Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Thames Tributary Ravensbourne - The Kidbrookes - Eltham Common

Thames Tributary Ravensbourne
The Mid Kid Brook rises to the east of the Brook Hospital site and flows westwards parallel to Shooters Hill Road towards the Quaggy,
The Lower Kid Brook rises in this area near the junction of Shooters Hill and Well Hall Road. It flows south to Broad Walk, turns west, and follows Broad Walk, but veering more to the south towards  Rochester way and onwards to join the Quaggy which is flowing towards the Ravensbourne


Area around the main Dover Road as it goes up Shooters Hill - there is a watershed here. Hospitals and woodland

Post to the west Kidbrooke

Academy Road
War department boundary marker - full length versions of the marker outside the police station are on both north eastern corner with Shooters Hill
Reservoir built 1848 by convicts from the Woolwich hulks and used for army water supply. In 1890 they had two horizontal engines of 47hp to send the water to the top of Shooters Hill. In fact they were never needed because the area is very wet.
Artificial wetland with its own reed bed plus goats’ rue, everlasting pea, hawkweed as well as number of butterflies, grasshoppers and spiders

Broad Walk
Nine Fields covered the more level ground in the area. It was from there that Sir Alan Cobham with his Flying Circus gave short flights the names of fields were Stack Yard Meadow, Claydown.
Brick Wall of the former Royal Herbert Hospital. High in yellow stock brick, with stone copings. There are boundary stones in the rear boundary wall of the hospital on Broad Walk marked "StG" for St.Germans. These marked part of the boundary of the estate of the Earl of St.Germans
259 was mortuary to the Royal Herbert Hospital
The Lower Kidbrook follows the line of Broad Walk but turns south towards Rochester Way and Wendover Road

Castlewood Estate
Built by Morrells 1935-1938

Corelli Road
Named for the novelist
Kidbrook School. The first London County Council comprehensive school, initially for 2,000 girls', opened September 1954. The copper shell roof to the assembly hall pre dates the Dome of Discovery because; designed by Slater, Uren & Pike it was planned from 1949. Completed 1954.
Playing field. The boundary on the north is the line of a track which went between Middle Farm and Hill Farm. The pitches are on Pear Tree Field and Sixteen-acre Field.
23-31 site of farmhouse of Hill Farm

Dunblane Road
The Kidbrook boundary reaches here from the cemetery wall.
Hutments built here in the First World War.

Eltham Common
Eltham Common. Open space which links Woolwich Common - of which it was once part - with the Shooters Hill Woods. It is like Castle Wood and was bought from the Army by the London County Council in 1938.
Kidbrook boundary - west of this does a dog leg following what is probably the original line of the road between lower Charlton and Well Hall on the contour of Shooters Hill.
King George’s Fields, outside the cemetery. This is a bit of Eltham Common with trees. Herbert Morrison asked for it to be kept clear of housing?

Kidbrook Common
The area of the common is now housing on the site of the Royal Herbert Hospital. The Kidbrook Parish boundary is on the east. The land falls away steeply to the south west
Lower Kid brook flows along the south east edge of the common.
Milestone 6 miles from London. Plates renewed in 1977

Shooters Hill
Marks the northern boundary of Kidbrook parish. It was once a Haven for footpads and a place of Great dread. There was a Romano British camp on the top. The line of Roman Watling Street was slightly to the north of the present road, which was built in 1739. In Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, the action starts on Shooters Hill with a stagecoach struggling up the muddy road.
Brook Pub. One bar was named for the Nine Fields which were between here and Broad Walk. In the 19th it was called the Earl of Moira. Now a Co-op shop.
War Department boundary stone sunk into the ground next to the railings around the old Police Station, War Department land should be north of Shooters Hill Road, but Act of Parliament transferred the Rights of this part of Eltham Common to the Board of Ordnance in 1806.
War Dept boundary stone, Baker Road junction
Board of Ordinance metal boundary marker
Housing on site of Brook Hospital.
The Brook Hospital was a "fever" hospital opened in 1896 on part of Hill Farm. It was built for 552 beds in sixteen scarlet fever wards, eight for diphtheria and typhoid cases. During the First World War it became a purely military hospital, and in 1939 two isolation blocks were built for civilian casualties. On 20 February 1945, there was a direct hit from a V2 near a previous bombing in November all patients were in a basement shelter. Under the N.H.S. it became part of the Woolwich Hospital Group as a general hospital. The chapel may have been in what became Harvey Ward. Silver chalice given by Professor W. R. Smith, F.R.S., on Christmas Day 1896. Dutch-gabled porter’s lodge, administration block and doctors quarters. Water tower. Front boundary wall.
Lower Farm or Upper Farm.
Pond at Hill Farm where the Mid Kid Brook could have run from which was 15 yards south of Shooters Hill Road.
Boundary marker for Kidbrook parish on the Lodge. Initials 'k/c' dated 1897.
1 Housing on the site of the Police Station. Public execution site until 1805.
Red-brick police station with semi-circular windows overlooking the road junction built 1915 and the earlier yellow-brick one 1852.
Old fire station
133-135 wall between them
Lower Kid Brook rises at the back of police station and flows towards Broad Walk.
Royal Herbert Pavilions housing on the site and in the buildings of The Royal Herbert Hospital and Chapel
Royal Herbert Hospital Military Hospital itself built on the site of boggy ground on Kidbrook Common. On the main block is an inscription about the parish boundaries. The Hospital was built as the result of work by Florence Nightingale following her escapade in the Crimea. It was named for Lord Sidney Herbert, 1810-1861, Secretary of State for War. The design, by Florence Nightingale’ nephew, Capt. Douglas Galton, R.E, was pioneering, with wards in separate pavilions off long corridors. It had 620 beds and a small ward for the "itch". After Queen Victoria's visit in 1900 ‘Royal’ was added to the name. It was closed on 25 June 1977. On the frontage are Massive stone piers with ornamental lamp-holders. A large block fronts the main road, with a central arch in the middle of a rusticated entrance block, and the old administration building. Behind are seven two-storey pavilions at right angles; in the central one a grand staircase leads to a large chapel on the first floor.
Medical Officers Mess Built 1909, a 2-storey building in two types of red brick; with yellow terracotta.
Boundary marker plate in the grounds of the Officers' Mess
172 boundary marker for Kidbrook Parish
Well Hall Road corner. The initial letters of Charlton, Kidbrook, and Eltham Parishes are cast into the base of the railings.
The Kidbrook boundary ends here having come along the line of the Mid Kidbrook south of Shooters Hill Road.
The Mid Kidbrook ran from Brook to the Marlborough Lane junction. . Then turned back on itself to go south west
Kent Waterworks Co. 1863. The ragstone building by the entrance to the old Brook site was originally a pumping station of the Kent Waterworks Co of 1863, Closed 1922
Victorian letter box. In the wall by the entrance to the old waterworks buildings. Adair House. Formerly was nurses' homes for the Royal Herbert Hospital 1928,
Pavement boundary marker between Woolwich and Charlton is on the pavement next to the public toilets by the insertion of granite blocks. The blocks are in line with the triple mark.
Borough of Woolwich plate just behind the railings on the corner by the toilets.

Well Hall Road
114-128 built 1924
Lower Kid Brook follows the northern edge of Greenwich Cemetery but once crossed the road under an arched bridge
Concrete cylinder at the rear of the police buildings. In the bushes was a domed concrete cylinder about a yard across and of 15 inches height, surmounted by a steel pintle. It might have been some form of anti-aircraft weapon during the Second World War. .
Sherard Tennis courts at the back of here. Site used for prefabs in Second World War
Housing on the site of the Welcome Inn.
Welcome Inn. The Land was bought in 1926 and built in 1927. It had been the Well Hall Ex-servicemen’s Social club.
Water repumping station built in 1922 behind the Welcome Inn, replacing the one by the hospital. It was the first electric pumping station 3 motors with centrifugal pumps and purchased electricity.
Boundary markers at the triple junction of Eltham, Kidbrooke and Charlton.
The Lodge to Royal Herbert Hospital was known as Herbert House
Hutments were erected in the area at the back of the Welcome Inn
436 Mrs. Martin sold tea to tram drivers from a hut. New shop continued to be called Martins.
Greenwich Cemetery. An act of Parliament of 1839 incorporated the Blackheath Cemetery Company for a burial ground on Arnold's Farm. A field called Big Hill was used and opened as the Greenwich Cemetery in 1856 on 16 acres. Another six acres was bought form the Earl of St Germans in 1905. One tombstone records a death in Greenwich in 1803 and there is one of someone who died in the American Civil War, but the first burial was in May 1856. The Dissenters chapel was used as a store from the 1960s. The Anglican chapel is a Gothic stone building. The outlines of old fields can still be seen. There are springs and wet areas, which encourage fools cress.
The Kidbrook Boundary runs south south east along the cemetery wall and on to the southern boundary of the cemetery,

Zangwill Road
Named for another author

Sources
Egan. Kidbrooke
London Borough of Greenwich. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Nature Conservation in Greenwich
Spurgeon. Discover Charlton
Spurgeon. Discover Eltham
Woolwich Antiquarian Society. Transactions

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