The Heritage of London Trust is London’s only charity which concentrates on the conservation and restoration of historic buildings which are cared for by the local communities. The Trust has been operating for over 25 years and during that time has helped buildings and monuments in every single London borough and raised and disbursed well over £3 Million to ensure the survival of London’s unique and exciting heritage.In fact the Heritage of London is two trusts: our sister, Heritage of London Trust Operations is a building preservation trust which acts as a regenerator in the poorest areas by taking over problem buildings and finding a sensible and economic end use before restoring the building to its rightful dignity.
The Heritage of London Trust has been quietly busy in Dulwich over the years; we have helped the Picture Gallery twice, restored the clock at Dulwich College and we made a small grant towards landscaping at All Saints, West Dulwich and we are looking at a tomb in West Norwood Cemetery at the moment.One local project where we have been very pleased to offer help is St Augustine’s Church on One Tree Hill in Honor Oak Park, SE23. This area has the most romantic associations and the Hill was previously named “Oak of Honor Hill” because Queen Elizabeth I was entertained to a picnic under the Oak by Sir Richard Buckley on May Day 1602! How wonderful then that the space should still be an open space used for sport (Honor Oak Recreation Ground), allotments (One Tree Hill Allotments Society) and common land where anyone can walk (Friends of One Tree Hill) and of course St Augustine’s Church located within leafy One Tree Hill (entrance for cars in Honor Oak Park).
St Augustine’s is a very beautiful and much loved Church whose foundation stone was laid in 1872. The building is faced in Kentish Ragstone with a battlemented tower surrounded by an octagonal bell turret. You may have noticed the flag of St George flying proudly atop the Hill! The Church has just reached the end of a year long Project Development with English Heritage to determine the work required to stabilise the structure. This is likely to include extensive underpinning, drains renewal, and repairs and refurbishment to the stone facing and internal masonry. Bolstered by grants from other charitable foundations such as Garfield Weston, Marshall’s Charity and National Churches, St Augustine’s Living Heritage Appeal has had a busy year of fundraising events and hopes to commence the restoration work this summer. Further repairs and improvements to the building will continue for some time. Details about services and events can be found on their website www.augustineonetreehill.org.uk
Finally, Dulwich Society members may be interested in the Heritage Weekend the Trust is arranging on 13th and 14th September in Tower Hamlets. This fascinating area has a wealth of history which has shaped our nation’s economic development. We will be producing a guide book for the weekend during August and any member who would like a free copy should send a stamped, self addressed envelope to The Heritage of London Trust, 38 Ebury Street, London, SW1W 0LU.