Old and New London, A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places.Illustrated with Numerous Engravings from the Most Authentic Sources. vol 6
Sydenham, Norwood, and Streatham.
Sydenham, Norwood, and Streatham.
writes Mr. Laman Blanchard, in
Since this was written, the air remains acknowledged as salubrious as ever; but bricks and mortar have increased, and there are now or more lines of railway running through the district, and Sydenham has become a place of great resort.
Of old Sydenham was known only as a
--to which parish the greater part of it belongs-famed for its sylvan retreats; charming prospects, and, as we have stated in the preceding chapter, for its medicinal springs; but after the opening of the Croydon Railway, about the year , it grew rapidly in favour as a place of residence, and still more rapidly after the opening of the Crystal Palace, on the summit of the hill, in . There have now sprung into existence long lines of villas, detached and semidetached cottages, terraces, so-called parks, and streets.
It was about the middle of the century that the mineral waters were discovered on Sydenham Common; and they were occasionally resorted to down to comparatively recent times. Evelyn, after visiting Dulwich College, ,
The waters, according to authority, were
another writes, that they formed
whilst a asserts that the waters are
Their popularity waned with that of the other English medicinal waters, but the Wells House continued to attract as a place of summer entertainment, and it served for some time as the head-quarters of the Bowmen, till the enclosure of Sydenham Common put an end to their archery practice. The Church of St. Philip, in Wells Road, built in -, covers the site of the wells; it is a neat cruciform structure, with apsidal chancel, and was built from the designs of Mr. Edwin Nash. Mr. James Thorne, in his
tells us there is still standing a cottage in which, according to local tradition, George III. once stayed the best part of a day, whilst he drank of the waters-an escort of the Life Guards forming a cordon around the cottage.
Sydenham is of too modern a growth to have a history; but there are literary associations connected with the place, for
was written there, and its author, the [extra_illustrations.6.304.1] , is almost the only
of the place. His house is on Peak Hill, near Sydenham Station, and, it is said, remains unaltered; but the gardens upon which it looked are gone. Of Campbell, Cyrus Redding writes:--
Here, as he wrote after leaving it, the poet spent his happiest years. He came to live here in , shortly after the publication of the
The following letter, which Campbell wrote to his publisher, Archibald Constable, , may be of interest here:--
Soon after, in , Horner wrote as follows :
Doubtless the poet was perfectly happy when he got away from the excitement of the City, and settled at Sydenham.
The annual rental of Campbell's house was guineas. It consists of rooms, on each floor, the attic or upper storey of which was converted into a private study. From this elevation Campbell, however, was often compelled to descend during the summer months for change of air to the parlour; for in the upper study he felt, to use his own words, as if enclosed within a hotly seasoned pie. A small garden behind the house, with the usual domestic offices at end, completed the habitation, and furnished all the conveniences to which either the poet or his amiable wife aspired.
| Dr. Beattie, |
It was while at Sydenham that the idea was started of a poets' club. Let us give Campbell's account of the affair.
At Campbell's house there were pleasant dinners, the guests including Byron, Rogers, Moore, Cyrus Redding, and the lesser wits of the day, including Thomas Hill, the original , who lived close by. Lady Charlotte Campbell, daughter of the Duke of Argyll, a poetess, and lover of learning, became the poet's neighbour at Sydenham. She introduced her clansman to that literary which frequented the of the Princess of Wales at Blackheath. Another lady who was living at Sydenham at the time Campbell was there, was Mrs. Allsop, a daughter of Mrs. Jordan, whom Campbell was the means of bringing out on the stage.
Campbell resided here about years, and during this period wrote
but in course of time he gave up his
work for magazine management, editing, and hack writing, which perhaps redounded but little to his credit. When he undertook the editorship of the he gave up his Sydenham house, and removed to London.
Campbell's convivialities, it seems, were not confined to his house. Sir Charles Bell, in of his
describes a visit he paid to the poet here, and how, after spending the evening in-doors, he and Campbell
years before Campbell settled at Sydenham, a more unfortunate poet, Thomas Dermody, died there (), as we have already stated in our account of Lewisham Church, in abject misery, in a brickmaker's hut, at Perry Slough, now called Perry Vale, on the opposite side of the railway. The house has long since been removed.
Thomas Hill, whom we have mentioned above, was a well-known man in his day and generation. He was an eccentric drysalter in the City, who, gathering around him Horace and James Smith, John and Leigh Hunt, George Colman, Campbell, Theodore Hook, Barnes, Mathews, Redding, and a knot of literary acquaintances, set up in the days of the Regency as a sort of City Maecenas. He was something of an antiquary; knew everybody, and apparently everything about everybody; and was always bustling about the offices of the newspapers and magazines. Poole, the author of , is said to have drawn that character from him. He was a sort of walking chronicle, especially where literary men and newspapers were concerned. It was once said of him that if he stood at at noonday, he would tell the name and business of everybody that passed . Mathews always declared
as he was called by all who loved him, of the oldest men he knew; and a writer in the
thus speaks of him:--
Hill established the , which brought him much into connection with dramatic poets, actors, and managers. To this periodical Kirke White became a contributor; and this encouragement induced him, about the close of the year , to commit a little volume of poetry to the press. Southey, in his
refers to Mr. Hill as possessing of the most copious collections of English poetry in existence.
While living at Sydenham, Mr. Hill received his numerous visitors in magnificent style. On occasion some of the party had to walk to Dulwich to get a conveyance to town. Campbell accompanied his friends. When they separated it was with hats off and boisterous cheers,
says Cyrus Redding,
Mr. Adolphus was intimate with Hill for upwards of years, and spoke of him as looking fresh and youthful to the last. With reference to his cottage at Sydenham, Mr. Adolphus remarks:
As was to be expected, Hill's affairs soon became deranged, and he was made a bankrupt. His fine library was not sold by auction, but by private contract to Messrs. Longman and Co., and formed the ground-work of that collection of which they published a catalogue, under the title of
He died in chambers in the , at the age of , in the year , leaving a fortune of to a stray friend who used to dine with him on Sundays at Hampstead. The following burlesque epitaph on him is from the pen of Cyrus Redding:--
In the early part of the present century, in Sydenham and its environs, acres of common-land were enclosed; and now nearly the whole has been formed into streets, so that this once beautiful rural district is rapidly becoming an integral part of the great metropolis, Sydenham chapelry alone having a population of more than , and the place altogether comprises some half-dozen ecclesiastical districts. The Church of St. Bartholomew, on what was once Sydenham Common, is a roomy and commodious Gothic edifice, and was erected in . , near the Forest Hill railway station, was consecrated in , but was only recently completed by the erection of a tower and chancel; it is in the Early Decorated style of architecture. Holy , Sydenham Park, is of similar architecture, and was built in . , on Brockley
|Hill, at the north extremity of Sydenham, is a large Decorated building, and was consecrated in . St. Michael and All Angels', Lower Sydenham, serves as a chapel of ease to St. Bartholomew's. Of St. Philip's, in Wells Road, we have already spoken. Besides these places of worship, there are Free, Presbyterian, Wesleyan, and other chapels; many schools, both public and private; public halls, library and working men's institutes, local societies, and weekly newspapers.|
The most important feature in connection with Sydenham is the [extra_illustrations.6.308.1] ; we say in connection with, for, though not actually in Sydenhamthe greater part being said to be in parish --it is always considered to belong to it. It occupies the high ground to the south-west of Sydenham. The land over which the palace grounds-nearly acres in extent-stretch, falls rapidly away to the east, and from the terrace in front of the palace a prospect is obtained of surpassing beauty, over richly-wooded and undulating plains to the distant hills of Kent and Surrey. A little to the north of the palace, and overlooking the grounds, stands Rockhill, from the residence of Sir Joseph Paxton, the designer of the Crystal Palace, the Great Exhibition building of , of Chatsworth conservatory and gardens, &c.
Sir Joseph Paxton, who was originally introduced to the Duke of Devonshire by his Grace's secretary, Mr. Ridgway, of May Fair, came into his service as a gardener's lad at a week. He soon showed, however, talents which led to his advancement, and laid out the gardens at Chatsworth in a manner worthy of
Brown himself. As Mr. Mark Boyd tells us in his
Sir Joseph Paxton designed the Crystal Palace on the plan of a large conservatory which he had erected at Chatsworth, and had the satisfaction of seeing his principles of construction adopted extensively in railway stations and other large structures before his death. He sat for some years as M.P. for Coventry, through the duke's interest, and died at his house at Sydenham in .
As we have already stated, it was in that the idea of erecting the Crystal Palace near Sydenham originated. When the Government dedined to purchase the Great Exhibition building in , a few enterprising gentlemen came forward and rescued it from destruction. They purchased it, and the materials were removed to Sydenham, where it was re-erected, but with many modifications of form and detail. The original projectors had no difficulty in securing the aid of Sir Joseph Paxton as director of the park and gardens, which it was intended to unite with the palace; of Mr. Owen Jones and Mr. Digby Wyatt, as directors of the fine art department and of the decorations; and of Mr. Charles Wild, the engineer of the old building, as the engineer for the new . Sir Charles Fox and Mr. Henderson also were engaged as contractors, and they undertook to take down, remove, and re-erect the structure for . The
was then announced, with a capital of , in shares of each. The capital, however, was subsequently increased to , and before the works in the building and grounds were concluded this amount was considerably increased. years were spent in extensive and expensive preparations. The column of the main structure was raised on the . Messrs. Owen Jones and Digby Wyatt were charged with a mission to the Continent, in order to procure examples of the principal works of art in Europe. England was also searched for copies of artistic antiquities; and Sir Joseph Paxton commenced his own operations by securing for the company the extensive and celebrated collection of palms and other plants which it had taken the Messrs. Loddige, of Hackney, a century to collect. The building was formally opened on the , the Queen, the Prince Consort, the King of Portugal, and other distinguished personages, being present at the ceremony.
In several points the Crystal Palace at Sydenham differs from its predecessor in . There are transepts instead of , and the roof of the nave is arched instead of flat, being thus raised feet higher than the old nave. There are many other differences between the appearance of the old and new Crystal Palaces, but these are among the chief. As before, iron and glass are almost the only materials used in the building. The larger portion of the northern wing, including the tropical department and the Assyrian Court, was destroyed by fire on the , and has been only partially rebuilt since.
Originally the main building was feet long, while its prototype was feet; but there are
| wings and a colonnade in the new building, which make a considerable addition in the total length. These wings extend into, and, as it were, enclose the Italian garden. The nave and north and south transepts are feet wide and feet highjust the height of the transept in the building. The central transept is the feature of the new building. It is feet long (the north and south transepts being ), feet wide, and feet from the floor to the top of the ventilator --its total height, from the garden front, being feet, or feet higher than the Monument. Another difference in the construction of this building is that there is a basement storey, which was long known by the appellation of |
This basement storey, or tunnel, contains apparatus for warming the building by rows of furnaces and boilers, and an iron network forming miles of steam-pipes. There are about boilers, arranged in pairs along the tunnel at regular distances. At each extremity of the building are lofty towers. The west front of the palace abuts upon a broad roadway, formed out of Dulwich Wood; it is a light and airy facade, resembling that of the north side of the Crystal Palace in , except that it presents arched transepts to the eye instead of only . Attractive as this front of the palace is, that to the east, as seen from the gardens, is much more so. Grace and elegance are certainly combined in the outline; and when the vast edifice reflects the rays of the sun, it sends forth millions of coruscations, and forms an object of surpassing brilliance. The following lines, by a popular poet, appeared shortly after the completion of the building :
Thackeray has celebrated the building in a more comic fashion :
In the interior there is a long and lofty nave, intersected at regular distances and at right angles by [extra_illustrations.6.310.1] , and with aisles on each side, occupied by various fine art, industrial, and architectural courts, surrounded by galleries supported on light, airy, and apparently fragile columns, with an arched roof of glass, extending from north to south upwards of feet. There are galleries--in the central transept ; the is gained from the ground by flights of steps, at each end of the north and south transepts, and at each end of the centre transept; they are about feet high. This gallery is feet wide; and the landing-places, in the end transepts, feet long and feet wide, form platforms from which excellent views of the nave are obtained. The gallery of the central transept crosses the nave at an elevation of feet; and is gained by spiral staircases at each end of the transept. This gallery, as well as the , is used only as a promenade. The passage along the latter is carried through a series of ring or
girders, feet in diameter, resting upon the columns which project into the nave. There is a very fine view of the country from this gallery; and looking forward through the long vista of circular girders, diminishing gradually in the distant perspective, produces a very singular but fine effect. The view of the park and grounds from the gallery will well repay the visitor for the trouble of ascent.
Mr. Phillips informs us in his
At night the building is very effectively lighted up from above by the aid of a row of jets
|which run round it, just below the spring of the arching roof. [extra_illustrations.6.310.2] [extra_illustrations.6.310.3] [extra_illustrations.6.310.4] [extra_illustrations.6.310.5]|
It would be impossible to give within the limits of this work a detailed account of all the varied attractions of the interior of the building; and, indeed, such a task is rendered needless by the
and the Handbooks to the various Courts, which are published by the Crystal Palace Company, and obtainable in the building. A rough glance at the contents, therefore, is all that we can here pretend to take. Commencing at the southern extremity of the nave, immediately in front of the refreshment counters, is a Gothic screen, consisting of a centre and wings, in which are placed, in niches, statues of the kings and queens of England, from casts of those statues in the new Houses of Parliament; this screen was designed by Mr. Digby Wyatt. From this spot a view of the whole extent of the nave is obtained, and a beautiful view it is. Immediately in front of the spectator is a large ornamental basin, in which is displayed the Victoria Regia and other tropical aquatic plants; in the centre of the basin stands what has been not inaptly termed
which on the break--up of the Great Exhibition of became the property of the directors of the new Crystal Palace. Beyond this, the eye rests upon a long vista, varied on each side with statues, handsome glass cases, displaying various works of modern art and industry, and trees, flowers, and plants, of the tropical regions, blooming in all the brilliance of their native climes; whilst suspended from the galleries are ornamental baskets containing plants.
The Handel Festival Orchestra, which occupies the western portion of the great central transept, was originally erected for the festival in , and has been since gradually enlarged, until it reached its present pitch of size and completeness. Its diameter is double that of the dome of . At the festival concerts more than instrumental and vocal performers are accommodated within its spacious area. The arch which forms the ceiling of the vast structure- of the largest timber arches yet erected--is of the latest improvement. The organ was built by Messrs. Gray and Davison, expressly for the palace; it has rows of keys, and contains stops and pipes.
At the eastern end of the transept, facing the great orchestra, is the theatre, in which are given dramatic performances, pantomimes, &c. Close by is a concert-room capable of containing a large number of performers and listeners, and generally filled on the occasion of the popular concerts given here on Saturday afternoons.
On either side of the nave, on the floor of the palace, are the various courts above referred to, the mere mention of the names of which is sufficient to indicate their nature and character; they are the [extra_illustrations.6.310.6] , Greek, Roman, Mediaval, Renaissance, Italian, French, Ceramic, Pompeian, Bohemian, &c. A large portion of the galleries is devoted to the exhibition and sale of pictures, forming of the main centres of attraction in the building. [extra_illustrations.6.310.7] [extra_illustrations.6.310.8] [extra_illustrations.6.310.9]
Leaving the palace by the flight of granite steps from the central transept, we reach the
which extends along the whole base of the building; it is feet long and feet wide. feet lower lies the terrace garden, reached by flights of steps, and bounded on the southern side by a stone balustrade, with numerous recesses. Besides the magnificent central circular basin, throwing out a lofty , there are numerous others of an elliptic shape, profusely intermingled with statues, vases, richly-coloured flower-beds, shrubs, and trees, on which the long shadows of the projecting transepts fall. From the terrace gardens flights of stone steps, their side balustrades adorned in like manner with statuary, conduct the visitor to a garden feet lower.
A central walk, nearly ioo feet in breadth, leads from the centre of the terrace garden through the lower garden, where it divides, and, re-uniting on the other side of a basin, feet in diameter, continues on through parterres, laid out in a graceful admixture of the Italian and English styles of ornamental gardening.
The extent of the ground in which these fountains are displayed is ingeniously made to appear greater than it really is, by the skilful mode in which it has been treated. Broken ground, mounds, artificially constructed, crowned with forest trees, and groves of rich evergreen shrubs, forming tortuous alleys of perpetual verdure, and intersecting each other in the most natural manner, impart the effect of size and distance to a space that is comprised in about acres.
are amongst the most attractive objects in the gardens; but unquestionably the most prominent attraction of the grounds, irrespective of their natural beauty, is formed by the system of waterworks, which, it is said, far surpass, in their completeness and design, any other display in the world, including even those of [extra_illustrations.6.310.10] [extra_illustrations.6.310.11] [extra_illustrations.6.310.12] [extra_illustrations.6.310.13]
| Versailles. The whole system is divided into series--the upper and lower. The former comprises the basins in the Italian garden, the large central basin in the broad walk, and the smaller ones on each side of it; in all, fountains. These constitute the display on ordinary occasions. Beyond and below them is the lower series, which consist of the water temples, the cascades, and the numerous groups of fountains arranged in the large lower basins. These are usually known as the |
and are played on special and grand occasions only. The
fountains in the lower grounds are by far the largest in the world, and impart the grandest effect to the whole series. The outlines of their greatest basins are similar in design, each being feet long, with a diameter of feet. The central jet in each is - inches diameter, and reaches the extraordinary height of more than feet. Around each central jet is a column, composed of -inch jets. The force of water which presses on the mouth of these pipes is equivalent to to the square inch. When the whole is in operation, gallons of water per minute are poured forth by jets; and in single complete display, lasting half an hour, nearly gallons are consumed. The artesian well, from which the fountains are supplied with water, is well worthy of notice. It is a brick shaft, feet in diameter and feet deep. From this depth an artesian bore descends still further for feet, making the entire distance from the surface feet. A supply of water having been thus obtained, the next operation is to raise it from the bottom of the hill, where the well is situate, to a sufficient height to play the fountains. The pressure required to force the respective jets of water to heights ranging from to nearly feet is obtained in the following simple manner. Reservoirs were formed at different levels in the grounds, the highest of all being situated at the top of the hill adjoining the north end of the building; the , or intermediate reservoir, was on a level with the basin of the great central fountain; and the lower lake, at the extreme end of the grounds, formed the lower reservoir. pairs of powerful engines were then erected; contiguous to the artesian well; the at the intermediate reservoir; and a adjoining the north end of the building, close to the highest reservoir. By this system water is pumped by the lower engine to the intermediate reservoir, and from thence by another engine to the upper level, where a raises it to enormous tanks, erected on columns, and to the tanks on the top of the high towers, which play the main jets of the lower fountains. By this arrangement the water, instead of being wasted, is economised, and passing backwards and forwards from reservoir to the other, is used again and again; the intermediate reservoir collecting it after a display of the upper series, and the lowest forming a similar receptacle when a display of the large fountains takes place. [extra_illustrations.6.311.1]
Passing round the margin of the [extra_illustrations.6.311.2] , and crossing the broad central walk, which divides the lower basins, the visitor, by ascending a flight of steps, reaches the grand plateau, which is an embankment feet wide, and commands a general view of the lake, containing islands, the largest wholly occupied by lifesized models of the gigantic animals of the ancient world. It is here that of the most original features of the Crystal Palace Company's grand plan of instruction has been carried out. There all the leading features of geology are found displayed, in so practical and popular a manner, that a child may discern the characteristic points of that useful branch of the history of nature.
The spectator, standing on the upper terrace of the plateau, has before him the largest educational model ever attempted in any part of the world. It covers several acres, and consists of a display of nearly all the rocks that constitute the known portion of the earth's crust, from the old red sandstone to the latest tertiary beds of drift and gravel. Descending by the path, a few paces to the right, we have a nearer view of the older rocks, immediately facing the rustic bridge, the lowest of which, the old red sandstone, is seen just above the water, forming a foundation upon which is superposed the whole mass of cliff on the right, consisting of mountain limestone, mill-stone grit, bands of ironstone, and beds or seams of coal, capped by the new red sandstone. The coalmeasures are thus exhibited between their most evident boundaries, the old red sandstone below, and the new red sandstone above; the whole being re-constructed of several tons of the actual materials, in exact imitation of the Clay Cross coalbeds. The series was carefully tabulated by Professor Ansted, to ensure its geological accuracy, according to Sir Joseph Paxton's designs for the picturesque arrangement of this interesting portion of the grounds.
On the margin of a lake close by are to be seen life-like models of the former gigantic inhabitants of the earth, whose race has long since become extinct, such as the Iguanodon, the Paleotherium, the Anoplotherium, and other antediluvian animals,
|with names equally interesting, and in all their pristine ugliness. [extra_illustrations.6.313.1] [extra_illustrations.6.313.2] [extra_illustrations.6.313.3] [extra_illustrations.6.313.4]|
On gala or days, or the occasion of any great festival--as when the Odd Fellows, or the Foresters, or the Licensed Victuallers, attend -the number of visitors to the palace is prodigious, reaching to or ; but, nevertheless, commercially, the place has not proved so successful as was at anticipated. The undertaking was carried out on too grand a scale. It was at assumed that what people wanted was scientific amusement; the blunder, however, was a costly , for it reduced the worth of the -pound shares to a of their nominal value, and created a great deal of unpleasant feeling in the bosoms of a large class of people who believed, in promoting this scheme of popular amusement and instruction, they had made a good investment for themselves. It has been said, and perhaps truthfully, that
We have alluded above to the accidental fire by which a portion of the building was destroyed. This occurred on the ; and the larger portion of the northern wing, including the tropical department and the Assyrian Court, was burnt down. An unfortunate chimpanzee, which had been of the
of the palace, perished in the flames. This wing has only been partially rebuilt, much to the injury of the symmetry of the edifice. Whatever may have been the cause of this disastrous fire, it was, at all events, a curious fact that it occurred on the very day after a lecture on combustion had been given in the palace.
Of late years a large library and reading-room have been added, and lectures on cookery and other branches of useful education, as well as on art and science, have been delivered to numerous classes of students of either sex. A large aquarium also,
|stocked with salt-water as well as fresh-water fish, now forms of the attractions of the place; and it is intended by the managers and directors of the company still further to increase the educational appliances of the Crystal Palace.|
Anerley, which adjoins Sydenham on the southeast, was at time noted for its tea-gardens, which for some years served as an attraction to the South Londoners. They were opened in or about the year by a Mr. Coulson, but do not appear to have attained to a tithe of the popularity of old Ranelagh or of , notwithstanding its swings and
its fireworks, and its dancing platforms. After passing through various hands, they were finally closed in . A corner of the gardens was taken off on the formation of the Croydon Railway. The Croydon Canal, which formerly ran through the grounds in its course from the Thames at Deptford, has been drained and filled up for several miles, with the exception of a few places in which it remains as ornamental water.
Stretching away from Anerley, towards Mitcham, Tooting, and Streatham, and lying partly in Croydon parish, and partly in the parishes of Battersea, , Streatham, and Camberwell, is Norwood, which, at no very remote period, was described as
The Crystal Palace, though always described as in Sydenham, is said really to belong partly to Norwood, and the high ground on which it stands, together with the rival hills of Hampstead and Highgate, may be regarded as sentinel castles on either side of the valley of the Thames.
In a , published in the part of the present century, it is said that Norwood had long been a favourite haunt of that brotherhood, on account of its remote and rural character, though lying so handy for both London and Croydon. It appears that besides being occasionally brought before the magistrates for robberies of chickens and other denizens of the farm-yard, the gipsies here were occasionally made by the justices to feel the full force of the laws against vagrancy, and that occasionally they were
without having done much to deserve it, being made the scapegoats of others who had fairer skins. Hither the Londoners of the last century resorted in fine weather to have their future lot in life foretold to them by the palmistry of the
Gipsy Hill, and an inn still called the
commemorate the inmate of a small outhouse who lived on this hill, and who died here in --it is said at the age of years. Her name was [extra_illustrations.6.314.1] , and for half a century she had lived by telling fortunes in that rural and credulous neighbourhood. She was buried in a deep square box, as, from her constant habit of sitting with her chin resting on her knees, her muscles had become so contracted that at last she could not alter her position.
observes Mr. Larwood, in his ,
Mr. Larwood adds,
Norwood must really have derived its name from being the
that lay to the
of the large ecclesiastical town of Croydon; for it lies to the south of London. centuries ago Norwood was really a wood and nothing more. Aubrey, giving an account of Croydon at that period, in his , writes :
These parishes, doubtless, were , Camberwell, Lewisham, and Croydon.
The wood and the gipsies too have long since been swept away, and are now known only by tradition. Among the few mansions of note that once existed in this neighbourhood, the most conspicuous was Knight's Hill, which was built for Lord Chancellor Thurlow by Henry Holland, the architect of Carlton House and of old , which was burnt down in . Notwithstanding the splendid views said to be obtained from the upper windows of the mansion, it appears that Lord Thurlow never resided in it, but contented himself with a smaller house, called Knight's Hill Farm. In Twiss's
it is stated that
adds the author,
Mr. Thorne, in his
states that the house and grounds were reported to have cost . Both have now disappeared, having, with his lordship's adjoining manor of Leigham, been appropriated for building purposes.
Another noted place in Upper Norwood, during the quarter of the present century, was Beulah Spa, which was founded on an extensive scale in , for the purpose of rendering available the medicinal properties of a spring strongly impregnated with sulphate of magnesia. The Spa had been known to the inhabitants of Norwood from time immemorial; but it existed only as a bubbling spring, to which the rustics resorted for the cure of trifling maladies, until about the year , when the then proprietor of the surrounding grounds, some acres in extent, expended large sums in converting them into a place of recreation, with charming walks, terraces, and rustic lodges, a
orchestra, reading-room, &c., the whole being carried out from the designs of Mr. Decimus Burton. In its altered state it was opened for public use in . It is now forgotten as a place of resort, and even its chalybeate spring has passed comparatively out of memory. The water was a saline purgative, much resembling the Cheltenham water, and, like that of the Epsom water, owed its medical qualities chiefly to the sulphate of magnesia which was dissolved in it; but some other saline substances, as sulphate of soda, common or marine salt, and chloride of sodium, were likewise contained in this water in small proportions.
In for the Freemasons' Girls' School was given here, under the special patronage of the Queen Dowager. The vocal and instrumental concert provided for the occasion was of -rate order; Grisi, Persiani, Rubini, Ivanhoff, &c., lending their assistance on the occasion.
The readers of Thackeray will not have forgotten the charityfete at Beulah Spa, devised by Lady de Sudley, on behalf of the
which figures in Cox's
The Spa is thus described by a writer in the for :--
Notwithstanding that the grounds were furnished with all the appliances for well-to-do water-drinkers, Beulah Spa enjoyed but a brief run of popularity. In the end it collapsed, and the site was handed over to the builders. Some portion of the grounds, however, have been preserved; and there is (or was recently) within them a hydropathic establishment, where the curative qualities of the water may be tested.
On the hill overlooking what was once Beulah Spa, Mr. Sims Reeves has lived for many years.
Norwood is situated on a series of beautiful valleys and hills, the latter rising, it is said, to the height of feet above the level of the sea at low water; but, like Sydenham, is being rapidly converted into a region of bricks and mortar. It possesses or churches, a large number of dissenting chapels and mission-houses, capacious and comfortable hotels, together with hydropathic and homceopathic establishments. The Queen's Hotel at Norwood, close to the Crystal Palace, is said to be the largest private hotel in the kingdom.
Among the institutions of various kinds which abound in this locality, a prominent place is held by the North Surrey District School, in the Anerley Road. It is a very large and complete establishment, covering an area of about acres. It provides accommodation and the means of industrial training for nearly children from the surrounding district unions.
The Roman Catholic Orphanage of Our Lady, founded in , is under the charge of a religious community of ladies, and contains about orphan and poor children, who are lodged, fed, and clothed, until they are fit to be placed in situations as domestic servants, for which they are specially trained. The children, when placed in service, are watched over by the community, who give prizes annually to those who keep their situations longest, and can supply the best characters. There is also a home attached, into
|which the orphans are received when out of situation and in sickness, provided they have conducted themselves satisfactorily. The institution is a branch from the Monastery de la Notre Dame des Orphelines, at La Delwrande, in Normandy, celebrated for its treatment of orthopoedic diseases, from which many English families are said to have derived great benefit. The building here was commenced in , and was erected from the designs of Mr. Wardell. It is of Gothic design, with a tower in the centre, and covers a large extent of ground. A part of the edifice, entirely distinct from the orphanage, is used as a boardingschool for young ladies of the higher classes.|
Noticeable for its architectural as well as philanthropic character is the [extra_illustrations.6.316.1] , Lower Norwood, which was erected in , from the designs of Mr. Tillot,
The , of the oldest charitable institutions of the Jews in England, was originally established in Mile End, in the year . Large sums were collected by its founders, Messrs. B. and A. Goldsmid; considerable legacies have been bequeathed to it; the benevolent family of Rothschild have greatly benefited it; and the members of the Jewish body generally have at all times given it their support. The change from so crowded a locality as Mile End to the present eligible site of the hospital has, doubtless, proved advantageous to the institution, and to the Jewish community generally. The edifice, which is constructed of brick with stone dressings, is a good specimen of the Jacobean style of architecture. Over the hall, &c., is a synagogue, with a gallery, having an open timber roof.
The schools of the Westmoreland Society, for children of parents residing within miles of London, are at Lower Norwood. Close by, on the slopes of a gentle hill, and occupying some acres of ground, is Norwood South Metropolitan Cemetery. It was of the earliest of our great metropolitan cemeteries, having been founded in . The grounds are well laid out, and command good views across Sydenham, Penge, and Beckenham. The cemetery is becoming rapidly filled with monuments. Many men of mark have their last resting-place here: among them Justice Talfourd, Douglas Jerrold, Angus Reach, Laman Blanchard, Sir Wm. Cubitt (the celebrated engineer); Sharon Turner, the historian; Sir Wm. Napier, the historian of the Peninsular War; James Wm. Gilbart, the founder of the London and Bank; and Frederick Robson, the comedian.
In Upper Norwood is the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind, which was established in , to afford a thorough general and musical education to the youthful blind of both sexes, who possess the requisite talent so as to qualify them for self-maintenance. The founders of the college, recognising that all of the different kinds of handicraft suitable for the blind were thoroughly taught in various establishment throughout the country, have confined themselves to the special work of preparing the blind as teachers, organists, and pianoforte tuners. The college is designed to form a supplement to the other institutions, and in no sense is it expected that it will take the place of the older establishments, or in any way interfere with their work. The college embraces distinct departments- that of general education, of music, and pianoforte tuning. Each has been carefully planned, furnished with the most modern appliances, and provided with experienced teachers especially adapted to their part of the work.
At Norwood, in , died the Earl of Dudley, having been insane for the last.few months of his life. He had always been eccentric; but in the early part of he was declared by Sir Henry Halford to be insane, having committed a variety of harmless extravagances; and his last days were passed in retirement.
On the southern side of Norwood, and extending about a mile and a half along the Brighton road from towards Croydon, is the village of Streatham, about which we must write somewhat briefly, as we must not travel too far afield from the metropolis. It is a large, rambling district, occupying for the most part high ground, with a good deal of open heath still unenclosed. It abounds in mansions encompassed by wellwooded grounds.
At the time of the Domesday survey Streatham was divided into several manors, the chief of which, called Totinges, which included the hamlet of Tooting, was held by the Abbot of St. Mary de Bec, and hence came to be known as Tooting- Bec. From that period till the time of the
of religious houses, it changed ownership on several occasions. In it was sold to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, and half a century later it was purchased by Sir Giles Howland. Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Howland, conveyed the property, by marriage, in , to Wriothesley, Marquis of Tavistock, afterwards Duke of Bedford, and Baron Howland of Streatham. The marriage ceremony was performed by Bishop Burnet, at Streatham House, Lord Wriothesley
|being only years old. Francis, Duke of Bedford, conveyed the mansion to his brother, Lord William Russell, who was murdered by his Swiss valet, Courvoisier. Lord William made the old house his residence, but about the close of the last century conveyed it to the Earl of Coventry, by whom it was pulled down, a more modern mansion being erected in its place.|
There are at Streatham mineral springs which, as Aubrey informs us, were discovered about years before he wrote (A.D. ). They were noticed in consequence of the ground giving way while the horses were ploughing in the field where they were situated. Persons afterwards employed in weeding in dry weather, it appears, drank some of the water, and found it purgative. The owner of the field at forbade people to take the water; but before the end of the reign of Charles II. it came into common use. Lysons says that in his time () the Streatham water was sent in large quantities to some of the London hospitals. The well still exists, but its fame has departed.
On the high road between the villages of Streatham and Tooting, somewhat less than a century ago, stood a turnpike gate, which was the scene of an amusing escapade, arising out of the convivial habits of Lord Thurlow. The Lord Chancellor had been dining with Mr. Jenkinson (afterwards Lord Liverpool) at Addiscombe, his seat near Croydon, together with Dundas, and the younger Pitt, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. On their return late in the evening on horseback, they found the gate open, and as they had no servant with them, and were all more or less
with wine, they rode through without staying to pay the toll. The gatekeeper, aroused by the sound of their horse-hoofs as they galloped through, sprang up, rushed out into the road, and fired a blunderbuss after them, but fortunately without effect. He took them, no doubt, for a gang of highwaymen who had been committing robberies along the road. The story got about, much to the amusement of the of
clubs; and it was afterwards celebrated in the
the author of which poem writes, alluding to Pitt-
But Streatham, perhaps, has chiefly deri-ed its celebrity from Dr. Johnson's connection with it. Streatham Place was the residence of Henry Thrale, the opulent brewer of , to whom we have already introduced the reader, when Johnson was presented to him by his friend Murphy, in ; and during Thrale's life Streatham Place was to Johnson a home. Johnson did not become an inmate or constant guest at Mr. Thrale's house here till about , when his constitution seemed to be giving way, and he was visited by fits of deep and gloomy melancholy, which Mrs. Thrale (afterwards Mrs. Piozzi), with her wonted vivacity and cheerfulness, did her best to dispel. An apartment was fitted up for him; a knife and fork were constantly laid for him; companions and friends were invited from London without stint, to entertain him and to be entertained by him. His favourite strolling-place in the grounds was known as Dr. Johnson's Walk. The summer-house in the garden was of the doctor's favourite resorts, when on a visit to his kind and hospitable friends. Here he made many pious meditations and resolutions; among the latter may be mentioned which still exists in his own handwriting, dated as late as ,
As Mrs. Piozzi herself tells us, in her
thus reversing the process of our own day, which usually takes hard-working people into the suburbs from Saturday till Monday. In the drawing-room at Streatham he revelled in the freedom of his discourse, released, as he doubtless felt himself, from the restraints of the clubs and coffee-houses of Covent Garden. It was here, for instance, that, when asked somewhat abruptly by a silly young fellow, whether he would recommend him to marry, he set him down with the quick reply,
Of Mrs. Piozzi (Mrs. Thrale), whose name is destined always to shine in the world of literature as a
we have already spoken at some length in the chapter above referred to; but a few words more about her may not be out of place here.
writes Sir N. W. Wraxall, in his
says Dr. Johnson,
The long and constant hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Thrale, at their house at Streatham, to Dr. Johnson, extended over almost the last years of his life.
Miss Thrale, Johnson's
was among those who sat by the learned doctor's death-bed, in spite of the differences which had arisen between him and her mother, on account of her marriage. Baretti, who acted for about years as teacher of Italian to the daughters of Mrs. Thrale, on the recommendation of Dr. Johnson, afterwards assailed that lady's memory most ungratefully.
Hung up in the library at Mrs. Piozzi's house was a series of portraits of literary characters, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, including those
of Garrick, Goldsmith, Dr. C. Burney, Edmund Burke, Lord Lyttelton, Mrs. Piozzi herself and her daughter, and, of course, Dr. Johnson. This gallery of portraits was sold in , when they fetched various prices, ranging from up to , at which price the burly doctor himself was knocked down. They would easily fetch times that price now-a-days. An odd volume of |
with a memorandum by Dr. Johnson on the title-page, and some manuscript notes by Mrs. Piozzi, fetched no less than in a sale of Mrs. Piozzi's effects at Brighton, in . The teapot which used to stand on Mrs. Piozzi's table, and from which Dr. Johnson drank never-ending cups of the cheering liquid, was bought at the same time by Mrs. Marryatt. It held more than quarts, and was of Oriental porcelain, painted and gilt.
Before closing this chapter, we may state that about the year the was removed hither from , where it had existed as of the best-known charitable institutions in London for upwards of a century. We shall have more to say about it when we reach on our return journey.
[extra_illustrations.6.304.1] poet Campbell
 See p. 230.
 See p. 245, ante.
[extra_illustrations.6.308.1] Crystal Palace
 See Vol. V., p. 154.
 See Vol. V., p. 38.
 See Vol. V., p. 514.
[extra_illustrations.6.310.1] three transepts
[extra_illustrations.6.310.2] Schiller Festival
[extra_illustrations.6.310.3] Inauguration of Great Fountains
[extra_illustrations.6.310.4] Court of Fountains
[extra_illustrations.6.310.5] Fete fir De Lesseps
 See Vol. V., p. 38.
[extra_illustrations.6.310.10] Handel Festival, 1860
[extra_illustrations.6.310.11] Orpheonist Festival, 1857
[extra_illustrations.6.310.12] Spurgeon Preaching, 1857
[extra_illustrations.6.310.13] Washington Monument, etc.
[extra_illustrations.6.311.1] Skating on Basins, 1855
[extra_illustrations.6.311.2] great fountain basin
[extra_illustrations.6.313.1] Visit of French Emperor and Empress, 1855 (with Victoria and Albert)
[extra_illustrations.6.313.2] Meeting of Four in Hand Club, 1877
[extra_illustrations.6.313.3] Horticultural Exhibition, 1855
[extra_illustrations.6.313.4] Czar at Crystal Palace, 1874
[extra_illustrations.6.314.1] Margaret Finch
[extra_illustrations.6.316.1] Jews' Hospital
 See Vol. IV., p. 375.
 See ante, p. 34.