Dacres Wood Nature Reserve is next to the railway line on the site of the former garden of a Victorian house called Irongates. When the former Croydon Canal was discovered in 1990, a pond was formed by digging out the canal bed, with a new pond was created in the north.
The site takes its name from Dacre House, which was once located in the area; in 1767 it was owned by Sir Samuel Fludyer, for whom the grounds were laid out with advice from 'Capability' Brown. Relics of a loop of the ill-advised Croydon Canal have been found in the Nature Reserve. After the canal closed in 1836 it was purchased by London & Croydon Railway Company and a number of the old loops were infilled and built over, one becoming part of Irongates' garden. The house was demolished by 1962 and flats built, the site of its garden later passing to the GLC then to Lewisham Council who originally intended further housing. It was taken over by Lewisham Parks Department in 1984 and became a nature reserve in 1989.
- Access & Directions
DirectionsLondon Overground: Sydenham, Forest Hill
London Parks and Gardens Trust