Thursday, 4 February 2016
Riverside east of the Tower, south bank. Rotherhithe - Surrey canal entrance
This post contains only sites south of the river. North is Shadwell and Ratcliffe
Post to the north is Wapping (sourth east portion) and Wapping (south west portion)
Post to the east is Rotherhithe, Nelson Dock
Fisher Athletic Ground
Fisher Athletic Ground Fisher Football Club began in the Fisher Catholic Club for Boys, founded in 1908 by Norman Potter to provide sporting and recreational facilities for underprivileged youths. It was named The Fisher Club in memory of St John Fisher, and was supported by the Fisher Society – the Catholic Society at Cambridge University. The first home was an old engineering shop in Rose Court where the ground floor was used for athletics, with space above for board games. Friar Stephen Rawlinson persuaded the Abbot Downside in Somerset, to take over responsibility for the club and they became the Downside Settlement. In the 1960s the club was reorganised and based in Mitcham but in 1982 moved to the purpose-built Surrey Docks Stadium. This was on the site of part of Globe Pond. In 2009 unpaid tax led to a court winding up order and a supporters’ trust was formed. The club was renamed as Fisher FC and no longer the owners of the Surrey Docks Stadium. In the club unveiled proposals for a new community football facility at the St Paul’s playing fields site, the old site is now owned by Fairview Homes and is being turned into housing which is being sold in the Far East.
Globe Pond. Built as No. 6 pond in 1861 by the Commercial Dock Company. It had been filled in before 1929. It appears to be on the site of the King and Queen Ironworks. A small part of Globe Pond was restored as a water feature in Russia Dock Woodland by the LDDC (slightly off the edge of this square to the south east). It was later the site of sports ground and now housing.
Grand Surrey Canal
Grand Surrey Canal. In the late 18th Ralph Dodd, the engineer who was also involved with an early proposal for a tunnel under the Thames at Rotherhithe, proposed a canal linking Deptford with places as divergent as Kingston, Mitcham and Croydon. Eventually, the project was submitted to parliament for an enabling Act which was passed in 1801. The Company were authorised to build a canal from Rotherhithe, to Mitcham plus a number of branches. As work began the company also agreed to construct a system near the river entrance where two branches of the canal enclosed an island – the northern branch as the through route and the southern as a waiting area or dock. This together with a ship lock, was opened in 1807. They also opened the canal, as far as the Old Kent Road, in 1810 to Camberwell, and in 1826 to Peckham. At first built, the canal ended at the Stave dock, connected to the Thames by a lock. This was replaced by a new lock in 1860, to the west of the original, which linked the Thames to the Surrey Basin, which itself linked to Island Dock and Albion Dock. Island Dock led into Russia dock, where the canal had an entrance lock. In 1864 the company amalgamated with the Commercial Dock Company together they became the Surrey Commercial Docks. In 1904, when the Greenland Dock was extended, a new entrance lock was built on its south side. By this time, nearly 1 mile of the original canal had been destroyed by dock construction. After the formation of the Port of London Authority in 1908. The canal was managed as part of Surrey Docks. The timber trade to them ended in the 1970s, and subsequently the canal was filled in.
Halfpenny Hatch to Deptford
Halfpenny Hatch to Deptford. This is shown on the early 19th Horwood Plan as running alongside the northern edge of the Grand Surrey Canal from the entrance lock. Further along it is marked as a “towing path”. There are a number of footpaths in this area with this name at that period,
Island Yard. This was an area at the north west ‘top’ end of Stave Dock. .It was land between the old and new entrance locks to the Grand Surrey Canal. There was a competition run by the London Docklands Development Corporation for a mixed development here which did not happen because of the 1990s recession.
Rotherhithe Youth Hostel. Built 1989 for the YHA by Alan Turner Associates
Low Globe Dock. This small shipyard was immediately down river from the stairs and in the 17th and 18th run by the Shish family. In the 18th it was run by an Abigail Beard from 1735. From 1830 to 1850 John Sedger had a ship breaker’s yard here and he as followed by a number of small scale ship repairers. By 1907, the dry dock had been infilled and the site was the Crown Lead Works.
Homes for Heroes. cottages on the inland side of the road were built here by the London County Council in 1920,
Three Compasses,. building on the site of a pub with this name dating back at least to 1767. In the 1890s it appears to be called Ye Olde Compasses. It was later renamed the Deal Porter and is now a pizza restaurant.
The Wheatsheaf which closed in 1909, but had a subsequent lease of life as a café before flats were built on the site,. It was opposite the Three Compasses. It may have been a successor to the Globe Pub.
Globe Stairs. Accessed via an unlocked gate. There was also a pier here in the early 20th. The stairs date from at least the 17th.
Globe Pub. 1754 and closed in 1892. This was on the inland side of the road and may have become the Wheatsheaf
205 Globe Wharf. Thames Rice Mills. Built in 1883 as a grain warehouse. It is a six-storey block built by Albert and Percy Keen and was one of the largest warehouses along the river. In 1887 it could hold 60,000 quarters of corn. In 1924 Globe Wharf was converted for storing and milling rice by Thames Rice Milling. It was converted into flats in 1996 by PRP Architects and there is also a retail and leisure complex... This conversion includes internal courtyards where brickwork shows different stages of the building’s evolution. A rice chute is said to be preserved in one of these. On the Thames frontage there is a lattice jibbed red crane attached to the wall which was a 20th addition in the period of the Second World War. This site covers that of the Upper Globe Dock Shipyard.
223 The Globe Works. Established in 1876 Henry Quirk was an antimony refiner in what was also known as Aaruna wharf, which was on the site of the old Globe Granary. Thomas Barton and William H Quirk, established their works in 1876. Quirk, Barton were smelters and refiners of imported lead and antimony ores. They also manufactured tea lead, sheet and pipe, solder and litharge. On Aaruna wharf there was a furnace shed and refinery with a small assay office and laboratory fronting Rotherhithe Street.
By the 1930s the firm was operating in St. Helens, Lancashire, and eventually became part of Associated Lead. They were in existence until 1964
Globe Wharf. Henry Gurney timber and hop merchant was here in the 1860s.
Globe Dry dock. This was in use by John Needham shipwright in 1894 but for sale in 1895. The builders of Globe Wharf retained the dry dock, but this was filled in and built over in 1907 and covered by the granary. Part of the site is now covered by King and Queen Wharf’s modern flats,
Upper Globe Dock Shipyard. Henry Bird Jnr built small ships here for the Royal Navy during the mid 1700s and William Marshall also had a timber wharf. In the 19th it was a site for Hawks and McGhie and from 1880 used as a repair yard for General Steam Navigation. John Stewart, the Isle of Dogs based shipbuilders used some of the site in the 1890s.
King and Queen Wharf, and Bellamy’s Wharf. These sites have a complex history with boundaries changing as various shipwrights and others move in and out.
Lower King and Queens Wharf. This had been King and Queen Dry Dock but was infilled 1894. It is now the site of part of modern King and Queen Wharf housing.
King and Queen Shipyard. This was on the site of the Lower King and Queen Wharf and had other dry docks and slips. It was in use by ship breaker and timber merchant, Sir Thomas Gould, from 1633.
Quallet and Sparrow. In the 18th part of the King and Queen Yard was called Pitchers Point and was used for shipbuilding by John Quallet and Joshua Sparrow.
Mestaer shipyard. From 1770- to 1818 Pitchers Point and the dry docks at King and Queen shipyard were used by Peter Mestaer. He had a reputation for high quality work for the Royal Navy, East Indiamen and other trade.
William Evans. From 1818 the upper part of the King and Queen Yard was taken over by William Elias Evans. He eventually took over the rest of the yard but it was later spilt and he moved to the lower section. He was a pioneer of steamship building, and between 1821 and 1835 built many steamships including the first Post Office Packets.
William Rennie. The Lower King & Queen Dock from 1860 until 1867 was the base for clipper designer, William Rennie.
Bellamy’s Granary. In the late 19th and early 20th there was a large granary here operated by Bellamy’s.
Princes Dry Dock. This may have been built by Peter Mestaers in the late 18th. This was the lower section of the yard and used for ship repair in the 19th. it was filled in and absorbed into Bellamy’s Wharf, before 1914.
King and Queen Dry Dock. This second dry dock was on the site of the current inlet
King and Queen Stairs. They were alongside the current inlet
King and Queen Pub. This was on the inland side of the road and was first recorded in 1754. It was demolished around 1942. It had two storeys and an overhanging first floor. The name was changed 1754 - 1789 to the 'Ship Queensborough'. In 1792 the licensee w as the shipbuilder Peter Mestaers who was using the nearby dry-docks.
Howard, Ravenhill and Co, King and Queen Ironworks. This was on the inland side of the street next to King and Queen pub. The original works was that of Henry Tillot. Said to have been founded in the 1760s, probably in the City, and eventually closed and sold in 1863. Thomas Howard, father and son were Quakers. They were said to have a wharf in Rotherhithe. They wren founded for the re-manufacture of scrap iron, they used Howard's Patent, for links used in suspension and girder bridges – used for example in Chelsea suspension bridge. The works include rolling mills, a condensing steam beam engine, steam boilers, shears and forges with a Nasmyth steam hammer, and much more. Globe Pond – timber pond No. 5 appears to be on the site.
Amos Estate.The estate was built on the site Mestaers Buildings and the iron foundry It was named after the Rev. Andrew Amos who in 1922 was the Rector of Clare College Mission in Rotherhithe. It was redesigned for the Family Housing Association in 1988 by the A & Q Partnership.
Prince’s Riverside. Modern flats built 1996. There are "neo-Edwardian" domes and balconied towers on the riverside.
Prince’s Dock. The Iron Screw Collier Co. had a repair depot here in the mid-19th. They were basically a shipping company specialising in collier work.
Younghusbands and Barnes and Co oil merchants on were in King and Queen Wharf in the 20th
King and Queen Wharf. A riverside block of modern brick built flats with balconies and terraces. There is access to the Thames through arched steps and. A clock tower houses the lift
Bellamy's Jetty – this has now been converted to a walkway using the jetty’s concrete piers. This was originally 350 feet and could handle large ships which could not access the upper docks at all states of the tides. It had nine electric and hydraulic cranes.
Bellamy's wharf. This replaced a granary of 1822 burnt down in 1894. It is now part of King and Queen Wharf modern flats. Bellamy’s was probably part of Thomas Gould’s ship breakers in the 17th. By the 1670s he had probably leased the site to Gressingham and Collins. In addition Castle ship breakers were on the site and also Hackwood and Trevathem ship builders. In the 20th this was Bellamy’s Wharf and Dock Co. Ltd. which operated this and King and Queen Wharf. They handled fruit, sugar and general cargoes. It is said to have been built by French prisoners. It is now modern flats.
Bull Head Dock. This was a dry dock, but later a wet dock for barges and lighters. It lay behind Bellamy’s jetty and in the 1790s had been part of the Woolcombe shipyard and in the 1830s it was Beatson's yard. Richard Jarvis shipwrights 1894
Great Bulls Head Pub. This was opposite Bulls Head Dock Wharf from 1805 to 1888. The site is now modern housing
Half Moon and Bull's Head. This pub was first recorded in 1805 and closed 1985 when it was called Coopers. The building has had floors added and some other changes.
Woolcombe shipyard. Here were built warships and East Indiamen. From 1810 William and John Beatson were here and by 1815 David Beatson was operating it as a ship breaker.
William Caudery. This was a guano and manure works. Bull Head Dock. Caudrey’s business as a chemical manufacturer is said to have begun in the mid 1840s.
Thames Bank Ironworks Bull Head Dock. This was run by John Hague and then Christie Adams and Hull. From 1838 as a general engineering works. This included building six railway locomotives for the London and South Western Railway in the late 1840s. They also made steam traction engines,
Bermondsey Vestry wharf, Bull Head Dock, used for barging away rubbish. They had a pulveriser which could handle 85 tons of rubbish a day,
Dinorwic Wharf was named for the Welsh slate quarry. This was their London depot. John Williams marble merchants 1894
Pacific Wharf. This appears to be the current name for Bull Head Dock and describes the current development of flats, which appear to have been spectacularly badly built.
Wilkinson’s Gun Wharf. Acts of Parliament enabling the canal describe the site of the original entrance as Wilkinson’s Gun Wharf. This is assumed to be John ‘Iron Mad’ Wilkinson the Black Country based 18th ironmaster. However a available notes about Wilkinson describe his Rotherhithe works as being a lead pipe works and that it was taken over by Enthoven and that his ‘gun wharf’ was adjacent. The Enthoven site is clearly some distance to the east – so without more and better information it must be assumed that this was an iron foundry, or a transit wharf owned by Wilkinson and if so would be of some importance. Wilkinson is not, however a uncommon name,
Grand Surrey Canal original lock and entrance. The Grand Surrey Canal had been set up in 1801 and ran northwards (south and east of this square). It was then to run into a large circular basin with a central artificial island. In effect it divided into two with the southern section called ‘Outer dock’ and the northern remaining the line of the canal. The two joined again near the river. This left a portion of land in the centre called The Island. The original canal entrance and lock was where there is now an inlet to the east of the pub. It was infilled by at least 1888 and is said to have been completely demolished during the Second World War...
Old Salt Quay. Large pub, said to have been built to resemble a boat house. Built in the early 1990s and previously called Spice Island. There were no salt or spice unloading or storage facilities here. This is said to be on the site of Island Yard and/or Dinorwic Wharf.
Surrey Canal Wharf. From 1829 to 1858 this was the Beatson ship breakers where the Temeraire and similar ships were broken up. Later Welsh slate was also handled here but delivered by road.
Surrey Commercial Wharf. George and Henry Green wharfingers, they operated the wharf in the late 19th
Surrey Dock Wharf. Porter millstone makers were on site in the late 18th,
Kings Mills. It is said that this was the earliest mill for gunpowder and that it was run by the monks at Bermondsey Abbey, which seems unlikely. It is said that it was a tide mill – although the mill shown on the Roque map is clearly at the mouth of a water course running from a marshy area to the south east.
Kings Mill. Crown owned water mills for manufacture of gunpowder. A mill was built here on land called ‘The Crenge’ by Henry Reve in 1554-5. It is thought possible that this was an established mill because of complaints of damage to banks and structures. By 1562 five mills had been built for government supply. In 1563 there were leases on a mill to the east to the Lee family for a gunpowder mill. It is thought likely that this was the Kings Mill. A token indicates the use of the mill by a Rebecca Smallman in 1669 – although it is possible this relates to a pub with that name
Kings Mills. Converted in the 18th to make ships biscuits. This is marked on the mid 18th Roque map as “ruffells mill’ or maybe ‘Russell’s Mill’. The land was later used for the Surrey Docks entrance
Kings Mills Wharf. In 1803 this was bought by R and F Mangles H. Powell and Sons continued the building's 18th tradition of producing ship’s biscuits here. The site had 8 ovens each with its own chimney, and was also used to store tar and turpentine.
Kings Mills. Daniel Bennett Oil Works. Bennett was a whaler and transporter oaf convicts to New Zealand. Bennet has bought from a Mr Bush an oil wharf at King's Mills in 1802 remaining there until the 1840s. The works consisted of warehouses, as well as a house, and gardens. He later moved to Blackheath, - Bennet Park is named for him.
Grand Surrey Canal entrance. This was was built in 1860, together with a basin. It appears to have been built at the outlet of a watercourse running north west towards the river. it wass mainly used by barges and smaller timber vessels for only five to six hours per day according to the tide..The engineers were George Bidder and Joseph Jennings. It was infilled as a sluice channel in the 1980s. The curved dam incorporates the original iron lock gates, with the arms of the early 20th hydraulic gate rams reinstated. Cast-iron capstans and bollards. As a result of the reorgamnisaiton the two arms of the canal going round The Island were removed. The northern channel, used as the canal for through traffic, was infilled too become Stave Dock. The southern section – used as a dock became Island Dock. The Island itself was used for timber sheds, while Surrey Basin was built to the south,
Bascule bridge. This is a mid 20th rolling-bascule lifting bridge. It was raised to allow ships into an entrance to Surrey Basin and the Surrey Commercial Docks.
Dolphin. This is a structure in the river – in effect an anchor post for ships maneuvering into the entrance. It is of an unusual cast-iron plate construction from about. 1860.
Rotherhithe Tunnel Ventilation shaft. The Tunnel was constructed between 1904 and 1908 and the ventilation shafts - cupolas - were designed by the engineer Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice. Made from red brick and Portland stone, each contains a staircase down to the tunnel and four ventilation fans. The ornate iron grilles on the windows spell out the letters ‘LCC’ – for ‘London County Council. The tunnel is said to attain its maximum depth at this shaft. These shafts were not only for ventilation but had stairways as foot entrances to the tunnels – said to have been closed during the Second World War but in fact were open until at least the moid-1960s. The tunnel was accessed via an ornate spiral staircase which can still be seen, although blocked, down in the tunnel itself…. This shaft is now hidden behind railings and some ancillary buildings. There is a bench mark on the wall of the shaft.
Surrey dock tavern. This was first recorded in 1859 and remained until 1904. It was demolished eventually for part of the Rotherhithe Tunnel works.
Watermen’s Arms'. This was extant in 1756 but in 1858 was demolished for the widening of the Surrey Basin entrance to the canal.
Clarence Wharf. This was the gas works wharf. It also, before the 1880s, appears to have been used by stone merchant, Cooper and Hansom, and later by the marble importers, Ginesi.
Rotherhithe Pier at Clarence Wharf was built in 1882 as a coal jetty for the South Metropolitan Gas Works, which had premises on Rotherhithe Street. Its remains preserve the original cast-iron columns: It was originally built by the South Metropolitan Gas Company in 1882, after they had taken over the Surrey Consumers Gas Company, the gas works closed in 1959 and The sand and gravel firm, Redland Aggregates, then used it for another 33 years to land sea- dredged ballast, and it finally ceased work in 1992.
Clarence Wharf. Rotherhithe gas works. This was originally built by Stephen Hutchinson in 1849, opening in 1855 in competition with the Phoenix Gas Co., occupying the land that had formerly housed the Daniel Bennett Works . It had been falling down ever since. In an attempt to change things one of Joseph Hedley's son's had taken over the works. Hedley were commercial gas-works builders and managers. Some sort of siege seems to have resulted and T. Abercrombie Hedley was forcibly ejected by Angus Croll. It then became the Surrey Consumers Company and remained independent until taken over by the South Metropolitan Gas Company in the 1870s during their era of expansion to take over all of the gas supply in South London A holder still stands in Brunel Road. There were at one time three gasholders.
Norway and Ransome's Wharf. Talbot Brothers, barge builders. This was a large family of barge builders, originating in Berkshire, who moved here from Lambeth in the late 1840s.
Hanover Stairs. These are near the end of Isambard Place. They were once between Norway and Carolina Wharves. They were originally at the end of Neston Road which was renamed Hanover Street – presumably as some sort of reference to the royal family. They are shown on the early 18th Roque map.
Created in 1978-81 to take the through traffic, it makes a loop parallel with Rotherhithe Street but further inland. It was formed from the road that ran part of the way round the edge of the Surrey Docks and it now links with other main roads. It was named for Bermondsey MP and doctor, Albert Salter, who sought to transform the area in the early 20th.
This timber pond was formed on the basis of the northern arm of the original line of the Grand Surrey Canal, built as a through route. It was infilled in 1984. It is now the site of the Ecological Park.and the line of sports grounds.
Surrey Water . This body of water was created from the former Surrey Basin. It represents the remains of the basin built by the Canal Company in the 1860s as part of the arrangements for the new entrance to the canal. The Lord of the Rotherhithe Manor, Sir William Maynard Gomm sold land to the Canal Company and an extended lock to the river was built slightly upriver. This opened into a new basin which connected to the new lock and to what became Albion Dock. The basin was infilled by the Port of London Authority, but reopened and reconfigured by the London Docklands Development Corporation.
A Rotherhithe blog. Web site
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Charlton Society. Web site
Closed Pubs. Web site
Cocroft. Dangerous Energy
Crocker. Gunpowder Mills Gazetteer
Evening Standard. Web site
Docklands History Group. Minutes
Ellmers and Werner. London's Lost Riverscape
Fisher Athletic. Web site
Geograph. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Gun powder Mills Study Group papers
Hounsell. London’s Rubbish
London Borough of Southwark., Web site
London Wildlife. Nature Conservation in Southwark
Naib. Discover London Docklands
Passmore Edwards. Web site
Pub History. Web site
Thames Shipbuilding Conference. Transactions
Trench and Hillman. London Under London
Williamson and Pevsner. London Docklands
Friday, 29 January 2016
Riverside. South bank east of the Tower. Nelson Dock
This post relates only to sites south of the river. North of the river is Limehouse
Post to the east Canary Wharf
Acorn Pond was the most easterly of the timber ponds and lay south of Lavender Pond and north of Lady Dock. It was built as Timber Pond No.4. by the Commercial Dock Company in 1811 and connected to Lady Dock by a cut. It is said to be named after an oak wood which once stood on the site where locals let their pigs roam. In 1931 Acorn Pond was deepened and three new sheds and a new quay 1,580 feet long was added, essentially turning it into a dock rather than a pond. It was named after a now defunct pub which stood to the south of the site. Some the area of Acorn Pond lies to the south of this square and is now covered by the DownTown Area and some of Russia Dock Woodland. The northern area would be the estate around Russia Dock Road.
A crescent of flats looking inward to a courtyard. It was part of the interwar Acorn Estate, built in 1930/1 on ground raised 16'-0" to avoid flooding. It was, refurbished in 1986-7 for Barratt by Swinhoe Measures Partnership. It was north of the site of Acorn Pond and on the site of Silver Street where houses were demolished to build the estate.
This new build housing is to the east inland of entrance to Lavender Pond. It appears to be on the inland section of Freebody & Co.’s timber business on Pageant Wharf. . It has been described as in the style of French New-Town housing
This Albion Wharf – and there were others - was south of Danzic Wharf. In the late 19th and earl 20th this was Hyam & Oliver boat builders, who operated here into the 1960s, In 1931 they built Lady of the Lea for the War Department for the carriage of explosives from Waltham Abbey. Lady of the Lea is still in sail. It is now the site of flats south of Nelson Dock.
This was previously Beatson Street and was named from Beatson, ship breakers, to the west of Globe Wharf. Although it should be noted that the architect of the church in the street was a William Beatson. It had once been known as Globe Street. It is said by Booth in 1899, to lead to gardens and a century earlier it did lead to an area shown as ‘garden ground’. It now runs pleasantly through a tree lined area past sports fields to Salter Way.
St Paul’s Chapel of Ease. This was a Chapel-of-Ease to St Mary's which never had its own parish built abut 1850 by a family member, architect William Beatson., but was consecrated. It had a simple layout with a north-east vestry. There was a small bell turret at the west end In 1892 timber from HMS Temeraire which was being broken up at Beatson’s Yard, was used to construct the altar and altar rails. It was may have been destroyed in Second World War bombing although registers continue to 1955 when it may have been demolished by some sort of mistake and ‘hushed up’. The site was sold to the Greater London Council for the site of the school in the late 1960s.
2 Peter Hills with St.Mary’s Primary School. Peter Hills School is an old foundation in Rotherhithe. Peter Hills was a Master Mariner and Brethren of Trinity House who left money for the establishment and maintenance of a school for 8 sons of impoverished seamen. In 1797 the school - by then a charity school and greatly expanded - moved to 70 St, Marychurch Street. In 1836 the girls moved to the new St Mary's School in Lower Road. The school is now this modern C of E Primary School also amalagamated with schools from St, Mary’s and St. Pauls.
Tiled wall picture of the Fighting Temeraire by Mary Adshead
New housing on the site of Lavender Pond and Lavender Yard. Hopefully named after the admirable Ernie Bevin of the T&G, Labour Foreign Secretary and much else.
New housing on a site once part of Lavender Pond.
New housing inland from Pageant Wharf and probably on the site of the Freebody timber yard.
New housing on the site of Acorn Pond
This ran inland from Rotherhithe Street opposite the north end of Durand’s Wharf. It is said to have been destroyed on the first night of the blitz. It appears on maps from at least the early 18th.
Cow Lane School. This dated from 1836, and was associated with Trinity Church. It was formally taken over by the London County Council in 1910 and later reopened in a new building as Redriff Road School.
This ran inland south east from Rotherhithe Street roughly opposite the site of Horseferry Stairs.
Vaziey – attempted tunnel under the Thames. This was undertaken in by the Thames Archway Company set up in 1805 to run from near Lavender Lane. Using Cornish miners’ they sank a brick shaft which flooded at 32 feet. After another 34 feet the shaft was ready to start the driftway, and at that point Richard Trevithick was called in. Work began on the driftway began following mining practice of timber props. There were a number of floods but they carried on until just short of the north bank another flood caused the scheme to be abandoned.
Lavender Pond was one of the largest of the timber ponds, rectangular and fitting into the north east corner of the Rotherhithe peninsula. It was built by the Commercial Dock Company as Pond No. 5 by 1827. In the 1850ws Lavender Pond was provided with a lock and a lift bridge to connect it to Russia Dock and the Grand Surrey Canal. And In 1860 it was given its own lock entrance onto the Thames. It was shallow, only used by barges and for floated timber. 1930-31 it was deepened and three new sheds and a new quay were constructed to serve as a dock,
In the 19th this was the site of Lavender Sheds.
Lavender Pond, was designed the London Docklands Development Corporation as a small wildlife pond at the head of the Ecological Park. This was created in 1982 by Ecological Parks Trust and is owned by London Borough of Southwark. he park also has a wet meadow and woodland planted with native trees; a small tree nursery was established in 1985.
Pumping Station. This is to a standard Port of London Authority design of 1928-9, converted c. 1981-2 and pumping with electricity. Yellow brick with gauged arches and the PLA logo in a window frame. Water-loss was an ongoing problem in the docks. So a pumping station was built to pump water from the river to maintain dock levels., Lavender Lock was closed at the same time, again to reduce water loss, although it was not removed and remains in situ today. It was built over the infilled inland end of the sealed off lock and separated from the riverside section by a draw bridge over Rotherhithe Street. When the docks closed in 1969 the station was closed, but one of the pumps was moved to the Brunel Museum. The Pumphouse was renovated in 1981 by The London Docklands Development Corporation and in 1988 a museum, the Lavender Dock Pumphouse Education Museum. But this was closed by Southwark Council in 2011. A Blue Plaque in 2011 was unveiled on the building in the same year. It has since been used as a storage facility by a local business. The Heritage Museum collection is now held by Redriff School.
This was north of Lavender Pond and south of Rotherhithe Road. It is now the site of Salter Road and modern housing.
Lower Green Street
An earlier name for a stretch of what is now Rotherhithe Street running south from Canada Wharf
Mellish Fields Community Sport Ground is attached to Bacon’s College but is open to members of the public, the sports ground features several 5-a-side and full size football pitches, changing rooms and floodlights. It runs north west and is roughly on the site of Globe Pond. It is named for Bob Mellish the manipulative Labour MP for Bermondsey until the mid-1980s.
This is a footpath through park land running west from Nelson Dock in Rotherhithe Street
Caen Sufferance Wharf. George Gates and Henry George were general stone merchants here. They imported stone from Caen where they also had a works, but in conjunction there with a Theophilous Turpin. At the same time it was a base for Luar Beedham who also had quarries at Caen. Both firms exhibited at international exhibitions during this period. Later in the 19th the wharf was used by Garton who were tar and turpentine distillers and later still by Quirk and Barton, lead manufacturers, who were established at nearby Globe Wharf. They had here a grey oxide plant with two furnace sheds, with lead kettles, and a grinding shop.
Normandy Wharf. In 1868 this was occupied by Miller and Johnson who made chemical manures here. They also had a vitriol works in Silvertown. It later became Crown Lead Works under Quirk and Barton who made lead foil for lining tea chests there with a with rolling mill and a lead pipe factory.
Horseferry Dock. John Thompson had this site from around 1839. He was a successful boat builder who had three large workshops here plus sheds and a slipway, and his own house. He built a number of small steam passenger vessels
255 Horseferry Dry Dock. This was built by William Beech in 1862. Later it was occupied by John McDowell who was a dry dock proprietor here in the late 19th and early 20th. With a Mr. Salisbury he undertook ship repairs and is described as ’government ship builder’. McDowell had been bankrupt in 1885 but appears to have remained in business. It was also said that he owned the India Arms in Horseleydown. The dock was still in operation in the 1930s. It is now covered by
Horseferry stairs. These were located half way down what is now Sovereign Crescent but have now gone. They were a public plying place and a right of way. They are said to have once been called ‘Shepherd and Dog Stairs”
Sovereign Crescent. Modern riverside development by Barratts
Sovereign View. With an endless curving wall apparently built by Barratt's 1992-5:
Windmill. This was here in the late 17th and can be seen on contemporary paintings
Lavender Dock. In the early 19th this site was divided into, Lavender Dock and Lavender Wharf. The Wharf was itself subdivided in the early 20th into Lavender Wharf and Grand Surrey Wharf. The name of Lavender comes from Rotherhithe Street which was called Lavender Street in the 18th
Lavender Dock. This was a ship building yard 1702 - 1708 when Edward Swallow built ships here, including two warships. From 1709 the yard was occupied by John Whetstone, who also built warships here. From 1756 Robert Inwood also built naval ships here including some warships. It later passed to a ship breaker, Job Cockshott, in the early 19th. Then from 1865 the shipyard was operated by John and William Walker and composite clipper ships were built here for the China trade. It was operated by James Turner 1873 - 1886, and was succeeded by John Medhurst who was there until at least 1890.
Lavender Wharf. This co-existed with the dock for many decades. Beech, Whitaker and Brannon were there until 1818, as wharfingers. Joe, Cockshott's Lavender Wharf was taken over by Thomas Beech, also for ship breaking. There was a blacksmith's shop and granary here - the granary was probably the former mould loft. In 1862 William Walker had re-amalgamated the dock and the wharf but in 1870, they were separated. The wharf was leased to William Lund. Who probably established the Blue Anchor delivery line in 1869. Up to the late 1930s some of the Wharf buildings were occupied by W.B. Dick and Company oil refiners and supplier of anti-fouling paint and latterly it was used by Burmah Oil. In the 1960s this had become the Wakefield Castrol Group claiming to be the largest independent lubricating oil group in the world with a fleet of small river tankers operating from their depot here. This closed in 1985
229 Grand Surrey Wharf. In 1895 the site was leased as a bonded warehouse by a chicory importer, who sold it on to coffee merchants. They who also dealt in mustard and were based as ‘Finsbury Mills; in 'extensive premises'. It was occupied by Roberti, shipping agents and wharfingers in the 1920s
Sovereign View – developed by Barratts, now covers the Lavender dock, wharf and Grand Surrey Wharf sites.
Lavender Lock. Built in 1863 to serve a timber- pond in the Surrey Docks. The Commercial Dock Company planned for a new entrance at the northern end of Rotherhithe as a second access point for large ships. the lock opened in 1862 into Lavender Dock and was designed for small rivercraft., it was also large enough to handle larger vessels. it ceased to be used in the late 1920s when the pumping station was built but its foreshortened remains are still visible.
446 Swallow Galley Pub. Demolished in 1933 - did this have a connection with shipbuilder Edward Swallow, based at Lavender Dock
538 Ship Argo Pub. This has been demolished. It had closed in 1910. The Argo was built by Bird in 1759. She was a tiny tender with an 80ft long hull. She was the first vessel to use the entrance to the new Grand Surrey Canal.
Pageant Wharf. This appears to date from the late 1600s and the mid-18th Roque map marks ‘The Pageants’ on the riverside here. It was a shipyard and part of it in the 1860s was used for the Lavender entrance. Later it was used as a fire station, and a dust destructor and a timber yard. It is now housing by Barratts
235 Pageant Wharf. Freebody and Co. Timber merchants. They were present in 1914 and were importers of ‘Petersburg and Christiania Poles and Spars’ as well as Putlogs, Hewn and Sawn Pitch Pine, and Oregon Pine Timber and Spars.
Pageant Wharf. Metropolitan Borough of Bermondsey dust destructor. This was installed and opened in 1927 to replace a disappointing experiment with a pulveriser. It appears to have been replaced by a system where rubbish was barged out from 1932.
243 Queens Head. This pub was demolished in 1928. It was first noted about 1805. It would have stood roughly between the old fire station and Pennington Court flats. The pub was bought in 1927 by Enthoven's, lead manufacturers. to extend their premises.
Pageant Wharf. London Fire Brigade Station. This was acquired ‘by agreement’ and opened in 1903. It was built because of the ‘peculiar physical configuration’ of east Rotherhithe. Horses were stabled to the rear and apparently trained to respond to the fire bell. It was further reported as built in 1913 by the London County Council. The building still looks like a fire station but is in fact flats.
Pageant Wharf. In the 19th Faldo asphalt works was here. In addition families of several generations of the Faldo family were ships carvers here in the mid 19th.
Pageant Stairs. Traditional waterman’s stairs by the obelisk. They are steep and lead down to a narrow section of foreshore, with scattered with stones and bricks
Pageant Steps, Housing for Barratt housing, by Lawrence & Wrightson built in 1994-5. There is a decorative obelisk at the top of the steps with no apparent purpose.
Pageant Crescent. This goes along the whole length of what was Pageant Wharf on the riverside. Gated boring development by Barratt`
Upper Ordnance Wharf. John Wilkinson, the late 18th Ironmaster, who is usually connected with the Black Country, had lead mines in Wales and this lead was used in a lead pipe works at Rotherhithe said to be next to his Gun Wharf. Gun Wharf presents a problem in that it was the start point of the Grand Surrey Canal. This original canal entrance was considerably to the west of Upper Ordnance Wharf. However this wharf is also called Ordnance Wharf and Wilkinson may have had more than one site.
William Aspdin patentee of Portland Cement was on Upper Ordnance Wharf in 1843. He built three wet process bottle kilns here. He left to move into Parkers vacant plant at Northfleet.
Hammond linseed crusher was at Upper Ordnance Wharf from 1843. The mills were later transferred to Thomas Gurnell
Patent Rolling and Compressing Iron Company. This was managed in 1844 by John Whinfield. The firm was also on Sunderland Wharf as railway spike and rivet makers run by a Charles Eicke
H.J. Enthoven & Co manufacturers of solder, printing type metal, battery components moved to London from Cornwall in 1869 and were at Upper Ordnance Wharf. Most of the tin and lead ores that they imported were smelted in London and they remained here until the 1980s and are now at Matlock in Derbyshire. Latterly the factory made lead solder alloys. In 1907 the company built a bridge – described as a concrete gangway - across the road. This later displayed their advertising signage.
Lower Ordnance Wharf. Francois and Joseph Badart, merchants and seed crushers. In 1861 an accident in the works led to an explosion and ten deaths. They were bankrupt in 1881
Union Oil and Cake Mills at Lower Ordnance Wharf. They were running the mills again for seed crushing
Sunderland Wharf. 1850 William Welton. Timber and firebrick merchant.
Calder Court. Modern flats on the site of the Union oil an cake mills
Horn Stairs. These were named for a nearby pub which was on the side of the alley leading to the stairs. It closed in 1896. The Horns has connections with the Charlton Horn Fair and the story of King John and the Millers Wife. A bawdy and riotous procession was said to come from here to Charlton for the fair. It is said there was a ducking stool here for ‘scolds’ surmounted with a pair of horns.
Limehouse Hole ferry. At low tide the remains of a jetty can be seen on the foreshore which served passengers for the ferry to Limehouse Hole.
Cuckold Point. This is a bend on the River. The name is said to come from a post surmounted by a pair of horns – which was the sign of a cuckold - that used to stand here. This has links with the Charlton Horn fair and is said to come from this story of King John and millers’ wife. There was also a gibbet here. It is now marked by an orange navigation light in the river.
Columbia Wharf. This is a late 19th brick granary including the first silo in a British works. It was built by the Patent Ventilating Granary Co. It has four storeys and a variety of window shapes. There is a plain riverside façade which was added later to what had been a very ornate building. It was originally divided into four compartments to take bulk grain with cold was blown through them to stop any fires but it was later converted into an ordinary warehouse. It was converted to be part of the Hotel at Nelson Wharf by Price & Cusen in 1990 and was thus given an atrium and a tensile-roofed steel structure bridging the blocks. Some grain stored here was marketed ads Pickwick Brand.
Canada Wharf. Part of the hotel. This is a converted 19th granary 3which with Colombia Wharf is of great technological Interest as the first site in England to store grain in bulk silos. It was however smaller than an original granary to this model in Trieste. It was designed for the Patent Ventilating Granary Co. by B Edmeston. This was the second silo after Columbia Wharf added in 1870. It was run by millers White, Tomkins and Courage and was converted to flats in 1995-6 by Michael Ginn Associates,
257 Blacksmith’s Arms. This was present here in 1767 but rebuilt with a half-timbered front.
Nelson Dock. These are the only extant remains of Rotherhithe's shipbuilding. The name is noted in the 1820s but there was yard here in at least 1687. The dry dock may have been in use by 1707. The yard was later then used for ship repair by Mills and Knight which closed in 1968. The original Nelson Dock site is within the hotel complex.
Nelson Wake had the shipyard here in the 1820s
John Taylor had the shipyard here in 1690. This later became a series of companies involving Taylor along with Randall and Brent until 1814. Under Randall and Brent 52 warships and 46 East Indiamen were built here – along with another yard near the Greenland Dock entrance. The firm closed following a suicide and a long court case and the yard was split into sections under various operators.
Marmaduke Stalkartt used part of the site, the area of of the slipway. He built two fast Post Office sailing packets here in 1788 and later in 1796 an experimental steam vessel for the Earl of Stanhope.
Thomas Bilbe. In 1850 Bilbe took over the whole Nelson Dockyard and built the mechanized slipway on the site of a neighbouring yard. In the 1860s and 1870s he built composite ships with iron frames and wooden planking which could be cooper sheathed. These were thus huge ships with no marine worms. Anti fouling compounds eventually took over
Mills and Knight from 1890 to 1960. They undertook repairs for General Stream Navigation and others. In 1960 Rye-Arc ran the yard and had a programme for modernisation but closed in 1968.
Nelson Dock Workshops. Row of workshop buildings from 1860s along the street frontage. A forge was included here.
Nelson Dock Engine House and slip. This building is at head of Thomas Bilbe's Slipway, It was built 1855-9. The slip itself includes a hydraulic machine, hauled the ships up the patent slipway and this is now preserved. The ships were carried in a cradle on iron rails and the slipway is partly a dry dock with mitre gates. The ship would be drawn a short distance at a time by a revolving crank shaft. This system was patented by Thomas Bilbe. It was originally planned that this would be a small museum which opened but soon closed.
Nelson Dry Dock. This has been rebuilt as a pond between two blocks of the hotel and is permanently flooded. There had been a plan to turn it into a marina and a crane installed for that purpose. It probably dates from 1707 when there are records of s ship being repaired here. It was previously constructed of timber supplemented with mass concrete and was lengthened towards the river and its entrance widened in 1880. The floating wrought-iron caisson, which closed the outer end, is now incorporated in the modern dam. This is now fixed in position but in use it could be filled with water or drained and floated elsewhere. Massive wrought-iron plates strengthened the landward end after the bursting of its embankment in 1881. A series of ships have been displayed in it
265; Nelson Dock House. This mansion was built 1730-40 at a trine when John Randall was taking over the yard. Although it is not thought that this was the principle home of these prosperous shipbuilders it can be seen that from the rear the proprietor had direct access to the shipyard. There is a wrought-iron front gate. It was converted and used as a business centre by the hotel but is now said to be privately owned.
Nelson Dock Hotel. This was originally built as the Scandic Crown Hotel and was adapted from what were intended as blocks of flats by the Danish developer ISLEF. Architects of the flats and the conversion the Danish Kjaer & Richter with Macintosh Haines & Kennedy. The recession meant a hotel would he more economic. The Scandic Crown Hotel. London Docklands opened in March 1991. Its n three buildings including Nelson House, Columbia warehouse and two new blocks. The engine house was converted into a museum incorporating machinery for Nelson Dock. It later became a Holiday Inn and then Hilton Double Tree.
New pier. This is linked to the hotel reception building by glass sided walk. The pier is served by clipper service and by a cross river ferry. It was designed by Beckett Rankine and built by Downtown Marine Construction
Pearson’s Park. This was previously Pearson’s Recreation Ground, and contains sports spaces and an outdoor gym. It was set up by Bermondsey Council in 1902 with six seats by the Passmore Edwards Foundation and a drinking fountain provided by Passmore Edwards himself
Dantzic Wharf Perkins and Homer lightermen were operating here into the 1960s.t
Mercantile Lighterage Ltd. Barge builders. They took over the lighterage business of Mr. Steel here in the 1860s. The company was still extant in the 1980sl
Laurence Wharf. This originated with Laurence and Co. Wharfingers, This was latterly used by a timber firm. Vitak Ltd. From 1870, this was a seven-storey warehouse with an ornate tower topped with battlements and handling grain. Following wartime bombing it became a timber wharf closing in the early 1980s. They have since been developed by the Danish developer ISLEF, in 1986-1988. There is a tennis court above the car park in the centre courtyard.
297 Whitehorse Inn. This was on the riverside at the north end of Durand’s Wharf. It opened in 1743 and was demolished in 1962
The Clipper. Pub which used to be called The Ship. This has now been replaced by flats. The final building dated from the 1930s but the pub itself dated to 1856.
Russia Yard North
Area used by the dock company – sheds A-M used for timber storage. In 1962 steam cranes were replaced and rail lines replaced with concrete alleyways. The yard was on the north eastern side of Russia Dock and backed onto both Lavender Dock and Acorn Pond.
The road was built by London Borough of Southwark in the late 1970s/early 1980s as a new distributor road through the defunct Surrey Docks. It was named for Alfred Salter – the charismatic doctor and Labour MP who transformed Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in the period before 1945
Silver Street Wesleyan Methodist chapel. Opened in 1890, closed in 1926 and demolished. The chapel had been visited frequently by John Wesley and had a strong tradition of work with foreign seamen,
A Rotherhithe blog. Web site
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Charlton Society. Web site
Docklands History Group. Minutes Riverscape
Ellmers and Werner. London's Lost
Grace's Guide. Web site
Hounsell. London’s Rubbish
London Borough of Southwark., Web site
London Wildlife. Nature Conservation in Southwark
Naib. Discover London Docklands
Passmore Edwards. Web site
Pieter Hills and St.Mary’s School. Web site
Thames Shipbuilding Conference. Transactions
Trench and Hillman. London Under London
Williamson and Pevsner. London Docklands
Saturday, 16 January 2016
Riverside south of the river and east of the Thames. Greenland Dock
Post to the east Millwall
Post to the south Deptford
Post to the north Nelson Dock, Rotherhithe and Limehouse
Thuis was built as Timber Pond No.4. by the Commercial Dock Company in 1811 and connected to Lady Dock by a cut, In 1931 It was deepened and essentially turning it into a dock rather than a pond in the 1930s. It was named after the Acorn Pub, Much of the area of Acorn Pond lies to the north of this square but in this square it is now the site of the DownTown Area and some of Russia Dock Woodland
Concrete replacements for a set of traditional watermen’s stairs. This was a plying place from 1835. They are immediately upriver from the Surrey Docks Farm. They were named after the Acorn pub .
Acorn Wharf. This was used by Thomas Brocklebank and Peter Rolt timber merchants in the earlier 19th supplying timber to railways. There was an extensive fire there in 1858. The next company, Gabriel Wade and English, specialized in the creosote-treatment of timber, and ran four steam cranes on a network of rail tracks. On the 1868 Ordnance Survey map two cranes are shown here with housing and a pub -The Acorn - along with the surviving dock plus a saw mill and creosote works. It became the site of the Metropolitan Asylums Board Warf when it was purchased by them in 1883 and subsequently Surrey Docks Farm. A modern site of this name is to the north of this square off Salter Road in Acorn Walk
Acorn Yard. This ran down the east side of what became Lady Dock. In 1853 it was described as ship building premises which included a graving dock although this does not appear on maps. It seems later to have been used for storage of timber, or sugar. New sheds were built here in 1960 for holding plywood and other timber, and became the centre of the storage system in this area. It was redeveloped with housing in 1986.
Atkins Wharf, This was at 6 Odessa Street and owned by J. &A.Atkins warehousemen
Baltic Quay, This is at the east end of South Dock. It was built by Lister Drew Haines Barrow in 1990. It has arched roofs and at 14 storeys visible from a distance. Originally it was to be offices with flats above but the demand for housing meant a change to an entire block of flats.
Barnard Wharf. The name 'Barnard' refers to the shipbuilding family based here, at Ispwich and Deptford. This is now part of the area of The Surrey Docks Farm site Thomas Stanton had a lease on the yard in the mid 1750s, from the Bedford Estate. It has been suggested that Stanton had worked for Captain Bronsden's in Grove Street, Deptford. There was also likely to have been some sort of business relationship with the Wells family. He built here a number of shIps for the Navy. The Wells family were building ships in the late 18th and it is possible that they were built here. It is thought they built about 77 East Indiamen and 25 ships for the Navy. Barnard may have taken the site over in 1798 buying the freehold from Wells but the record is unclear. Barnard were based in Ipswich and also had a yard at Deptford Grove Street. The Rotherhithe yard had 450ft of river frontage, a field on the opposite side of the road, a large dry dock, a building slip, a mast house and a mast slip so they could fit ships as well as building them. In about 1820 the site was split into an upper and lower yard, both operated by Barnard family interests. The area now covered by the Surrey Docks Farm, made masts and spars while the lower yard was for shipbuilding. The site extended south of the current Farm site to include land now occupied by the housing estate. After 1815 shipbuilding orders fell away and space was leased out. It is thought that Marc Brunel's steamer Regent was built here by J.B. and Thomas Courthope in 1816 and that John Jenkins Thompson built paddle steamer Banshee here launched in 1847. It was later renamed Acorn Wharf – see above
This is on the site of Norway Yard
Bonding Yard Walk
This is a walk way northwards from the Greenland Dock between rows of houses.
Mosaic by Jane Higginbotham for Hexagon Housing
This runs along the south end of the north quay of the Greenland Dock on the site of what was Lower Brunswick Yard. It has some of the earliest housing in the area, by Form Design Group of 1985. It has coloured brickwork and a ground-floor arcade, with a double avenue of trees. The houses stretch back into short streets and suburban-looking garages. There are mooring facilities in the Surrey Docks.
Bust of engineer James Walker. This stands near the inlet which marks the line of the Grand Surrey Canal. It is in bronze and is by Michael Rizzello, 1990, for the London Docklands Development Corporation having been commissioned by the Institute of Civil Engineers and unveiled by their president.
Capstan. Probably 1898
Rails - these were for travelling cranes
Berth 14 was in this area and was used for storage of plywood. This was delivered to lorries by fork lift trucks.
Sheds 11 and 10 in this area were used to transit goods delivered by barge from vessels lying in the Canada, Albion, and Quebec Docks. Ships berthed here also ran the only passenger service to what was Leningrad.
This was previously called Trinity Road. In the late 19th Mariner’s Buildings and Bryan’s Place stood here. These were cottages in three storeys, one room above the other with a steep wooden staircase.
Holy Trinity Church. This was designed by Thomas Ford in 1957 with a distinctive curved ceiling and a copper clad roof. A mural painted by Hans Feibusch covers the whole of the wall behind the altar.
Holy Trinity Church, The original church was built in 1837 designed by Sampson Kempthorne on a site been given by the Commercial Dock Company. It was destroyed by bombing in September 1940; it the first church in Britain to be destroyed by German bombs.
Churchyard. There are grave stones from the original church
War Memorial. This survives from the original church
Church Hall. This is in the buildings of Holy Trinity School. This was a National School founded in 1836 next to the church. It closed in 1910. After the destruction of the church in 1940 it was used for services until 1959.
Holy Trinity Vicarage. The original parsonage was north of the church
King Canute is said to have built a 4 mile long canal round London as part of his invasion plans of 1015. In 1729 workers on the Greenland Dock observed features which has led to a theory that if this canal existed that it discharged into the river in the area of the present, now closed, entrance. It is also thought that an alternative canal was one associated with the building of 'old' London Bridge in 1290.
Centre Pond, originally Timber Pond, No.2. This was one of the timber ponds established by the Grand Surrey Dock and Canal Company in 1862. Only the eastern section is in the current square. In the early 1920s it became part of Quebec Dock. It was infilled either in the 1940s or the 1960s. It later became the eastern end of the Harmsworth plant at Surrey Docks.
Clyde Dry Dock
Clyde Dry Dock.This was sited sighted to the immediate south of the Greenland Dock Entrance.
Commercial Basin . This was a long thin stretch of water, of which only the eastern end is in this square built between 1862 and 1868. It appears on 19th maps to the west of the Surrey Canal parallel to the western end of the Greenland Dock – which is on the east side of the canal - and was apparently connected to Russia Dock. It appears to have been used as part of the enlargement of the Greenland Dock in 1895-1904.
Commercial Dock Pier and Commercial Wharf
Commercial Dock Pier and Commercial Wharf. This ran from the end of Odessa Street. It came from the north end where a cobbled walk way runs to the river bank. There had been a floating pier here but this was replaced by the Corporation of London in 1854 and steam boat services used it. This was the area of Wells shipyard.
Scotch Derrick. Painted red. This is on the site of the Kempton and Collins timber yard.
Commercial Dock Road
This road once ran from Rotherhithe Street and the junction with the road to Commercial Dock Pier, on the section curving south west round the Greenland Basin and parallel to the Surrey Canal, to eventually meet what is now Plough Way. Some of the line of it is now in the extended Greenland Dock although some of it is covered by Redriff Road.
Swing Bridge over the passage from Norway Dock. .
Ploughbridge Works. This works was on the west side of the road and a number of different works are listed there and it may have been in multiple ownership. For example in the 1850s Newton and Fuller were there, makers of iron Warehouses, in 1893 the occupants were British Stone and Marble Co and In 1900 Blumann & Stern Ltd; Makers of oils and lubricants.
The Greenland Dock of 1699 was sold in 1806 and passed to the new Commercial Dock Company. In 1811 they opened the Norway Dock and two timber ponds – the future Lady Dock and Acorn Pond. This dock system was entered via the Greenland Dock entrance and was separate from other docks around the Surrey Canal belonging to the Surrey Commercial Dock Co... In 1850 the company bought the East Country Dock – south of the Greenland Dock on the site of the current South Dock. In 1864 they amalgamated with the Surrey Commercial Dock Co. And formed the Surrey Commercial Dock Company and links were opened between the two sets of docks and ponds. They were taken over by the Port of London Authority in 1909
This was previously Russell Street built by the Bedford Estate. In the 1890s it was commented that there were Danish names to the shops and a Danish restaurant. It is now part of Elgar Street
6 Lifeboat pub. Closed in 1890 and demolished
Dog and Duck Stairs
Dog and Duck stairs.These are between the entrances to the South and Greenland Docks. They are named for a pub which stood nearby from around 1723. It was hit by a V2 in 1944 and destroyed,
Down Town Road
This is not and never was ‘downtown’ in the American sense. It was an area cut off from the rest of Rotherhithe by docks and timber ponds and it became a distinct and separate neighbourhood. The Downtown estate was an estate built between the wars in municipal style for dock workers. It was very badly bombed in the Second World War., London Docklands Development Corporation developed a ‘Downtown package’, and new town houses were built and others refurbished. The road itself runs along what was the top of Lady Dock. Much of the area is that which was once Acorn Pond.
Surrey Docks Health Centre
Durand’s Wharf. Called Durand’s Wharf because in 1804 it was the finishing line for a rowing race between team of watermen from Gravesend in which Captain Durand played a leading role. It was then a wharf used by mast and block makers. From 1849 It was a timber wharf where in 1850 Henry Potter was joined by Samuel Boulton and in 1854 Thomas Burt Haywood. They used Bethel's patent process of 1858 to preserve timber using tar oils. Their more famous works was at Prince Regent Wharf in Silvertown and is now in South Wales. The wharf closed in the 1970s and the site was cleared to become a small park. When Work began on the Jubilee Line extension in the early 1990s the park became a work station where excavated spoil was brought up to the surface and loaded into barges for disposal. During the work the discovery of creosote tanks led to remedial work. The area was reinstated as a park in 1998.
A ventilation and escape shaft to service the Jubilee Line Extension stands on the park
Cannon and anchor as decorative items
This was originally York Street laid out by the Bedford Estate.
This runs the length of what was the north quay of the Greenland Dock and is all late 20th housing. Like other road names in this area it refers to historic links of the area to Scandinavia through initially whaling and then the timber trade.
Berths in this area of the dock were used by shipping lines to North America. There was also an area used for hard wood storage
Berths 3 and 4 were by the dock entrance and 1 and 2 were to the north of them. They were used for plywood storage.
Grand Surrey Canal
The Grand Surrey Canal Company was incorporated in 1801 and ran from an entrance from the Thanes to the north of this square. When complete, the canal passed across Rotherhithe and beneath Greenland Dock towards Deptford before turning south towards Camberwell and Peckham. As the Commercial Dock Company built enclosed spaces to the east of the canal, so the Canal Company realised that the Rotherhithe section of its canal could be developed to compensate for the financial failure of the canal itself. In 1811 they got parliamentary permission to expand the channel of the canal through this area and this included what became Russia Dock. In 1855 the Canal Company changed its name to the Grand Surrey Docks and Canal Company and began to expand. Local landowner Sir William Maynard Gomm sold land to them which allowed this. Greenland Dock was enlarged in the late 1890s, had to incorporate the Grand Surrey Canal, which now passed across its centre. Its route can still be traced through the landscape which has replaced the docks, but it ceased to exist as a working canal in the 1970s and much of its length is now landscaped parkland
Howland Great Wet Dock. The first 'wet' dock was built here and called ‘The Howland’ which was a family name and became the base of the Greenland whaling fleet. Originally a dry dock only was planned but the wet dock as built was probably the largest in Europe. It became a laying-up and fitting-out basin, It was built in 1696-9 for the Russell family who had acquired the land through the marriage in 1695 of the Marquess of Tavistock, later 2nd Duke of Bedford, to Elizabeth Howland, heiress of landowner John Howland and granddaughter of Josiah Child of the East India Company. . The designer and supervisor was John Wells, a local shipwright working with George Scorold, who had worked on water works schemes. The contractor was William Ogbourne, a house carpenter from Stepney. The underlying Thanet Sands here and the quay foundations led to great delay. The dock was wooden walled with a wooden lock into the Thames and its purpose was to provide shelter for shipping – much of it owned by the East India Company. There were no cargo handling facilities. Trees were planted around it as a windbreak and there was a big house, the Russell Mansion, at the landward end – although the house was only used by the Wells family and was demolished in the early 19th. At each side of the dock entrance were shipbuilding and repair yards and the originally planned dry dock. It was managed by the Wells family members, from the 1720s it was used by whalers and was sold by the Bedford estate in 1763 to Wells shipbuilders. It was then renamed Greenland Dock and there was a link with the South Sea Company. 1,000 tons of blubber was boiled here annually to extract the sperm oil. It was bought by William Ritchie who set up the Surrey Commercial Dock Co. in 1807, and reopened as an import dock in 1809, with a new entrance lock by Ralph Walker.
Greenland Dock. The dock was rebuilt in its present form in 1894-1904 by Sir John Wolfe Barry, succeeding J.A. McConnochie, extending the length greatly to the west. It was thus more than doubled in length and in depth. It eventually covered 22.5 acres with a depth of 31 feet. It cut straight across the Surrey Canal which continued across it. The quays were split up leaving the longest continuous length of quay in as 800 feet despite a total quay length of 2,250 feet. The Entrance lock was designed for ships of 12,000 tons. There was a regular passenger service between London and Russia, via Leningrad and there were also shipping lines going to North America – including Cunard whose A-class vessels of sailed regularly from here to Canada. In 1909 the dock, was taken over by the Port of London ‘Authority. In 1940 bombing Surrey Docks suffered the greatest damage any dock system. New sheds were built after the war to house timber although the dock was also used for general cargoes. From the late 1950s technological changes in the shipping industry pushed the dock into decline. Bulk carriers were too large to be accommodated here. In 1970 the Surrey Commercial Docks were closed. Greenland Dock was sold to Southwark council. The Inner London Education Authority used the dock for a Watersports Centre on the dock for young people. Much of the Surrey Docks was filled in but Greenland Dock escaped this and in 1981 was passed to the London Docklands Development Corporation. The remaining industrial occupiers were evicted and the dock became a residential area. A new water sports centre was built on the site of the old entrance to the infilled Surrey Canal. The dock itself is substantially intact
Greenland Entrance Lock. Designed by Sir John Wolfe Barry and built in 1904. It is now preserved with its original outer and middle steel gates. There is granite coping has a lip as a safety feature. Hydraulic ground sluices and gate rams - early examples of the direct acting pattern - are displayed. Although the lock gates, the granite steps and the hydraulic gear have been preserved, the lock is now blocked off.
Footbridge. This is a bolted steel lattice swing bridge over the dock entrance. It is high arched for the free passage of barges, with hydraulic jiggers to swing it for ships.It was manufactured by Armstrong, Whitworth and Co. The hydraulic equipment is still preserved today in the pits next to the bridge on each side, although they no longer function. The bridge was restored in 1987 to provide a right of way
Lock-Keeper's Cabin. This – along with the Tide Gauge House - was built when the lock was extended between 1894-1904. They were probably designed by James McConnochie for the Surrey Commercial Dock company. They are single-storey structures in a pale brick. They were refurbished 1987 by the London Docklands Development Corporation. The office was manned in three shifts to process ships in and out of the lock when the tide was right.
Tide Gauge House. With the contrasting two-centered window heads that were used for small buildings throughout the Surrey Docks. This building had equipment for determining the state of the tide which was essential for the correct operation of the lock
Greenland Dock. South Shipyard, this was south of the entrance. Opened around 1700 and included a dry dock. Initially leased to the Burchett family who built 60 gun Monck here in 1702. The yard seems to have concentrated on repair work and was lost when the entrance was rebuilt
Greenland Dock. North Shipyard. This was north of the entrance with a dry dock which may have dated from 1662. It was leased to Abraham Wells of Deptford. East Indiaman, The Tonqueen, was built here in 1681 by Richard Wells. In 1698 the 42 gun Winchester was built here. Randall's shipyard. This lay on either side of the dock. They also had a yard at Nelson Dock. In the 1790s it was Randall & Brent but Randall died in 1802 and Daniel Brent who took the whole yard in 1815. They built 'Rising Star’ in 1822, the first steam ship to cross the Atlantic from east to west. And originally a Cochrane steam warship built for the Chilean Navy. They also built the London Engineer which undertook a regular service to Margate in 1818. It was later used by Charles Lungley in the 1860s to complement his main yard in Deptford. The dry dock was then called the Commercial Dry Dock.
Curlicue. Art work by William Pye. Thus was commissioned by the London Docklands Development Corporation. This is at the river end on the north side of the lock.
Greenland Passage. This housing scheme now lies either side of the Greenland Entrance Lock. It is by Danish architect Kjaer Richter scheme for ISLEF. There are 152 dwellings in four blocks with landscaping and car parking underneath. It was built 1986-9
Wibbley Wobbly. This is a bar on a boat in the dock. Comedian Malcolm Hardee, died here by falling in the dock.
Steel Yard Cut – the passage from the dock into what was Norway Dock.
This housing area covers the south west part of the Greenland Dock site.
Berth 12 sited in the south-western part of the dock for a liner service carrying general export and import goods to and from Canada
In Swift’s story Gulliver is said to have lived in this area.
2 Ship and Whale. Docklands pub. Refurbished and for a while a gay pub. The name refers to the local whaling trade connections. It is thought to date from the 1760s although the building is 1880.
King Frederick IX Tower. Built by Danish firm ISLEF in 1886
This was previously part of Trinity Street, and before that Acorn Place.
New housing on what was part of Acorn Yard
Lady Dock. Built by James Walker for the Commercial Dock Co as Timber Pond No.3 in a scheme of 1809. It has a shallow depth and was only used by barges and for floated timber. Here the predominant floating wood was Douglas Fir for cutting into planks.
Lady Dock Path
This runs east west across the area which was Lady Dock going from the end of Bonding Yard Walk to the Russia Dock Woodland.
New housing on part of what was Russia Yard. Lovell were the development agency.
Lower Brunswick Yard
This was the area on the north west quay of the Greenland Dock. Now Brunswick Quay. New Brunswick in Canada was a source of the timber handled in the Rotherhithe yards.
Lower Quebec Yard
Dock area now probably part of the Stave Hill area. Pictures show sugar being unloaded and stacked here but was mainly used for timber. New sheds were built here in 1927,
Norway Dock was the first docks built by the Commercial Dock Company for handling timber from the Baltic. It was originally No.2 built in 1811. It was connected to the Thames through Greenland Dock via the Norway Cut. It was latterly an engineering base. A repair yard which was the headquarters of the P.L.A. Marine Engineering, and the depot of Messrs. Harland and Wolff, contractors to the P.L.A. for all floating plant were located there.
Steelyard Cut. This leads from Greenland Dock to what was Norway Dock.
Footbridge. Across the opening to the dock from Greenland Dock is a wrought-iron swing of 1862 by Henry Grissell, and installed for James Walker. It was moved from the South Dock entrance lock by the London Docklands Development Corporation in1987. It was originally hand-cranked. The rivets are countersunk to give the appearance. Wrought-iron cantilevers are stayed by iron rods from cast-iron counterweights, closing to form an arch.
The Lakes. Built in the Norway Dock in 1988 by Shepheard Epstein and Hunter's as an artificial lakeside development. There are semi-detached villas around the lake and a central lake has been created above the level of the infilled dock. The inlet from the dock passes beneath the front block and opens out into a shallow semicircular basin, enclosed by a crescent of two-storey houses. Round the lake are villas resting on timber decks. At the centre of the outer crescent is a pre-existing industrial building of 1918.
Norway Dock is blocked off by Finland Street, and the result is a rectangular duck pond, with nesting pontoons and duck houses
New housing in an area which once ran down the east side of Norway Dock.
This was originally Thames Street laid out by the Bedford Estate. Odessa is a port on the Black Sea, exporting grain and flour. This grain was imported into Rotherhithe
Odessa Wharf building. This is one of the oldest surviving wharves in Rotherhithe, which was used for grain storage and known as Mr. Randall’s Granary. The date of 1810 appears on a lintel and it may actually have been a mould loft. It was converted into flats by Fletcher Priest in 1990 with some uncompromising industrial-style elements bolted on.
Odessa Street Youth Club. Sea Service Hut. This has a partial mural on the back. It originally read, "People Come Together @ the Odessa".
Custom House Reach. There was an incinerator for flotsam and jetsam which could be collected from this point in the river. The riverside here was called The Condemned Hole and was owned by Customs and Excise and where they could collect and dispose of contraband. It closed in 1962.
6 New Caledonia Wharf. Another block of gated flats developed for Rosehaugh in 1989 with architects Hunter. It is said to be a conversion of the previous buildings on site. This block has a swimming pool, bar, gymnasium and sauna. The entrance foyer is said to be ‘New York Style’ – sort of art deco, with banded plasterwork in grey and white plus brown. It appears to be on the site of what was called Redriff Wharf.
Redriff Wharf, also described as Atkin’s Wharf, and probably part of the granary complex on site as Odessa Wharf. It is said to have been used as such into the 1970s.
38 Black Horse pub. This closed in 1925 and has been demolished
Finland Quay West. Seven linked pavilions by Richard Reid
This was north of Norway Dock fronting what was then Commercial Dock Road. Onega is a Russian town, where English merchants had rights to fell timber and set up sawmills for export to England. Clearly the Onega Yard dealt with this timber.
This runs through an area which was yards between Russia and Quebec Docks.
Quebec Way Industrial Estate. This is now being converted to housing.
This development is on what was the south east quay of Greenland Dock.
Berth 15, this was sited south of the dock entrance and handled vessels from Finland.
Berth 2. This was behind berth 15 and was used for sorting and storing import goods delivery to barges in South Dock.
Shed 8 – this was a transit shed built post Second World War where exports were handled mechanically on pallets using fork lift tricks. It had working areas on both Greenland and South Docks - goods being delivered to the Greenland side and on the South Dock side they were loaded into barges. Shipping line from here went to India and Pakistan.
This is a passageway running down the side of the Ship and Whale. Houses here were built for workers at Randall and Brent’s shipyard. It is the only survivor of a network of passages in the area. It was originally called Wet Dock Lane and was laid out by John Wells in 1698. The name was changed to that of local shipyard owner, John Randall.
In the area called Downtown. This was laid out by the Bedford Estate but the current houses were built in 1930 by Bermondsey Council, and gas lit. It was badly bombed and eventually refurbished by London Docklands Development Corporation and many flats sold off privately. . It is said that the last maker of figureheads was based here.
Swing bridge over the Russia Dock Passage. The hydraulic gear survives on the side of the lock. Thus dates from the late 19rh and is .by Sir WG Armstrong, Mitchell & Co Ltd. It was restored in the 1980s. There is a hand-operated iron capstan on the south-east side of bridge and a Larger, hydraulic capstan on north-east side of bridge.
100 Cafe East. This was once a pub called the Quebec Curve which closed in 2008
This runs between Greenland and South Docks and was once quayside with warehouses, transit sheds and granaries,
Lift bridge – there is a modern bridge which takes Rope Street to pass over the cut to south Dock while allowing vessels to pass between the two docks.
322 The Danish Seamen's Mission
Building on the corner with Sweden Gate. This was known as the Yard Office and was built in 1902. It was originally the toll building for the Great Surrey Canal. It later was converted to an electricity substation
Tideway Sailability. Sailing club for people with or without a disability.
Surrey Docks Watersports Centre. Thus was originally a two storey boathouse – ‘tin shed’ designed and built by the Greater London Council in the 1980s and since then, has trained thousands of people in sailing, canoeing and other water sports. In the 21st London Borough of Southwark has refurbished it and provided new facilities. An artificial beach preserves the line of the Grand Surrey Canal,
Rotherhithe Street. At the south end the current road is made up of a number of other roads following the changes in the area during the 1980s and earlier. Some of it was once part of Redriff Road and other roads including also Queen Street. Queen Street, for instance, had become known as Upper Trinity Street following expansion of the Wells brothers’ shipyard. These changes can be traced through historic maps.
339 Acorn Pub. This pub’s original address was in Trinity Street and it dated from the late 1860s. It lasted until the Second World War. It closed in 1942 and has been demolished.
344 Wheatsheaf Pub. Closed in 1909 and demolished
351 Orange Bull Pub. This has had a number of names and stands at the junction with Derrick Street, although the address has changed as streets have been reconfigured. It is believed the pub was built on the site of the 'Union Jack Beer House' 1832. It opened about 1865 as the Surrey Commercial Docks Tavern. Between 1920-28 it was known throughout the world via foreign seamen who visited it as "Fitchetts" after the licensee and a lamp in the shape of a barrel with ‘Fitchett;’ on it hung outside. It later became called the 'Aardvark'
364 A small house here had a garden full of gnomes until the 1990s.
375 The Ship York Pub. It was first recorded as The York in 1809. The name may refer to the York launched by Randall and Brent in 1807 and later used as a prison hulk. Closed and likely to be demolished. It has had a number of different addresses as roads and sites have altered
380 Noah’s Ark Pub. This was demolished in 1933
642 India Arms. This was at 642 Rotherhithe Street 1813 -1929
654 St.Pelagia’s Home for Girls. This was run by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Mary and Jesus. There was a network of these homes in London. Apparently named for 'St.Pelagia, the Harlot'. This one was for girls who had been leading an irregular life or who had turned to drink. The building was destroyed in Second World War bombing.
656 Waterman’s Arms pub. This was at what were then 656, Rotherhithe Street. It was first recorded in 1860 and lasted until 1933. Bryan House flats are now on the site.
Blundell’s School Mission. Blundell’s is a public school dating from the 17th in Tiverton, Devon. They appear to have had this ‘mission’ to work with deprived boy.
Docklands Settlement. This was the Scandinavian Mission Church, also called Ebenezer Chapel, which moved to the Limehouse side of the Rotherhithe Tunnel in 1929. It was taken over by the Settlement and apparently rebuilt. The Centre consisted of the chapel which had structural problems, a house and a linked hall, gardens and a football pitch. The complex has been demolished and replaced with flats called Oscar Court owned by a housing association. There is also a new community building and a new football pitch. There us also a new dance studio with mirrors along one wall, an indoor sports hall and a third hall used as a cafe and also by Southwark Youth Club. There is also meeting and classroom space and a community garden open to all.
Surrey Docks Farm. The Farm was first established in 1975 on a site between the entrance to Greenland Dock and the River by Hilary Peters. In 1986 it was re-located to its present site at South Wharf, previously the Met. Asylums site and before that an 18th shipyard. It was designed as a farm by Styles Landscape for the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1986-90. There is a sculpture of bronze farmyard animals, by Philip Bews, H Gorvin, Nathan David, Althea Wynne, and Marjan. It has space for pigs, goats, chickens, ducks, donkeys and sheep. In the 21st it was managed by Barry Mason until his tragic death in Spain.
This is now part of Elgar Street. It was laid out by the Bedford Estate and Russell is their family name
Russia Dock. Originally an extension along the line of the Grand Surrey Canal which was dug in 1811-12 by the Surrey Commercial Dock Company. The Company sought to exploit the Rotherhithe section of the canal and in 1811 had parliamentary permission to expand the channel. They expanded it into the Grand Surrey Outer Dock with the canal flowing down the middle. Later further extensions led to a number of docks including Russia. It was expanded and connections to other docks were improved in the 1850s. This was the only one of the north-eastern series of docks, which could take ships but only those with a draught less than seventeen feet. I.
Russia Dock Woodland. This linear wooded park was created by London Borough of Southwark in 1980 from the former Russia Dock basin and part of the old canal wall and boat moorings remain visible. It contains a water feature that connects streams, a canal and lagoon, and two ponds. It attracts a waterfowl including mallard, moorhen and even reed bunting. There are footbridges - including one named for Alfred Salter - and paths, one of which is Waterman's path which goes along the stream. The Council manages the wood and seasonal mowing of grass along the paths encourages wildflowers. Its paths follow the remnants of the stone quaysides. There is dense planting of trees of various species such as willows and poplars.
Russia Dock Passage
Russia Dock Passage. When the Greenland Dock was extended across the line of the Surrey Canal in 1898 a passage was built through to connect with the Russia Dock taking the line of the Surrey Canal. This has been preserved as an underpass under Redridff Road. The passage itself is exposed in the subway under Redriff Road. Here are the preserved turntable and hydraulic gear of the dismantled 1898 Swing Bridge. There is a plaque which explains all this and that there had been a lock here, on the canal, since 1804.
6 Moby Dick. Pub built with the estate in the 1980s
Russia Yard South
This yard was to the south of Russia Dock, north of Redriff Road and Onega Yard. The area is now roughly Farrow Place and Russia Dock Woodland. In the early 20th this was occupied by seven single storey sheds, with a roadway running through them, used for handling timber and owned by the Dock Company. By the 1970s there were no buildings on the site.
The road was built by London Borough of Southwark in the late 1970s/early 1980s as a new distributor road through the defunct Surrey Docks. It was named for Alfred Salter – the charismatic doctor and Labour MP who transformed Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in the period before 1945.
Redriff Primary School. This single-storey building opened in 1990, and replaced an earlier building nearer the River which had opened in 1910 as a three storied building in Rotherhithe Street. This school was totally destroyed in Second World War bombing. The children returned in 1945 and were taught in local houses. In 1949 a single story infant block was opened and a new school was built on Cow Lane on the site of a blacksmiths forge. This has now been replaced.
400 Docklands Settlement – these are the new buildings of the settlement which previously fronted onto Rotherhithe Street.
The South Dock. This originated as the independent East Country Dock of 1807-11 and constructed by their engineer David Matthews who replaced Ralph Dodd who had been sacked. The East Country Dock Company had been formed in 1807 and was named for its trading connections with the eastern Baltic. The dock was built for the Baltic timber trade and it is thought that the distinctive granite bollards, unique in Rotherhithe, date from this time. In 1850 it was purchased by the Commercial Dock Company and entirely rebuilt in 1851-5 by James Walker who doubled its width, extended its area and depth. Then known as South Dock it was connected to Greenland Dock and the rest of the Commercial Dock network. It had extensive grain warehouses, since demolished. In September 1940 these docks suffered the greatest damage any single dock system. No less than 176 timber sheds were destroyed, mostly by fire, and 57 had to be demolished. After the war warehouses were replaced but traffic fell off due to containerization of cargo. South Dock was filled in and re-excavated later. Although the docks closed to shipping many of the warehouses continued in use, and some in South Dock warehouses were bonded warehouses. It now houses London's biggest marina, and has an operational connection to the Thames. It provides temporary and residential moorings for about 200 berths and is operated by Southwark Council.
Lock. Lock has walls of sandstone ashlar and was redesigned and rebuilt by James Walker. A self-acting sluice was installed in 1855 and is preserved. A bridge was erected across the lock and this was moved in 1987 to Greenland Dock, where it crosses Norway cut. In 1862 Henry Grissell's swing bridge was installed across the entrance lock and is now across Steelyard Cut between South and Greenland Docks. It was badly damaged in Second World War bombing and was sealed but reopened after the war. When the dock was reopened under London Docklands Development Corporation a lock control building was commissioned. This overlooks the hydraulically operated lock at South Dock and was built by Conran Roche between 1986-9. It has a bowed control room and reflective glass, on a cantilevered pedestal.
Mulberry Harbours. Eight of these units to be used in Second World War D Day landings were built in the South Dock. The entrance lock had already been damaged in bombing and it the dock was then turned into a huge dry dock and the units built. So, in 1944 the dock was drained, the floor was spread with rubble and it was used for the construction of the concrete sections. Then the connection to the Greenland dock was opened and the new units were floated out,
Riverside by the entrance lock. Site of a timber yard and ship breakers belonging the City of London leased by Blight & Co.
Sluice. Thus is Lawrence's patent self-acting 1855. Preserved.
South Wharf Receiving Station. This site had been Acorn Wharf and is now part of the Surrey Docks Farm. In 1882 the Metropolitan Asylums Board moved its smallpox hospital ships - the Atlas, the Endymion and the Castilia - from Deptford to Long Reach. This meant that a River Ambulance Service was needed to ferry patients there and wharves were to be built at Rotherhithe, Poplar and Fulham. In 1883, they bought Acorn Wharf and a floating pier was built along with a covered shed at the land end where the ambulances delivered the patients. The ships usually ran once a day. In 1885 Acorn Wharf was renamed South Wharf and in 1893 two shelters were built for dubious cases. These were corrugated iron buildings lined with wood with a separate Nurse's Duty Room. Later staff quarters were built for the nurses and domestics who worked on the steamers. In 1901 more female staff quarters were added plus a house for the Medical Officer and other facilities. The river service was reorganised in 1913, with the South Wharf dealing with general fever cases and by 1921 it had 24 beds so patients could be kept overnight. In 1930 the Metropolitan Asylums Board was abolished and the LCC took over control of the River Ambulance Service but after an accident all patients were transported by road. In 1940, during WW2, the South Wharf Receiving Station was destroyed by firebombs. One shed at the northeast of the site survived the Blitz and is now used as a blacksmith's shop.
South Sea Street
This new road runs along the east – river – end of Greenland Dock connecting it to South Dock.
St George’s Wharf
St George’s wharf is located between South Dock and the River. The site includes car parking and a boat repair yard. This was once the site of the Dockmasters Office and other facilities.
Stave Hill. Tumulus, created in 1984, using spoil from the redug Albion Channel and allows views across the Thames and elsewhere. It includes a circular bronze sculpture of the Surrey Docks in 1896 by Michael Rizzello for the London Docklands Development Corporation...
Stave Hill Nature Park. The nature park is run by the Trust for Urban ecology and contains a created habitat scheme which includes such things as a toad hollow and a bee observation area. It has grassland surrounded by ash and maple woodland. There are ponds near the middle of the site. A variety of birds - gold finches, wagtails and warblers are resident. Families of foxes inhabit the area.
The Surrey Docks had their origin in Britain's first wet dock, the Howland Great Wet Dock, now rebuilt as Greenland Dock. It was made up of 11 basins interconnected by cuttings, enclosed within a bend in the south side of the river, Aat one time there were four separate dock companies. In 1801 the Grand Surrey Canal Company had built their canal through the area. By 1809, the Commercial Dock Co. had taken over the Greenland Dock and, by 1811, had built Norway and Lady Docks. There was also the Eastern Country Dock later called South Dock. The two companies combined as the Surrey Commercial Dock Co. in 1865. Two ship entrances, the Greenland and the Surrey, gave access to the docks and to the Canal. In the Second World War 176 sheds were burnt down, 57 had to be demolished, most of the warehousing and all the cold-store accommodation was destroyed, as was the South Dock Entrance. In 1939 there had been space for 80,000 standards of softwood timber under cover; in 1952 there was only space for 24,000. Timber was the predominant cargo dealt with everywhere. The Port of London Authority sold the docks in 1969 to Southwark Council, who infilled most of them during the 1970s working with the Dockland Joint Development Committee's. In 1981 the Thatcher government installed The London Docklands Development Corporation.
Timber trade. The timber trade was seasonal and most merchants had little storage capacity of their own – and many of them were directors of the dock companies. Ships could bring cargoes here at the height of the season and the wood could then be sorted out and put out to be sold. The directors did not see the need of providing cranes. The sorting operation was carried out here on the quays rather than in sheds. Men carried the lumber from the quay to the shed – called deal porters who carried timber on their shoulders whole running along the gangway plank.
Grain Office. This dates from 1890s built by J.A. McConnochie. Only the rear office, refurbished in 1997, survives
Housing on the area between South and Greenland Docks built by David Price & Gordon Cullen, 1985-90. It was intended that the elevations and roofscape reflect the sail shapes of ships
Capstans. There are two large hydraulic ones with their working parts displayed
Built as part of the Bedford Estate
An old name for a stretch of Rotherhithe Street
This is now Bryan Road
The wharf dealt with timber and paper and general goods
Upper Quebec yard
This was the southern of the yards between Quebec and Russia Docks. It appears to be near the site of the Quebec Way Industrial Estate
Allinson and Thornton. Guide to London’s Contemporary Architecture
A Rotherhithe blog.
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
Barnard. Building Britain’s Wooden Walls
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Canal History. Web site
Carr. Docklands History Survey
Closed pubs. Web site
Exploring Southwark, Web site
GLC Home Sweet Home
Holy Trinity. Web site
Industrial Archaeology Review
London Borough of Southwark., Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Pevsner and Williamson. London Docklands
Rankin, Maritime Rotherhithe. History Walk