Brockley: Where do you draw the line?

Harefield Road: the centre of Brockley?


As has been covered before, Brockley can sometimes seem to be a nation divided against itself. The railway line bisects Brockley in to east and west – and the easterners sometimes seem to regard themselves as the “haves” as opposed to the westerners’ “have nots”, sometimes writing off the "other side" of the tracks as 'not proper Brockley'.

But recently, I’ve noticed that estate agents are marketing houses as being in Brockley, even when they’re as far afield as Ladywell, St John’s and Honor Oak. I guess it’s because there’s a buzz about Brockley in the property market (the most recent evidence being the arrival of the estate agents James Johnston, whose only other offices are in central Greenwich and Blackheath) that the Brockley catchment area is being redefined.

So how do you define Brockley? My definition would be the area bounded by Lewisham Way, Tyrwhitt Road, Malpas Road, Nunhead Cemetary and the Brockley Jack pub (I always used to think of Crofton Park as a seperate place, but I wouldn't want to lose out on Jam Circus and that wine shop). I might also make a land-grab for Telegraph Hill, since it feels like Brockley, and St John’s as it would also be a little bit lonely without the Brockley conservation area beside it.

Ladywell, Honor Oak and all the rest seem to be perfectly distinct areas.

What's your definition?

13 comments:

ElijahBailey said...

Hmmm interesting. I think of Brockley in three parts; Brockley Cross, Brockley Rise and Crofton Park. Crofton park in the A to Z is printed in such a way as the suggest it is a subdivision within brockley.

I was hoping Wiki might clear things up but it seems Crofton park was the original Brockley.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crofton_Park

The railway line certainly crates divisions. But then so does being spread thin from north to south. It makes it hard for Brockley to ever develop a proper centre.

Headhunter said...

Although it seems that the original Brockley was Crofton Park, I think of Brockley as ending at the bottom Hilly Fields/Adelaide Road, Tyrwhitt Rd and Lewisham Way and then out as far as Avignon Road down to Brockley Way on the other side of the tracks....

Anonymous said...

Hmm...just moved to Crofton Park, and the trouble is absolutely no-one outside SE4 has heard of it, so we have to say we live in Brockley!

spincat said...

Yes, I have found exactly the same thing for the last 15 years I have lived here. Mind you, 15 years means I like being nowhere

Anonymous said...

Brockley was historically centered around the cemetery. Crofton Park is more Brockley than the 'Conservation Area' (at present), which is actually Deptford on the old census.
However, stretching further back in time, Hilly Fields was the centre of Brockley, and so too the present Conservation Areas.

Maggie said...

The area names on the A to Z are hopeless, I find - I think they squeeze them in wherever there's space, so you will often get the name of a place in the middle of a cemetary, when the tube stop of the same name looks about a mile away! (Then again, the different areas / stations throughout London are an overlapping jumble in any case)

My feeling (and this is based on lots of treks down to see Estate Agents and to get a feel for the place, and now on having lived in Telegraph Hill for a little while but venturing frequently into Brockley) that Brockley is the area between Brockley Cross / Malpas Road, Lewisham Way, Tyrwhitt Road, Adelaide Avenue / cemetary and across to Brockley Way / St Norbert's / Avignon Road. I've read in a few places (incl the findaproperty.co.uk area guide) that Crofton Park was originally the heart of old Brockley but that it's now migrated to the north east, because of the desirability of the conservation area. This is kind of a snobby reason for this division to exist, but there is a really different feel down in Crofton Park. Which is a good thing in some ways, ie useful / interesting shops and cafes, the Rivoli, etc etc!

Of course, the estate agents offices down there call themselves Brockley branches, don't they!

And there's Deptford Town Hall on the New Cross Road. Interesting!

Pete said...

I live in Ladywell and think it is quite a strange area. Is it just me or is it only about three streets?

Anonymous said...

Yall just trying to be posh. I grew up in brockley. I far as im concerned it the pubs that you use as landmarks.You got brockley from the bottom of Honour Oak Park road turn left past the Brockley Jack which includes cCofton Park area,including Crofton school manwood road. Keep going past Toads mMouth Too. Pub on corner used to be the BReakspears pub known for its drug dealings back in the day. Now Wetherspoons or somthing . Keep going on to brockly cross towards new cross. Brockley cross is literally the roundabout go left toward NUNHEAD right toward NEWCROSS deptford area . anything before that cross is brockley. that includes the conservation area towards the back of lewsham college. lets not forgert the other side of brockley which is the dreaded TURNHAM sorry peeps but thats also brockley until you hit nunhead toward peckham. i was looking a flat in Shell road area. I have always known that as Lewisham Wayw but agent tried to tell me it was expensive because it was a few road down from the consevation area. Property was small in comparision to the flats in the conservation area such as wickham road .

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the spelling mistakes before nothing to do with being brought up in Brockley LOL, just on a nights shift and tired.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that ladywell i know as part of Lewisham/ lewisham Way.

Anonymous said...

Turnham Estate

Anonymous said...

It's obviously changed over the years just as most of London has but I think the biggest change is yet to come. The real way to know is to look at the distance you live from the train station. If you live closer to Croften Park than Brockley then you live in Croften park, no matter what the old census used to say, or old geographical data. This effect is going to be compounded by Brockley being on the new East London line extension and Croften Park not.
In a couple of years Brockley's new train station will define where Brockley is. It's fortunately or unfortunatley inevitable.

Bea said...

Nick - I think you'll find the photo is of Cranfield Road (identified by the church in the top left hand corner) which runs parallel to Harefield Road. Maybe you should change the phrase to “Cranfield Road: the centre of Brockley?” ...

... not only because I live there ;-)

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