Desvignes Drive, SE13

Place Name

The Desivignes family were originally from France but left shortly before the French Revolution of 1789 heading first to Constantinople before settling in Hither Green, where they quickly established themselves as one of the most important families in the local area. Elise Hubert Desvignes (1771 – 1841) was a diamond merchant; his son Peter Hubert Desvignes (1804 – 1883) was an architect, inventor and musician; and Peter Hubert Desvignes (1836 – 1910) was a surgeon. They owned two properties, Hither Green Lodge and Wilderness House (their principal residence from 1849 – 1892) which both once stood on the site prior to the building of Park Hospital. The name was one of several chosen by Bellway Homes which had originally wanted to give roads and buildings at Meridian South, on the former hospital site, names such as Planet Road, Comet Close and Asteroid Lodge. But after an outcry by local residents in 2003 who claimed the development sounded “cold, impersonal, metallic and more suited to a nightmare vision of a 25th-century Gotham City” the names were changed with local historical references.

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