Sitting right next to a busy junction, Camberwell Green is a small park that is often overlooked.
Until the late 18th century, Camberwell was a rural village. The green used to play host to a rather notorious fair held for the Feast of St Giles. This became an increasingly boisterous affair lasting up to three days, until eventually, in 1856, the more 'well to do' residents put an end to it. Four local chaps bought the green and rights to hold the fair on a 1,000 year lease for £1,250 plus the annual rent of one peppercorn! I have a feeling prices may have risen since then... The new owners then sold it to Camberwell Vestry in 1857 and the public were allowed access again in 1859.
Sadly, there is no longer a raucous fair held on the green but you will find an excellent farmers market on the 1st Saturday of the month. There is also a play area for children and newly erected ping pong tables, which seem to be in use twenty four hours a day.
There is funding available from the council to improve the green for local residents, if you want to have your say on what improvements you'd like to see then head over to https://forms.southwark.gov.uk/ShowForm.asp?fm_fid=813 and share your thoughts.
'Spring Song', written by Felix Mendelssohn was supposedly inspired by the green and written when he was staying at Denmark Hill in 1842.