Beyond the Boundaries celebrates 50 years of London boroughs

Looking over 50 years of London's heritage

This is an exciting new heritage project involving the local community in a programme of creative activities and events inspired by the 50th anniversary of the creation of the London Boroughs.

The project will explore how the creation of the London Boroughs has informed the unique heritage of Crystal Palace as a point where five London boroughs meet and bring the area's rich heritage to life. An oak tree, the 'Vicar's Oak', originally marked the boundary of four ancient parishes: Lambeth; Camberwell; Croydon and a detached portion of Battersea parish containing the hamlet of Penge. The site of the Vicar's Oak remains the boundary of the modern boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Croydon and Bromley.

The project will create opportunities for engaging groups that are often under-represented in heritage activities and provide numerous opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer, including: oral history and digital recording training; heritage research and talks; contributing memories and experience; creative workshops and performance, and the chance to develop ideas for a commemorative path into Crystal Palace Park marking the site of the Vicar’s Oak.

The project will work across boroughs and is aiming to get a wide range of local volunteers of all ages involved. Working closely with local history libraries and archives, participants will gain a deeper insight into the history of the area.

Commenting on the award, Sue Giovanni, from Invisible Palace and one of the project coordinators, said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will encourage local people to get involved in the many and varied activities and events that celebrate their local history and the history of their communities.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “This year, London’s boroughs reached their milestone 50th anniversary, providing an incredible opportunity for groups across the capital to capture half a century of memories, events and unique characters. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to support this project which will bring people of all ages together to explore the heritage of five of our boroughs, celebrating their differences and telling their shared story.”

Further information

For more information contact Rebecca Lamm, HLF press office at

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