Hither Green History

This page brings together all the posts on Hither Green in one place in a way in which it is easy to see at a glance the subjects that the blog has covered.  It isn’t exhaustive and will be added to over time.

Boundaries – as a ‘rule of thumb’ this page will cover the area bounded by the Quaggy to the east, the railway towards Grove Park, Brownhill Road and then a line than runs north from the western edge of Mountsfield Park to Courthill and Dermody Roads.  It is a bit blurred around the edges though with some of posts around football clubs in Mountsfield Park appearing on the Catford History page.

If you are wanting an overview of Hither Green history – there is a ‘Walk’ which provides a good starting point and has links to most of the posts below.

For posts on the neighbouring areas of Lee, Lewisham, Catford and Blackheath there are separate pages.


Remembering the WW1 War Dead in Hither Green, Lee & Lewisham

Remembering those who died on the WW2 Home Front in Lee, Hither Green & Blackheath

The Zeppelin Attack on Hither Green


Henry Williamson’s fictional re-telling of the Zeppelin Attack

WW1 Gotha Attack – bombing of Leahurst Road, part of wider piece mainly on Sydenham

First Day of the Somme – post on some of the local young men who lost their lives at Gommecourt

Fernbrook Road V1 attack – the death, damage and post war reconstruction relating to a dooblebug attack in June 1944

The Hither Green station V-1 attack – larger scale devastation and reconstruction on the other side of the railway

Rivers, Streams & Lakes

The Quaggy – Lee Green to Manor Park – the urban river passing between Victorian and Edwardian houses and two of south London’s finest parks

The Quaggy – Manor Park to the Ravensbourne – the final stretch into Lewisham as it flows from Hither Green into Lewisham, stopping briefly to listen to Kate Bush

Hither Green Quaggy/Ditch– joins the Quaggy in Hither Green and has a small tributary which flows under Hither Green station and a bigger one flowing through the Corbett Estate


 On the Street

Hocum Pocum Lane – Dermody Road, before it was Dermody Road

Thomas Dermody – the name behind the road name

Ardmere Road – a 2 part history of what was once Hither Green’s poorest street, part 2 here – pictured above

W J Scudamore – a building firm working in the area from the late 19th century to the 1960s, inlcuding several Hither Green streets

Bullseye Cottage – an odd looking Victorian cottage on Hither Green Lane

The Butcher, the Baker and the Disney Store – Shopping through the years on Staplehurst Road

Parks, Leisure and Sport

Globe Cinema – a cinema in Staplehurst Road

The Sir David Brewster Pub (latterly Hansbury’s) – a history of a closed pub

Source – history board at Hither Green Station

Hilda ‘Laddie’ Sharp – Hither Green’s 1920s Channel Swimmer

The Corbett Estate

North Park – the farm that predated the Corbett Estate

A Victorian Walk around the Corbett Estate with one of Charles Booth’s researchers

There are some more posts on the Corbett Estate in Catford History

A Hither Green Miscellany

Hither Green Rails Crash – the 1967 crash close to St Mildred’s Road bridge that claimed the lives of 49 passengers

Park Fever Hospital – Hither Green’s hospital

Hither Green & the Black Death – an early settlement in the area and its links in name to Lewisham’s first council houses.

Garibaldi in Lewisham – Criterion Biscuits which was originally, next to the station in Staplehurst Road

McMillan Sisters – pioneers of nursery education who lived in George Lane

Suffragette City – Lee and Hither Green – covers the full range suffragette activities from pillar box ‘outrages’, to the arson of a cricket club and jam making

Following the Meridian II – Into Inner London – through Hither Green and Lee to St Margaret’s Churchyard, part of a wider ‘trip’ from the edge of London to the Observatory

The Leahurst Road Murder – the sad story of a WW2 murder with links back to a WW1 tragedy

Fox & Sons – the ‘ghost sign’ of a former Farnborough brewery sign on Hither Green Lane

Hither Green Methodist Church –  a church destroyed during World War 2

HG Church

Source – e Bay February 2016

I will add more links to new posts on the blog over time so please do come back.  If you don’t want to miss anything, you can follow the blog by

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Notes on Photos

The picture of Bullseye Cottage is owned by Lewisham Archives and made available on the Art UK website, reproduction is allowed for the non-commercial research purposes, such as this post.


41 thoughts on “Hither Green History

  1. Kimberley oconnell

    Wow! Accidentally came across your site this morning and must say I am overjoyed
    I was born in Lewisham hosp in ’75 and lived in Lee Green in Aislibie Rd. My lovely Nan and her 2 sisters lived in a row for decades. One in the middle being my ggmothers originally from approx 1930 and is still owned now by my cousin
    I have a question for you
    I was just wondering the origin of “Aislibie”?
    Also there was a bomb dropped opposite my house there, do you have any info on this?
    So looking forward to hearing from you.

    1. runner500 Post author

      Thank you! Benjamin Aislabie (the road name seems to be spelled incorrectly) was the last tenant of the Boones at Lee Place, living there from around 1809 for 14 years, after which the estate was sold – he gets a passing mention in the piece I did on it – see above.

      From memory there were two or three bombs dropped on or around Aislibie Road during the Blitz they are mentioned on the Bomb Sight website, although the exact dates aren’t recorded.

      Thanks for visiting.

      1. Kimberley oconnell

        Thank you! Amazing stuff
        I live in Leigh on sea now and miss the ole place😞

      2. runner500 Post author

        I am really glad if it was of interest to you, there will be more posts about the area over time – if you want to make sure that you don’t miss them, you can get updates via e mail, wordpress reader if you have a wordpress account or via Twitter @running_past. Thanks for visiting.

  2. Pingback: Our Hither Green

  3. Malcolm McLaren

    Wow! Great blog. Originally from Scotland, moved to Pascoe Road a couple of years ago and fascinated at the Scottish connection as well as the broader history. Thank you!

  4. Jenny Hawkins

    I grew up in Lee (Micheldever Road) but bought my first house on the Corbett Estate in Birkhall Road and had my children there, until we moved to Surrey in 1988. They went to Torridon Road School. So pleased to find your site! Still think of this area of London as home.

  5. Marcia hill

    Thank you so much for all your hard work
    Im so much enjoying it. I was born at 3 murillo rd in 1949. Although ive long moved on there’s something very special about Lee, Hither Green and areas around. So rich in history. I will be dropping into your site for more. A big thank you. X

  6. Emma

    This site is superb! I have spent most of my life living in Lee and despite having parents who were keen on teaching my siblings and i local history when we were young I don’t recall any of the information I’ve read this morning.
    I’m looking forward to introducing my parents to the Running Past. Thank you!
    I now live off Courtlands Ave and have been trying for several years to find pictures of the church that was on the corner of Courtlands and Lyme Farm Road, but with no success. Have you come across any in your research?

    1. Paul B Post author

      Thank you, that’s very kind! Sadly, I don’t recall having seen any pictures of the original St Peter’s Church – oddly, I was thinking about that a few weeks ago when I did a post on the original Church of the Good Shepherd. One day I will ask the Vicar, appropriately now Reverend Shepherd, what records the church kept when the parishes merged.

  7. Janet Bounds

    Have just found your website when searching for information on Lee Green – what a treasure trove. My gran lived in Effingham Road from 1929 until 1970 and I remember our annual summer holidays there.

  8. Rosemary H Stevenson

    I wonder if you can help me. I am trying to find two people who are reported to have been living in Lee Green around 1920. The lady Mabel Lilian Knight born 1894, was a nurse. I wonder if you can tell me the name of any hospitals in the area at that time, where she may have worked. The man she was living with was William James Nickerson (already married). They apparently did not register their first three sons births, as no official records exist. This is making research into the family extremely difficult. One of the sons was my late uncle. He was Derek Ashley (Nickerson) born (he said) 28/10/1924. He had two older brothers Peter Aston, born 1922 and Percy W, born 1920. His parents eventually moved to Somerset and married in 1950. William James was born in Caister Norfolk in 1886, son of a fisherman. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Rosemary.

  9. Darreb Coyle


    I have just moved on Northbrook Road. I heard before the red estate, there were large double-fronted Victoria houses. I would love to see any pictures or old plans of the road, so I can envisage how it was like previously. Any help and guidance would be super appreciated. Thanks- Darren

  10. Peter Ling

    thank you for your in depth accounts and historical research into this fascinating part of SE London. I live in the US now but my son lives in a flat in Manor Park and I would really like to be able to tell him about the history of this one time rather grand road with its large houses and fine gardens. Can you direct me to any more information and possible pictures of how it was back when it was first built and its occupants then, and onward to the present day.
    Thanks you

    1. Paul B Post author

      Hi Peter
      Thank you for your kind words; sadly there is very little available, I can only really point you to a post that I wrote on the local builder WJ Scudamore who built a small portion of the street – there is a link below. As and when I get time, I am slowly going through the photographs and Council minutes at Lewisham Archives and hopefully this may turn up material on builders and some early photographs.

      1. Peter Ling

        Thanks Paul.
        When I lived in Manor lane I too was surprised that the documentation on the history of Manor Park was not readily available and it seemed to have missed the photographers lens. Over its length it demonstrates a timeline of changing architectural styles My son lives in one of the late or mid Victorian semi detached houses as the road rises up from Lee high road and I imagine these were the earlier apparently spec houses built to attract Ships captains Doctors and other more well off professionals affording live in maids/cooks and a manservant to tend to the fires and the garden. I like to think that if he is in his kitchen he is in the west and in the east in his living room as its close to the Meridian line, but that’s probably unlikely . I look forward to seeing anything you might uncover and thanks again for the material on the Scudamores. BTW I am not sure that Manor Park was the original name of the street, cheers Peter.

      2. Paul B Post author

        Hi Peter
        They are elegant houses at that end of Manor Park (the whole street is though), which seem to have been developed from the mid 1860s, as the linked OS Map shows. From similar streets in the area, I would suspect that most stayed undivided until WW1 when the numbers of servants declined rapidly, the big houses became somewhat unmanageable and by the early 1920s most had been subdivided. Certainly that was what happened with similar houses on Burnt Ash Hill.

  11. Marjorie Elizabeth Sutton

    What a wonderful site. I was born in Greenwich as was my mother. Her family were the Dormers of Crooms Hill Grove and she spent her life there until she married my father.. We lived in Hither Green just after the war for seven
    years before moving to Dulwich Village. I now live in Tunbridge Wells but I am very interested in the area I grew up and went to school ( mostly Hither green) and love visiting because it will always be Home.

    1. Jo

      Hi Marjorie, I lived in Hither Green from about 1956 and went to Beacon Rd school. Like you, I now live in Tunbridge Wells, please get in touch if you’d like to chat about our mutual “home ground”. Best wishes, Jo

  12. dorytaylor

    What a wonderful Blog site. I am tracing my family who were predominantly from Sidcup. One of my Great Aunts lived and worked in Hither Green, she was at The Park Hospital C1925 to 1933. She eventually trained as a nurse during ww2 and would have been part of the Nursing contribution, working at Queens Hospital and Colchester. I have learned so much about the area from you, and this has given me a wonderful sense of this particular ancestor, born 1893, died 1970. Thank you so much.

  13. Lynn Johnstone

    My Great-uncle went to Hither Green School from 1904-1907. I have the impression that he was a “home boy “.He went to the school from Castle House Haven for Homeless Little Ones. Could you tell me anything about Hither Green School? He was admitted by his guardian Mr. Belstein. My great-uncle’s name was Ernest Albert Victor Rice. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    1. Paul B Post author

      Hither Green Board School was opened in 1885; it is/was a large school providing places for almost 800 pupils at one point. It became known as Beacon Road School, the street it is on, and is now called Brindishe Green – part of the Brindishe Federation.

      1. Lynn Johnstone

        Was this a poor area of London? Just wondering how Ernest got to go there. He was taken there by his guardian. Can you tell me how far this is from Haringay? My grandmother-his mum- lived there. I have a feeling that she kept in touch with him, because she reconnected with him after they separately came to Canada.

      2. Paul B Post author

        In the early 20th century Hither Green was suburbia, close to the edge of the city. That said there were some poor parts including the neighbouring street to the school Ardmere Road. It’s about 13 miles to Haringay from Hither Green.

  14. Violetta Leighton

    Hello Pul
    We have lived in Fairby Rd SE128JP for 25 years and I heard in the past that the Courtlands estate uses to be an orchard with some large houses in it before Wates put the estate on it. I cannot seam to find any maps or photos of this from before 1965 when I believe they started to build the estate on.
    Can you help?

    1. Paul B Post author

      Hi Violetta
      Oddly, I covered your area in a post this week on St Peters Church which was amongst the large houses at the corner of Courtlands and Lyme Farm. I’ve not seen any photographs, maybe Greenwich Heritage Centre have some. As far as I am aware that area was meadows before the housing – it would have been liable to flooding. There were orchards a bit further south as part of Horn Park Farm. Check out the National Library of Scotland website for historic maps, one example ⬇️

      Thanks for ‘visiting’


  15. June C

    Hi, I have been researching family history, I found a family that lived at 48, Springrice Road Lewisham SE London.
    It seems that the family of 4 perished in a bombing on 16th October 1940.
    I can’t find any newspapers or records that tell me what happened that night.
    They were:-
    Charles James Whitbread (Father) He died the next day 17th October in Park Hospital

    May Elizabeth Eveleigh (Whitbread) (Mother)
    10TH NOVEMBER 1940 • Died of her wounds, Park Hospital, Lewisham, London, England

    Doris May Whitbread (daughter) 26years old

    Vera Elizabeth Whitbread (daughter) 18years old
    I found this on the civilian war graves site, so sad as members of our family I would appreciate any information on this tragic family.
    Thankyou so much
    JUNE C

  16. Lesley M

    My Mum lived in Hither Green during ww2 and married my Dad who was from Bromley. In1944. They were married. It was said that a German bomb hit the Spotted Cow pub in Hither Green around that time. Is this true? Thank you.

  17. Valerie Christine Roberts

    Hi, I wondered if anyone can tell me who built 68a Fernbrook Rd and if there are any old photographs of it. I would also like to find out who the people were who lived there when it was new and subsequent owners. I am interested in history and that of Hither Green.

    1. Paul B Post author

      I think that the rest of the houses in the street were built by the local firm WJ Scudamore, but 68 and 68a are different in style so I don’t know I am afraid. You should be able to work out who lived there from census data – Find My Past (and probably Ancestry) do pay as you go.

      1. Val Roberts

        Hi Paul,Thank you so much for your speedy reply and information. My son and family have lived in 68a for 15 years and I just wanted to surprise him with some research. They were fortunate to avoid the bomb in WW2 at this end of the Road.


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