Welcome to Visit Lewisham Places
The Walkfo guide to things to do & explore in Lewisham

Visit Lewisham PlacesVisit Lewisham places using Walkfo for free guided tours of the best Lewisham places to visit. A unique way to experience Lewisham’s places, Walkfo allows you to explore Lewisham as you would a museum or art gallery with audio guides.

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Lewisham is 5.9 miles (9.5 km) south of Charing Cross . It is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London . It was a small village until the development of passenger railways in the 19th century . When you visit Lewisham, Walkfo brings Lewisham places to life as you travel by foot, bike, bus or car with a mobile phone & headphones.


Lewisham Places Overview: History, Culture & Facts about Lewisham

Visit Lewisham – Walkfo’s stats for the places to visit

With 214 audio plaques & Lewisham places for you to explore in the Lewisham area, Walkfo is the world’s largest heritage & history digital plaque provider. The AI continually learns & refines facts about the best Lewisham places to visit from travel & tourism authorities (like Wikipedia), converting history into an interactive audio experience.

Lewisham history

Lewisham History photo

The earliest written reference to Lewisham — or Saxon ‘liofshema’ – is from a charter from 862 which established the boundaries with neighbouring Bromley Lewisham is sometimes said to have been founded by a pagan Jute, Leof, who settled (by burning his boat) near St Mary’s Church (Ladywell) where the ground was drier, in the 6th century, but there seems to be no solid source for this speculation As to the etymology of the name, Daniel Lysons (1796) wrote: “Leofshema” was an important settlement at the confluence of the rivers Quaggy (from Farnborough) and Ravensbourne (Caesar’s Well, Keston), so the village expanded north into the wetter area as drainage techniques improved. King Alfred was Lord of the Manor of Lewisham, as is celebrated by a plaque in Lewisham Library. The Manor of Lewisham, with its appendages of Greenwich and Combe, was given by Elthruda, King Alfred’s niece, to the Saint Peter’s Abbey, Ghent in a Charter dated 18th September around 918, of which Lewisham then became a cell, or an alien priory. This grant is said to have been confirmed by King Edgar in 964, and by Edward the Confessor in 1044, with the addition of many privileges. In the mid-17th century, the then vicar of Lewisham, Abraham Colfe, built a grammar school, a primary school and six almshouses for the inhabitants. In the 17th century the Manor of Lewisham was purchased by George Legge, later Baron Dartmouth. His son William was raised by Queen Anne to several positions of honour and trust, and was a member of her privy council; and on 5 September 1711, was ennobled as Viscount Lewisham, and Earl of Dartmouth. His grandson George, Lord Dartmouth, obtained the privilege of holding a fair twice a year, and a market twice a week, upon Blackheath in the parish. The fair used to be held on 12 May and 11 October, but in 1772 it was discontinued, (except for the sale of cattle) by the Earl of Dartmouth, as lord of the manor. The village of Lewisham had its nucleus in its southern part, around the parish church of St Mary, towards the present site of University Hospital Lewisham. The centre migrated north with the coming of the North Kent line to Dartford in 1849, encouraging commuter housing. The Official Illustrated Guide to South-Eastern and North and Mid-Kent Railways of June 1863, by George Measom, describes Lewisham as follows: ‘Lewisham Station, situated on the slope of an eminence amidst picturesque scenery, beautiful green meadows rising abruptly to the summit of the hill on the left, dotted with handsome residences and gardens, while the Common is seen intersected by various crossroads and studded with country inns and houses on the low ground or valley to the right. The area of the parish is 5,789 acres… Lord of the manor, the Earl of Dartmouth to whom it gives the title Viscount’. Lewisham was administratively part of Kent until 1889, and then formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham in the County of London until 1965. The town centre was hit by a V-1 flying bomb in 1944: there were over 300 casualties including 51 fatalities, and it devastated the high street, which was fully restored by the mid-1950s. This horrific event is commemorated by a plaque outside the Lewisham Shopping Centre (opened in 1977). The plaque was on the pavement outside the Marks & Spencer store in the main shopping precinct. However, suffering wear and tear, the local authority arranged for it to be mounted to the façade. In 1955 Sainsbury’s opened a store in Lewisham which was reported to be Europe’s largest self-service supermarket, with 7,500 square feet of retail space, although the one now incorporated in the 1977 shopping centre is much smaller. The area at the north end of the High Street was pedestrianised in 1994. It is home to a daily street market and a local landmark, the clock tower, completed in 1900 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The police station, opened in 2004 to replace the station in Ladywell, is one of the largest in Europe. Lewisham Cricket Club was one of the most prestigious London sides during the Victorian era. From 1864 they played at Lewisham Cricket Ground, which lay north of Ladywell Road, until its closure later in the 19th century. Lewisham Swimming Club was also very successful, with several of its members representing England at water polo and other gymkhana events. During the First World War, Lewisham Hospital’s infirmary became the Lewisham Military Hospital, and during the Second World War the hospital was hit by a V-1 flying bomb, which destroyed two wards, injured 70 people and killed one nurse. Lewisham is also the site of one of the worst disasters on the British railway network in the 20th century. On 4 December 1957 a crowded steam-hauled passenger express headed for the Kent coast overran signals at danger in thick fog near St Johns station and crashed into a stationary electric train for the Hayes branch line. The force of the impact brought down an overhead railway bridge onto the wreckage below. An electric multiple unit about to cross the bridge towards Nunhead managed to pull up in time. Ninety passengers and crew died in the accident. In 1977, the Battle of Lewisham saw 500 members of the National Front, who were attempting to hold march through the area, and their police escort, attacked by more than 4000 counter-demonstrators. From the 1990s onwards, Lewisham has seen regeneration. The Docklands Light Railway was extended to Lewisham in 1999. Molesworth Street was upgraded to a bypass around the shopping area as part of the “Lewisham 2000” project, including sculptures by John Maine. In the 2010s, Lewisham has seen regeneration including the construction of several high-rise residential buildings around Loampit Vale and Molesworth Street. The former roundabout by Lewisham station has been replaced with an “H” junction to release land for further development. In 2013 the Glass Mill Leisure Centre opened opposite Lewisham station with its façade defined by a large scale embedded kinetic artwork “Razzle Dazzle Boogie Woogie” by the artist Phil Coy. The project was awarded the Best Built Project – Community Scale Scheme in the London Planning Awards 2013/14.

Lewisham geography / climate

Almost all of the SE13 postcode district is within the London Borough of Lewisham. The town includes areas such as St Johns and Hither Green, as well as Lee and Ladywell.


The nearest Met Office climate station is based in Greenwich Park: Greenwich Park . The nearest climate station in the UK is based at Greenwich Park, London .

Why visit Lewisham with Walkfo Travel Guide App?

Visit Lewisham PlacesYou can visit Lewisham places with Walkfo Lewisham to hear history at Lewisham’s places whilst walking around using the free digital tour app. Walkfo Lewisham has 214 places to visit in our interactive Lewisham map, with amazing history, culture & travel facts you can explore the same way you would at a museum or art gallery with information audio headset. With Walkfo, you can travel by foot, bike or bus throughout Lewisham, being in the moment, without digital distraction or limits to a specific walking route. Our historic audio walks, National Trust interactive audio experiences, digital tour guides for English Heritage locations are available at Lewisham places, with a AI tour guide to help you get the best from a visit to Lewisham & the surrounding areas.

“Curated content for millions of locations across the UK, with 214 audio facts unique to Lewisham places in an interactive Lewisham map you can explore.”

Walkfo: Visit Lewisham Places Map
214 tourist, history, culture & geography spots


  Lewisham historic spots

  Lewisham tourist destinations

  Lewisham plaques

  Lewisham geographic features

Walkfo Lewisham tourism map key: places to see & visit like National Trust sites, Blue Plaques, English Heritage locations & top tourist destinations in Lewisham


Best Lewisham places to visit

Lewisham has places to explore by foot, bike or bus. Below are a selection of the varied Lewisham’s destinations you can visit with additional content available at the Walkfo Lewisham’s information audio spots:

Lewisham photo Deptford Park
Deptford Park is a public park in Deptford south-east London . It is owned by London Borough of Lewisham and owned by the London boroughs .
Lewisham photo Evelyn (ward)
Evelyn is an electoral ward in the northernmost part of the London Borough of Lewisham . It covers the northern part of Deptford on the south bank of the River Thames . Evelyn borders wards from three other London Boroughs, Greenwich West, Surrey Docks and Southwark .
Lewisham photo Aragon Tower
Aragon Tower on the Pepys Estate in Deptford, is one of London’s tallest privately owned residential towers at 92 metres with 29 floors . It contains 158 residential apartments ranging from 2 to 3 bedrooms .
Lewisham photo Mycenae House
Mycenae House is a community centre housed in a former convent building adjacent to the Georgian villa, Woodlands House, in Greenwich, London .
Lewisham photo Downham Fields
Downham Fields is a 20-acre park located in Downham, South East London . It was left as parkland during the construction of the interwar Downham Estate . It is sometimes referred to in documents by the name Durham Hill, but this is not in common usage .
Lewisham photo Ladywell Fields
Ladywell Fields is a public park in the London Borough of Lewisham created from three historic fields . It is located near Ladywell railway station at the northern end of the park, and Catford Bridge at the southern end .
Lewisham photo Boone’s Chapel
Boone’s Chapel is a single-storey building attributed to Sir Christopher Wren and built in 1683 . The chapel is listed Grade I on the National Heritage List for England .
Lewisham photo Jack Cade’s Cavern
Jack Cade’s Cavern is a cavern, extending several hundred feet underground, in Blackheath, south-east London . It is located northwest of the Heath and southwest of Greenwich Park, mostly beneath the lawn of Hollymount Close . It was re-discovered in about the year 1780 .
Lewisham photo Brookmill Park
Brookmill Park, formerly known as Ravensbourne Park, is a small public park and nature reserve in the London Borough of Lewisham . It is located between Deptford Bridge and Elverson Road on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
Lewisham photo Palace of Placentia
Palace of Placentia was originally built by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, in 1443 . It was located at Greenwich on the bank of the River Thames, downstream from London . The original residence was extensively rebuilt around 1500 by Henry VII . A detached residence the Queen’s House was built on the estate in the early 1600s and still survives .

Visit Lewisham plaques

Lewisham Plaques 71
Lewisham has 71 physical plaques in tourist plaque schemes for you to explore via Walkfo Lewisham plaques audio map when visiting. Plaques like National Heritage’s “Blue Plaques” provide visual geo-markers to highlight points-of-interest at the places where they happened – and Walkfo’s AI has researched additional, deeper content when you visit Lewisham using the app. Experience the history of a location when Walkfo local tourist guide app triggers audio close to each Lewisham plaque. Explore Plaques & History has a complete list of Hartlepool’s plaques & Hartlepool history plaque map.