Friday 30 October 2009

Cambewell Grove, south London

Running in a straight line for about a kilometre up hill from inner city Camberwell towards the more genteel suburb of East Dulwich, Camberwell Grove, lined with large mature trees shading distinguished eighteenth century terraces, is one of south London's most atmospheric roads. At the north end, a developer has sympathetically converted a Victorian school into apartments, while also building some imitation Georgian terraces alongside it. Further up the hill, the original four or five-storey Georgian terraces are interrupted by a small modern council estate, but much of the road looks pretty much like it would have done two hundred years ago. Towards the top, the brown bricks and cast iron balconies of the Georgian architecture give way to elegant Regency houses, painted various shades of white and, in some cases, pink. The grandest residences sit on Grove Crescent, a rough private road that curves around a wide grassy border next to the main drag. Camberwell Grove sees a fair bit of traffic, but it is calmed by a series of speed humps and some traffic lights, where the road is supported by a weak bridge over a railway line. Neighbouring Grove Lane also boasts a handsome eighteenth century terrace set well back from the road and partly hidden by very mature front gardens. 7/10