Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Riverside. South bank east of the Tower - Highbridge and Ballast


Riverside. South bank east of the Tower
Highbridge and Ballast

This post covers only sites on the south bank. Sites on the north bank are under Cubitt Town

Post to the north Blackwall
Post to the east East Greenwich
Post to the south Greenwich
Post to the west Millwall and Deptford Riverside

Anchor Iron Wharf
The Wharf is a made-up wharf, which does not follow the original line of the river bank, but is built out from it. The maximum depth of water alongside allows coasters to come in.  Following the clearing of industry and the building of modern flats the wharf has been opened up as a riverside space.  Previously the footpath and right of way went down a narrow inland passageway.
C. A. Robinson & Co. This was a scrap metal business Founded in 1835 that leased this site from Morden College in 1905 and remained here until the lease expired in 1985.  They also used Dowell's Wharf at Deptford Creek Bridge and at Granite Wharf downstream here. They dismantled old lighters and barges for their scrap metal content. Years ago the ships were loaded by hand-winch wicker basket, each basket holding a hundredweight and all cutting up of metal was done by hammer and cold chisel. Later oxyacetylene cutters were used and a hydraulic sheer
Plaque with some details of the Robinson family and their time here.
Anchor Iron 2004. This sculpture is by Wendy Taylor and was commissioned by Berkeley Homes.
Flats built by Berkeley Homes 2002. The ground floor was scheduled as a restaurant which has never opened


Ballast Quay
Ballast from Blackheath was loaded here having been brought from the pits in Maze Hill via Lassell Street. This may date back to dark ages/medieval ownership of the area by St. Peter’s Abbey, Ghent. 
Union Wharf – this was the name of the wharf from 1801 following The Act of Union (Ireland) Act of 1800. The street name can still be seen on No 19. It reverted later to the original name of Ballast Quay.
Cobbled road surface is seen as a survival of mid-Victorian granite setts.
Houses. Most of the current houses date from between 1804 and 1869 and were built and owned by Morden College, whose 'Invicta' ownership plaque can be seen on some of the houses.
6 Cutty Sark Tavern. This was originally called the Union Tavern .and dates from 1807-1809.  It was renamed when the Cutty Sark was brought to Greenwich and has since been altered and refitted – this was once a small single bar beer house.
Green Man. This was a predecessor pub to the Cutty Sark and stood slightly to the rear of the present building.
Thames Cottage. This was a weather boarded house on the site of Harbour Masters’ House. Demolished 1854
Harbour Masters House. This was built in 1855 as part of the regulatory framework for controlling collier ships in the river. It belonged to the Thames Conservancy who had leased it and Union Wharf in 1860. The office was open from 9 am to 7 pm and all collier ships had to report their and provide papers. The office worked closely with a similar office in Gravesend. Colliers were required to unload in rotation and this was monitored by the office. Other necessary paper work was also handled here and a register of vessels was also kept there... There was a fine of £10 for vessels which disobeyed instructions. The Conservancy relinquished the lease in 1890 when it was decided to abolish the central division of administration of the river. The house was then sold and let into flats.
East Greenwich Steamboat Pier.  The pier was built in 1845/6 by Coles Child and was apposite the Harbour Master’s House. A path leads to what was once the entrance to the office for the pier, which now, forms part of the Ballast Quay garden. The usage of this pier is not known but the mid-1840s were an era of intense competition among passenger steam boats companies and several short-lived piers were built. There were also standoffs with licensed watermen.  Any records of this pier are likely to have been confused with the better known and earlier Greenwich Pier in west Greenwich – since this one was so short-lived and obscure.
Union Wharf. Steps led down from the wharf to the foreshore and a causeway to the low tide level; a gridiron on the beach and a steam crane on the wharf were used for salvage and work on craft. When the Port of London Authority (PLA) was established in 1908 the wharf became the Port of London Wharf, and the post of Harbour Master here was abolished. For a short time the wharf had been surrounded by a high wall but in the PLA's time it was railed. There were railings around the house and the approach to the wharf. From the 1920s the wharf was used by the neighbouring Lovell's Wharf for import and export.
Steps – there is a modern metal ladder to access the foreshore via a secured gate. There is no sign of a causeway or traditional river stairs
Garden. In the mid-1960s the wharf became a garden for use by residents of the neighbouring houses set up by Hilary Peters. For a while residents ran a tea garden here. In the garden is a sculpture constructed from waste materials foraged from the river by artist Kevin Herlihy as a memorial to the millions of animals that were killed during the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001.
Bollards. At the east end are two gun posts, used as bollards


Bear Lane
This ran between Park Row and East Street and is now part of Old Woolwich Road. It was at one time the main road into Greenwich from the east and superseded by the Turnpike and seen as dangerous.
4 The Kings Head. Demolished and gone

Collington Street
This is now a road running between two parts of a block of flats.

Crane Street
This was named for the crane which stood on a wharf on the site of the current Trafalgar Tavern.  There were houses here in the mid 17th.
11-13 Trafalgar Rowing Centre. This is the clubhouse for the rowing clubs. The building was previously a wire works.
Moss Wharf. R. Moss were Paper Stock Merchants. This was painted by Graham Sutherland in the 1920s with a sign saying that old rope was bought. R.Moss had a wharf here and bought old rope which he sold to the paper industry.
Globe Rowing Club. The club was formed originally at Stones Engineering Works, in Deptford and was called Stones Rowing Club with membership being restricted to employees of the company. boats were hired from local Waterman and because of costs broke away from the firm and set up headquarters in the Lord Clyde pub and was then known called the Clyde Rowing Club and later moved to the Globe and changed name again,. In 1938 the Globe pub was pulled down to make way for a new Town Hall and by 1947 boats were stored in an upstairs room at Brooke’s wharf. The club then purchased an Assault Landing Craft and it was moored by the Union Pub. In the mid 1950s the club moved from back to Tilbury Dredging Co. at Dreadnought Wharf and bought a Thames barge for our boathouse. A lot of things happened and then they moved to the Trafalgar Tavern in the 1960s so they ended up getting the council to buy Mr. Moss’s premises.
Curlew Rowing Club, Founded in 1866, Curlew has been in Greenwich without interruption for over 140 years. In fact there is evidence that the first regatta, at which a Curley crew rowed was in 1787. In 1866 a club was formed to rent the Crown and Sceptre Inn as its headquarters and stayed there until 1934. They then moved to the Trafalgar Tavern but moved in to the Rowing Centre in 2003.
5 Yacht. Used to be Watermen’s Arms And before that in the 1800s Barley Mow. Has an enclosed observation room overlooking the river and a terrace.
Greenwich Boat House owned by Corbett and Son. A considerable number of rowing clubs operated from here and Corbett apparently had a boat hire system, as well as being boat repairers and possibly boat builders.
Highbridge Drawdock. This stood at the end of what was East Street and marked the end of Greenwich ‘proper’. It is assumed there was a wharf here, with a ‘bridge’, hence ‘Bridge Street’ as the name of this part of East Street.


Crowley’s Wharf
This stretch was used by Sir Ambrose Crowley in the 17th. He has what was probably the largest ironworks in Europe on the outskirts of Newcastle. Here in Greenwich he maintained a warehouse and a wharf making it the headquarters of his business.  He also had a shop in the City and contracts with the naval dockyards and shipyards to supply items of all sorts, including for the slave trade. In the 18th the warehousing and business was taken over by the Millington family.
Old Court House. This was later called the Parsonage House. It is mentioned in the Ghent State Archives of 1286 and had a water supply from the Arundel Conduit. This was a guest house for the Ghent Abbey which owned Greenwich in the dark ages.  Until 1531 it belonged to the Prior of Sheen (Richmond) but in 1532 it was refurbished as a home for Anne Boleyn. It was demolished after 1695.
Tithe Barn. This stood adjacent to Old Court.
Church. There is thought to have been a church – All Saints – in this area in the medieval period.
Hobby Stables. These Tudor stables stood south of Old Court and were for small, or lively, horses. It was apparently built for Henry VIII in 1533-34.
Crowley House. This was on the current site of the power station. A predecessor house had belonged to John Gunthorpe. Gunthorpe was the Dean of Wells Cathedral and a monk. He held a nimbler of royal appointments and He managed to be Lord Privy Seal for Richard III and kept that position, and others, under Henry VII. He owned land in Greenwich and clearly didn’t spend much time in Wells.
Cogan – Crowley house originated with Sir Andrew Cogan in 1647.  He was an East India Merchant involved in the foundation of the British in Madras. As a Royalist he had to leave his half finished house which was confiscated. It was passed to Gregory Clement, one of the regicides, who installed in it plaster and glass said to have come form the palace
Crowley bought the house in the early 18th and it became his head office. It was later lived in by the Millingtons and eventually demolished in 1854,
Tramway Stables. These replaced Crowley House and were owned by the London County Council.
Greenwich Power Station. Built by the London County Council Architect's Department, General and Highways sections, for the London County .Council tramways in 1902-10. Commissioned by L.H. Rider the Authority Electrical Engineer. It is in Simple stock-brickwork on a monumental scale. The four tapering octagonal chimneys have been truncated at two-thirds height, because Objections from the Royal Greenwich Observatory meant the two chimneys on the landward site had to be reduced. Subsequently all chimneys reduced. There are dates on the rainwater hoppers but they vary from 1903 to 1908. Originally in 1906 had four generators and Manhattan type engines. It was the last station using slow speed reciprocating steam engines rather than turbines and replaced by steam turbines in 1922.   It supplied the whole tramway network for the London County Council. Originally fired by coal but later gas turbines for the London Underground.  It ran by remote control from Lots Road but that station has now closed.  It is still in use as the standby for London Underground. It was refitted in 2003 and about to be refitted again. On the west side is a large concrete coal bunker from 1927 but there are now oil tanks. There is also a separate switch house and fronting onto Hoskins ‘Street is the Pier Forman’s Lodge. There are several original tram tracks and walling.  It is the oldest power station still at work in Britain and possibly in Europe and effectively by the same operators.
Jetty – designed separately from the power station by Maurice Fitzmaurice and built 1903. .originally rails ran to the platform at the top which had cranes and was served by coal trucks.
Golden Anchor Pub.  This way has originally been a house in the 17th adjoining Crowley House. It was a venue for free masonry in the 18th. It closed in the 1900s and has since been demolished.
Golden Anchor stairs



Eastney Street
Was previously called East Street with the end section called Bridge Street leading to a landing stage. Until 1884 it was the northern boundary of the town of Greenwich.
Ernest Dence Estate. London County Council Estate built 1938. Ernest Dence had been chair of the London County Council in that year.

High Bridge
It is thought there was a bridge or pier here which may have been built at a high level to allow galley passengers to disembark.
Three Crowns pub demolished 1932. This was on the riverside on the east side of the draw dock.
Three Crowns Court which was a group of wooden cottages facing westwards. demolished.
Griffith and Co Lighterage. Warehousemen, lightermen and hauliers,1950s. Building in use by arts organisations and charities
W. H. Donovan, barge repairs in the 1950os
1-3 Alpha Towing Co, Ltd. .. Tug owners and operators
Trinity Hospital. Also called Norfolk College or the Earl of Northampton's Charity. It is managed by the Worshipful Company of Mercers. It was founded in 1613 by the Earl of Northampton as an almshouse – one of three, the others being at Clun and Shotesham. Another hospital still stands at Castle Rising.  It was built on the site if Lumley House which Howard had bought in 1609. The chapel has a 16th Flemish window of the Crucifixion, from a previous house owned by the Howard family. A monument to the Earl was brought here from his burial place in Dover in 1696. Major restoration to the Greenwich building was carried out in 1812 and the present exterior appears to date from then as does the rebuilding of the chapel.  There is a small area of landscaping on the public forecourt on the riverfront.  The Greenwich Meridian passes through the site of the Hospital and there are two recently commissioned sundials in the new Garden Building. In 2007 the accommodation was upgraded and the Garden building erected at the south end of the garden.
High tide.  Marks in the wall opposite the main gate of Trinity Hospital record exceptional high tides
Crown and Sceptre. Large riverside pub with a bridge over the road dating from at least the 1820s.  Demolished in 1934 but had previously been used by the rowing club. This was one of the principle hotels in the town.
Sand wharf



Hoskins Street
This was previously Bennett Street. Hoskins was a fisherman recorded in 1622. George Hoskins was a boat builder

Lassell Street
Was previously called ‘Marlborough Street’
24 The British Sailor. This pub has now been demolished.


Old Woolwich Road,
Woolwich Lower Road now Old Woolwich Road. This now covers the length of what was Bear Lane from Bear Yard and Bear Inn o there. Led into Hog Lane and with Back Lane formed the Woolwich Lower Road.  Site of old main road
60 Star and Garter, this dates from the 1820s
Site which was a derelict prefab at the corner of Old Woolwich Rd and Eastney Street was taken over by the Globe Rowing Club and built as their new boathouse. Now part of the school playground.
Garden Entrance to Trinity Hospital
Old tram track in power station entrance
Meridian Primary School. School Board of London school with caretaker’s house, bell tower and entrances ‘Boys’, 'Girls' and 'Infants'. It was built in 1888 by Robson and enlarged in 1903. Wall Plaque with 'London County Council, Old Woolwich Road School', Art and Industry Group' on the north gable. Curved cupola and pargetted gable, are typical of the more ornamental style of the 1890s
Lodge. Caretakers lodge alongside the school


Park Row
Trafalgar Tavern.  Built by Joseph Kaye in 1837 on the site of the Old George. Closed in 1915 and became an institution for aged merchant seamen, a workmen's club and flats. Reopened in 1965 and thenceforth said to be famous for whitebait suppers. Cast-iron balconies and bow windows with canopies. Restored as a restaurant in 1968 by Hendrys Smith. The function room upstairs can take 250.  The small bar is a replica of an 18th foc’s’le. Model of the Victory. Run by Greenwich Inc.
Nelson. The Nelson statue is by Lesley Pover and commissioned by Trafalgar owner Frank Dowling for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. In 2012, the statue disappeared for a while.
Trident Hall. Built as a lecture theatre for the Royal Naval College and also used as an informal theatre by Royal Naval College Dramatic and Operatic Society and local amateur dramatic societies. Now apparently used as a store, maybe for Greenwich Inc.
Trafalgar Quarters. This was built in 1813 as offices and storerooms for the Royal Naval Hospital designed by the Hospital Surveyor John Yenn. There is a coat of arms on the frieze showing the Seamen’s Hospital Arms in Coade Stone.  It was used as servants quarters after the Hospital closed, and called Trafalgar Quarters. It became sheltered housing in 2001, owned by Greenwich Hospital Trust; administered, by the Church of England Soldiers and Sailors and Airmen’s Clubs.


Queen Street
Demolished for the Ernest Dence estate but the line of it runs through the estate
The Crown & Sceptre Tap was situated on Queen Street (this street ran from Old Woolwich Road to High Bridge). This pub has now been demolished.


Trenchard Street
Greenwich Hospital Estates housing built in 1913


Sources
AIM National Archive. Web site
Aslet.  The Story of Greenwich.
Ballast Quay. Web site
Banbury, Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
British Listed Buildings. Web site.
Bygone Kent 
Dockland
English Heritage. Web site
Field, Place Names of Greater London
Greenwich Industrial History. Web site and blog
Greenwich Industrial History Newsletter
Glencross.  The Buildings of Greenwich
GLIAS. Newsletter
Greenwich Chamber of Commerce
Greenwich Riverside Walk
Hamilton, Royal Greenwich
London Borough of Greenwich. Buildings of Local Architectural Interest
London Borough of Greenwich. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
London River Association Reports
London’s Industrial Archaeology
Nairn, Nairn's London
Nature Conservation in Greenwich,
Newcomen Society Transactions
Pastscape. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry South London
Platts. A History of Greenwich
Port Cities. Web site
Port of London Magazine
Real Ale in South East London.
Rhind and Watson. Greenwich Revealed
South East London Industrial Archaeology
Spurgeon, Discover Deptford and Lewisham,
Spurgeon, Discover Greenwich and Charlton
Summerson. Georgian London. 
Tadman. A Fisherman of Greenwich.
The Greenwich Phantom. Web site
Trafalgar Rowing Centre. Web site
Walford. Village London
Watson & Gregory, In the Meantime

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