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Know Your Ryes!

A few weeks ago I was in a meeting with some local residents and council officers. During the meeting one person started referring to Rye Lane, when in fact they meant Peckham Rye East. Later on another started talking about Peckham Rye Common and it took us a little while to work out that they really meant Peckham Rye Park.  

You can't really blame people for getting a little confused. There are so many references to "Rye" in our little bit of South London that even the locals can get mixed up. So I thought I'd have a go at writing a little glossary of all the Ryes hereabout.  Clearly I'm making a rod for my own back here, so please point out any errors I've made in the comments box below. 

Anyway, here are my definitions of the ubiquitous Ryes. Some serious, some not so serious, and in no particular order:

Peckham Rye Ward - The council ward area. Peckham Rye Ward was created out of Rye Ward, Waverley Ward and Bellenden Ward following the Local Authority Boundary Review. See the old and new maps here. A detailed map of the ward boundaries is here.

Peckham Rye Common - The common land area to the north of Peckham Rye Park and not 'enclosed' by fencing.  

Peckham Rye Park - The Park area to the south of Peckham Rye Common. For a history of how the Park came into being see here on the FOPRP website. The great majority of the Park is enclosed by fencing.

Rye Hill Park Estate - The council owned estate to the East of Peckham Rye Park, set back from Peckham Rye (East) Road. The Tenants and Residents Association website is here.

Rye Lane - The lane made up mainly of shops to the North of Peckham Rye Common, ending at Peckham High Street.

Rye Road - A short, and very quiet residential Road in Nunhead.

Ryedale - A residential road in East Dulwich.

Peckham Rye Labour - Us! The collective term for Peckham Rye Labour Party members and the three Labour councillors representing people living in Peckham Rye Ward.  

Peckham Rye Liberal Democrats - The collective term for three people who turn up in Peckham Rye Ward  a few months before a local election and pretend to be "Local Community Campaigners"  (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Peckham Rye Conservatives - See Peckham Rye Liberal Democrats.

Cafe on the Rye - Top notch cafe on Peckham Rye Common, near Strakers Road

Peckham Rye (West) - The road that runs along the west of Peckham Rye Common and Park. It becomes Forest Hill Road at the junction with Colyton Road. Homes on this side have even numbers.

Peckham Rye (East) - The road that runs along the east of Peckham Rye Common and Park.  It becomes Cheltenham Road at the junction with Homestall Road. Homes on this side have odd numbers.

Peckham Rye Station - The overland train station which can be accessed from Rye Lane (and isn't in Peckham Rye 'ward' as we often have to point out!).

The Ballad of Peckham Rye - Novel by Muriel Spark set in and around the Peckham area.

Friends of Peckham Rye Park - Local residents and Park users action group formed in 1995. Their website is here. They also organise the brilliant Peckham Rye Fete each year.   

Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council - Community Councils are devolved committees of Southwark Council. Local Councillors and residents hold meetings to discuss and make decisions that affect the wards included in the area. Nunhead and Peckham Rye Community Council currently covers Peckham Rye Ward, Nunhead Ward and Lane Ward.    

The Rye - Pub and (good) food next to Peckham Rye Common and Scylla Road. Used to be called the Rye Hotel. Currently closed for refurbishment.

Peckham Rye (Slang) - Cockney rhyming slang for a tie. 

Rye Oak School - Primary School on Whorlton Road.

Catcher in the Rye - Novel about a kid who has a breakdown. Nothing to do with Peckham Rye!

Rye - A grass grown as a grain and forage crop. This is getting ridiculous...

I give up...  But have I missed any?


  1. I lived in Cheltenham Road for a while, very close to Rye Park - happy memories!

  2. How about...

    Rye bread - quite hard to find in Peckham. Try Nunhead ;-)

  3. don't forget this bit of peckham rye (the road) which has always amused me as it makes it look as though there is a 3rd branche of peckham rye as well as east and west

    Hope link works ...,-0.066768&spn=0.000881,0.002411&sll=51.485933,-0.098854&sspn=0.117798,0.308647&vpsrc=6&hnear=135+Peckham+Rye,+London+SE15+3UL,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=51.46612,-0.066657&panoid=TMhAj3a5qE1DoiWGrKUlNA&cbp=12,358.48,,2,9

  4. Oooo. Good spot Anon. I had never noticed that. Odd isn't it.

  5. Rye Oak School used to be Peckham Rye Primary school

  6. OK, so please also add the following. Peckham Rye East is SE15 and odd numbers. Peckham Rye West is SE22 and even numbers. Also please add Rye Hill Park which is a cul de sac of a road next to Rye Hill Estate, and within which contains houses and flats, including the three tower blocks which are 1-big number Rye Hill Park. You may also like to mention Peckham Rose. This is a reference to a song by XTC, and upon which I name myself in forums! It is also a pun of Peckham Ryes / rise / rose but that's pushing it. Rye bread is available at Ayres and Rye Flour available in a certain orange themed supermarket, and made in my bread machine. And Peckham Rye is also rhyming slang for tie. Happy days! PeckhamRose x

    1. hello,
      french for king is le roi.norman french is a tongue of the u.k. of times gone by.
      roi/rye ?

      anyone in the know about this?

  7. Hi,

    To be honest I am not sure most people understand the complexities of ward boundaries etc. Most London Letting Agents eg seem to use the term Peckham Rye to just refer to the general area of Peckham south of the A202 (Queens Road) that is not part of Nunhead. I think this is what most people now understand by the term.

  8. If we let estate agents determine the names of places...we're all in trouble!


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