Sydenham Hill is a hill and an affluent locality in southeast London. It is also the name of a road which runs along the northeastern part of the ridge, forming the boundary between the London Borough of Southwark, London Borough of Bromley and the London Borough of Lewisham. The highest part of the hill is the highest point of the Boroughs of both Southwark and Lewisham, as well as being one of the highest points in the whole of London, at 367 feet (112 m).
The road connects the A205 road in the northeast at Forest Hill with the A212 road to the southwest at Crystal Palace. Sydenham Hill railway station, Sydenham Hill Wood nature reserve and Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Golf course are located to the west and within Southwark. As well as Southwark and Lewisham, the London boroughs of Lambeth, Croydon and Bromley all have part of the hill within their jurisdiction.
Sydenham Hill is approximately 5.6 miles to the southeast of Charing Cross. It is also at the centre of many of south London's major shopping districts being 3.6 miles south of Lewisham, 4.6 miles northwest of Bromley and 4 miles north of Croydon.
Sydenham Hill (as well as Upper Sydenham) is located on the large Norwood Ridge formed of London Claygate beds deposits. As a result, Sydenham Hill is one of the highest points in London at 367 feet (112 m). Sydenham Hill Wood is a nine-hectare nature reserve located west of Sydenham Hill Road, along with Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Golf course. The hill was once covered by the Great North Wood which covered all of Sydenham, Norwood, Woodside, Gipsy Hill etc.
The hill was once covered by the Great North Wood. In the 19th Century Sydenham Hill became a fashionable area, with large a number of large residential properties built along Sydenham Hill, including Grange Court (1861), The Wood (1840), Dilkhoosh (now Fountain House) (1864), Highfield (1855), The Cedars (1894), Sydenham Hill House (1898), Dulwich Wood House (1858), Beltwood House (1851) and Castlebar (1879). In 1854, the areas importance was increased after the Crystal Palace was relocated from Hyde Park and re-erected on the southwestern end of the ridge.
In 1863, the Chatham Main Line was opened by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, bringing the railway to Sydenham Hill. Construction involved building a 1.2 mile (1,958 meter) tunnel through the hill, starting at College Road, going under Sydenham, and ending below the Brighton Main Line at Penge. 19 years later in 1884, another line was opened, this time to serve the Crystal Palace. The line had a new station at Upper Sydenham on the southern edge of the ridge, with direct trains to London Victoria via Peckham Rye. However, the line was poorly used, and the destruction of the Crystal Palace made the situation worse, despite the rapid growth of the area. The railway line finally closed in 1954 leaving an abandoned tunnel within the Sydenham Hill Woods.
The area west of the woods is widely known as Dulwich, corresponding to the postal code area (SE21), with the east side of the woods being known simply as Sydenham, or Upper Sydenham, corresponding to the SE26 postal area.
The area is almost 100% residential and have many large homes dating from the 1800s. As of April 2015, the estimated average house price on College Road is £854,149, while on Sydenham Hill (road) the average is £437,478, with both roads having homes in the £1–6 million range. College Road is a private road, with a toll towards Hunts Slip Road, dating back to the 1780s. On the other side of the railway is the Kingswood Housing Estate, with the Dulwich Wood Primary, Kingsdale Foundation Schools and the Kingswood House Community Centre.
Other roads on the hill include Crescent Wood Road, Woodhall Drive, Hitherwood Drive and Great Brownings.
Transport for London Bus routes 202, 356, 363, N63 run along the Sydenham Hill road. Routes 450 and 931 (Fridays only) serves Fountain Drive and the Kingswood Estate.
Sydenham Hill railway station is located on the private College Road, with another entrance in the Kingswood Estate. The station is served by Southeastern services to London Victoria, Herne Hill, Beckenham Junction, Bromley South and Orpington, with a frequency of every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday, 30 minutes on Sundays. Thameslink also run weekday peak-only services to St Pancras International and Bedford. Sydenham Hill is one of a handful of stations in London not to have a dedicated bus stop, with the closest being on Kingswood Drive, 0.3 miles away.
- Evans, Humphrey (28 December 2003). "Secret London: Sydenham Hill – The view from the bridge". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- "Thames Tributary Effra – Gipsy Hill". Edith's Streets. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- "Zoopla – College Road, SE21". http://www.zoopla.co.uk/home-values/london/college-road-se21/?category=residential&q=College%20Road%2C%20London%20SE21&search_source=nav&so=price&sd=desc. External link in
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|url=(help) Zoopla – College Road, SE21. Accessed 4 April 2015
- "Zoopla – Sydenham Hill". http://www.zoopla.co.uk/home-values/london/sydenham-hill-se26/?category=residential&q=Sydenham%20Hill%2C%20London%20SE26&search_source=nav. External link in
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