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A brief history of Furzedown

What and where is Furzedown?

Furzedown is a residential area in SW London close to Tooting Bec Common. Originally the lands of a farm called Furzeden, it became the estate for Furzedown House, built about 1730. Hard to believe now, but back then the Streatham area was regarded as being countryside.

In the late 19th century...

In the late 19th century, Furzedown House was owned by the Seely family, whose main residence was in the Isle of Wight. Later, it became a Teacher Training College and is now part of Graveney School. The lodge for Furzedown House (right), built in 1860 was designed by the well known architect James Knowles when the house was owned by Philip Flowers and is a listed building. When the lodge was originally built the lodge keeper and his family would have lived there, letting people into the grounds via Furzedown Drive. After the house and grounds were sold in the early 20th century much of the grounds were used for building council houses and the rec.

Furzedown Lodge
The Furzedown Pub

Dr Johnson's visit.

Dr Johnson, the celebrated 18th century poet, essayist and biographer, often came to stay with his friend Mrs Thrale at Streatham Park. Mrs Thrale’s husband was a wealthy brewer in Southwark. Their house, Streatham Place, faced Tooting Bec Common, but was demolished in 1863.

The  pub at the end of Thrale Road was initially named after Furzedown’s famous visitor, Samuel Johnson ; these days it is called The Furzedown.

A glimpse of 1970's Furzedown

Today’s Furzedown Ward is made up of parts of the Streatham Park and Furzedown estates. In August 2008 the FCN was awarded a  grant from the Lottery Grants for Local Communities Awards for All Fund to launch an oral history and reminiscence project in the area.

Visit the Furzedown Voices website to learn more.

Other interesting links about Tooting Common and Furzedown can be found on these YouTube clips from the 1970’s...

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