London area of Peckham guide
What to do and where to stay in London's Peckham neighbourhood
In its 16th century heyday, Peckham was extremely popular as a wealthy residential area with many large properties surrounded by lush farmland. By the 18th century the area became more commercial, attracting industrialists keen to avoid central London's expensive rates. Peckham's extensive gardens and orchards - renowned for their melons, figs and grapes - were packed off to London's markets. Nowadays, of course, Peckham has a bad reputation from its high levels of crime and gang violence. As a result of urban decay and vandalism, North Peckham was subjected to a Â£290 million regeneration programme in the late 90s and is now home to the award-winning Peckham Library and the South London Gallery. Named after the River Peck, a small stream that ran through the district until it was unclosed in 1823, Peckham is also the setting of the TV series Only Fools and Horses and Desmond's.