Lewisham in 1908
Map of LCC area in 1908

What was Lewisham like in 1908?

In 1908 the present London Borough of Lewisham was comprised of two separate parts - the Metropolitan Boroughs of Deptford and Lewisham, which were part of the 27 boroughs which formed the County of London, administered by London County Council.


The Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was 18th in size of the London Boroughs and had a history dating back to ancient times. It covered 1,563 acres and had some 53 miles of streets. It had a rateable value of £647,098 in 1908. Its population in the census of 1901 was 110,398, comprising 53,613 males and 56,785 females. The estimated population for 1907 was 116,510. It had 15,823 inhabited properties. Deptford was quite densely populated with 10.4 houses per acre and 70.6 persons per acre.


The Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham was 3rd largest of the London boroughs, covering an area of 7,014 acres. Its rateable value was £1,075,412 in April 1908. Its population in 1901 had been 127,495, comprising 56,749 males and 70,746 females. Its estimated population in 1907 was 152,532. It had 22,750 inhabited properties. Although the population had been rising at the end of the 19th century, Lewisham had only 3.5 houses per acre and 18.2 persons.

Lewisham had changed dramatically in the preceding 2 decades, following the urbanisation of the area made possible by the coming of the railways and the building of tramways.

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This information is supplied by Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre, where the original borough guides, newspapers, reports and photographs can be seen.

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