Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for LEWISHAM

LEWISHAM, a village, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Kent. The village stands on the river Ravensbourne, and on the North Kent and Mid-Kent railways, 1 mile S of Greenwich, and 5 SE by S of London; was anciently called Levesham, signifying the ''dwelling among the meadows; ''is within the jurisdiction of the central criminal court and the metropolitan police; consists chiefly of one street, about a mile long, extending N and S; is supplied with water from a stream rising at its upper end, and flowing through it; and has a postoffice ‡ under London SE, and stations with telegraph on the North Kent and Mid-Kent railways.—The parish contains also the village of Sydenham, the hamlets of Southend, Rushey-Green, Cockshed, the places called Perry-Hill, Perry-Slough, Catford-Bridge, and Catton, and part of Blackheath; is divided politically into Lewisham proper and Sydenham chapelry; and is cut ecclesiastically into the sections of St. Mary, StStephen, Blackheath-All Saints, and Forest-Hill, together with subdivisions of Sydenham. Acres, 5,418Real property, £137,059; of which £2,153 are in gas. works. Pop. in 1851,15,064; in 1861,22,808. Houses, 3,789. The manor was given, by Elthruda, niece of King Alfred, to the Abbey of St. Peter at Ghent; had a Benedictine priory, a cell to Ghent Abbey; went, in the time of Henry V., to the Carthusian priory of Sheen; passed, after the dissolution, through varions hands, eventually to the Legges; and belongs now to the Earl of Dartmouth, and gives him the title of Viscount. Mansions and villas are very numerous; many new ones have recently been built; and much of the entire area may be regarded as a suburb of London. A police station of the P division is at Rushey-Green; and petty sessions are held at Croom's Hill. Limestone is quarried, and bricks are made. The head-living, or St. Mary's, is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Dartmouth at Blackheath; other charges, with defined limits, are the p. curacies of St. Stephen, Blackheath-All Saints, Sydenham-St. Bartholomew, and Forest-Hill; others, without defined limits, are the chapelries of Southend, SydenhamSt. Saviour, and Sydenham-Old Chapel; and all are in the diocese of London. Value of St. Mary's-with Dartmouth chapel, £1,100; of St. Stephen, not reported. Patron of the former, the Earl of Dartmouth; of the latter, the Rev. S. R. Davis. St. Mary's church was rebuilt in 1774; was damaged by fire in 1830, but has been restored; has a Corinthian portico on the S side, and a square tower at the W end; and contains monuments of the Petries by Banks, a monument to a Lushington by Flaxman, and the grave of Dr. Stanhope, the author of Commentaries on the Epistles and Gospels, who long was vicar. St. Stephen's church was built in 1865, after designs by G. G. Scott, at a cost of £12,000; and is in the first pointed style, modified by a French colouring. Other churches are noticed in articles on other sections of the parish. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, and Wesleyans. There are also an endowed grammar school, at Lewisham-Hill, with £343 a year; national schools at Lewisham village, Southend, and Sydenham; a British school, at Lewisham-Bridge; a Congregational school, in Silver-street; the Leathersellers' Foundation school, at Grove House; two suites of alms houses, one of them of recent erection; a workhouse, with accommodation for 200 persons; the infant-poorhouse of St. George-Southwark, with about 175 inmates; and a number of miscellaneous institutions and charities. Bishop Duppa, who wrote part of "Eikon Basilike," was a native.

The sub-district bears the name of Lewisham village, excludes Sydenham chapelry; and consists of the other portions of the parish lying S, SW, and SE of PloughBridge. Pop. in 1851,6,097; in 1861,7,372. Houses; 1,326.—The district comprehends also the sub-district of Sydenham, conterminate with Sydenham chapelry; the sub-district of Lee, containing the rest of Lewisham parish, the parish of Lee, and the liberty of Kidbrooke; the subdistrict of Eltham, conterminate with Eltham parish; and the sub-district of Plumstead, containing the parishes of Plumstead and Charlton-next-Woolwich. Acres, 17,224. Poor rates in 1863, £21,263. Pop. in 1851, 34,835; in 1861,65,757. Houses, 9,707. Marriages in 1863,628; births, 2,582,-of which 57 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,107, of which 490 were at ages under 5 years, and 22 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,5,609; births, 15,682; deaths, 8,424. The places of worship, in 1851, were 17 of the Church of England, with 9,858 sittings: 6 of Independents. with 1.670 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 170 s.; 7 of Wesleyans, with 1,159 s.; 1 of New Connexion Methodists, with 60 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 150 s.; and 1 undefined, with 60 s. The schools were 24 public day schools, with 2,411 scholars; 105 private day schools, with 2,251 s.; 26 Sunday schools, with 2,333 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 47 s.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Lewisham AP/CP       Lewisham SubD       Lewisham PLU/RegD       Kent AncC
Place names: LEVESHAM     |     LEWISHAM
Place: Lewisham

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