary by the garden entrance. The gift of a private individual who had made the little houses, shops, cottages and church out of concrete and stone.
Chaucer has a special connection with London - his father was a London vintner, and he spent much of his working life here - but this is the nearest street-named after him to the City. This road is one of a group of poets – and the area has been called ‘Poets Corner’.
122 Celestial Church of Christ. Noah’s Ark Parish
A renamed part of Brixton Water Lane. The Effra flowed down the road from the area which is now Herne Hill Station, to join another stream coming from Tulse Hill.
St.Jude.built 1867-8 and designed by E. C. Robins in Kentish rag. It had seating for over 1000 people. It was damaged by fire in 1923, and bombed in 1940. Since 1979 it has been a furniture warehouse and more lately used by Mark Allen Group of publishers.
69 Prince Regent pub. Now a gastropub
133 Brockwell Park Tavern now called The Florence. It was also once called Ganleys
Passage to car park, and the back of what was the Grand Cinema
Fanon House. Care house
Houses on the south side were part of the development of an estate by the owners of Brockwell Park
Effra. The stream was first recorded as ‘Effra’ as late as 1840. The name Effra may be a 19th antiquarian revival of Old English meaning ‘bank, ridge'. On some earlier maps it is noted as ‘The Shore’
A suburban road running between Herne Hill and Coldharbour Lane, at Loughborough Junction.
Effra Parade School. Used as a civil defence station in the war. Now demolished.
Effra Road Chapel. Founded in 1839 by Rational Dissenters, professionals, committed to religious and civil liberty. Early members included Sir Henry Tate and the Mappins. The original church building was destroyed by bombing in 1941 and the congregation met in the Effra Road Synagogue until the current building was erected in 1962
125 – 133 Eurolink Business Centre in what was the Effra Road Synagogue. Opened 1913 and closed 1962.
95 Hootenanny Pub was previously called The George Canning, and for a while the Hobgoblin.
St.Jude’s Arts centre
Herne Place Park
Banks of streams could be seen in gardens here.
Named from ‘Mylkewell woodde’ in 1540, which was the name of the old manor of ‘MiIkeweile’ which means 'spring or stream with milk-coloured (probably chalky) water', from Old English.
Housing built in late 19th century by the Suburban Village and General Dwellings Co. In terraces.
Industrial estate on site of old railway sidings
One of a group of roads with poet’s names in this area
2/4 billiard hall.
41 Yard at the back
The Fisher Bookbinding Co. St.Ann’s Works. Now converted to flats.
Brockhall manor house was built on Norwood Lane in the mid-15th. Demolished when John Blades built Brockwell Hall.
The Effra flows to this area from Half Moon Lane and us where it is joined by another tributary from Leigham Vale via Tulse Hill and Brockwell Park
Roads in between Railton and Dulwich Roads called Poets Corner because of the street names. Laid out on the site of Effra Farm by the Westminster Freehold Co.
Island Green – the name on old maps for the road junction at Herne Hill Station. It reflects the nature of the area where a number of streams meet.
Herne Hill Station. Opened 5th August 1862. It lies between Loughborough Junction and Tulse Hill on Thameslink. It is also between Loughborough Junction and also Brixton and West Dulwich on South Eastern Trains. Built by the London Chatham and Dover Railway. It has a booking office, two storeys, in Gothic polychrome brick. A taller tower was for the water tank. It is near the junction of five main roads, between Railton Road and Milkwood Road. The line from Stewart’s Lane opened in 1862 and went on to Beckenham. In 1863 the line to Elephant and Castle opened. Refurbished in 1977 in yellow brick with red & black trim
Herne Hill sorting sidings. This was one of the first yards in the country, and was an extension of Blackfriars Yard where there was not enough space. Now closed.
222 Tantaliser Restaurant site of the Grand Cinema. A cinema here opened 1914 as the Herne Hill Cinema. The Grand opened in 1932 and changed its name to the Pullman in 1953 and closed in 1959. Later used for bingo.
213 Temple of Truth. International Fellowship of Christ. On the site of the original buildings of St. Jude's C.E. Primary School. Opened for the Christian Education of the Infant Poor 1884 and designed by Alfred Bartholomew. It was originally known as St. Paul's Infant School, but in 1869 changed to St. Jude's. The original building is a single-storey stock brick structure with a slate roof. The school has since moved to Regent Road
165 Brixton Advice Centre. This was once Kitchen Utensil Corner. Home at one time of C.L.R. James, plaque to him
Methodist Church and community centre on the site of Railton Methodist Church. Built 1874, by R. Cable, architect. In 1887 schools were built at the rear
St.Jude’s Parochial Rooms. Built 1887
128 Hamilton Pub now a supermarket
210 Commercial Hotel
143-149 Railton Road health centre on church and school site
82 Harmony Bar, on the site of the George Pub burnt down in 1982 riots. Has also been known as Mingles
70-80 St.George’s residences. Purpose built flats 1878 with water tower
St.Jude’s Primary SchoolShakespeare Road
One of a group of roads with poet’s names in this area
SITA Waste Transfer Station. On old railway sidings
109 Mount Hermon Church of God. In old pub building
One of a group of roads with poet’s names in this area
Named after the Tulse family, on record locally from the middle of the 17th. Built up in Victorian times as a very exclusive middle class area. It was earlier called Lower Tulse Hill.
The Thomas Jackson Memorial Hostel at Tulse Hill is part of the Whitechapel Mission and provides after-care for youths from Borstal, or Community homes Whitechapel House. Memorial Hostel part of Whitechapel Methodist Mission
2 Carpet Right warehouse on the site of the Purpose- built Brixton Roller Rink Ltd. skating hall. Opened 1910 and closed 1965.
32 lady said she could remember stream at the bottom of her garden
Housing on the site of Dick Sheppard School. The school was built 1950- for 960 girls, one of the first big post-war London schools. The model was an e American university campus, but the layout was less generous. Called Dick Sheppard because he was vicar at St. Martin’s in the Fields.
6/10 site of Cambrian Coach and Goods Transport Ltd. garage for 26 private buses. There was a building and workshops, which was used for 40 buses. 1972 it was an egg distribution depot.
Nature garden. This was a showpiece nature garden when it was set up in 1982. Probably the most memorable feature is the murals, which cover almost all the walls. The extensive vegetation encourages a range of invertebrates, including bees and butterflies, and common birds like blackbirds make their home here
SourcesBritish History on Line. Lambeth. Web site
Brixton Methodists. Web site
Celestial Church of Christ. Web site
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Day London Underground
Effra Road Chapel. Web site
Hootnanny. Web site
London Borough of Lambeth, Web site
London Lidos. Web site
Londononline Parks. Web site
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Temple of Truth. Web site