Place:Penge, Surrey, England

Watchers
NamePenge
TypeDistrict
Located inSurrey, England
Also located inGreater London, England    
Contained Places
District
Crystal Palace
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Penge is a suburb of South East London in the London Borough of Bromley. It borders the London Borough of Lewisham. It lies west of Bromley and north east of Croydon, and is located southeast of Charing Cross.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Penge was once a small town, which was recorded under the name Penceat in an Anglo-Saxon deed dating from 957. Most historians believe the name of the town is derived from the Celtic word Penceat which means "edge of wood" and refers to the fact that the surrounding area was once covered in a dense forest. The original Celtic words of which the name was composed referred to "pen" ("head"), as in the Welsh "pen", and "ceat" ("wood"), similar to the Welsh "coed", as in the name of the town of Pencoed in Wales.

Penge formed a part of the parish of Battersea, with the historic county boundary between Kent and Surrey forming its eastern boundary. In 1855 both parts of the parish were included in the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works, with Penge Hamlet Vestry electing six members to the Lewisham District Board of Works. The Local Government Act 1888 abolished the Metropolitan Board, with its area becoming the County of London. However the London Government Act 1899 subsequently made provision for Penge to be removed from the County of London and annexed to either Surrey or Kent. Accordingly, an Order in Council transferred the hamlet to Kent in 1900, constituting it as Penge Urban District. The urban district was abolished in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963, and its former area merged with that of other districts to form the London Borough of Bromley. With the creation of the Penge Urban District, Penge New Road (formerly the part of Beckenham Road north of Kent House Road) was renamed Penge High Street.

From 1885 the Hamlet of Penge was part of the Dulwich parliamentary constituency, which was then in Surrey, and remained in that seat until 1918 when it was transferred to the new Bromley constituency. From 1950 it was part of the Beckenham constituency. Since the 2010 general election Penge has formed part of the Lewisham West and Penge constituency.

In the Victorian era - Penge developed into a fashionable suburb because of its proximity to the relocated Crystal Palace. It became a fashionable day out to visit the Crystal Palace during the day and to take the tram down the hill to one of the 'twenty-five pubs to the square mile' or two Music Halls - The King's Hall and the Empire Theatre (later the Essoldo cinema).

By 1862 Stanford's map of London shows large homes had been constructed along Penge New Road (now Crystal Palace Park Road, Sydenham and Penge High Street), Thick Wood (now Thicket) Road and Anerley Road. This all came to an end with the notorious Penge Murders of 1877.

Historical Buildings

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
  • There are many Victorian almshouses in Penge, the oldest being the Royal Watermen's Almshouses, built around 1840 by the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the City of London for retired company Freemen and their widows. It is also known as the Free Watermen and Lightermen’s Almshouses on Beckenham Road, built 1840-1841 to designs by George Porter (architect). It is the most prominent building in Penge, Kent. In 1973, the almspeople were moved to a new site in Hastings, and the original buildings were converted into private homes.
  • The Queen Adelaide Almshouses, also known as the King William Naval Asylum, St. John’s Road, founded 1847 and built in 1848 to designs by Philip Hardwick at the request and expense of Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the widow of King William IV, to provide shelter for twelve widows or orphan daughters of naval officers. Again, the almshouses are now in private residences.[1]
  • St. John the Evangelist's Church, Penge, Beckenham Road, built 1850 to designs by Edwin Nash & J. N. Round[1]
  • Penge Congregational Church, built 1912 to designs by P. Morley Horder with passage aisles and clerestory. Shafts on large, excellently carved corbels.[1] and has a stained glass window by William Morris.
  • St Johns C.E. Primary School, was originally part of the Old Penge Chapel which opened in 1837. Early in the 1850s following the completion of St John the Evangelist, the chapel building became used entirely as a school. In 1977 the school’s site was extended and a new school building was opened in September 1978.
  • St. John's Cottages on Maple Road were built as almshouses in 1863, designed by the architect Edwin Nash. As with their predecessors, the cottages are now privately owned homes. On New Years Day 1959 No.8 was destroyed by a gas explosion killing one person. The cottage was rebuilt to closely resemble the original.
  • The Police Station at the corner of the High Street and Green Lane is believed to be London's oldest working police station but has been scheduled for closure since 21 January 2010. Now closed and sold for use by a private company. (June 2010).
  • When completed in 1956 the Crystal Palace Transmitter was the tallest structure in the UK, a record it lost to the Anglia Television transmitter in 1959. It remained the tallest structure in the London area until 1991.
  • The London and Croydon Canal was built across Penge Common along what is now the line of the railway through Penge West railway station, deviating to the south before Anerley railway station. There is a remnant at the northern corner of Betts Park, Anerley.
  • Following the closure of the London and Croydon Canal, the London and Croydon Railway was built largely along the same course, opening in 1839. Isambard Kingdom Brunel built an atmospheric railway along this course.

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