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We promote and encourage research into Dulwich's fascinating past and are always keen to welcome new members. We write for the Society’s publications, give talks and guide local walks. We curate exhibitions, produce information boards and contribute to celebrations such as the Dulwich Festival.
Contact: Ian McInnes,
A blue plaque is a historical marker installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that place and a famous person, event, or building on the site. Blue plaques can be part of the official scheme administered by English Heritage or part of schemes administered by organisations like Southwark Council. Dulwich has blue plaques commemorating one building and the people listed below. Many of the people involved are detailed in our 'Who Was Who in Dulwich'. We have a Google map showing the locations of the blue plaques in Dulwich.
John Logie Baird (1888-1946)
3 Crescent Wood Road, SE26 6RT
Inventor, electrical engineer, and television pioneer
Annie Besant (1847–1933)
39 Colby Road, SE19 1HA
Social reformer, writer and philanthropist
Duncan Bowie has generously made his new book, Two Hundred Years of Dulwich Radicalism available in pdf form here: (PDF). Hard copies are available from local Dulwich bookshops or from the Society at
We research the architectural and social history of streets in Dulwich and have included a list of architects whose work appears in Dulwich.
- Acacia Grove - social history
- Acacia Grove - architectural history
- Alleyn Park
- Allison Grove
- Boxall Road
- Calton Avenue - social history
- Calton Avenue - architectural history
- Calton Avenue - St Barnabas
- Carver Road
- Champion Hill
- College Gardens (old)
- College Gardens (new)
The notable residents included in this list meet the following criteria:
- they made a contribution to national life;
- are known outside their work and local area; and
- lived or worked in Dulwich for a reasonable time (and not just attended a local school).
Dulwich is taken broadly as the Dulwich Estate and its immediate neighbourhood, including the Southwark side of Herne Hill, East Dulwich as far as Barry Road and Sydenham next to the Estate boundary. Please also see Duncan Bowie's pen portraits of Dulwich radicals here (PDF).
Dulwich has lost many grand houses with distinguished residents. Here are just a few:
- 7 Allison Grove, Dulwich Common
- Adon Mount, East Dulwich
- Bessemer House and The Grange, Denmark Hill
- Breakspeare House, College Road
- Carlton House, Herne Hill
- Casino or Casina House, North Dulwich
- The Elms, Dulwich Common
- Dulwich Hill House
- Dulwich Upper Woods
- Friern Manor Farm estate
Our online Local History talks started in January 2021 and are a huge success. They reach a growing number of members, other Dulwich residents and even people further afield as we have had online attendees from Europe and the US. Feedback on the talks is always excellent and over 1,500 tickets have been sold, meaning that something like 3,000 people have attended, as many ticket holders watch with someone else. And this doesn’t include the people who watch the recordings on YouTube afterwards, who number over 1,000 so far.
A selection of resources covering Dulwich during the two world wars.
World War One
- World War One Interactive Map: A joint venture by the Dulwich Society, Herne Hill Society and the Friends of West Norwood Cemetery commemorates the centenary of WW1 in an online interactive map. The map features locations in Herne Hill, Dulwich and Norwood and illuminates the contribution the area made to the war effort as well as the war’s impact on the lives of local people.
On the Street Where You Live, our online Local History talks, started in January 2021 are available on our YouTube channel and also on Bell House's YouTube, as they host the talks for us. They are illustrated with fascinating images of Dulwich's past and full of interesting information about our corner of the world. The talks are researched and given by members of our local history group, who take no payment, meaning ticket sales go to local charities. The talks last just under an hour.
Before 1850 Dulwich was a small village in the centre of a valley with large houses built mostly in the previous hundred years in the best positions on the slopes. The impetus for development in the mid-Victorian period came with the expansion of London, the building of the railways and the reform of the charity, Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift, which owned most of Dulwich. Edward Alleyn (1566-1626) was an early modern actor and playhouse owner.
2016 marked the 400th anniversary of the historic Burial Ground at the heart of Dulwich Village. Originally planned by Edward Alleyn (1566-1626), early modern actor and playhouse owner, Lord of the manor of Dulwich from 1606 as part of his charity, Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift, which included Dulwich schools and alms houses, it was consecrated by the then Archbishop of Canterbury on 1 September 2016 following a service at Christ Chapel earlier in the morning.
As part of former Southwark Local Studies librarian Mary Boast's legacy, the Dulwich Society has collaborated with the Dulwich College Archives in making the historic Dulwich Estate maps available on line. The estate extends from Denmark Hill to Crystal Palace, and Herne Hill to Lordship Lane. Dating from 1852 through to the 1932 they give a fascinating picture of the Estate's development over the last one hundred plus years.
Dulwich is rich in historical resources such as old maps, plans and photographs and you can trace the history of the area over time, using the census, electoral registers and other archive material. Here are some good places to start:
Southwark Archives, 211 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JA
tel: 020 7525 0232
website: Southwark Archives