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A Timeline History of Forest Hill      

A timeline history of Forest Hill with prints, photographs and maps
Click on images to enlarge


Forest Hill named from extensive woodland formerly covering the area. Part of Lewisham parish, bordered Great North Wood and Westwood Common (into Sydenham).

Tudor Forest Hill

1602 Queen Elizabeth I visited Sir Richard Bulkeley at Sydmonscourt. Tradition has it that she lunched under the shade of an oak on the hill known as One Tree Hill between Forest Hill and Brockley.

Georgian Forest Hill

1790-1810 Georgian villas built in Forest Hill: Hill House, White House and Ashberry Cottage.
1809 Croydon Canal built through Forest Hill.

1836 Railway built on old Croydon Canal, led to development of Forest Hill.

Victorian Forest Hill

1839 View from Dartmouth Arms

Railway used atmospheric pressure traction with 4 steam pumping engines at Dartmouth Arms (Forest Hill) station.
1852-4 Christ Church built

1854 New railway station opened.

Mid Victorian Forest Hill

1878 Mayow Park opened as Sydenham & Forest Hill Public Recreation Ground

Late Victorian Forest Hill

1882 Forest Hill Swimming Pools (perhaps the oldest baths in UK)
1883 Forest Hill station rebuilt.
German Church  opened on Dacres Road 
1885 Spire added to Christ Church 
1890 EC (Ted) Christmas set up business at 55 Dartmouth Road
1890 Frederick J. Horniman established a general collection at Surrey House from his travels.
1898 Surrey House demolished to make way for new Horniman Museum.

Edwardian Forest Hill

Colour-tinted postcard of Forest Hill

St Augustine’s Church opened on One Tree Hill Honor Oak

Horniman Museum (by C Harrison Townsend in Art Nouveau style) opened.
Presented to London County Council along with 21 acres of park and gardens.

Forest Hill Library opened

1902 Fire Station built in Perry Vale.

Prewar Forest Hill

1929 Capitol Cinema (by John Stanley Beard) opened on London Road 11-15) in Neo-Classical style
1935 Taymount Grange modernist flats by George Bertram Carter built.

1936 Fox Croft modernist flats by Arnold Andre Higuer built

Forest Hill in WW2 

1944 Forest Hill station damaged by flying bomb

Post war Forest Hill

1964 Rolling Stones played at Glenlea Hall, Perry Vale.
1968 Capitol Cinema renamed ABC
1972 New Forest Hill station built.
1973 ABC closed down.
1978 Cinema became a bingo hall

Only Ones group (leader based in Forest Hill)
1996 Bingo Hall closed
2001 Capitol re-opened asa Weatherspoon pub


Forest Hill and Sydenham - Adrian Prockter (1987 London Reference Books)
Retracing Canals To Croydon and Camberwell (1986 Living History Publications)
London and Croydon Railway - Adrian Prockter (1989 London Reference Books)
Sydenham and Forest Hill - John Coulter (1999 Historical Publications)

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