This lesser-known corner between Catford and Bromley combines Downham Estate’s affordability with scenic pockets of ancient woodland.

  • Affordable
  • Low Crime Rate
  • Parks
  • 18.2k

    Population Density

  • £442208k

    Property Price (Avg.)

Average detached price£575,000
Average semi-detached price£529,364
Average terraced price£416,230
Average flat price£276,417
Travel zone4
Transport links


An old cottage estate, Downham has seen many changes over the years. While much of the greenery has given way to car parking, beautiful parks and trails can still be found within walking distance. First-time buyers will benefit from its proximity to Catford’s bustling town centre, and the easy access to the neighbouring Beckenham Place Park, Lewisham’s largest green space. Downham Community Centre (Wesley Halls) is strengthening the feeling of community that got partly lost when many of the council properties went to private hands in recent decades.

Direct trains from nearby Grove Park and Beckenham Hill stations to London Bridge and Blackfriars, respectively, are an advantage for commuters. So, what’s it like living in modern-day Downham? Let’s find out.

Downham - Overview

Interesting Facts

  • Fans of Arthurian legend would be proud to inhabit a home on Launcelot, Dagonet or Roundtable roads - three among several inexplicable nods to King Arthur and his knights in the area.
  • The Downham Tavern - which also featured a dance hall - opened its doors in 1930 to serve the estate’s nearly 30,000 residents and made the Guinness Book of World Records for its size. Today, a Co-op and a much smaller pub stand in its place, but it’s still the place to be for drinks, food and entertainment.
  • Forster Memorial Park used to be part of Lord Forster’s estate. He gifted it to the community in memory of his two sons, who were killed in the First World War.



University Hospital Lewisham is about a ten-minute drive from the centre of Downham. The Downham Family Medical Practice - which has been in the estate since 1954 and is now located at the leisure centre - and Links Medical Practice are two surgeries that offer NHS services in the area. The nearest walk-in centre is Beckenham Beacon Urgent Care Centre, about a 15-minute drive away.


Things to do

In addition to the Downham Community Centre’s programme of regular events - which include martial arts for kids and adults - several open spaces provide an array of options for fitness and fun.

  • The 20-acre Downham Fields, also known as Durham Hill, lies at the heart of the neighbourhood and takes in views over Beckenham Place Park, Crystal Palace and Croydon.
  • Next to it is Downham Leisure Centre, a meeting point for families and sports fans thanks to a range of fitness classes, gymnastics, trampolining, and swimming lessons for all ages in its six-lane pool. The complex also contains a café, NHS and library services.
  • Part of Green Chain Walk, the 1.5-kilometre Downham Woodland Walk lies within Downham Estate and will give you a glimpse of the ancient woodland that once prevailed here.

Forster Memorial Park, with its cycle route and outdoor gym, and the Downham and Bellingham Cricket Club, which formed here in 1931, are some things that fitness and sports enthusiasts love about the area. Over in Beckenham Hill, the glorious Beckenham Place Park is brimming with leisure options for the whole family.


“The village on the hill”, as its name suggests, Downham was named after Lord Downham, Chairman of the London County Council, which was responsible for the development of several interwar council estates in the farmland surrounding the capital.

The estate provided spacious homes with gardens for many residents who settled here from Deptford, Bermondsey and the East End. Still, a so-called “class wall” was raised in 1926 by the residents of an adjacent middle-class estate to keep Downham’s working-class inhabitants at bay.

The addition of the eye-catching but now demolished Splendid Cinema, the local library, the swimming baths, as well as the Downham Tavern in the ‘30s made the area more appealing. Although it’s lost much of its attractiveness in recent decades, Downham has made several efforts at regeneration - the modern Downham Health & Leisure Centre opened here in the mid-’00s.


The Qube, a stylish collection of one and two-bedroom apartments and a three-bedroom family home with a landscaped garden, is the latest addition in nearby Grove Park.


Education in the area

Good Shepherd RC School, Launcelot Primary and Rangefield Primary School are a stone’s throw from Downham Fields. The wider area of Bromley benefits from a number of primary schools rated as “outstanding” - Downderry, Burnt Ash and Parish Church of England - as well as the secondary Bonus Pastor Catholic College.

Three special schools can also be found nearby: New Woodlands for pupils with SEMH needs; Drumbeat School and ASD Service for children and young people aged 4-19 with autism; and Greenvale, an “outstanding” school for ages 11-19 with learning difficulties.

For those looking to embark on a career in TV, film and theatre, D&B Performing Arts School on Bromley Road offers children and young adults classes in singing, dancing and acting.


Places of worship

Locals can choose between Jubliee International, St Luke’s, St Barnabas and Downham Baptist churches. An Islam-practicing mosque known as Tahir is also located on Verdant Lane, just a few minutes’ walk from Downham Fields.

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