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Sydenham & Forest Hill


Price: £12.99


by John Coulter & John Seaman.

In this photographic portrait of Forest Hill & Sydenham, the authors have allowed Forest Hill, the younger settlement to lead the way.

That district can only be traced back to the end of the eighteenth century., whereas Sydenham has its origins as a medieval farming village. Both grew enormously in the neneteenth century under the triple stimulus of the enclosure of Westwood Common in 1810, the arrival of the railways in 1839, and the rebuilding of the Crystal Palace on Sydenham Hill between 1852 and 1854.

Like other Crystal Palace suburbs, Forest Hill and Sydenham were at the peak of their fashion in the 1860's and '70's. The photographs here, mostly from Edwardian postcards, show the area after it had declined a little from those heights, but at a time when it was still populated by the prosperous middle classes, dappled only by a few small areas of poorer housing.

The twelve chapters, each centred on one of the main roads of Forest Hill or Sydenham, form a circular tour from Perry Hill, and can easily be made the basis for a series of interesting walks.

128 Pages paperback 220 Illustrations