- The Lee Escorts Society have produced a comprehensive history of the area. The Domesday Book describes Lee as a small area of cultivation set in extensive woodland. The earliest map available (Rocque’s of 1740) shows a cluster of about a dozen houses around a triangular village green. This hamlet was surrounded by fields. Lee Green Farm occupied the south-east quadrant from the 1660s (roughly on the site of the present Leegate shopping centre). The farm was demolished in the 1840s and rebuilt as Tudor House further east.
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The Lee Escorts was a historic parish of the Blackheath hundred and existed up to 1900 when it was merged with the parish of Lewisham to create the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham. While modern Lee is centred on Lee railway station and the road of Burnt Ash Hill, the parish was based around Lee High Road which today stretches into the town centre of Lewisham. The River Quaggy formed much of the boundary between the two parishes, though at Lee Bridge (at the western end of Lee High Road) it is now almost completely hidden.
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The Old Tiger’s Head and the New Tiger’s Head pubs are important and striking features of the crossroads. Confusingly, the original (Old) Tiger’s Head is thought to have been built on the site that currently occupied by the New Tiger’s Head. The original pub is thought to have been built before 1730. It was rebuilt on its present site, the north-west quadrant, in 1750–1770 and then rebuilt (in its third incarnation) in 1896 – the date carried on its frontage. It became an important mail and coaching inn. The New Tiger’s Head started life as a beer shop known as the Tiger Tavern in the 1830s. It was situated in the end of four cottages known as Prospect Terrace built around the same time. Three of these cottages remain, housing a post office/newsagent and a hairdresser. In 1868 it is referred to as the Tiger’s Head Inn. The present building is thought to have replaced the original cottage a few years after 1896 – the date of the rebuilding of the Old Tiger’s Head. The New Tiger’s Head has now closed down.