Dulwich House Detectives Day

Few other districts of London can match the quantity of records available for researching local properties as Dulwich. The Dulwich Estate is one of the largest compact estates in the metropolis, it has been managed by essentially the same charity for the last 400 years and has generated a considerable body of archives. These themes were explored in a well attended event at the Dulwich Picture Gallery on 11 October. Short talks were given by Brian Green and Ian McInnes on the development of Dulwich from the Middle Ages to the post-war estates. The two main collections of useful archives were described by Stephen Humphrey from the Southwark Local History Library and Calista Lucy from Dulwich College Archives. The information sheet summarizing these sources, which was provided on the day, has now been posted on the Society’s website.

As the last two speakers commented, although many records survived, some important series had been lost: many Camberwell ratebooks were destroyed during the last war and older records have been discarded in the past by the Dulwich Estate office. On display were some beautifully drawn eighteenth century plans in private hands that had been saved, as well as examples of relevant archives deposited in Dulwich College. Large scale Ordnance Survey maps and copies of old photographs were also exhibited. Individual leases and other documents could now be traced as a result of detailed indexing work that had been done, and an appeal was made for more volunteers to help with this work. The Dulwich Society is grateful to the Friends of the Dulwich Picture Gallery for their help in making the event such a success.

Bernard Nurse

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