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Herne Hill

Herne Hill is located in the London Borough of Lambeth and the London Borough of Southwark in Greater London. There is a road of the same name which is part of the A215, formerly known as "Heron's Hill".

The name Herne Hill initially appeared in 1789, when the area was farms and woodland. The River Effra ran through parts of the area.

Herne Hill is situated between the more well-known areas of Brixton and Dulwich, and shares characteristics with both. It also straddles two boroughs, and is a community of just under 12,000 people, with a range of independent shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants. Famous Herne Hill residents from history include John Ruskin and the Lupino family.

The area is home to Brockwell Park. On the top of the hill in Brockwell Park stands Brockwell Hall, which was built in 1831. The land surrounding it was opened to the public in 1891 after it was purchased by London County Council. Brockwell Park hosts the annual Lambeth Country Fair and was the site of London's Gay Pride festival for several years in the 1990s. The park also houses the magnificent Brockwell Lido, an open-air swimming pool built in 1937. The Lido re-opened in July 2007 following a 2.5 million refurbishment, and now offers a year-round facility complete with a cafe, 100-station gym, new fitness studios and a hydrotherapy suite. A full programme of yoga classes is also offered, along with aerobics, pilates, meditation and Whippersnappers children's workshops.

Situated in a park off Burbage Road, the Herne Hill Velodrome was built in 1891, is the only remaining cycle racing track in London, and hosted the track cycling events in the 1948 Olympic Games. Unlike most modern, steeply-banked velodromes, it is a shallow concrete bowl. It also has a football pitch, and was home of Crystal Palace F.C. from 1915 until 1918.

The Grade II listed Half Moon Pub on Half Moon Lane has hosted a boxing gym for over 50 years, currently run by former British and European light welterweight champion Clinton McKenzie. The Half Moon retains all of its original Victorian splendour and it remains one of the few live music pubs in south London.

St Paul's church on Herne Hill was originally built by G Alexander in 1843-4, but dramatically rebuilt after a destructive fire by the gothic architect G E Street in 1858, and is now listed Grade II*.

The Carnegie Public Library on Herne Hill Road opened in 1906 and is also a listed Grade II building.

A Blue Plaque at 51 Herne Hill (by the junction with Danecroft Road) marks the former home of author Sax Rohmer (a.k.a. Arthur Henry Ward), most famous as author of the series of novels featuring the master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu.

Source: Wikipedia

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