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‘The Wood That Built London: A Human History of the Great North Wood'

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Lambeth Palace Library

15 Lambeth Palace Road

London

SE1 7JT

United Kingdom

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C.J. Schüler: ‘The Wood That Built London: A Human History of the Great North Wood’. Talk held in the new Lambeth Palace Library building.

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Standing in the busy streets of South London today, it is hard to imagine that much of this suburban townscape used to be a vast wood. Once stretching unbroken for almost seven miles from Croydon to the Thames at Deptford, the Great North Wood has been reduced to fragments. Its legacy can be found in the names of places across South London: Norwood, Collier ’s Wood, Honor Oak, Penge, meaning ‘Wood’s End’, Woodside, and Selhurst, from the Anglo-Saxon for ‘dwelling in a wood.’

Author and historian C.J. Schuler will speak about his new book The Wood That Built London: A Human History of the Great North Wood, revealing how it built and fuelled medieval London, the various ownership disputes that divided it, and how the expanding metropolis eventually engulfed most of the landscape. He will also speak about using the collections of Lambeth Palace Library to research the book, uncovering lists of coppices believed to have been owned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which were then reduced during the Civil War and interregnum, and sold off during the 18th century.

C.J. Schüler is the author of three illustrated histories of cartography. His best-selling Traveller’s Atlas. Writers, Lovers, Soldiers, Spies: A History of the Authors’ Club of London, 1891–2016 was published in November 2016, and Along the Amber Route (Sandstone) in 2020. He has also written on literature, travel and the arts for The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Tablet, The Financial Times and the New Statesman. He was chairman of the Authors’ Club from 2008 to 2015.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket or email archives@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 12 November.

Cover image credit: Hufton & Crow

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Lambeth Palace Library

15 Lambeth Palace Road

London

SE1 7JT

United Kingdom

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