Peckham St Mary Magdalen, Surrey Genealogy

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England  Gotoarrow.png  Surrey Gotoarrow.png  Surrey Parishes

Parish History

PECKHAM, a hamlet, in the parish and union of Camberwell, E. division of the hundred of Brixton and of the county of Surrey, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from London; containing 12,563 inhabitants. This pleasant and populous village consists chiefly of one long continuous line of handsome buildings, extending eastward from the village of Camberwell nearly to Forest-Hill; on the north is the Kent-road, and East Dulwich is on the south. It is well lighted with gas, and includes numerous detached mansions and elegant villas inhabited by opulent families. The surrounding scenery is beautifully diversified, and enriched with thriving plantations and tastefully-disposed grounds attached to the principal houses; the hills in the immediate vicinity command extensive and varied prospects. A branch of the Surrey canal passes within a short distance; and a large silk-factory is established in the neighbourhood: a fair was formerly held on the Rye, a spacious green, but has for many years been suppressed.

In Hill-street is a proprietary episcopal chapel, in the later English style, with a low tower surmounted by a spire; the interior has been embellished by the insertion of stained glass in the windows. There is also an episcopal chapel on Rye Green, a neat structure with a campanile turret, erected for the use of his tenants by the late Thomas Bayly, Esq. Christ Church, to the north of the Kent-road, near the Surrey canal, was consecrated in Sept. 1838, and is a plain brick edifice in the early English style, with pinnacles of stone at the angles; the interior is neatly arranged, and lighted by lancet-shaped windows. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of Hyndman's Trustees. The church of St. Mary Magdalene, on the south of Deptford-lane, and on the road to the Nunhead cemetery, was consecrated in May, 1841, and is a handsome structure of brick, with a square tower crowned by pinnacles of stone and surmounted by an octagonal spire: it is partly in the Norman style, of which the entrance into the tower is a neat specimen, and partly in the early English style; the altar-piece is a handsome screen of stone in the early English style, richly carved. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Rev. J. G. Storie. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents. The Nunhead cemetery, belonging to the London Cemetery Company, and comprising fifty acres, was consecrated, with the exception of eight acres left for the dissenters, in 1840: the principal chapel cost £4000.

Peckham House, opened in 1823 for the reception of 50 private insane patients, and now also adapted for the admission of 250 pauper lunatics under the direction of the Metropolitan Commissioners, is a spacious and wellarranged building, surrounded by nearly 5 acres of garden and pleasure ground. Attached to the institution is a farm of 80 acres, at Forest-Hill, in which the pauper lunatics are employed in husbandry and other pursuits. In Peckham New-Town, is the Licensed Victuallers' Asylum, instituted in 1827, for the support of decayed members, under the patronage of the late Duke of Sussex, who laid the first stone of the building. It is a handsome structure of brick, occupying three sides of a quadrangular area, which is laid out in lawns and parterres; the central range has a portico of six lofty Ionic columns, sustaining a pediment, and surmounted with a cupola. The buildings contain 101 tenements, and the grounds around comprise about six acres. A house at Peckham which was occupied by Dr. Milner as an academy, is still regarded with peculiar interest, and has obtained the appellation of Goldsmith House, having been the residence of Oliver Goldsmith, who was usher under Dr. Milner for some time: a pane of glass on which are some lines written by the poet with the point of a diamond, was taken out of one of the windows by the late occupier, and is still carefully preserved.

From: Samuel A. Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848)

From:  Samuel A. Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848)

Peckham St Mary Magdalene was created as an Ecclesiastical parish from the Ancient Parish of Camberwell St Giles, Surrey in 1842. The church dated from 1841 and was destroyed by bombing on 21 September 1941. The present church was consecrated on 3 November 1962 when Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was present.


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Census records

Contributor: Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection. See Surrey Census

Poor Law Unions

Camberwell Poor Law Union, Surrey

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Surrey Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

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Web sites

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