London is known for being a busy metropolis with much of its old-world charm still intact. Whilst it’s characterised by tall buildings such as the ‘Gherkin’ and mega structures like the London Eye, it’s also still known for quieter and less densely populated communities like Penge. If you check out the references to Penge in the London guide, you’ll find it nestled in the London Borough of Bromley. The area was once covered by dense woodland, which probably led to the name ‘Penceat’ which was a Celtic name for the ‘edge of wood’.
Penge’s more famous residents include Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, painter Camille Pissarro and Bonar Law, Prime Minister in the early 1920s. Here are a few reasons to visit Penge:
During the Victorian era, Penge was known as a fashionable suburb because of its proximity to the railway line and the newly relocated Crystal Palace. Locals would visit the palace and then take a tram down the hill to dine or drink at one of Penge’s pubs. It also had two music halls, namely The Kings’ Hall and The Empire Theatre. The Crystal Palace, a cast-iron and plate-glass wonder, was built to host the Great Exhibition of 1851; it was originally built in Hyde Park, but it was transferred to Penge Commons.
The entire structure, ‘the palace of very crystal’, was rebuilt on top of Penge Peak, next to a rich suburb known as Sydenham Hill. It was later destroyed by fire in 1936. However, the area and the nearby park was renamed Crystal Palace in honour of the structure. Today, Crystal Palace remains one of Penge’s most popular landmarks. The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, which date back to Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins 1854 collection, still draws crowds.
Ease of Transportation
Getting around Penge is also easy with transport links available by rail and bus. From Penge, you can quickly connect to London Victoria, the Gatwick Express, Canada Water, as well as the Clock House station.
So the next time you’re in London if you want to discover somewhere different and off the regular tourist thoroughfares, visit Penge.