The junction with Westwood Hill. Across the road you can see Aberdeen House (now St Davids) the home of the Shackleton family. Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer was brought up here by his father, a local doctor with his brother Frank and eight sisters. Ernest would walk up the hill to the left everyday on his way to Dulwich College – about a mile away.
Burnage Court built in 1888 is one of the few remaining extravagant grand houses built by the rich who settled in the Lawrie Park area at the height of the Victorian era. It has now been converted to eight apartments.
The classic view along the Avenue towards St Bart’s Chuch painted by Pissarro in 1872 and now hanging in the National Gallery. Lewisham’s wheelie bins provide a modern addition. The standard grey issued to householders and the larger blue jobs for larger buildings. The Avenue is lined by mature trees even though around half a dozen were lost in the great storm of 1988. The Avenue was the worst hit as its North South axis was in line with the storm.
Whoops – a blot on the scene. Two small roads lead off the north side of the Avenue. Gable Court is a small development of 60/70s housing. Sheenwood is a larger post war council development. Here on a corner someone is dumping. This is an endemic problem in the borough which spends many millions clearing away the junk left by people who are not prepared pay their share. Dozens of abandoned cars have been left on Lawrie Park’s roads which are not only an eysore but become dangerous as they are gradually stripped and then set alight.
Turning round and looking back down Lawrie Park Avenue towards St Barts. On the right you can see another set of mock Tudor houses built in the 1920s. These developments replace the grand houses built in between fifty and a hundred years earlier. The houses were advertised as Gentlemen’s Residences targeted at the City stockbrokers who could have short, but pleasant stroll, to Sydenham station for the 20 minute ride into the the City of London.
Twisting around on the same spot and looking southward towards Sydenham Avenue and Crystal Palace Park. In the foreground you can just see Lawrie Park Gardens crossing left to right. The trees across the bottom of the Avenue are on the roundabout which forms the border of Lewisham (where we are standing) and Bromley.
Border Road goes off to the left of the roundabout with some large expensive properties on the left as Lawrie Park Avenue becomes Sydenham Avenue.
TSwivel the camera through 60o and we have the Chulsa estate on the West side. This is a large post war council development by Bromley which, in contrast with the rest of Lawrie Park, is a warren of tiny roads.