Sort file:- Sydenham, August, 2021.

Page Updated:- Wednesday, 11 August, 2021.


Earliest 1720-


Open 2020+

313-315 (10) Kirkdale


020 8659 0231

Greyhound 1818

Above drawing 1818, showing the Croyden Canal bottom left.

Greyhound 1890

Above postcard, circa 1890, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Greyhound 1900

Above photo circa 1900.

Greyhound postcard 1906

Above postcard, postmarked 1906.


Above photo, date unknown.

Greyhound 1981

Above photo, 1981.


Above photo, date unknown, taken by Steve Grindlay.

Greyhound 2008

Above photo 2003.

Greyhound 2007

Above photo, 2007 taken by Steve Grindlay.

Greyhound 2011

Above photo, July 2011. Taken by Stephen Harris.

Above photo 2018.


Above photo, date unknown.


Sydenham was located in Kent until 1889 when the County of London was formed and in 1965 it became part of the current London Borough. It is now a suburban district of South London in the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Bromley and Southwark.

Your help is appreciated, and every email is answered.


There has been an inn on this site since at least 1720. The oldest part of the building at the rear was 18th century.

The Inn was used as a meeting place for local hunts. The greyhound being bred for hunting, using speed and keenness of sight. Until at least 1812 the Old Surrey Hounds would meet at the Inn. Trade was boosted with the building of the Croydon Canal, which operated between 1807 and 1836. The inn was a convenient meeting place for the directors of the company and provided refreshment for workmen who built the canal. In 1807 the inn had a boat and boat-house, as the landlord was accused of not allowing the boat to be used to rescue a man who had fallen into the canal reservoir and drowned. The man had been trying to retrieve a duck he had shot.

The poet Thomas Campbell lived locally and regularly used the Greyhound and believed to have entertained some of his distinguished visitors (who included Sir Walter Scott & Lord Byron) at the inn.



There has been an inn on this site since 1720, and possibly as early as 1713. Joseph Hyde was the first recorded landlord, mentioned in 1726, and the inn is first referred to as The Greyhound in 1727, and again in 1729 when parish registers record the burial of Joseph Hyde in St Mary's Church, Lewisham. The oldest part of the building, made of timber, was demolished several years ago. Its outline can still be seen at the side of the Greyhound, from the car park.

The inn was built on the south eastern edge of Sydenham Common. The Common, now covered by Upper Sydenham and much of Forest Hill, was used by local people for grazing animals, gathering wood, recreation, hunting and holding fairs. The earliest inn faced the common (looking across Spring Hill), and had unbroken views to the summit of Sydenham Hill. Two tracks crossed the common, one leading to Dulwich (now Westwood Hill) and the other towards London (now Kirkdale).

In about 1640 mineral springs, with alleged healing properties, were discovered on Sydenham Common, in the present Wells Park Road and Taylor's Lane area. Demand for the water increased and several wells were sunk to ensure adequate supplies. Their popularity increased and one visitor complained about the "rabble of Londoners" who came to visit the wells. Visitors were accused of mixing the water with "brandy or other strong liquors" (supplied by local inns), and then blaming their hangovers on the water! Wealthier visitors to the Sydenham Wells would have required lodgings and this could have been one reason for building the inn. The popularity of the Wells peaked with a visit from George III (in about 1760) but then declined. The wells were filled in. During the late 19C the last remaining well was described as "a dirty pool and the water very nasty".

The Greyhound Inn, like inns at Dulwich, Streatham and Croydon with the same name, was used as a meeting place for local hunts. Greyhounds were bred for hunting, using speed and keenness of sight. During the 18C and until 1812 or later, the Old Surrey Hounds (the fictional Jorrock's pack) would meet at the Greyhound. The Old Surrey hunted an area that covered Brockley, Sydenham, Dulwich, Peckham and Croydon. Sydenham and Forest Hill were particularly noted during the 18C for having a large fox population.

Trade at the Greyhound Inn was boosted with the building of the Croydon Canal, which operated between 1807 and 1836. The canal connected Croydon with the Thames and followed roughly the line of the present railway track from New Cross Gate to Sydenham and beyond. The inn provided refreshment for the 'navvies' who built the canal and was also a resting place for those who used the canal for work or recreation.

The poet Thomas Campbell lived on Peak Hill between 1804 and 1820. He regularly used the Greyhound and apparently entertained some of his distinguished visitors (who included Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, George Crabbe and Sarah Siddons) at the inn. Sir Charles Bell (a Scottish surgeon) writes of an evening spent with Campbell at the Greyhound when the poet returned home "not drunk, but in excellent spirits". Other accounts suggest that there were occasions when he had to be helped home to bed.

An early painting shows pleasure boats moored against a landing stage near the inn, known as Doo's Wharf. Certainly in 1807 the inn had a boat and boat-house, as the landlord was accused of not allowing his boat to be used to rescue a man who had fallen into the canal reservoir and drowned. The man had been trying to retrieve a duck he had shot.

A major change to the character of the area resulted from the passing of the Enclosure Act of 1810. This proposed the enclosure of all common land in Lewisham, except for Blackheath. From about 1820 what had been open common, from the Greyhound to the top of Sydenham Hill and from Westwood Hill to Honor Oak Road, was fenced in and gradually built over.

The Croydon Canal failed and in 1836 the London & Croydon Railway Company bought its assets. They built a railway, roughly along the line of the canal, which opened in 1839. A station, almost adjacent to the inn, gave yet another boost to the Greyhound.

Sydenham was becoming a thriving and populous suburb and there was obviously a need for a more modern and prestigious inn. In 1873 an application was submitted to the Board of Works by Abraham Steer, a Norwood builder, to add an extension to the southern side of the building, fronting on to Kirkdale. Much of the interesting detail of the inn dates from this time.

The character of the Greyhound Inn has undergone a number of changes over more than 270 years. It has, at different times, provided strong refreshment for visitors to Sydenham Wells, been a meeting place for local huntsmen, refreshed those boating on the Croydon Canal, played host to Georgian literati and quenched the thirst of clerks returning from their offices in the City.



This appears to have changed name on a couple of occasions when bought by different breweries. Previous to 2009 it was owned by the Firkin Brewery, who preferred to use the name Firkin in all the pubs held by them, and this they decided to call the "Fewterer and Firkin." A Fewterer being a keeper of dogs, so I suppose in keeping with the original name. However, the chain and pub closed in 2007 and the name reverted back to the "Greyhound" again.

The pub closed in 2007 amidst planning proposals for 60-70 flats and then it caught fire whilst empty later that year.

After closing the pub was unlawfully demolished and then left partially rebuilt.


From the 2nd October 2014. By Carly Read.

Developer may face more legal action after Sydenham pub demolition.

Further legal action may be taken against the Bromley developer which illegally demolished an 18th-century Sydenham pub, the Mayor of Lewisham has warned.

The Greyhound in Kirkdale closed in 2007 and was knocked down in 2012, leaving just the front wall intact, despite it being in a conservation area banning demolition without council consent.

Last year Lewisham Council prosecuted developer Pure Lake for the unauthorised demolition.

The company was fined 5,000 and ordered to pay 13,000 costs by Bromley magistrates.

Civic group The Sydenham Society is continuing to push for the pub to be rebuilt, and last night confronted Mayor Steve Bullock and members of the cabinet about the “eyesore” left behind by Pure Lake.

Greyhound demonstration 2014

Armed with placards outside Lewisham’s civic offices, the 30-strong group demanded: “Enough is enough, we want our pub back.”

Barry Milton, a member of the society, told the Mayor: “We have been patient for seven years and enough is enough, we now want this issue to be resolved in the next few months.

“We would very much like to meet with the (council) chief executive and the Mayor as we have some ideas to put forward to do something about this planning quagmire.”

The Mayor invited the group to attend a follow-up meeting on October 22 to consider what action should be taken.

Mr Bullock said: “This organisation (Pure Lake) has been found guilty of a criminal act. If that implies that the council should take legal action then that is what we want to do.”

Sydenham Society chairwoman Annabel McLaren said having her defiant group attend the meeting was a reminder to Lewisham Council that the half-demolished building is “ruining our community.”

She added: “I think if they are serious about taking legal action then this is a great step in getting it resolved and the fact that the Mayor said that Pure Lake committed a criminal offence means the problem is finally being acknowledged.”

Pure Lake director Gerry Dowd had claimed at the time of the demolition it had been necessary because of "structural problems" at the building, partly caused by a fire.



In November 2014 rebuilding started, following an ultimatum given to the developer responsible by Lewisham Council.


From the 19 February 2018.

New Greyhound Pub in Sydenham opens 10 years on.

A pub in Sydenham is being brought back to life after being "totally transformed" during a six-month refurbishment.

The Greyhound Pub will host its grand opening on Friday (February 23) after being closed for 10 years after being illegally knocked down.

Greyhound 2018

The Kirkdale pub was bulldozed by developer Purelake without permission, causing Lewisham Council to bring them to court.

It was demolished in 2012.

In 2014 there was renewed calls for the pub to return.

New general manager, David Montgomery, said: "We have been working on this project for many months now and are delighted to open a civilised place to enjoy, drink and dine for Sydenham.

"In an era where an increasing number of well-loved local pubs are transformed into alternative uses, it is wonderful that we can, at The Greyhound, create a new heart of the community for people to spend time in.

"Although structural issues have made the project challenging, the result has all been worth it. I’m local myself and, as a team, we’re excited to welcome everyone.

"The Greyhound stands for good food, good drink, good times. We cannot wait to open."

The pub is also re-launching private dining rooms and a patio garden, both opening in Spring.

They also confirmed that both vegetarian and vegan options will be offered on their new menu.

The pub is located at 313-315 in Kirkdale and dogs and children are welcome.

It will open Monday to Saturday from 11am until 11pm and on Sundays from 12pm until 11pm.


After a refurbishment the pub reopened in February 2018.



CARTER Longstaff 1815-27 (dec'd age 56)

CARTER Susannah 1832+ Pigot's Directory 1832-34

AUSTEN John & Edward 1862+ (also Fly Proprietors)

AUSTIN Frederick 1866+

LAVELL James Daniel Francis 1874-76+

SMITH Friend 1882-96+

DOWLING William Alfred 1901-05+ Kelly's 1903

DENBURY Laura Miss 1906+

MORTLOCK Laura 1919-44+

ALISON Cynthia Sept/2017+


Pigot's Directory 1832-34From the Pigot's Directory 1832-33-34

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-