- Forest Hill, London
infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Forest Hill
constituency_westminster= Lewisham West
postcode_district = SE23
Forest Hill is a suburb and electoral ward in the
London Borough of Lewisham, situated between Dulwichand Sydenhamin southeast London, England. Increasingly popular amongst house-buyers and investors, the area has enjoyed extensive investment since plans to extend the East London Lineto Forest Hill were unveiled in 2004.
Like many London suburbs, Forest Hill was only sparsely populated until the mid-19th century. The name Forest Hill came from 'the forest with a big hill', which was coined by a developer in the 1790s, and referred to the remaining area of Forest on
Sydenham Hillwhich was originally part of the Great North Wood.
canal, the Croydon Canal, was constructed through the area in 1809 but the large number of locks (28) meant it was not a commercial success, and it was bought by the London & Croydon RailwayCompany who constructed their railwayalong the same route, opening it in 1839. The retaining wall of the footpath opposite the station outside the pub is about the only physical evidence of the canal which still exists. When the Crystal Palace was moved from Hyde Park to Sydenham, large homes were built on the western end of Forest Hill.
In 1884, what would become London's oldest swimming pool was constructed on Dartmouth Road.
The tea merchant Frederick Horniman built a museum to house his impressive collection of natural history artifacts. He donated the building and its gardens to the public in 1901 and this became the Horniman Museum.
As its population grew, two large secondary schools were built in the area - Forest Hill Boys and Sydenham Girls on the brink of Forest Hill.
Now in the 21st century, Forest Hill has a large residential population and the area is becoming increasingly desirable as a peaceful, leafy suburb with good transport links into the centre of town, and slightly lower-than-average property prices.
Amenities and Entertainment
Forest Hill is home to the celebrated
Horniman Museum. Despite a leaning toward anthropological and cultural collections, the museum is also home to a newly opened (July 2006) aquarium and one of the most varied collections of taxidermyin the northern hemisphere. It also houses one of the finest collection of musical instrument in the British Isles. Contained within its accompanying gardens is an animal enclosure, flower gardens, and a Grade II listed early 20th century greenhouse. Views from the gardens stretch out over central and north London.
The Hob Public House, opposite Forest Hill station, is a live music and comedy venue. Home to the E.D. Comedy Club, it has attracted acts such as
Bill Bailey, Phil Jupitusand Mark Lamarr. Recently renovated, The Dartmouth Armshas been named by The Timesnewspaper as "one of London's very finest gastropubs".Fact|date=June 2007
Forest Hill Swimming Baths were closed in 2005 due to health and safety concerns surrounding its roof and plumbing. An intrusive survey in October 2006 suggested that a full refurbishment would cost £5.5 million.Fact|date=June 2007
Lewisham Councilrecently green-lit the renovation, pledging to fully renovate whilst retaining the building's early 20th century character and original features. Latest proposals Fact|date=April 2008no longer honour this pledge and invite suggestions incorporating the site with the adjacent Louise House, one-time industrial schooland children's home, into a completely redeveloped leisure centre. Forest Hill Libraryis located next to the swimming baths, and in February 2001 hosted 'an evening with J. K. Rowling', attended by children from the local Fairlawn Primary School. The library closed for refurbishment in 2007 and re-opened, completely modernised, for 2008.
With a range of architectural styles spanning the late 19th and 20th centuries, Forest Hill was described by
Sir Norman Fosteras "a delightful pocket of South London". Of particular note are The Capitol Cinema, the Horniman Museum, and classic art decomansion blocks Forest Croftand Taymount Grange.
Forest Hill railway stationis located on the South Circular Road (A205), and is served by frequent trains to London Bridge. It will also be linked to the East London Linewhich is to be extended south to West Croydon by 2010.
(in alphabetical order)
*Home decor personality
Dame Doris Beale, Matron-in-Chief of Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS) for three years during the Second World War was born in Forest Hill on 9 August 1889.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer(1906-1945) the German Protestant theologian and Christian martyr killed by the Nazis, briefly lived and preached in Forest Hill.
James Callaghan(Labour Prime Minister)
Raymond ChandlerMystery and thriller writer, author of The Long Goodbye and The Big Sleep. Born in the USA, but educated at Dulwich College. Probably lived with his mother at 148 (now 138) Devonshire Road, Forest Hill from 1909 until he returned to America in 1912.
Max Clarkestill lives on Marler Road
Sir James Clark-Ross(polar explorer)
"Big" Jim Connell(socialist)
Desmond DekkerSouth London's King of Ska
*Irish-born television, film and stage actor
Michael Gambon, currently famous for portrayal of Albus Dumbledorein the Harry Pottermovie franchise lived at Forest Croftin Forest Hill in the early to mid 1960s.
*Alfred "Titch" Freeman (cricketer)
Sir Isaac Hayward(politician)
Vince Hilaire, one of the first black players to establish himself in English football was born in Forest Hill on 10 October 1959and went on to have a distinguished career with local club Crystal Palace.
Glenda JacksonMP (politician & actress)
Frederick John Horniman(1835-1906) lived in Forest Hill. A keen traveller, he accumulated a large collection of items relating to local cultures and natural history. This became so large that he built a special museum for it, donated to the public in 1901.
film actorLeslie Howard (1893-1943) was born in Forest Hill on 3 April 1893
Andre Thierry Michauldoperated in Forest Hill, although it is not known whether this was his primary residence or one of many probable London-residences used throughout the 1990s.
Richard Jefferies, the naturalist and author, lived at 20 Sydenham Park (a Blue Plaqueindicates the house)
David Jones(painter & poet)
Boris Karloffwas a resident of Forest Hill.
Tom Keatingthe famous forger lived in Forest Hill.
Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen(TV presenter)
Walter De La MarePoet and novelist, author of Songs of Childhood, The Listeners and Other Poems, The Return, etc. In 1877 the family moved to 5 Bovill Terrace (now 61 Bovill Road), Forest Hill. C. 1887 they moved to 57 Brookbank Road, Lewisham.
Spike Milligan(comedian & writer)
John Parrisworld renowned cue maker.
*Sybil Pheonix MBE (community worker)
Don Letts, Desmond Dekkerand Peter Perrett(of The Only Ones, in its 1970s musical heyday).
*Henry Price CBE was a Conservative politician who represented Lewisham West between 1950 - 1964. He founded the "Middle Class Alliance" and in 1954, London County Council sought a compulsory purchase order for his home in Forest Hill to build council housing.
Francis Rossi, lead singer and guitarist of Status Quo, was born in Forest Hill on 29 May 1949
*Singer Millie lived in Forest Hill at the time of her major hit "My Boy Lollipop"
Timothy Spallis a current resident of the Forest Hill area.
Gavin Stamp(Architectural critic)
journalistand cricketer E.W.Swanton was born in Forest Hill on 11 February 1907
Jackie Trentthe singer/songwriter lived in Forest Hill when she first had success in the 1960s
Terry Waite(Archbishop's Envoy)
*There is no evidence to support the claim of a private plaque that
Dorothy Jordan, mistress of the Duke of Clarence, later William IV, lived in Forest Hill
John Illsleybassist from Dire Straits
Forest Hill School
* [http://www.foresthillsociety.com/ Forest Hill Society: Civic group for SE23 and surrounding area]
* [http://www.foresthill.org.uk Forest Hill.Org: Community website]
* [http://www.se23.com/ SE23.com: Community website]
* [http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/lewisham/forest-hill/german-church.htm The German Church, Forest Hill]
* [http://www.german-embassy.org.uk/dietrich_bonhoeffer_remembered.html Dietrich Bonhoeffer Remembered]
* [http://www.stgeorgechristchurchstpaul.net: parish church website]
* [http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/LeisureAndCulture/LocalHistoryAndHeritage/ Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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