Central Peckham Historic Area Assessment
Author(s): Joanna Smith, Johanna Roethe
Peckham is an inner-city area in south London with a densely built-up townscape. It developed from a rural hamlet to a metropolitan satellite and place of resort in the 18th century before succumbing to suburbanisation in the 19th century. Historically it has been well connected to central London, served by a branch of the Grand Surrey Canal from the 1820s and suburban railway lines from the 1860s, as well as buses and trams. Industry was present, particularly around the canal, although never dominant. Rather the principal economic focus of central Peckham since the late-19th century has been as a shopping centre. The historic settlement grew up around Peckham High Street, Peckham Hill Street and Rye Lane which still form its main road network. Although an area that suffers from social problems and economic deprivation, it is also a lively and culturally mixed place with a diverse built environment. This historic area assessment seeks to define the architectural and historic interest of central Peckham, building on existing studies to provide context and enhanced understanding at a time when the area is the subject of discussions that will inform its future development.
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