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definition - Herne_Hill

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Herne Hill


Coordinates: 51°27′16″N 0°05′37″W / 51.4544°N 0.0936°W / 51.4544; -0.0936

Herne Hill
Railton Road, Herne Hill.jpg
Railton Road, Herne Hill
Herne Hill is located in Greater London
Herne Hill

 Herne Hill shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ325745
London borough Lambeth
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SE24
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Dulwich and West Norwood
London Assembly Lambeth and Southwark
List of places: UK • England • London

Herne Hill is a district in south London, England, approximately four miles from Charing Cross and bordered by Brixton, Denmark Hill, Dulwich, Loughborough Junction and Tulse Hill. It overlaps the boundary between the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. There is a road of the same name in the area (which is part of the A215 and was formerly called Herne Hill Road).



The area now known as Herne Hill was part of the Manor of Milkwell, which existed from at least 1291, and was a mixture of farms and woodland until the late 18th century.[1] In 1783, Samuel Sanders (a timber merchant) bought the land now occupied by Denmark Hill and Herne Hill from the Manor; he then began granting leases for large plots of land to wealthy families.[2]

  Herne Hill and Half Moon Lane in 1823.

The first known reference to Herne Hill was published in 1789. There are numerous suggestions for the origin of the name: it may have been previously called Heron's Hill, as the River Effra attracted a large number of herons; George and Benjamin Herne were residents in the 17th century; and there was a nearby field called Le Herne (c.1495), "the angle or corner of land".

By the mid-19th century, the road from the modern Herne Hill Junction to Denmark Hill was lined with large residential estates and the area had become an upper-class suburb (John Ruskin spent his childhood at an estate on Herne Hill).[3]

Herne Hill was transformed by the arrival of the railways in 1862. Cheap and convenient access to London Victoria, the City of London, Kent and south-west London created demand for middle-class housing; the terraced streets that now characterise the area were constructed in the decades after the opening of Herne Hill station and the old estates were entirely built over.[4]


  The Carnegie Library, Herne Hill Road

Herne Hill is situated between the more well-known areas of Brixton, Dulwich and Camberwell. It also straddles two boroughs, and is a community of just under 12,000 people, with a range of independent shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants. Famous Herne Hill residents from history include John Ruskin and the Lupino family, and actor Roddy McDowall was born there.

  Local landmarks

The area is home to the 50.8 ha (125.5 acres) Brockwell Park. Near a hilltop in Brockwell Park stands the Grade II* listed Brockwell Hall,[5] which was built in 1831. The hall and the land surrounding it were opened to the public in 1891 after being purchased by London County Council. Brockwell Park hosts the annual Lambeth Country Show and was the site of London's Gay Pride festival for several years in the 1990s. The park also houses Brockwell Lido, a 1937 open-air swimming pool that faces on to Dulwich Road.

Herne Hill railway station on Railton Road was opened by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway in 1862; the Gothic, polychrome brick[6] station building was Grade II listed in 1998.[7] The associated railway viaduct and bridges are also noteworthy; The Building News stated in 1863 that the viaduct was "one of the most ornamental pieces of work we have ever seen attempted on a railway" for its fine brickwork.[8]

The Herne Hill Velodrome, situated in a park off Burbage Road, was built in 1891 and hosted the track cycling events in the 1948 Summer Olympics. Unlike most modern, steeply-banked velodromes, it is a shallow concrete bowl; the 'Save the Herne Hill Velodrome' campaign is seeking a way to secure the future of the site.[9] The same park also has a football pitch and was the home of Crystal Palace F.C. from 1915 until 1918.

The Half Moon Public House on Half Moon Lane was built in 1896 (although a tavern has existed on the site since at the 17th century) and was Grade II* listed in 1998.[10] The pub hosted a boxing gym for over 50 years.[11]

The Church of St Paul on Herne Hill was originally built by G Alexander in 1843 at a cost of £4958,[12] but dramatically rebuilt by Gothic architect G E Street in 1858 after a destructive fire. It is now Grade II* listed.[13]

The lake in Sunray Gardens (at the junction of Elmwood Road and Red Post Hill) was originally the fish pond in Casino House (a large estate established in 1796/97, now demolished); the adjoining Casion Estate still bears the house's name.

  North of Herne Hill

The Carnegie Public Library on the road now named Herne Hill Road opened in 1906 after a Lambeth Librarian got a grant from Andrew Carnegie for building a library within the Herne Hill area. It is also a listed Grade II building.[14]

A Blue Plaque at 51 Herne Hill (by the junction with Danecroft Road) marks the former home of author Sax Rohmer (a.k.a. Arthur Henry Ward), most famous as author of the series of novels featuring the master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu.

  Notable former and current residents


Direct rail services are available from Herne Hill railway station to London Blackfriars, Farringdon, St. Pancras International, Luton Airport and London Victoria. Nearby railway stations offer services to other destinations: London Bridge station can be reached from North Dulwich; and Denmark Hill will have trains to Clapham Junction in south-west London and Dalston Junction in north-east London when Phase II of London Overground's East London line extension is completed in December 2012. The nearest London Underground station is Brixton.

Herne Hill is also served by London bus routes 3, 37 (24 hours), 68, 196, 201, 322, 468, school route 690 and night buses N3 and N68.[16]



  1. ^ British History Online - Myatt's Fields, Denmark Hill and Herne Hill
  2. ^ Survey of London: volume 26: Lambeth: Southern area
  3. ^ British History Online - Myatt's Fields, Denmark Hill and Herne Hill
  4. ^ British History Online - Myatt's Fields, Denmark Hill and Herne Hill
  5. ^ List entry Number: 1080511, BROCKWELL HALL English Heritage. Retrieved 28 April 2012
  6. ^ Cherry, Bridget; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1983). Buildings of England, London: South, Volume 2. London: Penguin. p. 363. 
  7. ^ List entry Number: 1376144, HERNE HILL RAILWAY STATION, ENTRANCE BLOCK ONLY English Heritage. Retrieved 20 April 2012
  8. ^ "London, Chatham and Dover Railway". The Building News (The Proprietor of the "Building News") 10 (January 9): 27. 1863. 
  9. ^ [1] Save the Herne Hill Velodrome. Retrieved 28 April 2012
  10. ^ List entry Number: 1385592, HALF MOON PUBLIC HOUSE English Heritage. Retrieved 28 April 2012
  11. ^ Where the pugilists drink Times Online. Retrieved 28 April 2012
  12. ^ British History Online - Calne - Cambourne
  13. ^ List entry Number: 1385599, CHURCH OF ST PAUL, HERNE HILL English Heritage. Retrieved 28 April 2012
  14. ^ British History Online - Myatt's Fields, Denmark Hill and Herne Hill
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ Buses from Herne Hill. Transport for London. 2011. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/maps/buses/pdf/hernehill-2125.pdf. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 

  External links



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