River Ravensbourne


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Lewisham High St.

Heritage Trail

Research and notes by Julian Watson

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St.Mary the Virgin, Lewisham Lewisham High Street  SE13 6LE

St.Mary the Virgin Lewisham

346 Lewisham High Street

SE13 6LE   020 8690 2682


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The Desvignes Family Vault

The Desvignes family vault dates from the mid C19th, and is an elaborate stone and granite chest tomb on a large brick vault. It was designed by architect Peter Hubert Desvignes. They were probably the most important family to live in Hither Green. They owned both Hither Green Lodge and Wilderness House which was their principal residence from 1849-1892

1771-1841 Elise Hubert Desvignes (Diamond Merchant)

1804-1883 Peter Hubert Desvignes (Architect, inventor and musician) 1836-1910 Peter Hubert Desvignes (surgeon)


The Desivignes family were originally from France before the French Revolution, and had spent some time in Constantinople.


Peter Hubert Desvignes, architect, also developed designs for a Zoetrope a device for producing moving images. In 1835 he took part in a competition to design a new building for the British Houses of Parliament. He also received the commission to redesign the Liechtenstein palace in Vienna in the Neo-Rococo style, a task that occupied him from at least 1837 until around 1849.  His redesign marks not only the highpoint of his career, but is believed to be the most elaborate and ambitious design projects to be implemented in the nineteenth century. The remodelling was the first in the Rococo Revival style in Vienna and is considered the most important of its kind.