A History of Brockley - Part 4: Evolution becomes revolution

This is the fourth part of Darrell Spurgeon's history of Brockley (click on the History tag for the series).

Brockley Rise

South of Crofton Park, Brockley Road ends and becomes Brockley Rise. The northernmost part of Brockley Rise remained largely rural, even though Brockley Farm had closed in 1870, until the opening of Honor Oak Park Station, on the road called Honor Oak Park, in 1886; even then, development was slow, and much of the area was not built over until the interwar period.

The southernmost part, leading down to the South Circular Road, is more interesting; here development had started in the 1850s, and the area to the east of Brockley Rise was very different from and much grander than the area to the west.

Dominant in the western area is St Saviour’s Church, originally built 1866 but now predominantly of 1952; its exterior may be depressing, but the interior is quite delightful. To its south from the early 1850s was a planned development called West Kent Park. This area now looks very different - few of the original buildings survive, and apart from the postwar Ewart Estate, the environment is not very pleasant.

The eastern area was laid out from 1853 by the Conservative Land Society on the slope leading up to Blythe Hill Fields, with its wonderful views. The area is centred on Brockley Hill Park, now a private woodland enclave between Duncombe Hill and Lowther Hill. The roads in the area still retain a number of mid to late 19th century houses. Brockley Park is of special interest, with some later attractions – from the Edwardian period St William of York Church, and from the postwar period the first of the Lewisham social self-build schemes, as well as the well planned Brockley Park Estate.

Brockley Rise ends at Stanstead Road, part of the South Circular Road, and here one is clearly in Forest Hill.