Crofton Park

Crofton Park, Lewisham

The southern part of Brockley, bordering Honor Oak Park

Hidden London: Crofton Park, Rivoli Ballroom by Jon Lord

This was the loca­tion of the vil­lage of Brock­ley in the 18th cen­tu­ry, cen­tred on the Cas­tle pub­lic house, lat­er renamed the Brock­ley Jack. The part of Brock­ley that lay with­in the parish of Dept­ford con­sist­ed sole­ly of farm­land at that time.

When the Cat­ford loop line was built in 1892 a sta­tion was opened here, and a new name was required, as Brock­ley sta­tion was already in exis­tence. Crofton Park’s name appears to have been entire­ly an inven­tion, with no basis in local his­to­ry. The Brock­ley Jack was rebuilt in 1898 and shops sur­round­ed the sta­tion. The pub nowa­days has a pop­u­lar upstairs the­atre.

New roads were laid out to the south of the rail­way, includ­ing Crofton Park Road, which rough­ly fol­lowed the route of an old lane.

The parish church of St Hil­da, Crofton Park, was com­plet­ed in 1908 in a vari­a­tion on the Arts and Crafts style that has been called ‘strange’ and ‘irre­spon­si­ble’. The Crofton Park pic­ture palace opened in 1913 and the build­ing was extend­ed in 1924. It became the Riv­o­li ball­room in 1959.

Brock­ley Hall Road is built on the site of the for­mer home of the Noakes fam­i­ly of Bermond­sey brew­ers. Brock­ley Hall stood for a cen­tu­ry and a half but was demol­ished in 1932 fol­low­ing the death of its last own­er, the eccen­tric Maude Noakes.

The Crofton Park ward – which also takes in Hon­or Oak Park – is demo­graph­i­cal­ly typ­i­cal of Lewisham, except for a high­er lev­el of own­er occu­pa­tion. Accord­ing to the 2011 cen­sus, 60 per cent of res­i­dents are white, while 22 per cent are black or black British.

The Rivoli ballroom is now used for events, live music and specialist dance nights. Among its many film and television appearances, the Rivoli was the location for Tina Turner’s Private Dancer video and featured as a 1970s German dance hall in the 2001 thriller Spy Game, starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt.

Postal district: SE4
Population: 14,937 (2011 census)
Station: Southeastern Trains (zone 3)
*The picture of the Rivoli Ballroom on this page is slightly modified from an original photograph at Flickr, copyright John Lord, made available under the Attribution 2.0 Generic licence. Any subsequent reuse is freely permitted under the terms of that licence.