In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Sydenham like this:
SYDENHAM, a small town, a sub-district, and seven chapelries, in Lewisham parish and district, Kent. The town stands on the London and Croydon railway, in direct or near connexion with the London Bridge, Crystal Palace, and Victoria railway, and with the London and Brighton, the London, Chatham, and Dover, and the Southwestern systems, 6½ miles SSE of London-Bridge; was originally a small village, adjacent to mineral springs: rose, through temporary celebrity of these springs, into considerable importance; attracted numerous families to permanent residence, by the salubrity of its air and the beauty of its environs; rose into further prominence, through the erection in its vicinity of the Crystal palace; is now a very fine metropolitan suburb, with a multitude of new villas all around it; and has post-offices under London S, three r. ...
stations with telegraph, and a police station.The sub-district was originally one chapelry, but is now divided into seven. Pop. in 1851, 4,501; in 1861, 10,595. Houses, 1,656. Most of the chief features, within the limits and immediately adjacent, have been noticed in our articles Crystal Palace, Forest-Hill, Penge, Anerley, Norwood, Lewisham, and others. One chapelry dates from old times; two others date from 1855; and four are much more recent. The livings are all vicarages, some in the diocese of Rochester, others in that of London; and three of them, St. Bartholomew, St. Philip, and St. Michael, are united. Value of these three, £248;* of Christchurch or Forest-Hill, £150;* of St. Saviour or Brockley-Hill, £400; of Old Chapeland Holy Trinity, not reported. Patron of St. Bartholomew. and of Christchurch, the Earl of Dartmouth; of St. Saviour, the Rev. H. L. Nicholson; of Old Chapel, T. S. Salmon, Esq.; of Holy Trinity, Simeon's Trustees. St. Bartholomew's church was built in 1830, and afterwards enlarged. Christ church was built in 1854, and enlarged in 1861. St. Philip's church occupies the site of the mineral well; was built in 1866, at a cost of £6,350; and is in the early English style, and cruciform. St. Saviour's church was built partly in the same year, and was to cost £7,000. Holy Trinity church was built in 1867. An Independent chapel was built in 1866, a Baptist chapel in 1861; and both are very fine edifices. There are also Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist, and Bible Christian chapels; a public lecture-hall of 1860; a school-college, a handsome Tudor edifice, with a large staff of professors; national and British schools; a working men's institution; and a horticultural society.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Sydenham has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Lewisham. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Sydenham and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Sydenham, in Lewisham and Kent | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 25th May 2013
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