A modern development off Sydenham Hill. As a placename, Woodsire (the more usual spelling) first appears, in a reference to ‘the lord’s land at Wodeshere’, in 1335. William Wodeshere, probably named because he or his forebear had the job of tending the lord of the manor’s woods, is, intriguingly, mentioned in the same Court Roll, as being fined for his animals damaging the lord’s property at Wodeshere. Under Bermondsey Abbey and the Calton family, Woodsire (comprising 44 acres) remained part of the lord of the manor’s demesne lands, essentially Dulwich Court Farm on either side of Court Lane.
Woodsire became subdivided into a number of parcels: Woodsire Grove was 8 acres of mainly woodland on which Alleyn’s School now stands; Great Woodsires was about 30 acres at one point, and Little Woodsires 14 acres, but another ten acres was carved out of Great Woodsires (leaving the latter at 20 acres) and added to an adjoining 3 acres to make another 13-acre parcel also, confusingly, called Little Woodsires. The 20 acres and the 13 acres were thereafter included as part of Dulwich Court Farm, and the 14 acres, straddling what is now East Dulwich Grove, was leased with a house which is now Lyndenhurst, but after 1719 the leases cease to refer to Little Woodsires by name.