Dog Kennel Hill, SE22

Place Name

Literal; after the former dog kennels that were kept here for hunting. There are two suggestions as to who the kennels may have belonged to, the first is George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne the last monarch of the Stuart dynasty, who is said have owned a hunting lodge here. Another possibility is that it was named after the kennels of the Old Surrey Fox Hounds, established in 1750 by Samuel Gobsall, also spelled Godschell, of Albany, who had kennels at Bermondsey. Given that this was more than 40 years after the death of George, it may be that they used the same facilities. Certainly Peckham Rye, Forest Hill and Sydenham, were regular hunting grounds in the 1760s and 1770s, with the kennels thought to have been at the bottom of the hill (although contemporary reports suggest they were much further away). The Fox Hunting Atlas wrote that the hunt was: “Gradually pushed out by the relentless encroachment of brick and mortar. The Old Surrey Hunt has been driven farther and farther from the banks of the Thames, till now [1893] it can bring the sound of hound music no nearer London than the outskirts of Croydon and Bromley; and the citizen who would jaunt in scarlet to the Surrey hills can no longer mount his hunter in Broad-street, but must either take the same steam covert hack or else make a suburban residence his base.” The hunt moved to Shirley, in Croydon.

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