Concept

Honor Oak

Summary
Honor Oak is an inner suburban area principally of the London Borough of Lewisham, with part in the London Borough of Southwark. It is named after the oak tree on One Tree Hill that Elizabeth I is reputed to have picnicked under. One Tree Hill is the central feature of Honor Oak's landscape. It is at the northern end of a string of hills stretching from Croydon, previously part of the Great North Wood. A legend tells that on 1 May 1602, Elizabeth I picnicked with Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris in the Lewisham area by an oak tree at the summit of a hill. The tree came to be known as the Oak of Honor. The tree surrounded by railings is an oak, and was planted in 1905 as a successor to the historic one. In addition to its connection with Queen Elizabeth I, the hill is reputed by a long-standing rumour to have been the site of the final defeat of Queen Boudica by the Romans in AD61, while Dick Turpin is also rumoured to have used it as a look-out post. A new development of exclusive houses was started in the 1780s on what is now Honor Oak Road. This gave rise to both Honor Oak and Forest Hill, London communities. These localities have drifted about a mile apart North and South respectively since, aided by the arrival of a canal and then railways. Between 1809 and 1836, a canal ran through Honor Oak as part of its route from New Cross to Croydon. It also went via Forest Hill and Sydenham. The canal was replaced by a railway line after 1836, and this now forms part of the line between London Bridge and Croydon. Honor Oak Park railway station opened in 1886 on this line. Honor Oak railway station was opened in 1862 but closed in 1958 as part of the closure of the Crystal Palace and South London Junction Railway, originally built to take passengers to The Crystal Palace. The remains of the embankment of this line can still be seen, forming part of Brenchley Gardens. The beacon at the summit of One Tree Hill was erected to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George VI in 1935.
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