Herne Hill is a district in south London, approximately four miles from Charing Cross and bordered by Brixton, Denmark Hill, Dulwich, Loughborough Junction and Tulse Hill. It overlaps the boundary between the boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. There is a road of the same name in the area (which is part of the A215 and was formerly called Herne Hill Road).
The area now known as Herne Hill was part of the Manor of Milkwell, which existed from at least 1291, and was a mixture of farms and woodland until the late 18th century. In 1783, Samuel Sanders (a timber merchant) bought the land now occupied by Denmark Hill and Herne Hill from the Manor; he then began granting leases for large plots of land to wealthy families.
The first known reference to Herne Hill was published in 1789. There are numerous suggestions for the origin of the name: it may have been previously called Heron's Hill, as the River Effra attracted a large number of herons; George and Benjamin Herne were residents in the 17th century; and there was a nearby field called Le Herne (c.1495), "the angle or corner of land".
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