Route & what to see

site map london-footprints.co.uk

Edward Alleyn, an actor and contemporary of Shakespeare, made a fortune as a theatrical entrepreneur which enabled him to buy the Manor of Dulwich. He had built a chapel, school and almshouses and dying childless in 1626 bequethed the manor to these establishments. The control held by the Estates Governors has enabled the village to remain largely unspoilt.

This 2 mile walk is circular from West Dulwich Station. You could also join it from North Dulwich Station. The route passes the cafe in Dulwich Park. Picnic in the park or the pleasant grounds of the Gallery. Dulwich Picture Gallery is closed on Mondays.

From the station cross the road and enter Belair Park by the tennis courts. Head to the right towards the children's playground then continue across to the house.
This was built in 1785 and remained a private house until 1938.

Go to the front of the house, exit onto Gallery Road and go left along this for a short distance. Take the signposted footpath on the right to College Road.
Opposite is Pickwick Cottage. According to Dickens, Mr Pickwick retired to Dulwich.

Go left along College Road.
On the right hand side is Bell House of 1767 which could raise the alarm in case of fire.

Enter Dulwich Picture Gallery by the main gates on the left.
This is England's oldest public art gallery designed by John Soane in 1811. It has undergone a major refurbishment.

Walk around the building to the left
From the rear is a view of the mausoleum. The roof of this inspired Gilbert Scott when he designed the telephone kiosk. An example of a K2 with original fittings is displayed in the grounds.

Exit into Gallery Road. Go to the right and into the grounds of Dulwich College to the right.
This was founded by the actor Edward Alleyn in 1616. A statue of Alleyn was erected in 2005. The chapel is in the centre with the almshouses to the left and the former school, now offices for Dulwich College Estates, to the right.

Take the path to the main entrance gates.
Ahead is a traffic island with a milestone, fingerpost & fountain. The fountain is a memorial to Dr George Webster, founder of the first BMA, who worked in Dulwich from 1815 until his death in 1875. To the left is the Old Grammar School built by Sir Charles Barry in 1842 for sixty boys.

Continue ahead along Dulwich Village.
There are attractive 18th century houses on the right hand side. The grassed areas with posts and rails are remnants of common land. The Crown & Greyhound is a Heritage Inn, replacing two older establishments and opposite are small shops. Further along the burial ground was a gift of Edward Alleyn and was the burial place of Dulwich's 35 plague victims.

Go right up Calton Avenue.
The Gallery Bookshop is on the site of a forge. Note the stone in the adjacent railed area which came from a small prison located nearby. Further up is St Barnabas Church built in 1996 to replace a Victorian church which was burnt down in 1992. Beyond the church is a view of Alleyn's School which replaced the Old Grammar School.

Return down Calton Avenue going right into Gilkes Crescent and left along Gilkes Place. Cross the road by the Parish Hall.
Dulwich Hamlet School has attractive brick and tile work.

Turn right at Turney Road and first left into Boxall Road.
Park Motors premises would have been coachworks/wheelwrights in the past. The post office was formerly a butchers with a slaughterhouse behind.

Go to the right back along Dulwich Village. Opposite the Picture Gallery go into Dulwich Park.
Dulwich College Estates gave the 'Five Fields' to be laid out as a public park, opened in 1890.

Walk towards the lake and go anti-clockwise around this to the cafe.
Adjacent is a Dry Garden.

From the cafe take the path going south to exit into Dulwich Common and go right along this road. At the lights go left into College Road. Detour to the left to view Pond Cottages.
The pond was dug to provide clay and the cottages had kilns producing tiles, bricks & chinmney pots. A windmill stood opposite until 1815.

Return to College Road.
Opposite is the main frontage of Dulwich College. This was built in 1870 by Charles Barry jnr and financed from the sale of land to the railway companies.

Return to the lights and go left along Dulwich Common.
The buildings of Dulwich College (School) are on the left. On the right is the Blew House which Alleyn owned and left to benefit the poor (rebuilt in 1776).

Continue along Thurlow Park Road back to West Dulwich Station.

london-footprints.co.uk 2007

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