Penge Road, SE20

Place Name

Directional, the main road leading from South Norwood. Penge is an ancient name originating from the Celtic words penn meaning a head or the top and cēd meaning woodland. Indeed this was once part of huge forest and was first recorded in AD957 as Pœnge. However, there have been different interpretations as to what this means, some scholars think it refers to a hill in a woodland, others that it refers to a hill in the forest. It was certainly noteworthy enough to be one of the first places to be recorded by the Norman’s very soon after the Conquest, being written down as Penceat in 1067. It was spelt Pange in 1204 and Pengewode in 1472. It was a former woodland swine pasture belonging to the manor and parish of Battersea until 1888 when it transferred from Surrey to Kent and was described as being seven miles, seven furlongs and seven feet in circumference. David Mills in A Dictionary of London Place Names writes: “This interesting name may suggest the survival of a native British population to the south of London after the Anglo-Saxon settlement.”


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