A Ladywell Walk

Route & what to see


A circular walk featuring the Waterlink Way, Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery and Hilly Fields. Also included are buildings from the Lewisham Workhouse (now University Hospital) and Bermondsey Institution. Instructions are given from Ladywell Station but Crofton Park is on the route. The distance is 3.5 miles plus the cemetery circuit.

On exiting the station go up to Ladywell Road and turn right
The bridge over the railway marks the site of the Holy Well or Well of Our Lady. This was in existance in 1472 and ran dry in 1855. St Mary's Centre was built in 1891 and extended in 1988. The former Ladywell Baths were opened in 1884 and last used in the 1960s. The houses opposite date to 1857 when Ladywell Station was built. The Coroner's Court was constructed in 1894 and the former police station in 1899. On the opposite corner Ladywell House was the vicarage built in 1693 for Dean George Stanhope. It was extended in 1881 and 1895 and has a fine garden. It was converted to office use in 1981.

Right into the High Street
The former fire station was built in 1898 and used until 1968. The Hire Shop opposite includes a building of 1791. Next door is a house of 1876 and HE Olby occupy premises from the 1930s. The shops adjacent were originally houses of c1700. The parish church of St Mary the Virgin was rebuilt in 1777 by George Gibson retaining the late 15th century tower to which another storey was added. The chancel was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield in 1881. St Mary's School includes the original National School of 1833 and extensions of 1860 including a teacher's house. Colfe's Almshouses, which were on a site now occupied by the Registry Office, were replaced by Colfe & Hatcliffe Glebe in 1952. Alongside is the only remaining house from the Lewisham Park development of the 1850/60s. The former Lewisham Library (1901-1994) is now the hospital's education centre. The grassed areas between the road and the pavement indicate the course of a tributary of the River Ravensbourne. They are planted with a number of trees including some walnut and there is an old pump. University Hospital Lewisham incorporates buildings from the former Lewisham Workhouse. The Children's Outpatients building was built as the doctors' quarters of the infirmary in 1895. Further along the Waterloo block is the oldest part of the workhouse, constructed in 1817. It was extended in the 1880s and a separate infirmary for inmates and others was built in the 1890s. During WWI it became a military hospital although there was some workhouse use until 1929.

Return to the entrance between the car parks and follow signs to RIVERSIDE.
This is the newest section of the hospital. Alongside is an open area with a glass sculpture representing the Lady Well.

Cross the bridge into Ladywell Fields.
These former water meadows were purchased in 1889 to serve as a public park. They have been re-landscaped to incorporate the River Ravensbourne in a more natural setting.

Follow the riverside path (Waterlink Way) to the left. Beyond the children's playground use the footbridge to cross the railway. Take the path to the right, signposted to John Evelyn Education Centre.
This occupies the dining hall of the former Bermondsey Institution, built for the aged and infirm in 1897-1900. The administration block and superintendant's house either side are now residential. Behind is a water tower. The institution served as a military hospital in WWI and was taken over by the LCC in 1930.

Return to and continue along the riverside path with the river to your right. The path goes under another railway and over the river. Leave the riverside path and go along the edge of the field. Go right at Ewhurst Road and right along Manwood Road. At the end cross Brockley Grove into Marnock Road.
Crofton Park Station was opened in 1892 on the London, Chatham & Dover Railway.

Right into Brockley Road
The Rivoli Ballroom opposite was originally a cinema, built in 1913 and extended in 1924. Crofton Park Library was opened in 1905.

Continue along Brockley Road and enter Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery at the corner of Ivy Road
This was originally two cemeteries both opened in 1858, Deptford now Brockley and Lewisham, now Ladywell. The dividing wall between them has been removed. There are many tombs and memorials of interest and it is a haven for wildlife.

When you have explored the area exit by the same gate and continue along Brockley Road. Right into Adelaide Avenue.
The houses of St Margaret's Square on the right were built around 1886.

At the junction with Montague Avenue take the path going up across Hilly Fields
This became a park in 1896 to save the area from development. There is an area of managed meadow to the right. The school was built in 1885 and has since been extended.

Continue between the playground and the tennis courts
The elevated position gives fine views.

Leave the park by the path signposted to Ladywell Station.
A stone circle which acts as a sundial was constructed for the Millennium.

Exit the park and go right down Vicars Hill
There are some attractive late Victorian houses.

Right around Gillian Street.
The Ladywell Tavern was built c1846 and altered c1895.

Cross Ladywell Road into Slagrove Place.
Here are additional remains of the workhouse opened by Bermondsey (St Olaves) Union. These comprise the gateway, porter's lodge and stable block. The Slagrove estate of 1995 replaced the nursery block.

Return and go right at Ladywell Road
Numbers 74, 76 & 78 date to the 1830s.


Discover Deptford & Lewisham by Darrell Spurgeon
Historic images [
Crofton Park Station [
Bermondsey Workhouse information [
Lewisham Workhouse information [
Friends of Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery [
Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery map (95KB) [
click here]
Hilly Fields Map [
click here]


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