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Dulwich Wood Park Estate (Lymer Avenue / Tylney Avenue / Farquhar Road

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#1 Juicybiscuit



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Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:57 AM

Lived on the estate for a year now and am fascinated with it's history. Theres some information here but not much else around online about it. I love elements of their design and layouts and also fascinated by some of the weird and quirky way they were designed. I mean, why on earth would you have a lift that doesn't start on the ground floor but rather the 1st? I hear the lifts don't even go to the penthouse level in the Lymer Avenue blocks which is bizarre. I mean were they an after thought? They certainly look bolted on the top. 


I got hold of some scans of the photos from the original marketing material which are interesting. If anyone has anything of interest about the estate please post, be it pictures or just random facts/information. The towers or the townhouses. Interested in both. If you want print res versions of these please PM me.


View down Farquhar Road from what looks like the top of Lowood Court looking over Knoll and Glenhurst then onto Dulwich. Circa '59/'60 maybe. This set of blocks were the first to be completed as opposed to the Tylney Avenue/Lymer Avenue side:




Glenhurst Court. Loving those Morris Minors out front:




Drake Court complete with penthouses and newly laid trees. Possibly a year or so later. Not sure about specific dates when each block was completed but it was my understanding that Drake/Marlow/Grenville/Raleigh were later than the Farquhar Road side.




Lowood Court perhaps?





Pretty sure this is Lowood Court looking particularly pristine:



Kitchen interior (not idea which block). Loving that skinny ceiling lamp. And digging the dress:



#2 Juicybiscuit



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Posted 11 December 2013 - 12:07 PM

Interior living area (unknown block). That ceiling lamp is amazing. Interestingly there's no glass wall/partition in this picture. To my knowledge all the flats had them originally (or so I thought). Most have had them removed over the years. Mine went years ago. Looks like there were some flats without them from the get go. Also to note is the door from the entrance hall. Again, I didn't know this was an original feature in the flats. Perhaps only in flats without the partition? I know that lots of the flats in our block that have adjoining walls don't have this door. Good to have though as it keeps out the cold - it does on ours anyway.



#3 keitha



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Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:39 PM

Fantastic pictures, thank you for posting. There is an archive of press cuttings on local development projects from 1950 to the mid-1980s, which might be the Norwood Society archive, I don't recall. The archive can be viewed in the upstairs reference section at Upper Norwood Library. There wasn't much material on the Dulwich Wood estate because, as I recall, the Norwood Society did not disapprove of this development.


For anyone researching the post-war built environment or social history of the Norwood area this archive is an absolute treasure trove, as are the Norwood Society newsletters also held in the Upper Norwood library reference collection.

#4 1DWPSE19


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 01:54 PM

Hello all you Dulwich and Norwoodiers el al, Good to meet you all!  I'm new here as a member, having followed the site with great nostalgic interest for many years. As my member name reveals, I lived at 1 Dulwich Wood Park from 1944 to 1961 when our beautiful old 1850's Victorian House, The Limes, was demolished along with most of the others down Dulwich Wood Park and College Road.

The house "Lowood", the next house up from us was doodle bug damaged down to its foundations and therefore never refurbished, but all the others, including ours, were well-made unique architectural buildings, and it was a shame that Waites were given free hand in completely gutting the whole area starting in 1961.

The houses on the other side of Dulwich Wood Park were preserved down to Ingersoll House, which was a resident engineering college during my years there. It has been gutted and restructured now, and the next house up demolished to make way for two mock-tudour houses tight together.

Juicybiscuit who has recently moved to the area has kindly included pictures of the trendy development that occurred at that eventful time, when much of the character of the area was unfortunately destroyed.

As Keitha points out, the Norwood Society made no effort to preserve the character of this part of the old Estates.

Our house, The Limes, faced onto the junction with College Road, opposite the fence of Athol House, with a five foot wall, now reduced to two feet, and now also with the large entrance drive and the smaller dustbin path entrance filled in. The line of Lime trees behind and in a row along the wall, giving of course the house its name, were felled at that time, and the cynically named Lymer Avenue cut right across the middle of our garden. The one oak tree on the left at the start of this road is all that's left of the many fine trees in the garden surrounding the house.

Beyond the house the whole of Lowwod was overgrown Victorian gardens and wild woods with an unsurfaced driveway out to Farquar Road, which my sister and I used as a short cut on our way as small children to Paxton Primary School.

Farquar Woods were another wonderful playing area for all the children, with two bombed houses to climb in at the Dulwich Wood Avenue end. The wood had curved mounds in it, ideal for banking round on our bikes. It was said to be the mass graves of Plague victims, but probably only a rumor. Joined to this wood was the "Daisy Fields" as that area was called at that time, with openings onto Dulwich Wood Park opposite the Vicarage on the corner of Kingswood Drive. I know the names of many of the residents then, which I'll come back to in a later submission. Dulwich Upper Woods towards the top of Farquar Road was called then the "Top Emps" and the "Bottom Emps" was the right side of Jasper Road, before being built on in the middle, early fifties. I used to do a milk round with John the Milkman at Express Dairies, and a paper round from Balls Newsagents on the parade, with a butcher's bike to take all the thick Finacial Times etc. to residents along Sydenham Hill and along College Road, so I got to know most of the houses and gardens and characters from that post-war period.

In spite of all the changes, the area has always had a special atmospheric charm and character which even now makes it a pleasure to go back to and wander around and reminisce at leisure, which I do fairly frequently. I have more memories to share to those who grew up in that wonderful era, but for now, I include a poem I wrote about the old house. All my old photographs were stolen in a bag in the car some twenty years back, so if anybody has any photos of The Limes or old Dulwich Park and College Road I would be grateful if they could post them.


The Limes At Dulwich




So many years between.

Victorian house demolished 1961,

now high rise flats, garages,

lawns, and rubble




A redolent ambience


I reach down

hidden between grout and brick

in silver foil

spare mortise key!


Now, just five feet away

an 1850's house

rises from its grave

and while fleetingly lingering

yet again dutifully guards

the bifurcated road


From here

I can map out rooms

brother's and sister's

and cut by curved garages

my bedroom

where once a father-lost boy lay

warmed by shuttered coke stove


Jocular old Dr Hiley on night call

raindrops on his trilby

placing healing hands on feverish brow

for tuppence


The war just won

he said we needed every little soldier

to look after the womenfolk

Grieving too, his son at Caen


Lowood beyond

doodlebug damaged, lately

consummated with high-rise flats

where I swayed aloft even higher

on branch-borne floorboards

atoning mischief!


One garden tree remains

axe-damaged Mohican oak

gash looking now like barn owl


A blackbird broadcasts my trespass

Replacing the key

I leave home

to face closure alone

at the gateless exit




Thanks, I'll be back!

Edited by 1DWPSE19, 23 July 2014 - 01:55 PM.

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#5 1DWPSE19


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 02:04 PM

Sorry, trying to edit my own previous work, which failed this time.

Edited by 1DWPSE19, 23 July 2014 - 02:05 PM.

#6 ferrs11


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Posted 05 January 2015 - 12:50 PM

I have a picture of the Limes together with an article on its 'Gothic' style library - there is another house with the same name in Norwood Road, it would be good to know if the article is your house. There will be a talk at the Upper Norwood library on 19 February which will include this pic and others of some of the old houses in the neighbourhood that have been lost.
On the Dulwich Wood Estate I also have copies of these photos plus specifications, sales brochures etc. I have info on their construction and why they are what they are. There have been articles on them in various magazines - try midcenturymodern or their website, and the Twentieth Century Society and Dulwich Society have done guided walks around the Estate quite recently - and they featured in a series of talks in 2013 at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

#7 1DWPSE19


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Posted 30 January 2015 - 02:53 PM

Thank you ferrs11,

I've booked a short holiday so that I can attend the talk at Upper Norwood Library on 19th Feb. I attended a talk some time ago at the library when an elderly gentleman gave an account of his wartime experiences as a child in Dulwich, which was extremely interesting, so I'm looking forward to this one. Another fine old building was the house that stood at the corner of Dulwich Wood Park and Farquar Road, used by the Inland Revenue, a local Income Tax office! If I remember right, the beautiful tree in front of the drive in is still there. Also the huge house opposite our house between this Dulwich Wood Park/College Road road fork and Fountain Drive where its main entrance was (opposite Greenbanks) used at that time as a furniture depository by Evan Cook with its long marble veranda and round stairwell joinng its two parts. I'm hoping these two might be included, and hopefully many other pics of houses that so defined the area for me as a child and in my early youth.

Thanks again.