Friday, 5 March 2010

Thames Tributary Ravensbourne - The Quaggy - Elmstead

Thames Tributary Ravensbourne
The Quaggy continues to flow north towards the Ravensbourne

Suburban area bisected by the ever flooding Quaggy

Post to the north Mottingham
Post to the south Sundridge Park


Chinbrook Meadows
Chinbrook Farm was a dairy farm. Half of the allotment site is a community orchard where there are lots of rare fruit and nuts. It was bought by the local council as a recreation area in the late 1920s. and first opened to the public in 1929 and was designed as a children's play area on the edge of the recently built Grove Park Estate; London County Council extended it and opened it to the public in June 1937. The park is maintained short grass bisected by the River Quaggy. There are football pitches, a cricket ground and it is used by local schools. In the south allotments were disused and trees were planted on some of the area.
Pedestrian tunnel under the railway that crosses the borough boundary into Bromley and links the park to a smaller green area.
The Quaggy River was channelised into a long straight concrete culverts in the 1960s to alleviate flooding and, kept behind tall hedges and iron fences, cut the park in two.. In the early 2000s the concrete channel, fences and hedges were demolished and the river was remodelled to give a natural appearance with a small flood plain. There are several foot bridges with wooden hand rails over the river, replaced the concrete ones with iron fences.

Chinbrook Road.
Very fashionable in 19th. 1879 3 houses were built here.

Elmstead
Recorded as ‘Elmsted’ in 1320, that is ‘place where elm trees grow'. There was a mansion here called ‘Emsted Place’ in the mid 18th. Said to belong to a Pall Mall bookseller.

Elmstead Woods.
Called ‘Elymstediswood’ in 1392. The timber here belonged to the Bishop of Rochester and was used for shipbuilding - oak and sweet chestnut coppice. Hornbeams and hairy woodrush. There are 61 acres of public open space
Elmstead Wood Railway tunnels. The last brick was laid in January 1865. Scott, the owner of Sundridge Park, forced the South Eastern Railway to build it without intermediate shafts. In the late 19th a new tunnel was driven from the north to supply two more lines, the top of it was in London Clay, but most was in the Blackheath beds. Within a year the new tunnel began to fail. On 18th July it was closed. Sir Benjamin Baker found that the 'compressible nature' of the soil between the tunnels was the problem and suggested an invert to spread the load. The Second tunnel was finished in 1904.

Grove Park Estate
Terraced and semi-detached houses between Marvels Lane and Chinbrook Meadows built by Lewisham council between 1926 and 1929.

Grove Park Road
Named after Grove Farm, after the station was built in the 1870s.

Marbrook Estate
Site of a pig farm opened for wartime production and remaining until the 1960s

Marvels Lane
Grove Park Cemetery. Built as Deptford New Cemetery in 1935. Landscaped by H. Morley Lawson, with terraces & viewpoints typical of the 1930s & only one in London like it – it was a brave attempt for a vision of a Victorian Cemetery. Nice site with a chapel like a shooting lodge, but now it is just rows of tombstones. Drinking fountain on the entrance road. Large basin to mark the opening of the cemetery,
View of railway tunnels under Sundridge Park
Grove Park Tavern. Has a bowling alley
Marvels Playing Field with sticklebacks in the ponds
Marvels Wood. Part of the Bishop of Rochester’s estate for shipbuilding
Sydenham cottages for farm workers.
Sydenham Cottages nature reserve. Original tree lined watercourse of the Quaggy
Chinbrook Pub – demolished and site of old people’s home

Mayeswood Road
72a Jubilee International Church and South London Christian College. This is a Christian Pentecostal church, part of the Assemblies of God, with a leadership training centre for international students.

Quaggy River
So called from the adjective quaggy meaning ‘boggy’ Related to quagmire. It was notorious for causing floods near Lee Green in the early 19th century. There is mention of lands called the Quaggs in a document of 1800 meaning 'wet boggy ground'
.


Riddons Road
Marvels Lane Primary School

Sources
Grove Park Tavern. Web site
Jubilee International Church. Web site
King. Grove Park
Lewisham Local History Society. Newsletter
London Borough of Bromley. Web site
London Borough of Lewisham. Web site

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