Casewick Road in West Norwood is a fairly long residential street in the Knight's Hill ward of Lambeth. It is dominated by original terraces of late Victorian and Edwardian properties. Beginning a short distance from West Norwood station in Wolfington Road, Casewick Road initially runs parallel to Knight's Hill. After crossing over St Julian's Farm Road and Thornlaw Road—developed broadly in the same era—it curves to run parallel to them as it climbs the hill towards Leigham Court Road. Ending at the junction with Lamberhurst Road, in all it runs for not far short of half a mile.
Maps and Land Ownership
There is only one Casewick Road listed in all of London. Why would a late Victorian street in West Norwood have such an unusual name?
The meaning of “Casewick” is not so unique. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, Casewick, Chiswick in west London and the town of Keswick, in the Lake District, all derive from the Old English “Cese-wic” – which means “Cheese-farm”. But Casewick Road in London probably indicates not a local cheese-maker but a connection to the only other road in England named “Casewick”. This is Casewick Lane, east of Stamford in Lincolnshire, leading to the manor house of Casewick Hall.
A major clue tying the Casewicks of London and Lincolnshire together appears in the Land Registry documents for one sequence of terraced houses within Casewick Road. In February 1903, well after that road has been named and begun to be developed, there was a conveyance of land and title for a plot – on which up to 11 houses could be built – between George Haward Trollope and Henry Charles Trollope, on the one hand, and William Bugg on the other. Bugg was a well-established local builder with premises at 67, Knight’s Hill. But who were the Trollopes?
GH Trollope (born 1845) was, from 1903 onwards, joint chairman of the leading construction company Trollope & Colls – formed that year from the union of two long-running family firms in building and interior design. HC Trollope was his younger brother, born 15 years later in 1860, but George was their father’s eldest son.
Census records show that Henry was born in Streatham, and marriage records that George was married there in St Leonard’s church, in 1869. The 1861 census lists both living with their parents, plus eight other siblings and four servants, at a residence on Leigham Court Road (the boundary between West Norwood and Streatham) named “Elmfield”. This house was large enough to be named in its own right on the three Godfrey editions of local OS maps, described under Maps and Land Ownership, but no longer exists.
It seems probable that one or both of these Trollope brothers owned far more of the land between Leigham Court Road and Knight’s Hill than just this plot for 11 houses, and that they named the roads after places they were linked to. For which family was ancestrally linked to Casewick Hall in Lincolnshire from the 17 th century onwards? It was indeed the Trollopes who had their seat there. In 1642, the head of that family is given an hereditary title and made Baronet Trollope of Casewick. In 1868, the 7th Baronet of that line is raised to the Peerage and joins the House of Lords as “Baron Kesteven, of Casewick in the county of Lincoln”.
Meanwhile, a 1958 Dictionary of British Surnames dates the earliest-known use of the surname Trollope to the 15th century, at a site in County Durham named… Thornlaw. The road that runs parallel to Casewick Road for much of its length is Thornlaw Road – which is also a unique occurrence of that street name in London.
Comparing three Godfrey Editions of the old 1:2500 scale OS maps for 1870, 1894 and 1913 indicates the following:
On the 1870 map, titled Lower Norwood, there were no named roads between Knight’s Hill and Leigham Court Rd, and almost no houses except those lining the two roads. There were substantial villas on both, especially Leigham Court Rd.
By the 1894 survey, shown on a map now entitled West Norwood, the adjacent roads—Wolfington, St Julian’s Farm and Thornlaw—were all named and well developed, with houses on both sides. Casewick Rd was named and partially laid out, but with few houses built past its junction with Thornlaw Rd. A tennis ground, accessible only from Casewick Rd, was shown behind the vicarage on Thornlaw Rd. Uphill, a short section linking St Julian’s and Thornlaw was also marked as Casewick: this now forms the northern part of Lamberhurst Rd.
On the 1913 map, the layout was much as it is today for Casewick, with the vast majority of homes then in place. Most of the tennis ground shown in 1894 had been built over. Cheviot Rd, paralleling Casewick to the south, was still without any houses and the short road linking them is shown as a continuation of Thurlby Rd; today it is named Tredwell Rd. It is not clear whether the newly-built houses on what becomes Lamberhurst Rd were regarded at that point as part of Casewick Rd.