|DULWICH VILLAGE & WOODS
Route & what to see
Edward Alleyn, an actor and contemporary of Shakespeare, made a fortune as a theatrical entrepreneur which enabled him to buy the Manor of Dulwich. He had built a chapel, school and almshouses and dying childless in 1626 bequethed the manor to these establishments. The control held by the Estates Governors has enabled the village to remain largely unspoilt. Dulwich Village walks are fairly standard but make a point of visiting St Barnabas Church and Kingswood on the longer walk. Stout footwear recommended. It is quite a climb up Low Cross Wood Lane!
This 5 mile walk is circular from Sydenham Hill Station. You could also join the route from West or North Dulwich Stations. The cafe in Dulwich Park is about halfway or picnic in the pleasant grounds of the Gallery. Dulwich Picture Gallery is closed on Mondays.
From the station it is worth
taking a diversion to view Kingswood House. To do so go right
along College Road, first right into Kingswood Drive and across
to Seeley Drive.
When it was remodelled in the 1890s its castellated features earned it the nickname of 'Bovril Castle' as its owner manufactured the beef extract. The grounds were sold after WWII and used to build housing. The house itself is used for meetings etc and houses a public library which can be viewed when open.
Retrace your steps past St
Stephen's church and go through the white gate opposite the
This lane is quite a long climb through Dulwich Woods (part of the Great North Wood) and brings you out at the Dulwich Wood House PH.
Go left along Crescent Wood
There is a blue plaque to Logie Baird at number 3 - the altitude was probably good for TV reception!
To the left follow
Peckarman's Wood around.
Depending on the weather and trees you can view some London landmarks from here.
Where the road emerges go
into Sydenham Hill Wood to the left.
This is managed by the London Wildlife Trust.
Take the path to the left
which goes over and then down to the former railway track and
Option 1: Follow the track bed until you come to a pond on the right. At this point go to the right to join the upper path and go left along this. Go down to the bridge across the railway.
Option 2: Follow the track bed and at the end go up to the left. Go right to the bridge across the railway.
It was from here that the French Impressionist Camille Pissarro painted Lordship Lane Station (Courtauld Collection).
From the bridge go down
Cox's Walk with the golf course on your left.
The path was constructed in the early 18th century by the publican of the Green Man (now Harvester). The golf course was laid out on former farm fields.
At the bottom cross with
care and go left along Dulwich Common. Take the entrance on the
right into Dulwich Park. Cross the horse track, go a little
forward then left along the central path to the cafe.
Dulwich College Estates gave the 'Five Fields' to be laid out as a public park, opened in 1890.
From the cafe go clockwise
part of the way around the lake (crossing by boardwalk) then go
to the left to exit at College Gate. Go right along Dulwich
There are attractive 18th century houses on the right hand side. The grassed areas with posts and rails are remnants of common land. The Crown & Greyhound is a Heritage Inn, replacing two older establishments and opposite are small shops. Further along the burial ground was a gift of Edward Alleyn and was the burial place of Dulwich's 35 plague victims.
Go right up Calton Avenue.
The Gallery Bookshop is on the site of a forge. Note the stone in a railed area adjacent to this which came from a small prison located nearby. Further along is St Barnabas Church built in 1996 to replace a Victorian church which was burnt down in 1992. Beyond the church is a view of Alleyn's School.
Return down Calton Avenue
going right into Gilkes Crescent and left along Gilkes Place.
Cross the road by the Parish Hall.
Dulwich Hamlet School has attractive brick and tile work.
Turn right at Turney Road
and first left into Boxall Road.
Park Motors premises would have been coachworks/wheelwrights in the past. The post office was formerly a butcher's with a slaughterhouse behind.
Go to the right back along
To the right is the Old Grammar School built by Sir Charles Barry in 1842 for sixty boys. Opposite is a traffic island with a milestone, fingerpost & fountain. The fountain is a memorial to Dr George Webster, founder of the first BMA, who worked in Dulwich from 1815 until his death in 1875.
Enter Dulwich College
through the Gates opposite the island.
This was founded by the actor Edward Alleyn in 1616. A statue to alleyn was erected in 2005.The chapel is straight ahead, the almshouses to the left and the former school, now offices for Dulwich College Estates, to the right.
Exit alongside these and go
left to the Gallery.
This is England's oldest public art gallery designed by John Soane in 1811. It has undergone a major refurbishment.
Walk through the grounds,
exit at the main gate into College Road and go right along this
On the left hand side is Bell House of 1767 which could raise the alarm in case of fire and Pickwick Cottage.
According to Dickens, Mr Pickwick retired to Dulwich.
Opposite Pickwick Cottage
take the signposted footpath back to Gallery Road. Go to the left
and then enter the grounds of Belair (Restaurant) on the right.
The house was built in 1785 and remained a private house until 1938.
Go to the left of the house
then continue on the path across the park and through the car
park. Exit and cross Gallery Road into Dulwich Common then go
left along this road.
On the left is the Blew House which Alleyn owned and left to benefit the poor (rebuilt in 1776). The buildings of Dulwich College (School) are on the right.
At the lights cross to the
pond and go right along College Road. Detour to the left to view
The pond was dug to provide clay and the cottages had kilns producing tiles, bricks & chimney pots. A windmill stood opposite until 1815.
Return to College Road.
Opposite is the main frontage of Dulwich College. This was built in 1870 by Charles Barry jnr and financed from the sale of land to the railway companies.
Continue to the left along
This takes you through London's last remaining tollgate (free to pedestrians). A board with details of the charges levied remains.
Continue along this road which goes back to Sydenham Hill Station.
© london-footprints.co.uk 2007
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