History of Grove Park

This area was mainly woodland until the 18th century, when the trees were cut down. Many of them were burned to make charcoal, hence the name Burnt Ash for part of the area.

After the trees had been cleared Burnt Ash Farm covered much of the present Grove Park area, and the only inhabitants were a few farm labourers and their families. A smaller farm, near Somertrees Avenue, was called Grove Farm and was to give its name to Grove Park.

In the mid-nineteenth century much of the land was dug up for earth to make bricks, and large luxury houses began to be built. Grove Park station opened in 1871 and made the area an attractive one for wealthy commuters. Many more houses were built, but farming, particularly dairy farming and plant nurseries, continued.

Lewisham Council built the 44 acre Grove Park Estate between 1926 and 1929, acquiring Chinbrook Meadows for a recreation ground. Private housing was also built between the wars; the railway to central London was electrified in 1926, making the journey to central London faster and encouraging commuters to live in Grove Park. The last farmland was built on in the 1960s but private sports grounds as well as Chinbrook Meadows continue to provide open spaces.

Grove Park Hospital was built as a workhouse for the poor of Greenwich in 1902. It was taken over by the Army Service Corps in the First World War, and then became a hospital. It is now a housing estate. Some of the hospital buildings have been preserved.

See images of Grove Park

See historic maps of Grove Park