Camberwell Surrey Family History Guide

Camberwell comprises of the following parishes:

  • Camberwell St Giles, Surrey
  • Camberwell Camden Chapel, Surrey
  • Camberwell Christ Church, Surrey
  • Camberwell Emmanuel, Surrey
  • Camberwell St George, Surrey

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Particular Baptist, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterian Church in England, Primitive Methodist, Protestant Dissenters, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

CAMBERWELL, a district in the NE corner of Surrey. It lies within the borough of Lambeth; is partly a suburb of London, partly rural, with considerable extent of open field; and includes the suburbs of Dulwich and Peckham. The suburban part of it is 1¼ mile SSW of the terminus of the Bricklayers Arms Extension railway; has two railway stations, called Camberwell Gate and Camberwell New Road; is 1½ mile ESE of the Vauxhall station of the Southwestern railway, and 2¾ miles S of St. Paul's; lies across the terminal part of the Grand Surrey canal; and consists chiefly of streets, places, and outskirts with modern houses. Ermine-street, coming up from Lambeth ferry, passed through south-eastward, going into Kent at Oak of Honour Hill; and traces of it were found at the cutting of the canal. Oak of Honour Hill is said to have acquired its name from Queen Elizabeth's dining on it under an oak. St. Thomas' Watering, near this, was a resting place of the Canterbury pilgrims; and a marble head of Janus was found there. Camberwell Grove, in the suburb, now occupied by a handsome range of modern houses, was the place where George Barnwell murdered his uncle. Camberwell manor house, near Denmark Hill, was a curious ancient mansion, converted latterly into a school. Camberwell Green is notorious as the scene of a crowded pleasure fair on three days in August; but was recently surrounded by iron railings, and laid out in gravel walks, flowerplots, and shrubbery. The district is a polling place; and has a post office under London S., with seven receiving houses and five pillar-boxes. Acres, 4,342. Real property, £127,823. Poor-rates in 1866, £32,584. Pop. in 1861, 71,488. Houses, 12,098. Marriages in 1866, 856; births, 3,343, of which 138 were illegitimate: deaths, 2,056, of which 888 were at ages under 5 years, and 31 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 4,410; births, 19,973; deaths, 13,631. There are four subdistricts, Camberwell, Dulwich, Peckham, and St. George. Acres of C., 1,339; of D., 1,423; of P., 1,146; of St. G., 434. Pop. of C., 21,297; of D., 1,723; of P., 28,135; of St. G., 20,333. Houses of C., 3,444; of D., 294; of P., 4,948; of St. G., 3,421.

The district is conterminate with one ancient parish, which is still a single parish for civil purposes; but is now divided ecclesiastically into thirteen parishes and two separate chapelries, and also includes two annexed chapelries, all in the diocese of Winchester. Six of the divisions, Christchurch, St. Mary Magdalene, Camden, St. Andrew, St. Michael, and St. Chrysostom, are noticed in our article on Peckham; four, Dulwich College, East Dulwich, St. Stephen, and St. Peter, are noticed in that on Dulwich; and one, partly in Lambeth, is noticed in that on Herne-Hill. The others are St. Giles, around the mother church; St. George, constituted in 1824; Emmanuel, constituted in 1842; and St. Philip, constituted in 1866. The living of St. Giles is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Forest Hill; the livings of St. George and Emmanuel are vicarages; and that of St. Philip is a p. curacy. Value of St. Giles, with Forest Hill, £1,600; of St. George, £400; of Emmanuel, £450; of St. Philip, £200. Patron of St. Giles, F. F. Kelly, Esq.; of St. George, Sir W. B. Smith, Bart.; of Emmanuel, the Rev. W. Harker; of St. Philip, the Bishop of Winchester. St. Giles' church was built in 1842-4, on the site of an old one burnt in 1841; and is a large, elegant, cruciform edifice, in the later English style, with a lofty spire. St. George's church was built in 1824; and is a Doric edifice, with hexastyle portico. The total places of worship in 1851 were 13 of the Church of England, with 11,212 sittings; 6 of Independents, with 3,536 s.; 1 of Baptists, with 350 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 334 s.; 2 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 630 s.; 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 30 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 250 s.; and 1 undefined, with 150 s. The schools were 27 public day schools, with 3,730 scholars; 151 private day schools, with 3,091 s.; 20 Sunday schools, with 3,017 s.; and 4 evening schools for adults, with 93 s. One of the public schools is Dulwich college; another is a grammar school; six others are endowed; and six are National. Tyrrell, the historian, was educated in the grammar school; and Parr, the biographer and chaplain of Archbishop Usher, was thirty-eight years vicar. The charities amount to nearly £300.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

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