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Strengthening & Empowering People

How much do any of us know about our community? I live in Mottingham and have been quite amazed about what the area has to offer and how it has changed over the years.

Mottingham was originally mainly farmland with a few dwellings concentrated around the area now known as Mottingham Village. This goes some way to explaining why, for those keen gardeners out there, you have probably got a number of fruit trees in or around your garden, should you have one.

The name Mottingham derives from the Saxon word Modingham (modig meaning proud or lofty and ham meaning a dwelling) and the earliest documented record of Mottingham goes back to 862 AD where it was called Modingahema (Moda’s people, a proud place.) It has a wealth of history with nearby Eltham Palace being a residence of Henry V111 with royal connections going back much further. Much more detailed history can be found in books and online.

More urban development started in mid-19th century with cottages being built on what has now become Mottingham Road.  In 1923 the Sidcup arterial road was opened and this led to the building of what is now known as the Mottingham Estate in 1935.

So what is available today?

Often much maligned, Mottingham covers a geographically diverse area and one which has a vast range of activities, support, charities, business, places of worship, schools, colleges, play groups, nurseries, pre-school, forums, associations, galleries, clubs…the list is endless. For those new to the area it is often hard to find out what activities or groups there are.

I moved to the area 27 years ago and I spent a few days walking around to partly get my bearings but also to see what things were obviously available, doctors, dentist, schools, shops and so on. I was also very fortunate to end up working in the area widening my local knowledge. I became aware of a few forums which I proceeded to join, making me really feel part of the community. I have seen many changes over the years some good, some not so good but the one thing that always holds true is that no matter where in Mottingham you live, there is a strong sense of community and that it really reflects the origins of its name.

Currently, there is no comprehensive directory for the area but it is something StEP is working on so watch this space for more information! You can help us pull a Mottingham Information Guide together by sending us details of any groups you belong to but more importantly, any memories you have of the area that would be of interest especially any old photographs. It will be great to hear from you!

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