Lewisham History

Running Past has had separate ‘pages’ on Lee & Hither Green history and Blackheath history for a while and recently added one on Catford.   While these are the main areas that the blog covers there are posts on other parts of Lewisham too; this page tries to bring them together in one place

Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery

Charles Cox – a member of the Army Cyclist Corps who died during World War 1

James Brooker – a former Borough of Lewisham Councillor who laid the foundation stone for the original Lewisham Town Hall

Ernest Dowson – the decadent poet who was born in Lee and died in Catford

George Lacy Hillier – A Victorian South London Cycling Champion

GL Hillier

The McMillan Sisters – Rachel and Margaret McMillan who were educational and social reformers


Oldest WW1 Combatant – Alfred Figes, also known as William Word, appears to have been the oldest British World War 1 combatant


Ladywell & Brockley

The Brockley Picture Theatre  – latterly known as the Ritz which was on Coulgate Street (see post for picture credit)

unknown artist; The Ritz Cinema, Brockley

Hillyfields Prefabs – part of a wider post about prefabs from the air

David Lodge – the links of the novelist to the New Cross Brockley borders, which formed the setting of one of his earliest novels ‘Out of the Shelter’

The Greenwich Park Line – tracing a partially lost railway that linked Greenwich and Nunhead

The Micro Library – a Brockley phone box put to a new use

Around Lewisham Town Centre

Lewisham Hill V-1 – a 1944 rocket attack which led to the development of the Lewisham Hill Estate (see post for photo credit)


Town centre V-1 – the July 1944 rocket attack which killed 51.

Upper Kid Brook – a stream which created the valley stolen by the railway lien from Blackheath and whose outflow into the Quaggy was next to St Stephen’s church

1957 Lewisham Rail Crash – catastrophic accident that killed 90 in the early December smog

1930s traffic accidents – what is now the A20 between New Cross & Lee Green was a notorious area for accidents and road deaths, particularly around central Lewisham

Anchor Brewery – a 19th century brewery run by the Nicholls brothers which was sold to Whitbread in 1890, one of its buildings remains in Tesco’s car park


The Plough – the history of a pub lost to the redevelopment around the station

The Roebuck – another lost pub that went through several incarnations and was latterly on Rennell Street

College Park Estate – the area covering Clarendon Rise, Albion Way, Bonfield Road and Gilmore Road and the links of the latter to the poet James Elroy Flecker

The Australian Lewisham and its links to South London through transportation

New Cross & Deptford

Robert Browning’s Ode to New Cross – Browning lived close to the site of Haberdashers Askes when the area was still referred to as ‘Plowed Garlic Hill’


The Frying Pan – a long gone Speedway and Dog track that was next to the Old Den

The New Cross Post Office Bomber – Rolla Richards, a Deptford anarchist who attempted to push an incendiary device through the letterbox at the Post Office.


Anti-German attacks in Deptford – early World War attacks on German businesses in Deptford

Sydenham & Forest Hill

Christmas Houses – the houses around Sydenham and Forest Hill built by the family builder E C Christmas

A World War 1 Air Attack on Sydenham Road – on the corner of Sydenham Road and Fairlawn Park

Strange treatments for whooping cough – including a clinic at the South Suburban Gas Works at Bell Green


Livesey Memorial Hall – the Listed former social club of the Gas Works–

CS Forester – the links of the author to Sydenham with references to one of his South London based novels – Payment Deferred