Inner borough of southeast Greater London, England, formed in 1965 by an amalgamation of the former boroughs of Lewisham and Deptford; population (2001) 248,900. It lies southeast of the City, between Southwark to the west, Greenwich to the east, and Bromley to the south. The borough includes the districts of Bellingham, Blackheath, Brockley, Catford, Deptford, Deptford New Town, Downham, Downham Estate, Forest Hill, Grove Park, Hither Park, Ladywell, Lee, Lewisham, New Cross, Southend, and Sydenham.
Features Blackheath, Lewisham's major centre, was a fashionable suburb for wealthy City merchants between the 17th and 19th centuries, and its past wealth is still reflected in its attractive architecture and large houses; the village Heath (a public open space since 1871), which adjoins Greenwich Park, is the site of fairs, and has become the starting point for the London Marathon; the Horniman Museum, located in Forest Hill, contains an aquarium, 16-acre garden, and the Centre for Understanding the Environment; the Albany Empire fringe theatre; and the Catford Greyhound Racing Stadium.
Famous people Francis Baring (founder of Baring Brothers merchant bank); former UK prime minister James Callaghan; his daughter, Baroness Jay; religious adviser Terry Waite; writers Edgar Wallace and Edith Nesbitt; explorers Ernest Shackleton and James Clark Ross; publisher Stanley Unwin; Frederick John Horniman (founder of the museum); and cricketer W G Grace all lived here; the decadent poet Ernest Dowson was born and died here; The Limes, a house once sited on Lewisham High Street, was frequently visited by the founder of Methodism John Wesley, his brother Charles Wesley, and George Whitefield.