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The History of Goose Green

When London began to expand in the 17th century the business of droving sheep, cattle, pigs and geese to London markets grew with the increasing population to feed. Most of the drovers’ routes into London were on back streets and lanes to avoid causing congestion on the main roads into London.

Many of the travelled routes required overnight stops and some pubs and inns still bear drovers’ names. There is one on the Old Kent Road. However, the animals needed somewhere to be kept over night, and Goose Green got its name as a favoured overnight stopping place for the goose drovers from Kent.

Droving as an occupation began to tail off in the 19th century with the advent of mechanisation and the rise of trains as a means of transportation, changing the method of moving animals long distances to market.

The Pleasures of Goose Green

In spring the daffodils nestling below the trees beckon you onto the Green to share their home under the giant plain trees.

In summer the trees’ heavy canopy of green leaves provide shelter from the sun, and the dappled sunlight throws shadows across the grass beneath as the birds twitter above. Whenever you walk across the Green it exudes a sense of peace – a haven in its borders of busy roads and terraced houses – it makes you feel like you belong among its trees.

In autumn green turns brown and falls to make a carpet of golden shuffling leaves.

In winter the giant naked trees reach majestically for the sky. They whisper in the wind stories of history on the Green to walkers passing beneath their weighty branches. The church clock chimes loud in the clear air.

As the seasons takes their course the Green is a focus for individuals and families. It is a place for inclusive local events and private contemplation, a freedom from indoor spaces.

Beside the Green the playground with its swings, roundabouts and climbing frames provide pleasure for the next generation yet to appreciate the great plain trees.

We love our Green.

Steve Walsh - a friend of Goose Green