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The area is split between Forest Hill and Perry Vale wards.
Forest Hill is one of the highest hills in London, originally part of the Great North Wood until the mid-19th century it was sparsely inhabited by charcoal burners and woodsmen. The opening of the Forest Hill Station in 1839 (originally called The Dartmouth Arms) gave the first boost to the development of the suburb. Until then the name 'Forest Hill' had been applied exclusively to fifteen or twenty houses in Honor Oak Road.
Collector and politician Frederick Horniman began his collection of artefacts as a public and it became one of the most popular attractions in south London. The current building was opened in 1901 amid a 16-acre park and is open to the public free of charge. Other buildings of architectural merit include the Forest Hill Library, Forest Hill Pools and the Capitol cinema now a J.D Wetherspoons pub.