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The Wood that Built London

A Human History of the Great North Wood

C.J. Schüler

The Wood that Built London by C.J. Schüler

It is hard to imagine that the busy townscape of South London was once a great wood, stretching almost seven miles from Croydon to Deptford or that, scattered through the suburbs, from Dulwich to Norwood, a number of oak woodlands have survived since before the Norman Conquest.

These woods were intensively managed for a thousand years, providing timber for construction, furniture and shipbuilding, and charcoal for London’s blacksmiths, kilns and bakeries. Now they afford important green space, a vital habitat for small mammals, birds and insects. Drawing on a wealth of documents, historic maps and environmental evidence, The Wood That Built London charts the fortunes of the North Wood from its earliest times: its ecology, ownership, management, and the gradual encroachment of the metropolis.

RRP: £19.99
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781913207496
Publication Date: 07/10/2021

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C.J. Schüler
C.J. Schüler is the author of three illustrated histories of cartography: Mapping the World, Mapping the City and Mapping the Sea and Stars and co-author of the best-selling Traveller’s Atlas...


‘A gentle and beautifully produced book... Skilfully alternates between pastoral and archival archaeology.’

Sebastian Milbank, The Tablet

‘Deeply rewarding’

Paul Wood, author of London’s Street Trees

‘Timely and informative’

Travis Elborough, author of A Walk In the Park

On The Blog

The Wood That Built London: Interactive Map

To celebrate the publication of The Wood That Built London, we created an interactive map featuring fascinating stories and facts from C.J. Schüler's brand new book - just click on...

On The Blog

The Wood That Built London: Hatcham Wood

The woods formed part of six manors: Hatcham, Camberwell, Lewisham, Lambeth, Croydon and Benchesham. The most northerly part lay within the manor of Hatcham, or Hatcham Barnes, to the south...