Telegraph Hill, Lewisham

Telegraph Hill, Lewisham

infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
region= London
official_name= Telegraph Hill
latitude= 51.466
longitude= -0.044
london_borough= Lewisham
constituency_westminster= Lewisham Deptford
post_town= LONDON
postcode_area= SE
postcode_district= SE14 and SE4
dial_code= 020
os_grid_reference= TQ359760

Telegraph Hill is a place and electoral ward just south of New Cross in the London Borough of Lewisham in southeast London, England. It was formerly known as "Plowed Garlic Hill". It gained its current name from a semaphore telegraph station which was constructed on the summit of the hill at the end of the 18th century.

The poet Robert Browning at one time lived at the foot of Telegraph Hill, in a cottage which he wrote looked like a 'goose pie'.

The hill was for many years covered by market gardens owned by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, one of the ancient livery companies of London. In the late 19th century the Haberdashers decided to develop the hill for housing. Over the last quarter of the 19th century they built tree-lined avenues of large villas, together with St Catherine's Church, a boy's and a girl's school (now combined as Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College) and a park. Telegraph Hill School closed in 2003. The villas are distinctive in style and as a result of this architectural unity, Telegraph Hill is now a conservation area.

An active local residents' group called the Telegraph Hill Society campaigns for improvements to the area. Its latest effort led to the restoration of the Victorian park at the top of the hill. The refurbished park was reopened in Summer 2005. The park is in two halves on either side of Kitto Road; the upper park contains tennis courts which apparently occupy the site of the telegraph station which gave the hill its name. The lower park contains ponds and children's playgrounds. A farmers' market is held in the lower park on the third Saturday of each month.

A large number of artists have studios on the hill, and participate in an arts festival which is held each year in March.


Telegraph Hill ward is one of 18 council wards that make up the Lewisham borough council. Local council elections in the ward have recently been dominated by concerns about traffic calming schemes and the perceived need for a new secondary school, and the voters have a history of supporting candidates from smaller parties. In 2002 this resulted in the election of a candidate for a local party called LEAP (Local Education Action by Parents).

In the 2006 London Borough Council Elections, the three councillors elected to the Lewisham borough council in this ward were Ian G. Page, Robin Cross, and Christopher Flood. Cross was elected as a candidate for the Labour Party, while Page and Flood had run as candidates for the Socialist Alternative, the name used by the Trotskyist Socialist Party (England and Wales) in elections. They were the only two borough councillors elected in London for the Socialist Alternative.

Results in percentage share of the vote, compared to those of the 2002 elections:
* Socialist Alternative 35.0% (+9.8%);
* Labour 32.8% (+8.1%);
* Green Party 15.6% (+4.1%);
* Liberal Democrats 9.2% (-0.5%);
* Conservatives 7.4% (+3.2%);
* Local Education Action by Parents n/a (-24.7%).

Turnout was 34.0%. [ [ GLA: London Borough Council Elections] ]

The above results are notable to the extent that they marked Telegraph Hill, among a total of 624 London wards, as the one with the largest share of votes (50.6%) going to non-mainstream parties.


In comparison with overall numbers for London and England, the Telegraph Hill ward has relatively few residents of over 45 (24.9%) and relatively many in the age group 20-44 (49.0%).

According to the 2001 census, 71.0% of the residents were born in the United Kingdom. 700 residents (or 4.9%) were born in Jamaica, and 489 (or 3,4%) in Nigeria; other countries of birth constituted smaller shares of the population. 58.1% of the population were white; 32.2% black or black British; 2.4% Asian or Asian British; 2.6% Chinese or belonging to another ethnic group; and 4.7% mixed.

The census identified 10.0% of residents aged 16-74 as being in higher professional or higher managerial occupations; a further 24.0% were in "lower managerial and professional occupations"; 11.7% of residents were full-time students; and 7.6% had never worked or were long-term unemployed. In comparison to overall numbers for London and England, there is a high proportion of non-pensioner one-person households (25.1%) and lone parent households with dependent children (11.8%). [ [ Neighbourhood Statistics, Area: Telegraph Hill (Ward); People and Society: Population and migration] ]


External links

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* [ Telegraph Hill Society website]
* [ Haberdashers’ Aske’s Foundation]
* [ The next station to the west on the telegraph line] including image of the shutter telegraph here
* [ More information about the Telegraph Hill's three borough councillors, on the Lewisham borough website]

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