Sydenham Common was a 500-acre plot of common land. It was enclosed between 1810 and 1819 and most of it was then built upon. Our Green (for a while, the site of a tennis club) is a mere 2.5 acre portion of it.
But today, the Lewisham-based theatre company Teatro Vivo brought forgotten histories of the old Common back to life. In a series of short, interactive performances, the Common rose up to remind us of its great past, to tell its stories and remember those brave souls who had fought over the years to try and protect it.
It was fantastic to see the Green full of creative energy – as we also took care, of course, to remain safe and socially distanced. Even the weather was on our side. The weather forecast had promised downpours of rain, but they stayed away.
For more information Sydenham Common, see Andrew Orford’s 2019 article for the Forest Hill Society Newsletter, ‘200th Anniversary of the Enclosures of Sydenham Common‘.
See also ‘Today in London’s radical history, 1614: Lewisham residents demonstrate against the enclosure of Sydenham Common‘ posted on October 20, 2019 by mudlark121.