A London suburb, formerly in Surrey, about three miles south of London Bridge. Until the mid-nineteenth century, Camberwell was a large village, with some fine houses, situated on the outskirts of London. In 1748, it gave its name to a butterfly – the Camberwell Beauty – first spotted on Coldharbour Lane, but now a rare visitor to Britain.
The arrival of the railway in the 1860s changed the area considerably, giving rise to a huge increase in population. Today Camberwell is an area of mixed housing, with strong cultural traditions, particularly in relation to the arts.