Peckham Rye, which literally means Peckham by a stream, was recorded as its own distinct district in 1512. The place name Peckham however is much earlier. First recorded as Pecheham in the Domesday Book of 1086, it means the village by a hill and comes from the Old English words, pēac and hām. It probably refers to a village which was to the west of today’s Telegraph Hill. By 1178 it had become Pecham before taking the contemporary spelling of Peckham in 1241. Rye comes from the Anglo-Saxon word rhe meaning fast or swift and it is where we get the word run and rain in modern day English. It refers to a water course, now covered over, once known as the Peck. Peckham Rye Common can be seen on John Rocque’s 1741 map of Camberwell, its boundaries don’t appear to have changed much since then. Peckham Rye Park opened in 1894.
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