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Hidden History of London

London's Hidden History
Lewisham

The origin of the name is most interesting, it seems to be a corruption of "Leof" an Anglo Saxon person and "ham" an ancient term for a village. Which gives us "Leofham" - so there you have it! Yes, but who was Leof - who knows?

King James I, impressed at the length of Lewisham High Street "On my soul I will be King of Lusen". The spelling suggests Lewisham was once pronounced Loos-am. By the way the DLR was not around in King James day silly, it did not arrive until the year 2000!

In 1897 Queen Victoria had been on the Throne for sixty years so to celebrate this the good people of Lewisham had a whipround and with the money raised built the Diamond Jubilee Clock Tower. You cannot miss its famous local landmark by the bustling street market. Take time out to clock it!

Much of old Lewisham town centre was destroyed by a Nazi flying bomb in 1944, East and South London suffered the most devastation in the Second World War. The new town centre is one of the best shopping areas south of the river but still no one knows who Leof was!


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