London Borough of Lewisham

Last updated

Lewisham arms.png
Coat of arms
Lewisham Council Logo.svg
Council logo
Lewisham in Greater London.svg
Lewisham shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Historic county Kent
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQ Catford
  Type London borough council
  Body Lewisham London Borough Council
  LeadershipMayor & Cabinet (Labour)
   Executive mayor Damien Egan (Labour)
  London Assembly Len Duvall AM for Greenwich and Lewisham
   MPs Ellie Reeves (Labour)
Vicky Foxcroft (Labour)
Janet Daby (Labour)
  Total13.57 sq mi (35.15 km2)
Area rank292nd (of 309)
 (mid-2019 est.)
  Rank41st (of 309)
  Density23,000/sq mi (8,700/km2)
  Ethnicity [1]
41.5% White British
1.9% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
10.1% Other White
3.1% White & Black Caribbean
1.3% White & Black African
1.1% White & Asian
1.9% Other Mixed
1.7% Indian
0.6% Pakistani
0.5% Bangladeshi
2.2% Chinese
4.3% Other Asian
11.6% Black African
11.2% Black Caribbean
4.4% Other Black
0.5% Arab
2.1% Other
Time zone UTC (GMT)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s) 020
ONS code 00AZ
GSS code E09000023
Police Metropolitan Police
Website Council Website

Lewisham ( /ˈlɪʃəm/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a London borough in South London; it forms part of Inner London. The principal settlement of the borough is Lewisham. The local authority is Lewisham London Borough Council, based in Catford. Lewisham is well known for its high school exclusion (expulsion) rates: it had the third highest school exclusion rates in the United Kingdom in 2018. The Prime Meridian passes through Lewisham. Blackheath, Goldsmiths, University of London and Millwall F.C. are located within the borough.



The borough was formed in 1965, by the London Government Act 1963, as an amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham and the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford, which had been created in 1900 as divisions of the County of London. [2]

Minor boundary changes have occurred since its creation. The most significant amendments were made in 1996, when the former area of the Royal Docks in Deptford was transferred from the London Borough of Greenwich. [3]


Locations in and around the London Borough of Lewisham Lewisham Borough places map.jpg
Locations in and around the London Borough of Lewisham

The borough is surrounded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to the east (where the border runs between Deptford and Horn Park), the London Borough of Bromley to the south (where the border runs between Horn Park and Crystal Palace Park), and the London Borough of Southwark to the west ( where the border runs between Crystal Palace Park and Rotherhithe). The River Thames forms a short section of northern boundary with the Isle of Dogs in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Deptford Creek, Pool River, River Quaggy and River Ravensbourne pass through the borough. Major landmarks include All Saints Church in Blackheath, the Citibank Tower in Lewisham, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Church (Sydenham's German Church, technically located in Forest Hill) and the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. Millwall F.C. are based in the borough, their stadium The Den being located in South Bermondsey.


According to the 2011 census, [4] Lewisham has a population of 275,885, is 53% white and 47% BME, and 43% of households are owner-occupiers.

A 2017 report by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute found that Lewisham has a poverty rate of 26%, close to the London-wide figure of 27%. [5]

Population census
1801 16,640    
1811 19,728+18.6%
1821 24,474+24.1%
1831 27,329+11.7%
1841 32,589+19.2%
1851 41,593+27.6%
1861 76,958+85.0%
1871 112,324+46.0%
1881 147,689+31.5%
1891 173,229+17.3%
1901 217,295+25.4%
1911 272,600+25.5%
1921 299,022+9.7%
1931 328,010+9.7%
1941 314,953−4.0%
1951 302,420−4.0%
1961 285,431−5.6%
1971 269,401−5.6%
1981 230,504−14.4%
1991 240,649+4.4%
2001 248,924+3.4%
2011 275,885+10.8%
2015 297,325+7.8%
Note: [6]


Ethnic Group2001 [7] 2011 [8]
White: British141,81456.9%114,44641.5%
White: Irish5,2061.9%6,9902.8%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller2080.1%
White: Other15,2946.1%27,82610.1%
White: Total164,09865.8%147,68653.6%
Asian or Asian British: Indian3,4871.4%4,6001.7%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani1,0900.4%1,5960.6%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi1,2290.5%1,3880.5%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese3,4311.4%6,1642.2%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian3,6441.4%11,7864.3%
Asian or Asian British: Total12,8815.2%25,5349.3%
Black or Black British: African22,5719.0%32,02511.6%
Black or Black British: Caribbean30,54312.3%30,85411.2%
Black or Black British: Other Black5,1462.1%12,0634.4%
Black or Black British: Total58,26023.4%74,94227.2%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean4,7601.9%8,5393.1%
Mixed: White and Black African1,5990.6%3,5591.3%
Mixed: White and Asian1,5650.6%3,0451.1%
Mixed: Other Mixed2,4751.0%5,3291.9%
Mixed: Total10,3994.1%20,4727.4%
Other: Arab1,4560.5%
Other: Any other ethnic group3,2841.3%5,7952.1%
Other: Total3,2841.3%7,3412.6%
Black, Asian, and minority ethnic: Total84,82434.2%128,28946.4%

Civic affairs

Lewisham Town Hall, completed in 1932 Lewisham Town Hall (9175916169).jpg
Lewisham Town Hall, completed in 1932


The motto of the borough is "Salus Populi Suprema Lex", which means (roughly translated) "The welfare of the people [is] the highest law."


The current Chief Executive is Kim Wright. [9] The borough is administered by the four directorates of the council: Children and Young People, Community Services, Customer Services, and Resources & Regeneration.


The borough is twinned with the following towns:

The borough has also signed a "friendship link" with Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Freedom of the Borough

The honour of Freedom of the Borough has been awarded to:



A map of the wards within the London Borough of Lewisham LB of Lewisham Wards v1.0.png
A map of the wards within the London Borough of Lewisham

The London Borough of Lewisham is divided into 18 wards, first used in the 2002 elections, they are:

New wards will be adopted at the 2022 election. [12]

Previous wards

The previous 26 wards of the London Borough of Lewisham divided into 6 areas, used from 1978 to 1998 Lewisham Old Wards.GIF
The previous 26 wards of the London Borough of Lewisham divided into 6 areas, used from 1978 to 1998

Previously the borough was divided into 26 wards and 6 areas, used for elections from 1978 to 1998. Some of these former wards had the same names as the present wards, but their borders were different. When the wards were revised for 2002, some became larger, absorbing parts of other previous wards, the number of wards changed from 26 to 18. The previous wards and areas used from 1978 to 1998 were:

Lewisham central

Lewisham North East

Lewisham North West

  • Drake
  • Evelyn
  • Grinling Gibbons
  • Marlowe

Lewisham South

Lewisham South East

Lewisham South West

London Borough Council

Lewisham's council, unlike most English councils, is led by a directly elected mayor. The first mayoral election was in 2002 and was won by the Labour Party candidate, Steve Bullock, who was re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Following the 2018 council elections, there are 54 Labour Party councillors and none for other parties. The current mayor is Damien Egan.

Westminster Parliament

The borough includes the constituencies of Lewisham Deptford, Lewisham West and Penge and Lewisham East.

These are the MPs who have represented constituencies covered by the borough since its formation in 1964. Note that constituencies change their boundaries over time, even where names remain the same.

Heidi Alexander Labour Lewisham East2010–2018
Christopher Chataway Conservative Lewisham North1964–66
Janet Daby Labour Lewisham East2018–present
James Dickens Labour Lewisham West1966–70
Jim Dowd Labour Lewisham West1992–2017
Vicky Foxcroft Labour Lewisham, Deptford2015–present
John Selwyn Gummer Conservative Lewisham West1970–74 (Feb)
Carol Johnson Labour Lewisham South1964–74 (Feb)
Patrick McNair-Wilson Conservative Lewisham West1964–66
John Maples Conservative Lewisham West1983–92
Roland Moyle Labour Lewisham North
Lewisham East
1966–74 (Feb)
1974 (Feb)-79
Colin Moynihan Conservative Lewisham East1983–92
Bridget Prentice Labour Lewisham East1992–2010
Christopher Price Labour Lewisham West1974 (Feb)-79
Ellie Reeves Labour Lewisham West2017–present
John Silkin Labour Deptford
Lewisham, Deptford
1964–74 (Feb)
1974 (Feb)-87


The London's Poverty Profile, a report by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute, found that 42% of 19-year-olds in Lewisham lack level 3 qualifications. This is the 3rd worst rate out of 32 boroughs. [13]

In 2018, Lewisham had the third highest rate of exclusions of pupils from secondary schools of any area in England. [14]


Lewisham Station, an important transport hub Lewisham.jpg
Lewisham Station, an important transport hub

Lewisham station, once known as Lewisham Junction, is located at the junction of the lines to Dartford and Hayes, and is also the terminus of the southern branch of the Docklands Light Railway.

The East London Line (on the London Underground network) terminated at New Cross and New Cross Gate until December 2007. An extension to this line opened on 23 May 2010, serving Brockley, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, and Sydenham. This forms part of the London Overground network.

The South London Line runs along the extreme North West of the borough, at present there are no stations that are within the borough. There is a proposal for a new station at New Bermondsey providing a link to Clapham Junction.

Railway stations

DLR stations

London Underground

There are no Tube stations currently in the borough, as the East London Line has been part of London Overground since 2006. However, an extension of the Bakerloo line beyond Elephant & Castle to Lewisham and Hayes has been approved. [15]


Quietway one links Lewisham to Greenwich and in toward central London

One Cycle Superhighways will operate through Lewisham in the future.

Main roads

Travel to work

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: train, 18.6% of all residents aged 16–74; driving a car or van, 11.2%; bus, minibus or coach, 11.2%; underground, metro, light rail, tram, 9.7%; on foot, 4.3%; work mainly at or from home, 2.8%; bicycle, 2.6%. [16]

48% of households in the borough are car free, compared to 42% across Greater London. [17]


Lewisham won London Borough of Culture for 2020. The prestigious award, is a major initiative launched by the Mayor of London in June 2017, will see Lewisham receive £1.35 million to stage an ambitious, year-long programme of cultural events celebrating the wealth of creative talent in the borough and delivering lasting social change.

Sport and leisure

Millwall Football Club was originally formed in 1885, in Millwall on the Isle of Dogs, East London. They retained the name, even though they moved across the river to New Cross, South London in 1910. In 1993 they moved to their current stadium, The Den which is in Bermondsey, but falls under the Borough of Lewisham. The Borough has a Non-League football club Lewisham Borough Football Club, who play at the Ladywell Arena, Catford.

See also

Related Research Articles

Bellingham, London Human settlement in England

Bellingham is an area of South East London, England, within the London Borough of Lewisham. It lies south of Catford and north-west of Beckenham, and is part of the Catford postal district (SE6).

Blackheath, London Human settlement in England

Blackheath is an area of South East London, England, straddling the border of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Lewisham. It is located 1 mile north east of Lewisham, 1.5 miles south of Greenwich and 6.4 miles south east of Charing Cross, the traditional centre of London.

Catford Human settlement in England

Catford is a district of south east London, England, and the administrative centre of the London Borough of Lewisham. It is southwest of Lewisham itself, mostly in the Rushey Green and Catford South wards. The population of Catford, including the Bellingham, London neighbourhood, was 44,905 as of 2011.

Crofton Park Human settlement in England

Crofton Park is a mainly residential suburb and electoral ward in the London Borough of Lewisham.

Lewisham Deptford (UK Parliament constituency)

Lewisham Deptford is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Vicky Foxcroft of the Labour Party.

Lewisham Human settlement in England

Lewisham is an area of south east London, England, 5.9 miles (9.5 km) south of Charing Cross. It is the principal area of the London Borough of Lewisham, and is also within the historic county of Kent. It is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London, with a large shopping centre and street market.

River Ravensbourne

The River Ravensbourne is a tributary of the River Thames in south London, England. It flows into the tidal River Thames at Deptford, where its tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek.

Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham

The Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it became part of the London Borough of Lewisham along with the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford.

Metropolitan Borough of Deptford Former borough of London, UK

The Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it became part of the London Borough of Lewisham along with the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham.

Eltham District of southeast London, England

Eltham is a district of southeast London, England, within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is 8.7 miles (14.0 km) east-southeast of Charing Cross, and is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. The three wards of Eltham North, South and West have a total population of 35,459.

Grove Park, Lewisham Human settlement in England

Grove Park is a district of South East London, England within the London Borough of Lewisham. It is located north east of Bromley and south east of Lewisham.

Anglican Diocese of Southwark Diocese of the Church of England

The Diocese of Southwark is one of the 42 dioceses of the Church of England, part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The diocese forms part of the Province of Canterbury in England. It was created on 1 May 1905 from part of the ancient Diocese of Rochester that was served by a Suffragan Bishop of Southwark (1891–1905). Before 1877 the area was part of the Diocese of Winchester.

Lewisham East (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1974 onwards

Lewisham East is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since the by-election on 14 June 2018 by Janet Daby of the Labour Party.

Parks and open spaces in the London Borough of Lewisham

Lewisham parks and open spaces are part of the "green lung" of London and include a diverse range of sites, from small urban parks and gardens to one of the most historic natural landscapes in Greater London at Blackheath. While overall control rests with London Borough of Lewisham, management of borough-owned parks and their facilities is contracted out to Glendale Grounds Management.

Ladywell Human settlement in England

Ladywell is a locale in Lewisham in South East London, England, and a ward in the London Borough of Lewisham between Brockley, Crofton Park and Lewisham proper. It has ample green space including Ladywell Fields and Hilly Fields which borders Brockley. Ladywell Village, the main shopping area along Ladywell Road, was given a face lift in 2013 with £800,000 of Transport for London funding. The pavements were widened, short stay bays created to help local businesses and shoppers, and trees were added. Ladywell Village has a range of retail outlets including a number of cafes, a patisserie and a delicatessen.

St Johns, London Human settlement in England

St Johns is a district around the station of the same name in south-east London. It lies within the Borough of Lewisham and borders the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It makes up the northwestern part of Lewisham along with Telegraph Hill.

Horn Park Human settlement in England

Horn Park is an area of south east London south west of Eltham. It is located 12.5 km (7.8 mi) southeast of Charing Cross on the southwest edge of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and borders both the London Borough of Lewisham and the London Borough of Bromley. There is a public park also named Horn Park and two schools in the area. The River Quaggy flows northward though Horn Park, and the suburb is covered by the postcode district SE12, which was previously called the Lee postal district. There is community centre located in Horn Park Estate on Sibthorpe Road, that hosts a number of activities, such as Christian, council and MP meetings, and numerous classes including dance, karate and English.


  1. 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales , Office for National Statistics (2012). See Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom for the full descriptions used in the 2011 Census.
  2. Vision of Britain Archived 11 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine – Lewisham LB
  3. OPSI – The Greenwich and Lewisham (London Borough Boundaries) Order 1993
  4. "2011 Census Second Release December 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  5. "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  6. "Lewisham: Total Population". A Vision of Britain Through Time. Great Britain Historical GIS Project. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  7. "KS006 - Ethnic group". NOMIS. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  8. "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  9. "The chief executive". Lewisham Council.
  10. Supplement to the London Gazette 1 January 1967, p. 15
  11. "Supplement to the London Gazette 3 June 1978, p. 6237" (PDF).
  12. Local Government Boundary Commission for England
  13. "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  14. [ bare URL ]
  15. Matters, Transport for London | Every Journey. "Bakerloo line extension". Transport for London.
  16. "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey’s longest part by distance.
  17. 2011 Census, Car or Van Availability (QS416EW)

Coordinates: 51°25′N0°02′W / 51.417°N 0.033°W / 51.417; -0.033