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Encyclopedia
Peckham is a district in south
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

 London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England, located in the London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Southwark
The London Borough of Southwark is a London borough in south east London, England. It is directly south of the River Thames and the City of London, and forms part of Inner London.-History:...

. It is situated 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south-east of Charing Cross
Charing Cross
Charing Cross denotes the junction of Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square in central London, England. It is named after the now demolished Eleanor cross that stood there, in what was once the hamlet of Charing. The site of the cross is now occupied by an equestrian...

. The area is identified in the London Plan
London Plan
The London Plan is a planning document written by the Mayor of London, England in the United Kingdom and published by the Greater London Authority. The plan was first published in final form on 10 February 2004 and has since been amended. The current version was published in February 2008...

 as one of 35 major centres in Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

. The 2001 Census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

 found that Peckham had a population of 11,381 and the Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.- Overview :...

 estimated 19,500 residents in 2005.

Peckham is a high-crime
Crime in the United Kingdom
Crime in the United Kingdom describes acts of violent and non-violent crime that take place within the United Kingdom. Courts and police systems are separated into three sections, based on differences within the judicial system of each nation: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.Crime...

 area with high levels of gang violence, for which it has a notorious reputation, despite a £290 million regeneration
Urban renewal
Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. Renewal has had both successes and failures. Its modern incarnation began in the late 19th century in developed nations and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s – under the rubric of...

 programme in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Camberwell and Peckham, the constituency that contains Peckham, is one of the most deprived
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 in the country.

History


'Peckham' is a Saxon place name meaning the village of the River Peck
River Peck
River Peck is a small stream in London that was enclosed in 1823. Today, parts of this stream can still be seen on the west side of Peckham Rye Park.The mouth of the stream was at Deptford, where it was widened to form South Dock.-External links:...

, a small stream that ran through the district until it was enclosed in 1823. Archaeological evidence indicates earlier Roman
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 occupation in the area, although the name of this settlement is lost.

Peckham appears in Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 of 1086 as Pecheham. It was held by the Bishop of Lisieux from the Bishop of Bayeux. Its Domesday assets were: 2 hide
Hide (unit)
The hide was originally an amount of land sufficient to support a household, but later in Anglo-Saxon England became a unit used in assessing land for liability to "geld", or land tax. The geld would be collected at a stated rate per hide...

s. It had land for 1 plough
Plough
The plough or plow is a tool used in farming for initial cultivation of soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting. It has been a basic instrument for most of recorded history, and represents one of the major advances in agriculture...

, 2 acres (8,093.7 m²) of meadow
Meadow
A meadow is a field vegetated primarily by grass and other non-woody plants . The term is from Old English mædwe. In agriculture a meadow is grassland which is not grazed by domestic livestock but rather allowed to grow unchecked in order to make hay...

. It rendered £1 10s 0d (£1.50).

The manor was owned by King Henry I
Henry I of England
Henry I was the fourth son of William I of England. He succeeded his elder brother William II as King of England in 1100 and defeated his eldest brother, Robert Curthose, to become Duke of Normandy in 1106...

 who gave it to his son Robert, Earl of Gloucester. When Robert married the heiress to Camberwell
Camberwell
Camberwell is a district of south London, England, and forms part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is a built-up inner city district located southeast of Charing Cross. To the west it has a boundary with the London Borough of Lambeth.-Toponymy:...

 the two manors were united under royal ownership. King John
John of England
John , also known as John Lackland , was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death...

 probably hunted at Peckham and local anecdotes suggest that the right to an annual fair
Fair
A fair or fayre is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated carnival or funfair entertainment. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary; some last only an afternoon while others may ten weeks. ...

 was granted to celebrate a particularly good day's sport. The fair grew to be a rowdy major event lasting three weeks until its abolition in 1827.

Peckham became popular as a wealthy residential area by the 16th century and there are several claims that Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

 had local links. By the 18th century the area was a more commercial centre and attracted industrialists who wanted to avoid paying the expensive rents in central London. Peckham also boasted extensive market gardens
Market gardening
A market garden is the relatively small-scale production of fruits, vegetables and flowers as cash crops, frequently sold directly to consumers and restaurants. It is distinguishable from other types of farming by the diversity of crops grown on a small area of land, typically, from under one acre ...

 and orchard
Orchard
An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production. Orchards comprise fruit or nut-producing trees which are grown for commercial production. Orchards are also sometimes a feature of large gardens, where they serve an aesthetic as well as a productive...

s growing produce for the nearby markets of London. Local produce included melons, figs and grapes. The formal gardens of the Peckham Manor House
Manor house
A manor house is a country house that historically formed the administrative centre of a manor, the lowest unit of territorial organisation in the feudal system in Europe. The term is applied to country houses that belonged to the gentry and other grand stately homes...

, rebuilt in 1672 by Sir Thomas Bond were particularly noticeable and can be seen on the Rocque map of 1746. The manor house was sacked in 1688, as its then owner Sir Henry Bond was a Roman Catholic and staunch supporter of James II
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

. The house was finally demolished in 1797 for the formation of Peckham Hill Street, as the Shard family developed the area. Today Shard's Terrace, the block that contains Manze's Pie and Mash shop, and the western side of Peckham Hill Street represent this Georgian
Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

 planned expansion.

The village was the last stopping point for many cattle drover
Droving
Droving is the practice of moving livestock over large distances by walking them "on the hoof".Droving stock to market, usually on foot and often with the aid of dogs, has a very long history in the old world...

s taking their livestock for sale in London. The drovers stayed in the local inns (such as The Red Cow) while the cattle were safely secured overnight in holding pens. Most of the villagers were agricultural or horticultural workers but with the early growth of the suburbs an increasing number worked in the brick industry that exploited the local London Clay
London Clay
The London Clay Formation is a marine geological formation of Ypresian age which crops out in the southeast of England. The London Clay is well known for the fossils it contains. The fossils from the Lower Eocene indicate a moderately warm climate, the flora being tropical or subtropical...

.

In 1767 William Blake
William Blake
William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age...

 visited Peckham Rye
Peckham Rye
For the rail station of the same name see Peckham Rye Railway StationPeckham Rye is an open space and road in the London Borough of Southwark in London, England....

 and had a vision of an angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

 in a tree. In 1993, at the request of the Dulwich Festival, artist Stan Peskett painted a mural of Blake's vision next to the Goose Green playground in East Dulwich
East Dulwich
East Dulwich is a district of South London, England in the London Borough of Southwark. It forms the eastern one third of Dulwich, with the Dulwich Wood area, Dulwich Village and West Dulwich to its South and West making up the remaining two thirds...

.

Nineteenth century



At the beginning of the 19th century Peckham was a "small, quiet, retired village surrounded by fields". Since 1744 stagecoach
Stagecoach
A stagecoach is a type of covered wagon for passengers and goods, strongly sprung and drawn by four horses, usually four-in-hand. Widely used before the introduction of railway transport, it made regular trips between stages or stations, which were places of rest provided for stagecoach travelers...

es had travelled with an armed guard between Peckham and London to give protection from highwaymen. The rough roads constrained traffic so a branch of the Grand Surrey Canal
Grand Surrey Canal
The Grand Surrey Canal was a canal constructed in south London, England during the early 19th century. It opened to the Old Kent Road in 1807, to Camberwell in 1810, and to Peckham in 1826. Its main cargo was timber. It closed progressively from the 1940s, with all but the Greenland Dock closing in...

 was proposed as a route from the Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 to Portsmouth
Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

. The canal was built from Surrey Commercial Docks
Surrey Commercial Docks
The Surrey Commercial Docks were a large group of docks in Rotherhithe on the south bank of the Thames in South East London. The docks operated in one form or another from 1696 to 1969...

 to Peckham before the builders ran out of funds in 1826. The abbreviated canal was used to ship soft wood for construction and even though the canal was drained and backfilled in 1970 Whitten's timber merchants still stands on the site of the canal head.

In 1851 Thomas Tilling
Thomas Tilling
Thomas Tilling Ltd, later known with its subsidiary companies as the Tilling Group, was one of the two huge groups which controlled almost all the major bus operators in the United Kingdom between the wars and until nationalisation in 1948....

 started an innovative omnibus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 service from Peckham to London. Tilling's buses were the first to use pre-arranged bus stops, which helped them to run to a reliable timetable. His services expanded to cover much of London until his horses were requisitioned for the Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. G

Before Peckham Rye railway station was opened in 1865 the area had developed around two centres: north and south. In the north, housing spread out to the south of the Old Kent Road
Old Kent Road
The Old Kent Road is a road in South East London, England and forms part of Watling Street, the Roman road which ran from Dover to Holyhead. The street is famous as the equal cheapest property on the London Monopoly board and as the only one in South London....

 including Peckham New Town built on land owned by the Hill family (from whom the name Peckham Hill Street derives). In the south, large houses were built to the west of the common land called Peckham Rye and the lane that led to it.


With the arrival of the railway and the introduction of horse-drawn trams about ten years later, Peckham became accessible to artisans and clerical staff working in the City and the docks. Housing for this socio-economic group filled almost all the remaining fields except the Rye. In 1868 the vestry
Vestry
A vestry is a room in or attached to a church or synagogue in which the vestments, vessels, records, etc., are kept , and in which the clergy and choir robe or don their vestments for divine service....

 of Camberwell St Giles bought the Rye to keep it as common land
Common land
Common land is land owned collectively or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect firewood, or to cut turf for fuel...

. Responding to concerns about the dangerous overcrowding of the common on holidays the vestry bought the adjacent Homestall Farm (the last farm in the area) in 1894 and opened this as Peckham Rye Park.

With the influx of younger residents with money to spend Rye Lane became a major shopping street. Jones & Higgins opened a small shop in 1867 (on the corner of Rye Lane and Peckham High Street) that would become the best known department store in South London for many years. It closed in the 1980s. In 1870 George Gibson Bussey
George Gibson Bussey
George Gibson Bussey born in Ripon, Yorkshire, was a prolific inventor and patenter of sports and leisure equipment, including pneumatic rifles, tennis racquets, clay pigeon machines and dining furniture that converted into a billiard table....

 moved to Peckham and set up a firm described as "Firearms, Ammunition & Shooting” at the Museum Works, Rye Lane, Peckham. The Museum of Firearms was built in 1867. The Ordnance Survey Map of 1868 shows the Museum building with a rifle range at the rear extending along the side of the railway
embankment for 150 yards.

The late 19th century also saw the arrival of George Batty, a manufacturer of condiments, whose main business stood at Finsbury Pavement
Finsbury Pavement
Finsbury Pavement is a street connecting Moorgate with City Road in the London Borough of Islington. It forms a part of the A501 London Inner Ring Road, and before the introduction of the ring of steel formed a major through route to London Bridge and south London.-History:The name was formerly...

. The company's Peckham premises occupied 19 railway arches. It was acquired by the H. J. Heinz Company
H. J. Heinz Company
The H. J. Heinz Company , commonly known as Heinz and famous for its "57 Varieties" slogan and its ketchup, is an American food company with world headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Perhaps best known for its ketchup, the H.J...

 in 1905 as their first UK manufacturing base.

The southern end of Peckham was the location for the railway line that once served The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in...

 in Sydenham
Sydenham
Sydenham is an area and electoral ward in the London Borough of Lewisham; although some streets towards Crystal Palace Park, Forest Hill and Penge are outside the ward and in the London Borough of Bromley, and some streets off Sydenham Hill are in the London Borough of Southwark. Sydenham was in...

. Though the line was eventually dismantled due to the collapse of the embankment into the gardens of Marmora Road it is still possible to see large sections of it. The flats on Wood Vale and the full length of Brenchley Gardens trace its route.

Marmora
Marmara Region
The Marmara Region , with a surface area of 67.000 km², is the smallest but most densely populated of the seven geographical regions of Turkey...

, Therapia
Sariyer
Sarıyer is the northernmost district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European side of the city. With a long shore along the water, the district boasts both a beautiful coastline and a lush forest. The Sarıyer district is a huge area consisting of the villages on the European side of the Bosphorus from...

, Mundania
Mudanya
Mudanya , is a town and district of Bursa Province in the Marmara region of Turkey. It is located on the Gulf of Gemlik, part of the south coast of the Sea of Marmara. As of 1911, it was connected with Bursa by a railway and a carriage road, and with Istanbul by steamers...

 and Scutari
Üsküdar
Üsküdar is a large and densely populated municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, on the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus. It is bordered on the north by Beykoz, on the east by Ümraniye, on the southeast by Ataşehir, on the south by Kadıköy, and on the west by the Bosphorus, with the areas of Beşiktaş,...

 Roads, built in the 1880s, all derive their curious names from locations now in modern day Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, possibly from associations with the stationing of British forces there during the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

. Close by is the Aquarias Golf Club which is located over the cavernous Honor Oak Reservoir constructed between 1901 and 1909. When it was completed it was the largest brick built underground reservoir in the world and is still one of the largest in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. The reservoir now forms part of the Southern extension of the Thames Water Ring Main
Thames Water Ring Main
The Thames Water Ring Main is a major part of London's water supply infrastructure that consists of an approximately 80 km system of mostly concrete pipelines used to transfer potable water from water treatment works in the Thames and River Lee catchments to distribution within London.The...

.

Camberwell Old Cemetery
Camberwell Cemeteries
The two Camberwell cemeteries are within close proximity to one another in Honor Oak, South London, England. Both have noteworthy burials and architecture...

, on Forest Hill Road, is a later example of the ring of Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 cemeteries that were built to alleviate the overcrowding of churchyard
Churchyard
A churchyard is a patch of land adjoining or surrounding a church which is usually owned by the relevant church or local parish itself. In the Scots language or Northern English language this can also be known as a kirkyard or kirkyaird....

s that was experienced with the rapid expansion of London in the 19th century. The Stone House at its main entrance was used in the filming of Joe Orton
Joe Orton
John Kingsley Orton was an English playwright.In a short but prolific career lasting from 1964 until his death, he shocked, outraged and amused audiences with his scandalous black comedies...

's Entertaining Mr. Sloane (released 1970). It was gutted by fire in the mid-1970s
1970s
File:1970s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: US President Richard Nixon doing the V for Victory sign after his resignation from office after the Watergate scandal in 1974; Refugees aboard a US naval boat after the Fall of Saigon, leading to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975; The 1973 oil...

 and rebuilt some years later. Camberwell Old Cemetery did not have the grandeur of nearby Nunhead Cemetery
Nunhead Cemetery
Nunhead Cemetery is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries in London, England. It is perhaps the least famous and celebrated of them.. The cemetery is located in the Nunhead area of southern London and was originally known as All Saints' Cemetery. Nunhead Cemetery was consecrated in 1840 and...

, which was one of the original London necropolis'
Necropolis
A necropolis is a large cemetery or burial ground, usually including structural tombs. The word comes from the Greek νεκρόπολις - nekropolis, literally meaning "city of the dead"...

, and once nearing capacity it was replaced by Camberwell New Cemetery
Camberwell Cemeteries
The two Camberwell cemeteries are within close proximity to one another in Honor Oak, South London, England. Both have noteworthy burials and architecture...

 on Brenchley Gardens.

Brenchley Gardens Park follows the route of the old line to The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in...

 culminating at the High Level station. The park runs behind Marmora Road and the remains of the embankment then continues along Wood Vale where flats were built on it. The line was closed in 1954 following a decline in its use after the destruction of the Crystal Palace in 1936 and due to slippage in the structure of the embankment.

Twentieth century



In the 1930s George Scott Williamson and Innes Pearse opened the Pioneer Health Centre in Queens Road. They planned to conduct a large experiment into the effect of environment on health.
'The Peckham Experiment
The Peckham Experiment
The Peckham Experiment took place between 1926 and 1950, initially generated by rising public concern over the health of the working class and an increasing interest in preventative social medicine.-Commencement:...

' recruited 950 families at one shilling
Shilling
The shilling is a unit of currency used in some current and former British Commonwealth countries. The word shilling comes from scilling, an accounting term that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times where it was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere. The word is thought to derive...

 (5p) a week. The members joined something like a modern sports club with facilities for physical exercise, games, workshops and socialising with no mandatory programme. The centre moved into a purpose built modernist building by the architect Sir Owen Williams in 1935.

North Peckham was heavily redeveloped in the 1960s, consisting mainly of high-rise flats to rehouse people from dilapidated old houses. It was popular on its completion for offering a high quality and modern standing of living, but soon entered a decline that turned it into one of the worst residential areas in Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. Urban decay, vandalism, graffiti, arson attacks, robberies and muggings were commonplace, and the area became an archetypal London sink estate
Sink estate
A sink estate is a British council housing estate characterised by high levels of economic and social deprivation. Such estates are not always high crime areas although there is a strong correlation between crime rates and sink estates in large urban areas...

, particularly in the North Peckham area. As a result, the area was subjected to a £290 million regeneration programme in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After the beginning of the regeneration, the estate gained nationwide notoriety in the media when 10-year-old Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

n resident Damilola Taylor
Damilola Taylor
Damilola Taylor was a ten-year-old Nigerian schoolboy who died in the United Kingdom. Several young boys were cleared of murder charges after a lengthy trial, and later two brothers were convicted of manslaughter....

 was stabbed to death on the estate on 27 November 2000. By 2002, 90% of the redevelopment was complete. The new homes were better laid out and offered improved security, though few local people were convinced that better housing would equate to a better area. A famous Peckham gang is the Peckham Boys
Peckham Boys
The Peckham Boys, also referred to as Black Gang, are a gang based in Peckham, South London. Its members are primarily Black British.The Peckham Boys are composed of several affiliated sets...

.

In the early 1990s Peckham was a centre of underground music, partly due to a large squat in a disused, 2 floor DHSS building in Collyer Place near Peckham High Street. The building was already known for having featured in the cover shot of a 1980s pictorial biography of 1960s' mods, featuring them on their customised scooters outside the then Camberwell Labour Exchange. In 1989 the squatters adopted the name Dole House Crew and along with another local group of squatters called the "Green Circus", held regular gigs/parties in the building. Upstairs was a large live gig room and downstairs was a rave music
Rave music
Rave music may either refer the late 1980s genre or any genre of electronic dance music that may be played at an electronic dance party such as a rave. Very rarely, the term is used to refer to less electronic related genres glam, powerpop, psychedelic rock and dub music parties...

 DJ set up. There were also two bars, a vegan cafe and a chill out lounge. During the week, any empty rooms were utilised for bands or artists. Some notable bands who regularly played gigs at the Dole House were: The Levellers, Citizen Fish
Citizen Fish
Citizen Fish is a ska punk band that has been together since 1990. The band often makes strong social and political statements, dealing with themes such as anti-consumerism, vegetarianism, questioning the status quo, and encouraging people to get along with one another...

, Back To The Planet
Back To The Planet
Back To The Planet are an anarcho-punk band from London, England.-History:Back To The Planet formed while squatting together in Peckham, London in 1989, and attracted a following throughout the early 1990s. They played four consecutive Glastonbury Festivals and played many free festivals,...

, The Sea
The Sea (band)
The Sea are a rock pop band formed in Cornwall, England in 2007. The band comprises brothers Peter Chisholm and Alex Chisholm...

, The Dave Howard Singers
The Dave Howard Singers
The Dave Howard Singers is a cult Canadian alternative rock band/project originally formed in Toronto, Canada. The project is based around the talents of singer-songwriter Dave Howard and the signature sound of his Ace Tone organ...

, Primary Colours, Totentanz, and Radical Dance Faction
Radical Dance Faction
Radical Dance Faction was a band from Berkshire, England.-History:Radical Dance Faction were founded by Chris Bowsher in Hungerford in 1986, and were originally known as 'Military Surplus'. The band experienced many line up changes, with at least eighteen different people having being part of the...

. Up to 1,000 people could be squeezed into the squat and from February 1990 it was regularly filled to capacity. Those involved provided music at various free festivals in the 1990s and also assistance to the then budding Deptford
Deptford
Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...

 urban free festival (later the Fordham
Fordham
Fordham may refer to:In business:*Fordham Brewing Company, a brewing company based in Dover, Delaware*Fordham Company, a real estate development firm based in Chicago, IllinoisIn education:...

Park urban free festival). They moved on to many other South East London
South East (London sub region)
The South East is a sub-region of the London Plan corresponding to the London Boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark. The sub region was established in 2008. The south east has a population of 1,300,000 and is the location of 500,000 jobs...

 venues after the Peckham Dolehouse was evicted in late October 1990.

On the same principles, the Spike Surplus Scheme was established in 1998 on a fly-tipped, vandalised site on Consort Road. It provided rehearsal/recording facilities, health/martial arts space and a community garden. Running on a free-where-possible or donations level, the facilities were used by a wide variety of local talent. Other users were community garden permaculture groups, martial arts and various alternative therapy groups. In December 2008, the council obtained a possession order for the property and the site was evicted in early 2009. Peckham was one of the areas where riots took place during the 2011 England riots
2011 England riots
Between 6 and 10 August 2011, several London boroughs and districts of cities and towns across England suffered widespread rioting, looting and arson....

.

Regeneration



The European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 has invested heavily in the regeneration of the area; partly funding the futuristic, award-winning Peckham Library
Peckham Library
Peckham Library is a library and community building situated in Peckham in south-east London. It was designed by Alsop and Störmer and won the Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2000....

, a new town square and swathes of new housing to replace the North Peckham Estate. Throughout the area state funding is being provided to improve the housing stock and renovate the streets. This includes funding for public arts projects like the Tom Phillips
Tom Phillips (artist)
Tom Phillips CBE R.A. is an English artist. He was born in London, where he continues to work. He is a painter, printmaker and collagist.-Life:...

 mosaics on the wall of the Peckham Experiment restaurant and the South London Gallery
South London Gallery
South London Gallery, founded 1891, often known by the acronym SLG, is a public-funded gallery of contemporary art in Camberwell, London - exhibiting artists included Alfredo Jaar, Ryan Gander and Chris Burden...

.

The main shopping street is Rye Lane and the large Peckham Rye
Peckham Rye
For the rail station of the same name see Peckham Rye Railway StationPeckham Rye is an open space and road in the London Borough of Southwark in London, England....

 Park is nearby.

The oldest surviving building in Peckham is 2 Wood's Road, built in 1690.

Culture and identity


Peckham has never been an administrative district, or a single ecclesiastical parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 in its own right, but it developed a strong sense of identity in the 19th century when Rye Lane was one of the most important shopping streets in South London
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

. The area is identified in the London Plan
London Plan
The London Plan is a planning document written by the Mayor of London, England in the United Kingdom and published by the Greater London Authority. The plan was first published in final form on 10 February 2004 and has since been amended. The current version was published in February 2008...

 as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.

The area known as Peckham covers a large area of South London and takes in many diverse communities. A traditional London working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 community now coexists with communities that have their origins in Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. As well as these communities there has been a steady gentrification
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 of some of the areas to the south of Peckham and this has meant an influx of cafés, wine bar
Wine bar
A wine bar is a tavern-like business focusing on selling wine, rather than liquor or beer. A typical feature of many wine bars is a wide selection of wines available by the glass. Some wine bars are profiled on wines of a certain type of origin, such as Italian wine or Champagne...

s, niche shops and artists' studios.

Ethnicity


Peckham is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the UK. These are the statistics for the ethnic groups in the Peckham ward according to the 2001 Census. This ward is about one fifth of the place called Peckham, and not representative of the ethnic and cultural distribution in the other 4 wards.
  • Black African - 35.67%
  • White British - 25.73%
  • Black Caribbean - 15.45%
  • Other White - 4.58%
  • Other Black - 3.58%
  • Chinese - 3.51%
  • Other Asian - 2.14%
  • White Irish - 1.93%
  • Mixed White-Black Caribbean - 1.86%
  • Bangladeshi - 1.25%
  • Other Mixed - 1.17%
  • Mixed White-Black African - 1.08%
  • Indian - 0.69%
  • Other South Asian - 0.68%
  • Mixed White-South Asian - 0.35%
  • Pakistani - 0.33%

Peckham in fiction


The Ballad of Peckham Rye
The Ballad of Peckham Rye
The Ballad of Peckham Rye is a novel written in 1960 by the Scottish author Muriel Spark.It tells the story of a devilish Scottish migrant, Dougal Douglas, who moves to Peckham in London and wreaks havoc amongst the lives of the inhabitants...

, a 1960 novel by Muriel Spark
Muriel Spark
Dame Muriel Spark, DBE was an award-winning Scottish novelist. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945".-Early life:...

, is set in Peckham.

Peckham was the setting of the television sitcom
Situation comedy
A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, accompanied with jokes as part of the dialogue...

 Only Fools and Horses
Only Fools and Horses
Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom, created and written by John Sullivan. Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom between 1981 and 1991, with sporadic Christmas specials until 2003...

, although the series was filmed elsewhere in its run as a regular series from 1981 to 1991 as well as Christmas specials until 2003. The spin-off, Rock & Chips, was also set in Peckham in the 1960s.

The television situation comedy
Situation comedy
A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, accompanied with jokes as part of the dialogue...

 Desmond's
Desmond's
Desmond's is a British television situation comedy broadcast by Channel 4 from 1989 to 1994. The first series was shot in 1988, with the first episode broadcast in January 1989...

was made by Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 and was filmed and set in Peckham.

In 2001, the ITV drama series Bad Girls
Bad Girls (TV series)
Bad Girls is an award-winning British television drama series that was broadcast on ITV from 1999 to 2006. It is produced by Shed Productions, the company which later produced Footballers' Wives and Waterloo Road...

introduced three characters from Peckham who called themselves The Peckham Bootgang.

Peckham is the home of the main character of Dot. Robot
Dot.Robot Series
The Dot.Robot Series is a trilogy of techno-thrillers by Jason Bradbury. The series centres around the characters Jackson Farley, Brooke English, the Kojima Twins and Devlin Lear. The first novel in the trilogy was released on February 5, 2009...

 by Jason Bradbury
Jason Bradbury
Jason Bradbury is a complete tosser and children's author. His UK TV credits include a wide range of light entertainment, science and technology formats; these include The Big Breakfast, Top Gear GTI, ITV's The Web Review Show and Channel 5's The Gadget Show...


Nearest places

  • Bermondsey
    Bermondsey
    Bermondsey is an area in London on the south bank of the river Thames, and is part of the London Borough of Southwark. To the west lies Southwark, to the east Rotherhithe, and to the south, Walworth and Peckham.-Toponomy:...

  • New Cross
    New Cross
    New Cross is a district and ward of the London Borough of Lewisham, England. It is situated 4 miles south-east of Charing Cross. The ward covered by London post town and the SE 14 postcode district. New Cross is near St Johns, Telegraph Hill, Nunhead, Peckham, Brockley, Deptford and Greenwich...

  • Camberwell
    Camberwell
    Camberwell is a district of south London, England, and forms part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is a built-up inner city district located southeast of Charing Cross. To the west it has a boundary with the London Borough of Lambeth.-Toponymy:...

  • East Dulwich
    East Dulwich
    East Dulwich is a district of South London, England in the London Borough of Southwark. It forms the eastern one third of Dulwich, with the Dulwich Wood area, Dulwich Village and West Dulwich to its South and West making up the remaining two thirds...

  • Nunhead
    Nunhead
    Nunhead is a place in the London Borough of Southwark in London, England. It is an inner-city suburb located southeast of Charing Cross. It is the location of the Nunhead Cemetery. Nunhead has traditionally been a working-class area and, with the adjacent neighbourhoods, is currently going...

  • Deptford
    Deptford
    Deptford is a district of south London, England, located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is named after a ford of the River Ravensbourne, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyards.Deptford and the docks are...


Nearest railway stations

  • Peckham Rye railway station
    Peckham Rye railway station
    Peckham Rye railway station is a station on Rye Lane in the centre of the shopping district of Peckham in South London. It opened on 1 December 1865 for LC&DR trains and on 13 August 1886 for LB&SCR trains...

  • Queens Road Peckham railway station
    Queens Road Peckham railway station
    Queens Road Peckham railway station is in the London Borough of Southwark and also serves the area to the east of Peckham, in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is on the Inner South London Line between and , and trains also go to Croydon via various routes and beyond...


Further reading

  • John D Beasley, The Story of Peckham, (London: London Borough of Southwark, 1976)
  • John D Beasley, Who Was Who In Peckham (London: Chener Books, c1985)
  • H. J. Dyos, Victorian Suburb: A Study in the Growth of Camberwell (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1961)
  • Joseph Priestley, Historical Account of the Navigable Rivers, Canals and Railways of Great Britain, (Wakefield: Richard Nichols, 1831)

External links