Coat of arms of Lewisham
Official logo of Lewisham
Lewisham shown within Greater London
Lewisham shown within Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQCatford
 • TypeLondon borough council
 • BodyLewisham London Borough Council
 • LeadershipMayor & Cabinet (Labour)
 • Executive mayorDamien Egan (Labour)
 • London AssemblyLen Duvall AM for Greenwich and Lewisham
 • MPsEllie Reeves (Labour)
Vicky Foxcroft (Labour)
Janet Daby (Labour)
 • Total13.57 sq mi (35.15 km2)
 • Rank292nd (of 309)
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total305,842
 • Rank41st (of 309)
 • Density23,000/sq mi (8,700/km2)
 • Ethnicity[1]
41.5% White British
1.9% White Irish
0.1% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
10.1% Other White
3.1% White & Black Caribbean
1.3% White & Black African
1.1% White & Asian
1.9% Other Mixed
1.7% Indian
0.6% Pakistani
0.5% Bangladeshi
2.2% Chinese
4.3% Other Asian
11.6% Black African
11.2% Black Caribbean
4.4% Other Black
0.5% Arab
2.1% Other
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s)020
ONS code00AZ
GSS codeE09000023
PoliceMetropolitan Police
WebsiteCouncil Website

Lewisham (/ˈlɪʃəm/ (listen)) is a London borough in south-east London; it forms part of Inner London. The principal settlement of the borough is Lewisham. The local authority is Lewisham London Borough Council, based in Catford. The Prime Meridian passes through Lewisham. Blackheath, Goldsmiths, University of London and Millwall F.C. are located within the borough.


The borough was formed in 1965, by the London Government Act 1963, as an amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham and the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford, which had been created in 1900 as divisions of the County of London.[2]

Minor boundary changes have occurred since its creation. The most significant amendments were made in 1996, when the former area of the Royal Docks in Deptford was transferred from the London Borough of Greenwich.[3]

The metropolitan borough of Lewisham corresponded to the ancient parishes of Lee and Lewisham and the borough of Deptford corresponded to the parish of Deptford St Paul, including Hatcham. Prior to becoming part of the County of London in 1889, Hatcham was part of Surrey and the rest was part of Kent.


Locations in and around the London Borough of Lewisham

See also: List of districts in Lewisham

The borough is surrounded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to the east (where the border runs between Deptford and Horn Park), the London Borough of Bromley to the south (where the border runs between Horn Park and Crystal Palace Park), and the London Borough of Southwark to the west ( where the border runs between Crystal Palace Park and Rotherhithe). The River Thames forms a short section of northern boundary with the Isle of Dogs in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Deptford Creek, Pool River, River Quaggy and River Ravensbourne pass through the borough. Major landmarks include All Saints Church in Blackheath, the Citibank Tower in Lewisham, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Church (Sydenham's German Church, technically located in Forest Hill) and the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. Millwall F.C. are based in the borough, their stadium The Den being located in South Bermondsey.


According to the 2011 census,[4] Lewisham has a population of 275,885, is 53% white and 47% BME, and 43% of households are owner-occupiers.

A 2017 report by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute found that Lewisham has a poverty rate of 26%, close to the London-wide figure of 27%.[5]

Population census
1801 16,640—    
1811 19,728+18.6%
1821 24,474+24.1%
1831 27,329+11.7%
1841 32,589+19.2%
1851 41,593+27.6%
1861 76,958+85.0%
1871 112,324+46.0%
1881 147,689+31.5%
1891 173,229+17.3%
1901 217,295+25.4%
1911 272,600+25.5%
1921 299,022+9.7%
1931 328,010+9.7%
1941 314,953−4.0%
1951 302,420−4.0%
1961 285,431−5.6%
1971 269,401−5.6%
1981 230,504−14.4%
1991 240,649+4.4%
2001 248,924+3.4%
2011 275,885+10.8%
2015 297,325+7.8%


Ethnic Group 2001[7] 2011[8]
Number % Number %
White: British 141,814 56.9% 114,446 41.5%
White: Irish 5,206 1.9% 6,990 2.8%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller 208 0.1%
White: Other 15,294 6.1% 27,826 10.1%
White: Total 164,098 65.8% 147,686 53.6%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 3,487 1.4% 4,600 1.7%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 1,090 0.4% 1,596 0.6%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 1,229 0.5% 1,388 0.5%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 3,431 1.4% 6,164 2.2%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian 3,644 1.4% 11,786 4.3%
Asian or Asian British: Total 12,881 5.2% 25,534 9.3%
Black or Black British: African 22,571 9.0% 32,025 11.6%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 30,543 12.3% 30,854 11.2%
Black or Black British: Other Black 5,146 2.1% 12,063 4.4%
Black or Black British: Total 58,260 23.4% 74,942 27.2%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean 4,760 1.9% 8,539 3.1%
Mixed: White and Black African 1,599 0.6% 3,559 1.3%
Mixed: White and Asian 1,565 0.6% 3,045 1.1%
Mixed: Other Mixed 2,475 1.0% 5,329 1.9%
Mixed: Total 10,399 4.1% 20,472 7.4%
Other: Arab 1,456 0.5%
Other: Any other ethnic group 3,284 1.3% 5,795 2.1%
Other: Total 3,284 1.3% 7,341 2.6%
Black, Asian, and minority ethnic: Total 84,824 34.2% 128,289 46.4%
Total 248,922 100.00% 275,885 100.00%

Civic affairs

Lewisham Town Hall, completed in 1932
Lewisham Town Hall, completed in 1932


The motto of the borough is "Salus Populi Suprema Lex", which means (roughly translated) "The welfare of the people [is] the highest law."


The current Chief Executive is Kim Wright.[9] The borough is administered by the four directorates of the council: Children and Young People, Community Services, Customer Services, and Resources & Regeneration.


The borough is twinned with the following towns:

The borough has also signed a "friendship link" with Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Freedom of the Borough

The honour of Freedom of the Borough has been awarded to:



A map of the wards within the London Borough of Lewisham
A map of the wards within the London Borough of Lewisham

The London Borough of Lewisham is divided into 18 wards, first used in the 2002 elections, they are:

New wards will be adopted at the 2022 election.[12]

Previous wards

The previous 26 wards of the London Borough of Lewisham divided into 6 areas, used from 1978 to 1998
The previous 26 wards of the London Borough of Lewisham divided into 6 areas, used from 1978 to 1998

Previously the borough was divided into 26 wards and 6 areas, used for elections from 1978 to 1998. Some of these former wards had the same names as the present wards, but their borders were different. When the wards were revised for 2002, some became larger, absorbing parts of other previous wards, the number of wards changed from 26 to 18. The previous wards and areas used from 1978 to 1998 were:

Lewisham Central

Lewisham North East

Lewisham North West

  • Drake
  • Evelyn
  • Grinling Gibbons
  • Marlowe

Lewisham South

Lewisham South East

Lewisham South West

London Borough Council

Main articles: Lewisham London Borough Council and Lewisham local elections

Lewisham's council, unlike most English councils, is led by a directly elected mayor. The first mayoral election was in 2002 and was won by the Labour Party candidate, Steve Bullock, who was re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Following the 2018 council elections, there are 54 Labour Party councillors and none for other parties. The current mayor is Damien Egan.

Westminster Parliament

The borough includes the constituencies of Lewisham Deptford, Lewisham West and Penge and Lewisham East.

These are the MPs who have represented constituencies covered by the borough since its formation in 1964. Note that constituencies change their boundaries over time, even where names remain the same.

MP Party Represented Dates
Heidi Alexander Labour Lewisham East 2010–2018
Christopher Chataway Conservative Lewisham North 1964–66
Janet Daby Labour Lewisham East 2018–present
James Dickens Labour Lewisham West 1966–70
Jim Dowd Labour Lewisham West 1992–2017
Vicky Foxcroft Labour Lewisham, Deptford 2015–present
John Selwyn Gummer Conservative Lewisham West 1970–74 (Feb)
Carol Johnson Labour Lewisham South 1964–74 (Feb)
Patrick McNair-Wilson Conservative Lewisham West 1964–66
John Maples Conservative Lewisham West 1983–92
Roland Moyle Labour Lewisham North
Lewisham East
1966–74 (Feb)
1974 (Feb)-79
Colin Moynihan Conservative Lewisham East 1983–92
Bridget Prentice Labour Lewisham East 1992–2010
Christopher Price Labour Lewisham West 1974 (Feb)-79
Ellie Reeves Labour Lewisham West 2017–present
John Silkin Labour Deptford
Lewisham, Deptford
1964–74 (Feb)
1974 (Feb)-87


Main article: List of schools in Lewisham

The London's Poverty Profile, a report by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute, found that 42% of 19-year-olds in Lewisham lack level 3 qualifications. This is the 3rd worst rate out of 32 boroughs.[13]

In 2018, Lewisham had the third highest rate of exclusions of pupils from secondary schools of any area in England.[14]


Lewisham Station, an important transport hub
Lewisham Station, an important transport hub

Lewisham station, once known as Lewisham Junction, is located at the junction of the lines to Dartford and Hayes, and is also the terminus of the southern branch of the Docklands Light Railway.

The East London Line (on the London Underground network) terminated at New Cross and New Cross Gate until December 2007. An extension to this line opened on 23 May 2010, serving Brockley, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, and Sydenham. This forms part of the London Overground network.

The South London Line runs along the extreme North West of the borough, at present there are no stations that are within the borough. There is a proposal for a new station at New Bermondsey providing a link to Clapham Junction.

Railway stations

DLR stations

London Underground

There are no Tube stations currently in the borough, as the East London Line has been part of London Overground since 2006. However, an extension of the Bakerloo line beyond Elephant & Castle to Lewisham and Hayes has been approved.[15]


Quietway one links Lewisham to Greenwich and in toward central London

One Cycle Superhighways will operate through Lewisham in the future.

Main roads

Travel to work

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: train, 18.6% of all residents aged 16–74; driving a car or van, 11.2%; bus, minibus or coach, 11.2%; underground, metro, light rail, tram, 9.7%; on foot, 4.3%; work mainly at or from home, 2.8%; bicycle, 2.6%.[16]

48% of households in the borough are car free, compared to 42% across Greater London.[17]


Lewisham won London Borough of Culture for 2020. The prestigious award, is a major initiative launched by the Mayor of London in June 2017, will see Lewisham receive £1.35 million to stage an ambitious, year-long programme of cultural events celebrating the wealth of creative talent in the borough and delivering lasting social change.

Sport and leisure

Millwall Football Club was originally formed in 1885, in Millwall on the Isle of Dogs, East London. They retained the name, even though they moved across the river to New Cross, South London in 1910. In 1993 they moved to their current stadium, The Den which is in Bermondsey, but falls under the Borough of Lewisham. The Borough has a Non-League football club Lewisham Borough Football Club, who play at the Ladywell Arena, Catford.

See also


  1. ^ 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales, Office for National Statistics (2012). See Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom for the full descriptions used in the 2011 Census.
  2. ^ Vision of Britain Archived 11 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine – Lewisham LB
  3. ^ OPSI – The Greenwich and Lewisham (London Borough Boundaries) Order 1993
  4. ^ "2011 Census Second Release December 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  5. ^ "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Lewisham: Total Population". A Vision of Britain Through Time. Great Britain Historical GIS Project. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  7. ^ "KS006 - Ethnic group". NOMIS. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  9. ^ "The chief executive". Lewisham Council.
  10. ^ Supplement to the London Gazette 1 January 1967, p. 15
  11. ^ "Supplement to the London Gazette 3 June 1978, p. 6237" (PDF).
  12. ^ Local Government Boundary Commission for England https://www.lgbce.org.uk/media/political-map-of-lewisham-set-to-change
  13. ^ "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  14. ^ http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/documents/s58994/CYP%20scoping%20report%20school%20exclusions.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  15. ^ Matters, Transport for London | Every Journey. "Bakerloo line extension". Transport for London.
  16. ^ "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey’s longest part by distance.
  17. ^ 2011 Census, Car or Van Availability (QS416EW)

Coordinates: 51°25′N 0°02′W / 51.417°N 0.033°W / 51.417; -0.033