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Post to the north Forest Hill Station

Adamsrill Road

Mayow family name

Hall Drive

Originally a carriage drives leading to Sydenham Hall. It is an attractive road, with grass verges, white railings and posts.

15/19 replaced Sydenham Hall which was a house rebuilt c1805 for the Lawrie family. Replaced in 1939.

36 looks like a small Regency stuccoed house, but was originally the lodge for the house c1862; it then became a separate house, with extensions from the late 19th century

Home of Thomas Tilling and his daughter Mabel Constanduras


Valley of the stream from Wells Park continues here.

Was Sydenham Hill Road

New houses on site of Otto House, Heath Hedge

Service Road on the site of Woodthorpe

Kirkdale Bookshop

168/178, Italianate pairs of the early 1850s.

174 was briefly the home of conductor August Manns,

182 is in Gothic style with Tudor door cases, of the early 1850s.

315 Greyhound. Now called Fewterer & Firkin. This is the oldest surviving inn of Sydenham, dating back to before 1726, but the present building, with its dramatic three gables, is a rebuild c1870. Note the small rounded oriels on either side of the front entrance. At the back is an appealing bar in a conservatory with Victorian tiled floor and tiled wall designs; this was the entrance to the Greyhound Hotel. The Greyhound predates the canal, and was at the south east corner of Sydenham Common. Although not mentioned in connection with the canal, it must surely have had some very useful trade from it. The Canal Co. owned some land alongside it

Horse trough – has moved around a bit

325 Railway pub

Lawrie Park Estate

Enclosed before 1800 by John Lawrie.  Then built up with posh villas by George Wythes.

Lawrie Park Road

Marking the eastern boundary of the Lawrie Park Estate

2 At the junction with Westwood Hill. A large and rambling stucco Italianate villa c1861 but much altered, with a central tower over a Tuscan porch. The ground floor is rusticated, with square-headed windows; the windows on the upper floors are round-headed.

7 home of W.G.Grace when he led the London Cricket Club. Demolished.

Flats.  A short way down, on the east side, between Cricketers Walk and Bays Close, is modern block with a Lewisham Council plaque: 'W. G. Grace 1848-1915 cricket lived in a house on this site'. Grace lived here from 1899 before moving to Mottingham in 1909.

Houses.  Between Bays Close and Copeman Close is a sequence of large stately houses of the late 1880s with strong gables.

74/76 are a large Italianate stuccoed pair of 1857, but altered and with later extensions.

79 Lichfield House, an attractive stuccoed villa of the late 1850s with a Corinthian porch.

51/59 St Christopher's Hospice, a large complex. It was a pioneering venture when founded by Dame Cicely Saunders in 1967, and is now regarded as the world leader of the modem hospice movement. The main block is of 1967, weather boarded and glazed, attractive with staggered bay and a curving top storey. To the south is Albertine Centre, consisting of a house the late 1920s connected to the main building by a linking block of 1991. Further south is a separate modern building of 1972, the Education Centre.

Recreation Road

Mayow Park.  Ground in front of it was where shops in Sydenham Road are. From 1660. 18 acres bought from Adams by Lewisham Board of Works in 1877 and built as Sydenham Recreation Ground. Managed by Lewisham District Board of Works. Gift from a Mayow daughter. Mayow owned the land between Sydenham and Forest Hill bought up by the canal co. A pleasant but rather featureless park, with some fine trees. It was opened in 1878. Is affectionately called The Rec'; it was formerly Sydenham Recreation Ground but is now known as Mayow Park. Just inside the park, where the paths converge, is a fine evergreen tree, the Holm oak or Evergreen oak. It differs from the usual oak in that it is evergreen and the leaves are not the familiar lobed leaves of the common English oak tree. This full-grown tree is probably one of the finest examples of its kind in the Borough. Aviary. Pleasant park of 18 acres which was acquired in 1877 from Mayow Wynell Adams by the Lewisham Board of Works at -a cost of £8,000, of which £3,250 was collected by local subscriptions The fine granite fountain inscribed "Erected by subscription in recognition of the services of the Rev. W. Taylor-Jones M.A. in acquiring this ground for the public 1st June 1878" commemorates the hard work put in by the Vicar of St.Bartholomew's Church, to raise the funds for the purchase of the park.

Mayow Road

Named after Mayow Wynell Adams family .  The Mayow estate held almost all the land on the east bank of the canal between Forest Hill and Sydenham, and M W Mayow had sold some to the canal for £317.

Valley of the stream from Wells Park visible in the road

Slatter’s bakery site of coach house of old house. Old house was the Mayow Adams home;

Forest Hill School for Boys, which accommodates 1,300 pupils well-chosen and spacious site

24 site of St.Magnus built for Baron de Koope. Before the First World War. King Edward VII used to visit him. It later became a private school for about 130 boys. The old fee structure is interesting - for boys under 12 years old, residing in the administrative counties of London and Kent - 12 guineas a year for school life; 12 years and over, 15 guineas; for other pupils, the out-county fee was £39 p.a. The school had to close in 1932 for economic reasons. During the Second World War it became a Rescue Service Station

Old House. Mayow Road to Silverdale contained the 'Old House' and its grounds, the residence of the Mayow-Adams family, great benefactors to the Sydenham community.

Peak Hill

Was called Pigg Hill. North was Westwood Common. Home of Ernest von Glehn Wolfson; Thomas Campbell. On the south side a long and handsome terrace of Edwardian houses 1905 in a staggered pattern following the curve in the road. The houses have crowstepped gables with scrolls and interesting terracotta carvings around the doorways.

Peak Hill Avenue

On both sides are large Italianate pairs of the late 1860s.

Queensthorpe Road

Part of Thorpe Estate. Some houses have pargetting in the gables.

Valley of the stream from Wells Park visible in the road

Base of a water-hydrant, a relic of the times when water carts were used to spray the dust on the road during the summer months


Low key brick terrace of the 1970s. Silverdale has undergone considerable re-development; it was once a dale with fine houses ornately decorated with stone carvings over the front doors and bay windows, their wooded gardens dominated by silver birch trees along the wide road. Many professional people resided here including solicitors and dental surgeons; there was also a Pitman's Shorthand and Typing College. An incline in the road reaches its summit near Bishopsthorpe Road. The 'thorpes' as they are familiarly known, as typical upper-middle-class houses, designed originally for teachers, doctors, retired clergymen, architects, solicitors, and other professional people. They were named the 'thorpes' by the Victorians, to get away from the familiar 'road' or 'street', and a bit of one-upmanship on Kirkdale and Silverdale. The 'thorpes' were laid out and named after the many dignitaries visiting the Crystal Palace - the Kings and Queens, Princes and Dukes, Earls and Bishops.

Tennis club. Halfway down on the right was a path-way flanked by tall, graceful Lombardy poplars, which led to a private tennis club.

West of here a lot of coal dug up - was it Doo's coal wharf.  Interestingly, Mr. Mayow wrote that he hired a boat at Doo's Wharf and rowed it towards Croydon.           The exact location of the wharf is uncertain. One possibility was indicated by the discovery of quantities of coal in the canal bed, revealed by excavations in the 1970s for new properties west of Silverdale, where the canal just diverges from the railway.

Canal – culvert took the stream from Wells Park underneath the canal.

Path to the right just before the station goes to it. It cuts through to the cul-de-sac that serves the station.

Dacres Wood Nature Reserve.  A small reserve along a railway embankment in Lower Sydenham.  The railway siding reserve includes a section of the cut of the old Croydon Canal. Mature woodland with a few exotics such as Turkey oak growing along the embankment extend the range of habitat which otherwise is mainly grass. With appropriate management and the addition of the pond this will become more interesting.


Westwood. Home of Harold Glanville MP for Bermondsey. In James Abbot’s business L.C.C. etc.

Sydenham Common

Site of filled in reservoir for Croydon Canal

Sydenham Road

Sydenham Station. Between Penge West and Forest Hill on Southern Rail. 1839 a guide to it said that the station was "not yet erected".   Indeed, the plan, shows merely 'yard' on the site of the first station, with a flight of steps down and a small area reserved for the building on the east side, both south of the bridge.  1839 Sydenham Station Sydenham Station was opened by the London & Croydon Railway, using the bed of the disused Croydon Canal.   1854 The Crystal Palace line was added in 1854 – the old main line branch of Crystal Palace closed after the Penge tunnel was built.  1856 largely rebuilt. 1875 Station Entrance. A separate 'down' side building to the north of the road bridge was opened in 1875, and this building (now the only entrance to the station) survives in Sydenham Station Approach.  1980s The buildings have been rearranged from the original layout although two original lines of rails are on the canal alignment.  The Platform layout is very narrow because it is on the layout of canal bed.  The subsequent widening to three and four tracks, and in particular the divergence of a new Crystal Palace branch immediately south of the east side building, shifted the east side platform to the north of the bridge. The old east side building, always on a cramped site, was in due course removed. More recently, the west platform has also migrated north of the bridge. The original station building was on the south side of the road bridge, its location now a blank wall between the bridge and a telephone kiosk. The new 'up' side platform, accessible by a new footbridge from the 'down' side, was erected about 100 metres north in 1982.  1982 The original building was demolished in 1982, though traces of the old 'up' side platform can still be seen to the south of the road bridge. The building we see today, with its small service road was erected shortly after the c1870 building of the south end of Silverdale. 

Station Entrance. A separate 'down' side building to the north of the road bridge was opened in 1875, and this building (now the only entrance to the station) survives in Sydenham Station Approach. The original building (largely rebuilt in 1856) was demolished in 1982, though traces of the old 'up' side platform can still be seen to the south of the road bridge. The building we see today, with its small service road was erected shortly after the c1870 building of the south end of Silverdale.

Brick canal bridge.  Old canal bridge here, which was widened. The canal had done the work of cutting across the most built up road to intersect its route between here and land to the north west. . The brick canal bridge received attention from various artists, and four versions of the view are known. All are from the same viewpoint, the east or towpath bank, south of the bridge and looking north.

32 –34 Priory Cottage. Queen Anne on estate of Priory House. Little to remind one of the old hamlet apart from this pair with old tiled, hipped mansard roofs, rendered fronts with Gibbs-surround front doors, but weather boarded sides. Weather boarded timber-framed cottages were once characteristic of the area. With Woodman’s Cottage an interesting and attractive pair of semi-detached houses, early 18th perhaps as early as c1700.  The oldest houses in Sydenham and among the oldest -semi-detached houses in London. Both houses have half-gables above doors surrounds; weather boarded sides, and mansard roofs with dormers.

34 Woodman's Cottage, Queen Anne, on estate of Priory House semi-detached white-fronted, with curved front ends, a high roof, and weather-boarding to be seen at the side and rear of the building. They were built in Queen Anne's reign on the estate of the old Priory House.

43/111 known as Grand Parade when built 1900. Some were replaced after war damage. These stately and impressive terraces dominate the shopping area.

120 has an altered ground floor,

120/124 next to the old chapel, plain Georgian brick houses c1800;

122 Several altered c18 houses - a well preserved plain house of c. 1800.

122/124 was formerly one house.

178 Prince Alfred, a pleasant pub c1865.

189 Kwick Fit.  Small pump at the end of old garages.

Clune House top of the shops a large house of 1806 it looks in poor condition.

173 Man of Kent pub

Shop with 'Fish Market' and ‘Sydenham’ chipped out to confuse the enemy in Second World War

The Rink behind the Sydenham Post Office sorting office. A wide, deep forecourt which led down to the 'Rink' originally a roller-skating rink but later a large, luxurious cinema

Railway between Sydenham and Penge stations

 Local line has to cross the main line. In order to get to Crystal Palace. Ascended on an embankment and crossed the line on a bridge. Novelty in railway engineering in 1852

Station Approach

Toilets 1936

Thorpe Estate.

This Edwardian enclave between Bishopsthorpe Road and Earlsthorpe Road was built 1900-14. It has many stylish terraces, groups and pairs

Trewsbury Road

All Saints Church. Not finished in 1950s. 1901 only three bays on the nave and aisle were ever built. Consecrated 1903. Only the ugly west end of this church by George Fellowes Prynne of 1903 can be seen from Trewsbury Road. The east end cannot really be seen at all, as it is concealed by later buildings.  There is an unsatisfactory view of the top of the church from Sydenham Road. But the "'interior is of outstanding appeal and interest. It is of brick, very lofty and severe, and is dominated by the great chancel arch, with its stone screen built right up to the top. Very tall octagonal brick piers along the high arcades, tall narrow windows in the chancel and aisles, wooden barrel roof. However, only three bays of the nave were built, and the west end, even in the interior, is poor. The end now concealed by later buildings. Only three bays of the nave were built, and a later narthex, Interior with tall octagonal brick piers and with the typical Prynne stone screen up to the top of the chancel arch

Church hall, brick, of 1933. The Episcopal Chapel stood on this site, and the buttresses at the base of the spire can still be seen at the entrance to the hall.

A11 Saints Hall. Old and derelict.  A small Gothic chapel with narrow Gothic windows. Its date is uncertain, basically and in part it may be c1760 or possibly slightly earlier; it occupies the site of a Dissenters' meeting house, which is on John Rocque's map of 1744. It became an Anglican chapel of ease in 1795, when major rebuilding took place and it became known as Christ Church. Apart from a brief period as a non-conformist chapel 1867-73, it remained Christ Church until 1903, when the present All Saints Church was built and it became All Saints Hall. The last major rebuild was in 1845, when the north entrance with its steeple was added; there is now just a truncated tower, the spire having since been removed. There is a proposal to convert the old chapel for housing. Rock faced, ragstone. Tower was intended

Venner Road

The Croydon canal curved east away from the railway route, but only a few insignificant ponds on its line near the south end of Venner Road were left when the area was built over near the end of the century.

The 1815 illustration on the next page could be taken from just this position, looking south. Here we meet a 100 recreational view.  The artist has done his utmost to obscure the formality of the towpath on the left, the other bank has been made to go wild, and the canal had only been open six years. Venner Road swings left, and at its end turn right and take the Ponds at the south end of Venner road on the line of the canal Canals

5 Raymond Mander & Joe Mitchum theatre collection.

88 lots of Victorian cast iron. An impressive classical villa of the 1880s, rather startling in this street full of Edwardian style houses. It is rusticated, and has that glorious late Victorian delight intricate cast iron work in the railing along the parapet and slender twisted columns.  Its owner had some feelings of grandeur.

Just to the east

Westwood Hill

St Bartholomew. A Gothic brick church of 1832 by Lewis Vulliamy. The chancel was added and the clerestory windows enlarged by Edwin Nash in 1858. The church is impressive, but it is also severe, with its castellated tower, nave, aisles and chancel giving it a fortress-like appearance. The church originally acted as a chapel-of-ease to St Mary’s, Lewisham, and did not become the parish church of Sydenham until 1856. Edwin Nash made a series of alterations in stages, which transformed the interior of the church. In 1858 he added the apsidal chancel, raised the roof and enlarged the clerestory windows. In 1874 he clad the brick columns in stone, and added carved heads at the top. In 1883 he removed the west gallery, and widened the north aisle considerably, since 1986 it has been the church hall, cut off from the church.  The interior is spectacular, tall, wide and spacious, though the nave seems sombre. The dominant features, on entering through the south porch, are the east window and the grand chancel arch. The Chancel is colourful and full of interest, though perhaps at odds with the nave. The reredos of the Epiphany and the flanking archangel panels, with their bold relief figures, are extraordinary, by Henry Wilson c1905. The fine stained glass windows of the chancel, including the east window of Christ in Glory, are by Francis of the early 1950s. The floor of the chancel is dramatic, with bright coloured and mosaics, and circular panels in memory of the von Glehn family 1886. The stained glass windows along the south aisle are also by Spear. The west window is by Clayton & Bell 1888. Two smaller windows, above the south porch and opposite in the north aisle, are by Burlison & Grylls, probably c 1900. Note also the Gothic pulpit, of 1874, with its intricately carved stonework. The font at the west end is probably c1832, and is notable for the Greek lettering forming a palindrome around the rim.

Churchyard, in front of the church, note the large tomb to Robert and Elizabeth Harrild 1853 and a strange tomb in the shape of a miniature church to Charles English 1867, the first vicar of the parish. Many tombstones, and a lych-gate of 1906.

12 St David's.  1928, next to the church. A large detached Gothic house of 1872, bearing a blue plaque: 'Sir Ernest Shackleton 1874-1922, Antarctic explorer, lived here'.

14/28, four pairs with Gothic and Tudor motifs, are older, c1852, and much more distinctive; the pattern continues round the corner in Jew's Walk. Note the gargoyles on 18, 20 and 14, and the oriel on 28.

14 Sir George Grove was the first resident of no 14, before he moved to 208 Sydenham Road

7 is a rebuild of 1888, large, irregular and rambling, gloomy in its dark red brick, with a tower, gables and tiled frontages. The design of the more modern houses and of the Holder houses too conspicuously fails to measure up to the grandeur of the street


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