Tulse Hill

Tulse Hill

infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
region= London
official_name= Tulse Hill
london_borough= Lambeth
constituency_westminster= Dulwich and West Norwood
post_town= LONDON
postcode_district= SE21 , SE24, SE27
postcode_district1= SW2
dial_code= 020
os_grid_reference= TQ315735
latitude= 51.4452
longitude= -0.1091

Tulse Hill is a district and hill in the London Borough of Lambeth in London, England. It lies to the south of Brixton, north of West Norwood and west of West Dulwich.


The area known as Tulse Hill is part of the former Manor or Manors of Bodley, Upgroves and Scarlettes whose precise boundaries are now uncertain. The name of the area comes from the Tulse family, who came into ownership of farmland in the area during the period of the Commonwealth in the 1650s. [http://www.brockwellpark.com/history/history.htm] A member of the Tulse family married Richard Onslow, 1st Baron Onslow, and the land remained in Onslow ownership until 1789 when most of it was purchased by William Cole. The estate was further divided on Cole's death in 1807.

The western part was left to "Mercy Cressingham, spinster" (now commemorated by the Cressingham Gardens estate in the area) and the eastern part -now mostly occupied by Brockwell Park - was left to Richard Ogbourne who promptly sold it on to John Blades.

In 1810 Tulse Hill Farm was the only building in western part of the area. The enclosure of land in the parish of Lambeth in 1811 led to the construction of Effra Road in the area immediately to the north. Together with improvements to Brixton Road by the local turnpike trust this greatly improved road communications with central London, and the value of the local landholdings.

The heiress Miss Cressingham did not remain a spinster for long. Her husband Dr Thomas Edwards, took the initiative in buying extra land to make an access from Brixton Hill in 1814 and laying out two new roads Lower Tulse Hill Road (now known simply as Tulse Hill) and Upper Tulse Hill Road (now Upper Tulse Hill) before 1821. A plan of 1821 in the RIBA Library shows a proposed speculative development of both the Edwards estate and the adjacent Blades estate with large detached villas, although only the former actually came to fruition. The new roads were adopted by the parish in 1822.

An 1832 map shows that Tulse Hill still had only a few buildings on the new roads in contrast to nearby recently developed areas in Brixton and Norwood and the longer established hamlet of Dulwich. [http://www.londonancestor.com/maps/london-south-th.htm] However, by 1843, there was a continuous line of houses, predominantly detached and usually with separate coach houses along the full length of Lower Tulse Hill Road from Brixton to the top of the hill.

Development of the area to the east of this road commenced in 1845 when Trinity Rise was built to connect Upper Tulse Hill with Norwood Road. Holy Trinity Church on Trinity Rise was built in 1855-6 and is now grade II listed.

Major development of the area further east did not come until the opening of Tulse Hill railway station in 1868.

Most of the original villas with large gardens on the original Edwards-Cressingham landholding have been redeveloped at much higher densities for council housing since the 1930s.

The most prominent survival of 19th century Tulse Hill is Berry House, later called Silwood Hall, and now forming the front part of St Martin-In-The-Fields High School for Girls, a Church of England secondary school which has outlasted the nearby 1950s schools.

The redevelopment of Tulse Hill after World War II by the London County Council had included the construction of two large secondary schools - Tulse Hill School (originally for boys, where Ken Livingstone went to school) and Dick Sheppard School (originally for girls only). Both schools have now closed, and their sites have been redeveloped for housing of very contrasting types.

The site of Tulse Hill school, off Upper Tulse Hill, is predominantly affordable housing. This area came dramatically into the news on 22 July2005 following a surveillance operation on one of the blocks of flats in Scotia Road in the new development. Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes was a resident of the block and was commuting to work from there on the day he was shot by police at Stockwell tube station, one day after the 21 July 2005 London bombings. Allegedly, a suspected terrorist Osman Hussain was linked to a flat in the same block.

By contrast, the site of Dick Sheppard School, has been redeveloped in a retardaire Regency style with purportedly "luxury" houses and apartments overlooking Brockwell Park.



At the southern end of Tulse Hill is a major road junction between the A204 ("Tulse Hill"), A205 ("South Circular") and the A215 ("Norwood Road").


The area is served by London Buses routes 2, 68, 196, 201, 322, 432, 468 and P13.

Nearest railway stations

* Tulse Hill
* Herne Hill
* West Dulwich
* West Norwood

Nearest tube station

* Brixton (Victoria Line)

Prominent buildings

*"The former St Cuthbert's Presbyterian Church of England" on Thurlow Park Road (technically this is in West Dulwich because it has an SE21 postcode) - The church, recognisable by its Green steeple, was built in 1902 and is located a few minutes walk from Tulse Hill station. The building is now used for educational purposes and forms part of Rosemead Preparatory School.
*"Holy Trinity Church on Trinity Rise" - built 1855-6 ,grade II listed.
*"All Saints' Church" - An astonishing Victorian Gothic building in West Dulwich, originally intended to be the cathedral for south London. The church was built between 1888 and 1897 and designed by George Fellowes Prynne, a pupil of George Edmund Street. Although plans were scaled down it was still a huge building and is a Grade I listed building. Unfortunately it was gutted by a huge fire on 9 June 2000, the cause remains unknown. The building reopened in April 2006 after a three-year restoration project.
*"Tulse Hill Hotel" [http://www.thetulse.co.uk] - Landmark public house at the main Tulse Hill junction with Norwood Road. The pub was built in 1840 on Norwood Lane as it was then known, which was a muddy track leading to Herne Hill.

Local trivia

* Huggins' Observatory - From about 1850 until 1915 the astronomers Sir William Huggins and his wife Margaret Lindsay, Lady Huggins, had a home and observatory at 90 Upper Tulse Hill. It no longer stands but was at the approximate location of today's Vibart Gardens.
* John Sentamu, current Archbishop of York, was vicar of Holy Trinity Church for 13 years. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4102960.stm]
* Sir William Henry Harris was a chorister at Holy Trinity Church towards the end of the 19th Century.

Nearest places

* Dulwich
* Streatham
* West Norwood
* Brixton
* Herne Hill

Nearby attractions

*Brockwell Park
*Brockwell Lido
*The River Effra at Belair in Dulwich

Mentions in popular music

* "24 minutes to Tulse Hill" by Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, from the album 101 Damnations

Mentions in literature

Samson Young, protagonist in Martin Amis's "London Fields" goes to Tulse Hill to buy drugs.

Jason Strugnell, a fictitious poet in Wendy Cope's "Making Cocoa For Kingsley Amis", lives in Tulse Hill and mentions it a couple of times in "his" poems.

External links

* [http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/lambeth/main/images-tulse-hill.htm Old images of Tulse Hill]
* [http://www.norwoodnet.co.uk/ norwoodnet]
* [http://www.thehockeyclub.co.uk/ Tulse Hill & Dulwich Hockey Club]

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