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

Gilmore Road Telephone Exchange – some history of the building which was converted into flats in 2014

The Australian Lewisham and its links to South London through transportation

Lewisham’s 500 year link to Belgium – the post covers also the Domesday Book record and Lee’s 12th century invasion of Lewisham.

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