One Tree Hill

Discussion in 'Honor Oak & Forest Hill' started by busty substances, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. I went to look at a house in Honor Oak Rise recently. What a lovely road, expensive, too expensive unfortunately, but lovely, and by accident I discovered for the first time One Tree Hill.

    I have to admit, although I vaguely knew of it I hadn't been there before. What a hidden gem! It reminded me of where I grew up and playing in the local woods down in Devon but with one of the most amazing panoramic view over the capital anywhere. There was not a single London landmark I couldn't see.

    Shame my son 2 month old son Thomas was asleep all the time we were there, even bumping over the seemingly endless steps.

    What a great local resource. And quiet too. I loved it. I can't want to take Thomas there when he's a little older and watch him climbing trees and playing hide and seek. :)
  2. Nick Barron

    Nick Barron Admin Staff Member

  3. Ravedog

    Ravedog South Eastern Guru

  4. Dullwitch

    Dullwitch Respected Local

    I noticed this morning that the church on One Tree Hill, which seems like the epicentre of Honor Oak, actually calls itself St Augustine's Forest Hill! What's that about?

    Perhaps in the interests of diversity it would be good to try and hang onto the Honor Oak name as it's less well known (even people in Clapham and Brixton don't seem to have heard of it but do know roughly where Forest Hill or Dulwich is) and might be in danger of fading out of use given the greater prominence of Forest Hill.

    Situation reminds me a bit of an article I read about Stockwell, where we lived before we moved here a few months ago. Apparently its boundaries have been shifting progressively northwards over the last 150 years - for anyone who knows the area, it started off very close to the centre of Brixton, as an area centred round Stockwell Green, but the southern parts of former Stockwell are increasingly described as Brixton or Clapham, and Stockwell is moving further and further north into the Oval and Vauxhall areas. So maybe if its not a borough, postcode area, parish etc., the main question is what most people call an area?
    Bluesman likes this.
  5. Brockley Jon

    Brockley Jon Admin Staff Member

    I'm with you about hanging on to the Honor Oak name, they should be proud of it!

    It's probably because the church has a Forest Hill postcode - Honor Oak itself does not have its own. That whole area around One Tree Hill is a bit of a discussion point in terms of what area it is in. The road that leads down to Peckham Rye is called Forest Hill Road, even though its quite far from the historic Forest Hill town centre, and has the Forest Hill Tavern on it (now, sadly, renamed The Rose). It's also on the Nunhead and East Dulwich borders too.
    Bluesman likes this.
  6. Peckham Wry

    Peckham Wry Respected Local

    Ha! There was a very similar discussion about Nunhead and Peckham here.

    Like Nunhead (sharing its SE15 postcode with bigger, better known Peckham), Honor Oak shares a postcode with its bigger neighbour Forest Hill. In fact I think HO was historically a sub-division of Forest Hill. But the roads were always named as the road to.... So where Forest Hill Road becomes Peckham Rye, it means it is the road that goes to Peckham, or if you're travelling south, it's the road to Forest Hill.

    I believe that the Camberwell Old and New cemeteries were also confusingly named when they were both within the boundaries of the old London Borough of Camberwell. You can still see the old metal boundary marker half-submerged at the top of One Tree Hill. It reads 'ERWELL'.

    The Hill is now the dividing line between Southwark and Lewisham borough boundaries.
  7. Bluesman

    Bluesman Respected Local

    Agreed, with the expception that I think that Honor Oak is actually the much older place name and that Forest Hill arrived later. Along with East Dulwich too. This means that Honor Oak is being squeezed.

    People living on Forest Hill Road (which I also took to mean that it goes towards there), were historically in an area called Honor Oak. There was also a station of that name there too and Honor Oak Park presumably comes from the name of the other station. As the Honor Oak station hasn't existed for some time and the area which it referred to tends not to be called that now (I blame the estate agents), I favour just dropping the Park bit and calling the general area Honor Oak.

    The association with Forest Hill, I think, comes mainly from the PAF (Post Office address file). As the sorting office for the area is in Forest Hill, most parts of Honor Oak (or all of it depending on your view) fall within SE23 also. The PAF has historically just assigned Forest Hill to any area name with SE23 - it helped the postie sorting mail with no postcode but really doesn't have to have any bearing on what people call the area. IMO. There are many other examples of this.

    BTW, I happen to agree with Brockley Jon - it is very sad that the Forest Hill Tavern changed its name. Also strikes me as a tad silly since the bus stop of that name provided a bit of free marketing, but hey ho its their business.
    Dullwitch and Brockley Jon like this.
  8. Michael_FH

    Michael_FH Lives for South East London

    There have been two attempts to define the Honor Oak boundaries on, specifically attempting to separate it from Forest Hill.

    I prefer the first version (which I created) but I'm not sure that it matters any more than trying to separate Telegraph Hill from New Cross or Brockley.
    Bluesman likes this.
  9. Tamsin

    Tamsin Super-South-Easter

  10. But was there ever a green space called Honor Oak Park? In the same way I often wondered if Peckham Park Road was named after a similar spot of long gone greenery?

  11. Bluesman

    Bluesman Respected Local

    Good question. I have always assumed that this referred to the space that is now One Tree Hill/Camberwell Cemetary/Honor Oak rec. Some background to this here:

    The HOP train station opened in 1886 so this makes an anecdotal connection. It would be very interesting to know what space, if any, was actually called this.

    It may have been a purely arbitrary name though. There had been a tendency before then for competing railway companies to call their stations by the same name - New Cross had this for example.
  12. Ravedog

    Ravedog South Eastern Guru

  13. Michael_FH

    Michael_FH Lives for South East London

  14. Yeah it's sometimes the fault of the rail companies why areas get misleadingly named. But I would say I hear a lot more people already refer to the area as Honor Oak than hear Honor Oak Park, in the same way that most people refer to Notting Hill but you get the odd one here and there that wrongly call the area Notting Hill Gate.

    You can see why HOP station was so called, as between 1886 and 1958 that station co-existed with Honor Oak station round the corner. There's more on the station (below) and the High Level Line here


  15. The Resurrectionist

    The Resurrectionist Proper Local

    Some people don't feel all that confident using One Tree Hill as it's quite secluded and open all night.

    Others struggle with the unbelievable incline, particularly on the Brenchley Gardens side. It would be a lot safer if Southwark council would open the cemetery gate on Brenchley Gardens, which is opposite the top of Kelvington Road, SE15, so that people could walk through the Camberwell cemetery (which is a lot more open than One Tree Hill at that point) and then through the wide open space of Honor Oak Rec.

    There could be a path created across the land that they have just cleared (where criminal waste dumping had been taking place) so that South Nunheaders could walk on the flat all the way to HOP station and take advantage of the East London Line.

    Even without the potential mugger/flasher risk of walking through One Tree Hill, it is so steep that it's simply impassable for many people - anyone except the totally fit and unencumbered. Try it with a pushchair or arthritis.

    It is supposed to be top of the local authority, London Assembly and govt agenda to increase use of public transport and walking for fitness so please, why can't this really simple thing be done, to make the East London Line accessible to a couple of thousand people living in South Nunhead (or are we calling it Nunhead Heights now?). This would of course also make the delights of South Nunhead accessible to the residents of SE23 too.
    Bluesman and Ravedog like this.
  16. Ravedog

    Ravedog South Eastern Guru

    @The Resurrectionist A 24 hours all night accessible-to-all shortcut walkway betweet HOP and S. Nunhead is long overdue. Even more so now that the overground is upon us. I think your suggestion deserve a thread of its own.
    SE15 Mick and Bluesman like this.
  17. Bluesman

    Bluesman Respected Local

    Completely agreed. The cut through the rec/cemetary and down Kelvington has served us well as a easy family cycling route to Peckham Rye Park. The only downside being that the gates get closed quite early especially at this time of year.

    Last few days, I have noticed an increasing tendency for areas on Forest Hill Road side of One Tree Hill to be referred to as Honor Oak. Opening the path would help reconnect the area. In this context, I have to agree with Dullwitch's comment about St Augustines. It could and should serve as the epicentre for the area?
  18. Bluesman

    Bluesman Respected Local

    One further thought about Honor Oak Park. Perhaps the train station was named after the road...
  19. Ravedog

    Ravedog South Eastern Guru

    I wonder if as part of HOP station north bank consolidation work such a footpath was ever considered. There is currently a gate to the newly lansdcaped land right next of HOP station.
    And perhaps to have it open all night for easier access to trains and shops for us South Nunheaders etc, a railing matching the existing ones could be erected to separate the suggested footh/cycle path to the closed after dark cemetery. Businesses in HOP high street would certainly benefit from it.
  20. SE Steve

    SE Steve Super-South-Easter

    It's possible but unlikely. What may be the case is that the road came first but was probably called Honor Oak Park Road and later shortened, in the same way that Dulwich Village was Dulwich Village Road, Dulwich Common was Dulwich Common Road and (see Stanford's 1875 map below) Peckham Rye was Peckham Rye Road.

    View attachment 598

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