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Maze Hill is named after Parliament member Algernon May or after Robert May. They both lived in the area in the 17th century. Algernon May held the medieval title of the Keeper of the Records in the Tower of London for 19 years starting with 1669. By marriage, he was lord of the manor of Ampton in Suffolk. He also owned land in Ireland. In the 18th century, Maze Hill is recorded as Moys Hill on Rocque’s Map of London. In the 19th century, the Greenwood brothers recorded this South East London area as Maize Hill. The current spelling is used starting with 1888. This area is part of the borough of Greenwich.
Maze Hill is also the name of the main street. The Mayfield Lodge served as a printing house for The Kentish Mercury. It was also a Rescue Society for Females. This building was taken down in 1906. John Roan School is a secondary school in the area. Maze Hill railway station opened in 1873. It was a terminus point for the North Kent Line. The station was rebuilt in the 1970s after being damaged by fire.
Architect and dramatist John Vanbrugh lived in Maze Hill for seven years. He designed the house he lived in with his family. Vanbrugh Castle dates from the 18th century. It was also called Bastille House as, rumor has it, that it was the Bastille prison, where the architect was imprisoned when he was younger, that inspired the design of the house. Vanbrugh’s brother Philip lived in a house called Nunnery designed by his brother. A third Vanbrugh brother, Charles, lived in the Mince-pie House. Robert Holford became the owner of the house after Vanbrugh died. Novelist Mary Anna Needell was born in this house. Several places in this SE10 area are named after Vanbrugh.