Sunday, 8 November 2015

Riverside east of the Tower, south bank. Crossness and North Thamesmead


Riverside east of the tower and on the south bank. Thamesmead North and Crossness

New housing overlying marshland which once contained part of a vast area of military storage and other military uses

Post to the east Crossness Engjnes
Post to the north Barking Levels
Post to the west Thamesmead Pumping Station

Abbey Sluice
Abbey Sluice is a weir under the Thames Embankment between the Butts Canal and the River and with a public footpath on the top. It has a gravity outfall adjacent to Crossway Lake into which the drainage canals from the whole of Thamesmead feed.
The Cascade. This runs south from the Thames path which zigzags downwards in a series of steps to meet the head of a body of water which has come from Crossways Lake.


Copperfield Road
7 Marlborough Court Care Home. Private home specialising in dementia care.
Castilian Primary School. Opened 1985.

Crossness
Crossness, Marked thus on the Ordnance Survey map of 1888, a promontory on the River Thames, from Old English ‘ness’ or ‘ness’- a piece of land round which a river flows to form a headland'. Perhaps there was once a standing cross on the riverbank here.  It was also called Leather Bottle Point
Crossness Lighthouse. Admiralty Light No.2144. Originally operated by Trinity House it is now owned and operated by the Port of London Authority and was at one time in an isolated location.   It is now in front of modern housing It was established in 1895 and today at 41 feet high shows a light visible for 8 miles. The red iron framework tower is an open trestle tapering tower on a mass concrete base and surrounded by a sharp pointed metal fence and topped with razor wire. The compound gate carries a health warning of the dangers of razor wire; the danger of climbing the tower; and other health and security warnings,   Converted from oil to acetylene in 1924 and to electricity in 1971
Old Marsh Farm – this was on the riverside, slightly to the east of Crossness Point
Halfway House. This is shown on 17th and 18th maps. It was probably so called because it marked the halfway point for ships sailing between Gravesend and the Pool of London.
Wogbourne River.  This is said to have flowed to Crossness from Shooters Hill. It is now underground and diverted to the west.

Crossway
Crossway Lake. Owned by Gallions Housing Association. This is a small, reed-fringed lake with a wooded island which is part of an elaborate flood prevention system of lakes and canals which connects Crossway Park with others. It is managed as a nature reserve. Grey herons have been reported nesting, and other breeding birds include reed warbler. There are two islands one of which is Tump 39.
Tump 39. This was used by the Royal Navy Armaments Department for the storage of Cartridges and Bulk Cordite. It is now a heron reserve
Rail Track – this is some remaining rail track on an area which is now an island
Square Magazine. This is marked as ‘depot’ on maps and is now the eastern part of the land around Crossways lake.  Its boundary is defined by the fencing on the north and west edges of an area which extends from Woburn Close.
Crossway Park. This is a late 20th landscape the former Erith marshes. The Park is a large grass area around the Crossway Canal. It is part of the Green Chain.

Eastgate Close
Housing by Phippen Randal and Parkes 1987 supposed to be like an Italian village and has a arch over the Crossway Canal

Crossness Explosives Pier
Pier - This was the pier from which explosives were shipped. It was serviced by two Transporter-type cranes that took their power through cables reeling onto drums on the crane structure


Manor Close
Community centre. Used by various groups including Toddles, a private childcare service. There is also a scout group along with youth and a karate clubs.
Church of Christ. This meets in the community centre
Manorway Green

Rail
The Royal Arsenal Railway was a private military railway. At first there were plate ways and standard gauge lines but from 1871 onwards some of the track was constructed as 18in and comprised some 50 to 60 miles of track.  It finally closed in 1966.  Because this was a military area many maps show it as a blank and it is not easy to follow through year by year.  A map of 1897 shows lines coming from the west parallel to the river and stopping just short of the Bexley/Greenwich border. Lines are shown going into buildings and a riverside line extends eastwards into a building. The 1965 map is much more complex – six very large buildings lie at right angles to the river with lines running into each one


Redbourne Drive
Refuse tip. This area is shown as a tip in the 1960s

Woburn Close
The extension of this road to the east defines the boundaries of the Square Tump


Sources
Castilion School. Web site
From the Murky Depths., Web site
Greenwich Industrial History Society. Web site.
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
London Gardens on line. Web site
London Lights. Web site
Royal Arsenal Magazines. Web site
Spurgeon, Discover Crayford and Erith
Trust Thamesmead. Web site
Wigfall. Thamesmead
World Wide Lighthouses. Web site

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