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Sydenham Hill


Sydenham Hill is a hill and an affluent locality in southeast London. It is also the name of a road which runs along the northeastern part of the ridge, forming the boundary between the London Borough of Southwark, London Borough of Bromley and the London Borough of Lewisham. The highest part of the hill is the highest point of the Boroughs of both Southwark and Lewisham, as well as being one of the highest points in the whole of London, at 367 feet (112 m).

Sydenham Hill is approximately 5.6 miles to the southeast of Charing Cross. It is also at the centre of many of south London's major shopping districts being 3.6 miles south of Lewisham, 4.6 miles northwest of Bromley and 4 miles north of Croydon.

Sydenham Hill (as well as Upper Sydenham) is located on the large Norwood Ridge formed of London Claygate beds deposits. As a result, Sydenham Hill is one of the highest points in London at 367 feet (112 m). Sydenham Hill Wood is a nine-hectare nature reserve located west of Sydenham Hill Road, along with Dulwich and Sydenham Hill Golf course. The hill was once covered by the Great North Wood which covered all of Sydenham, Norwood, Woodside, Gipsy Hill etc.

The hill was once covered by the Great North Wood. In the 19th Century Sydenham Hill became a fashionable area, with large a number of large residential properties built along Sydenham Hill, including Grange Court (1861), The Wood (1840), Dilkhoosh (now Fountain House) (1864), Highfield (1855), The Cedars (1894), Sydenham Hill House (1898), Dulwich Wood House (1858), Beltwood House (1851) and Castlebar (1879). In 1854, the areas importance was increased after the Crystal Palace was relocated from Hyde Park and re-erected on the southwestern end of the ridge.

In 1863, the Chatham Main Line was opened by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, bringing the railway to Sydenham Hill. Construction involved building a 1.2 mile (1,958 meter) tunnel through the hill, starting at College Road, going under Sydenham, and ending below the Brighton Main Line at Penge. 19 years later in 1884, another line was opened, this time to serve the Crystal Palace. The line had a new station at Upper Sydenham on the southern edge of the ridge, with direct trains to London Victoria via Peckham Rye. However, the line was poorly used, and the destruction of the Crystal Palace made the situation worse, despite the rapid growth of the area. The railway line finally closed in 1954 leaving an abandoned tunnel within the Sydenham Hill Woods.

The area is almost 100% residential and have many large homes dating from the 1800s. As of April 2015, the estimated average house price on College Road is 854,149, while on Sydenham Hill (road) the average is 437,478, with both roads having homes in the 16 million range. College Road is a private road, with a toll towards Hunts Slip Road, dating back to the 1780s. On the other side of the railway is the Kingswood Housing Estate, with the Dulwich Wood Primary, Kingsdale Foundation Schools and the Kingswood House Community Centre.

Sydenham Hill railway station is located on the private College Road, with another entrance in the Kingswood Estate. The station is served by Southeastern services to London Victoria, Herne Hill, Beckenham Junction, Bromley South and Orpington, with a frequency of every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday, 30 minutes on Sundays. Thameslink also run weekday peak-only services to St Pancras International and Bedford. Sydenham Hill is one of a handful of stations in London not to have a dedicated bus stop, with the closest being on Kingswood Drive, 0.3 miles away.

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