Goose Green was formerly the centre of the hamlet of East Dulwich. Over the centuries the land had gradually been enclosed for private use and in 1868 Camberwell Vestry purchased Goose Green, Peckham Rye and Nunhead Green from the lord of the manor to prevent development. The green was transferred from the Vestry to the MBW for £1,000 in 1882, later transferred to London County Council. A community mural painted on a gable wall overlooking the green depicts William Blake's vision on Peckham Rye.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/07/2005
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Goose Green was within the manor of Camberwell Friern and likely to have been part of more extensive common land stretching from Peckham Rye. Over the centuries the land had gradually been enclosed for private use and in 1868 Camberwell Vestry purchased Goose Green, Peckham Rye and Nunhead Green from the lord of the manor to prevent development, the matter taken to the House of Commons. In 1882 the three areas of common were acquired under the Metropolitan Board of Works Act 1882 and transferred from Camberwell Vestry to the MBW for £1,000, later passing to the London County Council. By this time, according to Lt Col J J Sexby, first chief officer of the newly formed LCC's Parks Department, Goose Green possessed 'no rusticity beyond its name', the geese having long gone.
To east of the site is a strip of grass separated from the main green by a railed path, which has a striking mural on the gable wall of Hickley's Road that illustrates the poet William Blake's claim to have had a vision of angels in an oak tree on Peckham Rye Common as a child of 8 in 1765. At the entrance to the playground is a mosaic plaque depicting geese. Towards the west area are a number of mature London plane trees amid grass. Adjacent to the Green to the north is the church of St John the Evangelist, built 1863/5 by Charles Bailey. The site of Rectory Farmhouse appears to have been beneath the vicarage of St John's Church. The OS Map of the 1930s shows paths, perimeter trees and clumps of trees, a drinking fountain and a paddling pool in the area of current playground, and the area fronting the mural having numerous trees.
'The London County Council and what it does for London: London Parks and Open Spaces' (Hodder & Stoughton, 1924); The Parks Agency 'Commons, Heaths and Greens in Greater London. A short report for English Heritage', 2005