Tracing the history of houses in Dulwich

The most useful general collections can be found in:

Southwark Local History Library, 211 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JA;
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
website: www.southwark.gov.uk/DiscoverSouthwark/LocalHistoryLibrary.                       
The equivalent record centre for that part of Dulwich in Lambeth is:
Lambeth Archives, Minet Library, 52 Knatchbull Road, London SE5 9QY;
tel: 020-7926-6076;                            
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
website: www.lambeth.gov.uk/services/leisure-culture    

Records generated by the Dulwich Estate can be found in Dulwich College Archive, Dulwich College, Dulwich Common, London SE21 7LD.
Tel: 0208-299-9201;
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website: www.dulwich.org.uk.                         
[access is only by prior appointment]                                        

Some records mostly after 1900 are still in The Dulwich Estate, The Old College, Gallery Road, London SE21 7AE;
tel: 020-8299-1000;
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
website: www.thedulwichestate.com.                        
[requests for information should be made to The Dulwich Estate]


Records relating to Dulwich are also held in the London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB;
tel: 020-7332-3820;
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./lma;                        
website: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/lma


For information about buildings

Maps: general large scale

Those relating to Southwark are in SLHL and Lambeth in LA unless stated.

Rocque, 5.25”: 1m, London and 10 miles round, 1741-5
Camberwell Tithe, 1837-8, c26”: 1m (copy in SLHL, Roll 56 with schedule);
Camberwell 1842, 8”: 1m (Camberwell Society reprint of Dewhirst’s map, 1971)
Stanford’s London 1862, 6”:1 mile
1868-1914, Ordnance Survey 25”: 1 mile (most sheets reprinted in Alan Godfrey series)
1869-1912, Ordnance Survey 60”: 1 mile (1894 edition for Camberwell annotated in SLHL)
1948- date, Ordnance Survey 50”: 1 mile
1939-45, LCC Bomb damage maps based on revision of 1914, 25” OS series (originals in LMA; London Topographical Society reproduction, 2005 in SLHL)

Dulwich maps
1809 Enclosure 10”: 1 m (SLHL and DCA);
1860, 1906 Manor and Estate maps in SLHL; 1806, 1852, 1876, 1886, 1893 and 1906 in DCA

Historic Photographs
c1870- (selected views); surveys c1964 and 1984-6, vertical aerial 1981 with some oblique earlier aerial photos in SLHL. Some photos of individual houses are in DCA

Street naming and numbering
London County Council, List of the streets, 1929, 1955 (and supplement to 1965); SLHL
Patrick Darby, A gazetteer of Dulwich roads and place-names (Dulwich Society, 1997, and revised edition 2009 on Dulwich Society website)

Drainage Plans
c1856- , surviving original plans and applications in SLHL (not currently indexed); [digitised copies from microfiche of plans arranged by street in Southwark Road Network Planning Section, 160 Tooley Street, SE1, but these are poor quality and lack the accompanying text]

For information about residents

Rentbooks, 17th – 19th centuries and lists of tenants 1782-1842 (with gaps) in DCA
Ratebooks 1731-1859 (with gaps, some name indexes), and 1914-64; valuation lists 1870, 1900 in SLHL. [Before houses were numbered individual properties can be difficult to identify].
Census returns: 1841-1901 (every 10 years) microfiche or film copies in SLHL; also on commercial websites eg Ancestry but most of these not searchable by address.
Directories: London suburban, 1860-1950; local for Dulwich, 1888-1928 in SLHL
Electoral registers 1832, 1913- in SLHL, 1890-1965 in LMA.

Dulwich Estate records

Manor court records 1330-1880 in DCA with some gaps and indexes; 1782-1840 in SLHL
Leases 1611- 20th century in DCA with card index by address and lessee; current leases in DE
Lease plan registers 1855-1912, 1959-64 in DCA and some individual lease plans in SLHL
Solicitors’ correspondence 17th – 19th centuries with indexes and letter books 1883-1958 in DCA  
College Governors minutes 1858-1984 in DCA and 1858-83 in SLHL; most Estate Governors minutes up to 1965 in SLHL and up to 1953 in DCA
Recent leases and architects’ plans for post-war developments in DE

FURTHER READING

John Beasley, East Dulwich: an illustrated alphabetical guide (2nd ed 2008)
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (1983)
Patrick Darby, The houses in-between: the history of houses on Dulwich Common, between Gallery Road and College Road, since 1323 (2000)
Dulwich Society booklets on houses: Belair, Bell House, Kingswood, Dulwich Corner; and the series of Newsletter/Journal articles: ‘On the street where you live’, by Ian McInnes
Brian Green, Dulwich: a history (2002)
Brian Green, Victorian and Edwardian Dulwich (1988)
Herne Hill Society, Herne Hill Heritage Trail (2003)
Jon Newman and M Copeman, Home secrets: tracing your Lambeth house history (2005)
Bernard Nurse, ‘Planning a London suburban estate: Dulwich 1882-1920’, London Journal vol 19, 1994

Compiled by Bernard Nurse, 10/2009.
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