Picture of Locale Sydenham

Historical version 11 of Locale Sydenham (view current version)

An area of South-East London, mostly lying within the London Borough of Lewisham (in the SE26 postal district).

It is served by three rail stations, which from west to east are Sydenham Hill, Sydenham, and Lower Sydenham, offering mainline services to Victoria or London Bridge. Sydenham Station is also on the new OVERGROUND service which is part of the tube network and takes Oyster cards.

Prior to the late nineteeth century, Sydenham was basically a rural village. However, the coming of the railway in the mid-1800s, the divvying-up of the common land by local landowners, and the relocation of the Crystal Palace from Hyde Park to Sydenham in 1852 all contributed to its transformation into a London suburb. The proximity of the Crystal Palace, where regular concerts were held, attracted a number of musicians and composers to the area, as well as writers such as George Grove (of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians).

[[Crystal Palace Park]] is still the largest public green space in the area, but there are also a number of smaller parks, such as [[Mayow Park] with it's cricket pitch, bowls and award winning community garden, Home Park with it's adventure playground, library and outdoor gym and the award winning Wells Park with it's slides, kids water play area and landscaped grounds]. While Sydenham has been described as "pound shop capital of the world", this is perhaps a rather unfair characterisation. The public life of the area is mostly concentrated around Sydenham Road, which runs east from Sydenham Station, and is lined with cafes such as Kente, Sugahill which hosts art exhibitions and the Blue Mountain Cafe, restaurants like Ghurkas and Trattoria Raffaele which are local institutions which exist side by side with mini-markets, independent furnishing shops, and other small businesses. Pubs include the Gastro pub "The Dolphin' and more old fashioned pubs like the "Golden Lion" which hosts blues and jazz nights and the Alfred.

The more ubiquitous high-street chain stores are absent, although there is a Co-operative and a Superdrug, though smaller and more retro/local chains, like Wimpy still exist. Further up the hill is kirkdale which was the original high street in Sydenham. Here you willfind the likes of mostly independent stores like JH skincare, Alambra, costume hire places, piano shops and handmade furniture shops.

The summer sees the Sydenham Arts Festival, Started in 2009 and continuting again in 2010.

See also:

Auto-generated list of places in Sydenham (view them on a map):

Historical info mostly extracted by Kake from Sydenham and Forest Hill, by Joan P Alcock.
This is version 11 (as of 2010-06-10 12:56:42). View current version. List all versions.