Brockley: The centre of art and architecture in South London

Brockley: The centre of art and architecture in South LondonBrockley is known for its diversity and has a reputation for being one of the focal points of the South London arts scene.

It has so much to offer local residents and is peppered with a number of independent stores, cafés, scenic landscapes and affordable housing.

Located in the London borough of Lewisham, it is known as a thriving town with lots of flourishing businesses, vast green spaces and young professionals.

Over the last four years, the appeal of Brockley has grown significantly, and it is now said to be one of south East London's most interesting places to live.

It is an area which caterers for all budgets and has a number of annual events and activities that attract visitors from all over London.

There are many reasons to love Brockley, but below, we have highlighted just a few.

Arts

Brockley became known for its bohemian influx of artists, alternative performances and musicians during the 1960s, and it has managed to retain that reputation ever since.

Over the years, many artists set up shop in the area and built studios in their back gardens. Annually, the borough plays host to an annual open studios event which allows visitors to come along and visit some of these studios.

Last year, the brockley Open Studios event it was held from July 6-8th, until 8pm. It has been running since 1992 and its success has been largely attributed to the very high concentration of artists in the area.

Many of these artists are connected to Goldsmiths College and Camberwell School of Art and were first attracted to the area by the neglected and - at the time very cheap - Victorian houses and vast rambling gardens.

The event also allows guests to purchase work directly from the artists.

Art classes, in addition to studio and exhibition space is provided by the Lewisham Art House, which is located in what was formerly known as Deptford Library.

As well as art classes and workshops, Brockley is also known for its theatre performances and independent films.

The Brockley Jack Theatre is one of the borough's best loved fringe theatres which has recently undergone a complete makeover and over the years, became well known for performances of new plays. It is also the home of the Brockley Jack Film Club.

Since 2004, the borough has played host to the Brockley Max performing arts festival involving many local musicians and singers.This is rumoured to be one of South London's best annual community arts and music festivals and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Markets

Brockley is home to its award-winning weekly market which sells fresh fruit and vegetables. In 2004, it made the BBC's Best Food Market Shortlist.

Last year, some of the stallholders at the market were nominated for the young British Foodies award, which aims to find the next generation of talented and passionate gastronomes in the UK.

In the Hilly Fields area of Brockley, a Midsummer fayre has taken place every summer for 30 years.

Property and architecture

Brockley is famous for its sprawling, Victorian architecture. In fact, it is said, that the grand, Edwardian and Victorian homes were responsible for initially attracting so many artists into the area during the 1960s.

In 1974, much of Brockley was designated a conservation area and today it is one of the best preserved London Victorian suburbs.

Properties are a mix of grand Victorian houses, terraced, semi-detached and apartments, with a few townhouses thrown in for good measure.

House prices

House prices start from around £170,000 and go all the way up to over £1 million for some properties.

Education

Families are often drawn to the borough because of its plentiful supply of primary and comprehensive schools.

Its schools, Stillness Infants and Junior School on Brockley Rise are the most popular, and both were rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted.

Secondary schools - Prendergast Hilly Fields College for girls and Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College, were rated as 'Outstanding'.

There is also Crossways Academy, and private schools in nearby Dulwich.

Published 31st January, 2014

© 2014 Estates IT Limited

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Brockley is famed for its arts scene and Victorian housing.

Brockley: The centre of art and architecture in South London

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