Place:Norwood, London, England

Alt namesLower Norwoodsource: Family History Library Catalog
Upper Norwoodsource: Family History Library Catalog
Norwood-All Saints
Coordinates51.4196°N 0.0877°W
Located inLondon, England     (1889 - 1965)
Also located inSurrey, England     ( - 1889)
See alsoBromley (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering part of the area since 1965
Croydon (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering part of the area since 1965
Lambeth (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering part of the area since 1965
Southwark (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering part of the area since 1965
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

NOTE: Norwood is now commonly called Upper Norwood in order to differentiate it from West Norwood and South Norwood which are close by but in different London boroughs, and Norwood in Middlesex (now redirected to Southall).

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Upper Norwood is an neighbourhood of south-east London whose area is spread within the London Boroughs of Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth and Southwark. It is located north of Croydon.

Upper Norwood is situated along the London clay ridge known as Beulah Hill. Most housing dates from the 19th and 20th centuries, with large detached properties along the ridge and smaller, semi-detached and terraced dwellings on the slopes. There are some more modern areas of social housing that date from the 1970s. The hill offers panoramic views northward to central London and southward to central Croydon and the North Downs.

The area is one of the highest in the London area and for centuries was occupied by the Great North Wood, an extensive area of natural oak forest which formed a wilderness close to the southern edge of the ever-expanding city of London. The name 'Norwood' comes from a contraction of the 'North Wood'. Local legend has it that Sir Francis Drake's ship, The Golden Hind, had its timbers cut from trees in this area. The forest was a popular area for Londoners' recreation right up to the nineteenth century when it began to be built over. It was also a haunt of Gypsies with many local street names and pubs recording the link, notably Gipsy Hill. The area still retains large amounts of woodland for an urban situation.

The Crystal Palace was rebuilt nearby on Sydenham Hill in 1854, following its success at the great exhibition in Hyde Park. It was destroyed in a spectacular fire in 1936. The importance of this building led to the area immediately around the Crystal Palace becoming known as Crystal Palace. The most easterly district of Upper Norwood is now also known as Crystal Palace and is the commercial hub of Upper Norwood - the 'Triangle'. The most westerly district is also known as Crown Point. The central district was once known as Norwood New Town but this is only seen on older maps.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Norwood from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"NORWOOD, a sub-metropolitan tract in Lambeth and Croydon parishes. Surrey; extending along the N Eborder of the county, from the outskirts of the metropolis in the vicinity of Brixton and Dulwich, 4½ miles south-south-eastward, to the vicinity of Croydon. It is divided into Lower Norwood in the N, Upper Norwood in the middle, and South Norwood in the S; it contains three villages of the same names as the three divisions; it includes, on the E border, the Crystal palace and park; itis traversed by the West end, Crystal palace, and Croydon railway, and has stations on it at Lower Norwood, Gipsy Hill, the Crystal palace, and South Norwood, the last of which bears the name of Norwood Junction; it has post-offices‡ of Norwood-Crownhill, Lower Norwood, Lower Norwood-High-street, South Norwood, Anerley-Road, and Westow Hill, all under London S; and it contains several large hotels, many well-built detached houses, numerous villas, and not a few mansions. It took its name from a wood, famous for oaks; it was, from an early period, a favourite haunt of gipsies, who infestedit on account of its woody retreats and of its vicinity to London; it continues still to be finely wooded, not in the forest manner, but ornately and picturesquely; it has atumulated and hilly surface, rising in some parts to a height of more than 300 feet; it abounds in charming close scenes, and includes stand-points commanding extensive and charming prospects; and it enjoys a healthy climate, and is altogether an attractive suburban region. A hotel, called the Norwood hotel, stands very pleasantlyon the crown of a hill, near the Crystal palace. The Norwood or South Metropolitan cemetery lies in Lower Norwood, occupies about 40 acres, and displays much taste and beauty. Two potteries, for the manufacture of red earthenware, are at Lower Norwood and South Norwood. Three chapelries, called Norwood, St. Luke, Norwood-All Saints, and Norwood, St. Mark, were formed respectively in 1824 in Lower Norwood, in 1845 in Upper Norwood, and in 1859 in South Norwood; and will be separately noticed. Two other chapelries are Gipsy Hill and Tulse Hill. A church for another chapelry, called Norwood, St. Paul, was built in 1866 in Anerley-road; was preceded, for the use of its congregation, by a temporary iron-church in Hamlet-road; is in the early French pointed style, of brick with various stone-dressings; consists of nave, aisles, transept, and apse, with vestry and tower; and cost £5, 200. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, and Wesleyans; several national and British schools; a pauper school, in Upper Park-road, for Lambeth parish; the Westmoreland Society's school, at Tulse Hill; and a Roman Catholic convent on the ground formerly occupied by the Parkhotel."

Greater London Research Tips

A reminder that Greater London was formed in 1965 and covers a much greater territory than the County of London formed in 1900. The City of London is only a part of the County of London. A map of the boroughs of Greater London is reproduced on all Greater London borough pages. A map of the boroughs of the County of London is reproduced on all County of London borough pages.

Researching ancestors in London will probably be more successful than researching ancestors in the rest of England, particularly for the period before 1837 and the advent of civil registration. Baptisms, marriages and burials are available online for County of London parishes, and possibly for parishes throughout Greater London as well.

  • Anglican Parishes in London is a wiki here on WeRelate listing the places of worship of the established church throughout London. The churches are grouped within the post-1965 boroughs and for each is the street address, a link to the Booth Map (inner boroughs only), the time span for which the database AIM25 holds records, the FamilySearch Wiki link (see below), the Wikipedia link, and further notes. This is a work-in-progress and not all churches are listed as yet, but it is a guide to a great deal more information on those for which information has been gathered.
  • The London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB) holds records relating to the whole of Greater London. Ancestry (subscription necessary) has produced transcriptions and provides images of lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials in churches across Greater London. Many of these lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century; some start even earlier.


  • A street-by-street map of London (both sides of the Thames, and stretching from Limehouse and Stepney in the east to Hyde Park and Kensington in the west) drawn by Edward Mogg in 1806. Blows up to a very readable level.
  • Ordnance Survey map of London 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing London parishes just after the reorganization of 1899. The map was originally drawn over a street map at a scale of 1 inch to the mile and can be blown up to inspect a single borough.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Middlesex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Middlesex parishes just after the reorganization of 1899 when much of the former area of Middlesex had been transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Surrey 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Surrey parishes (chiefly Southwark) just after the reorganization of 1899 when the most urban parts of Surrey were transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Kent 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Kent parishes just after the reorganization of 1899 when the western part of Kent had been transferred into London.

Registration Districts

  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, are lists of the registration districts used for civil registration (births, marriages and deaths, as well as the censuses). There are linked supporting lists of the parishes which made up each registration district, the dates of formation and abolition of the districts, the General Register Office numbers, and the local archive-holding place. This work has been carried out by Brett Langston under the agency of GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) and UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths & Censuses on the Internet. The names of the individual registration districts are "places" within WeRelate and can be used where the only information has been obtained from UKBMD.


  • Deceased Online includes four of the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries (Brompton, Highgate, Kensal Green, and Nunhead) in its inventory of 65 London cemeteries. Transcripts for Abney Park are free with registration online at Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has "London, England, City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Registers, 1841-1966". That leaves West Norwood without comprehensive online access to burial records. (Deceased Online and Ancestry may have increased their provision since this was written in 2016.)

Other online sources

  • See the FamilySearch Wiki under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (The list from GENUKI is not maintained so well that there is never a dead link in it. However, it is often worth googling the title given on the page just in case the contributor has reorganized their website and GENUKI has not picked it up.)
  • GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
  • The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert. An e-book available online through Google, originally published by Pan Macmillan. There is a search box in the left-hand pane.
  • London Lives. A very useful free website for anyone researching their London ancestors between the years 1690-1800. This is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.
  • London Ancestor, a website belonging to one of the London family history societies, has a list of transcriptions of directories from the 18th century, listing in one case "all the squares, streets, lanes, courts, yards, alleys, &C. in and about Five Miles of the Metropolis..." In other parts of the same website are maps of various parts of 19th century London and Middlesex.
  • The proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. This website is free to use.

Surrey Research Tips


Administrative boundaries of the county of Surrey (Surrey History Centre. The centre has a website with a number of useful indexes--titheholders in various parishes, deaths at the county gaol, etc.)

Registration Districts

  • Registration Districts in Surrey from their introduction in 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.

GENUKI provisions

The website GENUKI provides a very comprehensive list of reference sources for the County of Surrey. It includes:

  • Archives and Libraries
  • Church record availability for both Surrey and the former Surrey part of Greater London
  • 19th century descriptions of the ecclesiastical parishes
  • Lists of cemeteries
  • Local family history societies
  • A list of historic maps online


  • The Victoria History of the County of Surrey is a series of three volumes available online through British History Online. The volumes were written over the past hundred or so years by a number of authors and cover various sections of Surrey. A list of the volumes and what each contains can be found under the source Victoria History of the County of Surrey. Both volumes 3 and 4 contain areas which are part of Greater London and parts of modern Surrey.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Upper Norwood. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.