Friday, 27 November 2015

Riverside. East of the Tower, south bank, Woolwich

Riverside east of the Tower, south bank. Woolwich

The old heart of this riverside town. The riverfront with old wharves and thee Free Ferry, and the heart of the Royal Arsenal, all regenerated to death.

Post to the east Broadwater and Arsenal
Post to the south Woolwich

Note that this post only covers sites on the south bank of the river. The northern half of the square is North Woolwich

Artillery Square
Building 17 (Paper Cartridge Factory or Firepower). In 1853 John Anderson suggested a new process for making seamless conical paper sugar bags for the manufacture of small-arms bag cartridges. A new building for making the bags was proposed in early 1855. Building work, probably the last job for the on-site Engineers’ Department finished in 1856 and the factory was in use by 1857. It is a two-storey block, iron-framed with two-colour brick walls which has considerable structural interest  and reflects developments in textile mills and dockyard buildings, Advanced technology and intense child labour co- existed here side by side. On Saturday evenings the upper storey was used for penny lectures to artisans and labourers. Percussion-cap making had been introduced by 1864 and later Rolling mills and annealing furnaces were introduced. In the late 1920s the building was adapted for use as an RAF bomb shop. And in the Second World War, for electroplating small gun barrels. In 1986 the building was in use as a Quality Assurance Directorate metrology laboratory. It was once again adapted in 1999–2000 to the Royal Artillery Museum (Firepower)
Building 18. Royal Laboratory Offices or James Clavell Library. An office building for the Royal Laboratory was part of the Paper Cartridge Factory development of 1855–6. Inside is an original staircase with stone treads a wreathed rail and an ornamental cast-iron balustrade. It was converted in 1999–2000 to house museum offices and the Royal Artillery Historical Trust’s collection, from what was the Royal Artillery Institution Library.

Barnard Close
This was once part of Eleanor Road and ran up to cross the railway. Surviving buildings in the street date from the 1860s when the area was first developed.

Bell Watergate
The Watergate and stairs was the main landing place for the town and is now the last survivor of a number of river stairs. It was repaired by the parish in 1824 and now leads to a paved causeway. It takes its name from Bell Tavern, now gone. The old slipway was also used as a coal wharf in the 19th. In the 19th it is said there were ‘five houses three are public houses, one a beer house and one a coffee house, "a noted brothel".
Bell Inn, This was present on the west side by the mid 17th and was later owned by the Coopers Company. It closed in 1940.
The Marlborough Pub on the east side. Later called the Waterman’s Arms and from the 1830s called the Steam Packet
Foot tunnel attempt. This was the site of an attempt to build a foot tunnel river crossing in 1873. This would have involved a ramped entrance and Henry Greathead was involved, but the scheme ultimately failed.

Beresford Street
The 16th rope walk roughly followed the line now marked by Beresford Street. The ropeyard closed in 1832 and the road laid out thereafter.  It was built by the buyer of the ropeyard and named from the Beresford Gate. The wood and stone of the rope houses used to build houses. It was a tram route from 1881. It was widened and upgraded in the 1960s.  Much of the area is, in 2015, a demolition site awaiting new construction
New Portable Theatre.   This began in 1835 in an iron framed portable building on the north side of the street. It was known as the West Kent Theatre, becoming ‘Royal’ with a permanent building. It was very much enlarged seve4ralm times in the 1880s-90s. In 1913 it began to show films and became known as the Woolwich Empire. For most of its history it showed live of various kinds and by the time it lost its licence in 1958 it only had strippers. Demolished in 1960.
Wesleyan Association Chapel. Built 1840, later used by the Salvation Army and then as a hostel. Demolished 1950s
St.Saviours Mission School Church. Built 1873 and later became an auction rooms. Demolished in 1959,
Woolwich Catholic Club. Built in 1980 this replaced the Baptist Tabernacle 1895.  Demolished 1969. 
Riverside House. This was built in 1962, after much argument, and was the first large scale office development in south east London. It was part let from the start to Thames Polytechnic. Built by A. Swift & Partners
Market Pound, used by traders for carts and so on. This is on the site of a drill hall for the Third West Kent Rifle Volunteers. This was later used as a synagogue and then the YMCA. It was demolished in 1970 except for the south wall.

Bunton Street
This was previously Myrtle Street, preceded by Union Buildings.
Cannon Row
This appears to have been an earlier name for Warren Row
Crown and Mason’s Arms. Rebuilt 1869.

Carriage Street
Building 19, Mounting Ground. This was an area used in the early 19th to mount guns onto their carriages which was eventually roofed over. This was destroyed in a snow storm. It was replaced by the present building in 1887. On the ground floor both standard and narrow gauge rail lines were present – some has been preserved along with the original gantries for travelling cranes.
Building 22. Offices. On this site offices for the Royal Carriage Department stood in 1868. New buildings erected here in 1908 were part of an office complex to centralise Arsenal office functions. The building uses concrete and steel and had a telephone exchange in the basement, which was also used as an air raid shelter. In 1967 it became the head quarters of the Defence Inspectorate. It has been converted into flats by Berkeley Homes.
Building 20. Chemical Laboratory. Frederick Abel, the War Office chemist, came to work at the Arsenal in 1854 having succeeded Faraday as lecturer at the RMA. As the leading authority on explosives he worked here until 1888, developing carrying out his important work on the manufacture of guncotton, among other things, cordite. This was his purpose built headquarters which he designed and which was built in 1864. It was planned with features to disperse noxious fumes. It comprised offices and a double storey laboratory with a gallery walkway at first floor level, which provided a light and airy environment, and a platform that allowed Abel to observe the work going on below. There was a photographic section, offices and a grand stone staircase. It was later extended and from 1936 was used by the Armament Inspection Division. It was converted into flats by Berkeley in 2002.
Building 21. This was built in 1890 for the Naval Ordnance Department. It later became a telephone exchange and was converted into flats in 2002 by Berkeley,

Charles Street
This was an earlier name for part of the road which is now John Wilson Street.
Collingwood Street
Part of the area known as ‘The Dusthole’ - ‘dismal and notorious’.
Creton Street
Part of a block of streets laid out by Powis Estates in the 19th and as such was Union Buildings.
Lidl. this was built as part of Royal Sovereign House in 1980.

Dial Square
1-4. Building 11 This was a barrack block for The two permanent artillery companies from 1716, stationed in Woolwich Warren who worked there but also providing a guard. A barrack block was erected in 1719. The block that survives was built in 1739–40. It was a brick block of three storeys, with barrack rooms for some 200 more soldiers as well as associated housing for officers. About 900 artillerymen were stationed in Woolwich and some wives and children probably lived here. When the Royal Artillery moved to Woolwich Common in 1777 pressure on these buildings was relieved and   In 1786 James Wyatt, prepared a scheme for conversion to houses. By the 1790s coach-houses, stables and servants’ quarters formed a continuous range. The houses were taken over by the Royal Laboratory as official residences for senior staff, including eventually Frederick Abel. From 1915 houses were converted to offices
Woolwich Crossrail Station. Crossrail is being built through central London at Paddington, via Canary Wharf to Woolwich and then on to Abbey Wood. Station platforms will be 250m in length to accommodate 200m trains. Each of the Crossrail stations will have a distinctive but consistent design. A new block flats to be called Armourer’s Court, will stand above the Crossrail station.

Dockyard Rails
An old name for part of Woolwich Church Street as it passes some of the Dockyard site.

Dog Yard
This is a turning off Hare Street, now called Mortgramit Square, which it formerly led to.  It had a brewery here in the mid-18th. In 1849 this became the Lion Brewery belonging to Davisson and Bowman.  It was owned by W.Woodhouse who was bankrupt in 1854
Woolwich Borough Electricity Works substation built 1932– with Woolwich arms remaining on the gates

Duke of Wellington Street
This main street through the Royal Arsenal site is lined with buildings which are described under the road which they mainly front onto.
The Armouries. This was the Royal Carriage Factory. The factory remains as peripheral buildings to tall blocks of flats which replaced carriage sheds on the triangular fort section built in the late 17th.  Following a fire this area was built as a quadrangle of workshops for the Royal Engineers in 1802. The Royal Carriage Department was on the site in the early 19th and built from 1803. It was a large carriage works with an engineering section laid out like ‘a model farm’.  The north front had a clock and bells with a blind arch and side entrances. This was an inner quadrangle of workshops with three smitheries and twelve forges as well as carpenters, wheelwrights and so on.  Steam power was first used in the Arsenal here from 1807 introduced by Henry Maudslay.  As carriages grew larger and were less based on wood the factory was altered and enlarged. In 1937 a steel erecting shed was installed and used as an inspection facility from 1967.  On the south side is a 17 bay brick range built in 1893 to store gun carriages. It has been much rebuilt including in the 20th for naval X-ray photography. It was joined to the main building in 1895 with fitter's and tinman's shops.  Much of it was rebuilt in 2007 for Berkeley Homes with new blocks inside the original building. The clock tower was rebuilt. Much of this complex lies to the east of this square.

Ferry Approach
The ferry approach is the ramp from the bottom of John Wilson Street ion to the ferry boats. It was designed to handle the new rapid end loading diesel ferries which came in 1964. It was built by the Greater London Council. The concrete structure curves so that ferries are loaded in the same place as their side loading predecessors.  There are two tall concrete loading ramps. It opened in 1966.
Marshalling Yard. This is to the west of the approach road and on the site of Tuffs Wharf.
Ferry Maintenance Gridiron and office buildings. Designed by the London County Council Architects Department.  There are also viewing platforms.
Ambulance Station. Built in 1967 with space for three vehicles.
Ferry Place
This was previously called Cock Yard. In the 18th it was the site of stables and of a rope spinning ground.
113 behind this is a large shed built in 1844 as a cow house associated with a slaughter house.
114 house built 1780s

Glass Yard
This was the site of a wharf which was bought in the 15th by St. Mary Overie, Borough.
Glass works. There were two 17th century glass houses here, hence the name. The earliest was probably set up by Ananais Hennezel around 1590.  A window glass factory with a wharf was set up here by Robert Mansell in 1604 and where he used coal fired furnaces – having begun manufacture in Newcastle. The glass does not seem to have been particularly successful although it continued making flint glass and window glass. It was run by the Henzey family who had interests in glass elsewhere – notably Stourbridge. It had closed by 1702.
Glass works. A second glass works appears to have been set up by Robert Hooke and Christopher Dodsworth to make window glass in the 1690s. By 1703 it was for sale and appears to have closed
The Woolwich Kiln. An archaeological dig of 1974 uncovered considerable evidence of pottery manufacture in the area between Glass Yard and Bell Water Gate. They uncovered two kilns one of which is said to be the first 17th Bellarmine stone ware kiln found in Europe and the other the other which produced a distinctive local pottery. The Bellarmine kiln was preserved and now stands, still boxed up, alongside the Heritage Centre.
Foot tunnel. This was built by the London County Council in 1911 as part of a programme of free river crossings in east London. It was built without the Greathead shield and designed by Council engineer Maurice Fitzmaurice. It is lined with cast iron segments and is 500 metres long. It is similar to the Greenwich tunnel but on a less than lavish scale. There is a circular entrance building and access is by lift - installed after the opening - or by a flight of stairs. The lifts were replaced in 1954 and again in 2014.
Consumers Gas Co, This works was on the west side of Glass Yard. Complaints about the price of gas had led to the formation of the Woolwich Consumers’ Protective Gas Company in 1843–4 and a works was opened in Hog Lane. They later redeveloped a wharf on the west side of Glass Yard- at the end of Short's Alley behind the Carpenters Arms, east of the Arsenal. In 1850 it had two gasholders. The premises were extended towards the High Street, where an office building was built next to the Carpenters’ Arms. The works were enlarged in 1862 and in 1872 when a steeply sloping brick wall was built which remains in front of the Ferry’s yard. The company was amalgamated with the South Metropolitan Gas Light & Coke Company in 1884 and closed immediately. Sold to Tuff and Hoar, cartage contractors.

Globe Lane
This ran from Bell Water Gate westwards parallel to the river.
Woolwich and District Electricity Light Co. Power Station. In 1893 part of Roffs Wharf was used to build a power station by this consortium in a conversion of some steamboat repair workshops. An engine house was added in 1900. It was purchased by Woolwich Borough Council and enlarged in 1903. Expansion of the works continued with a large turbine hall in 1912 and gthe whole of Roffs Wharf was tkane ovdr. A boiler house and chimneys followed. The cooling system was a tunnel under the river. The coaling jetty – still in place – was built in 1930 to the designs of the Borough Engineer. This was an efficient power station and remained under the Central Electricity Board to supply the grid. It was further expanded in the 1930s and was the only power station in the country built by direct labour. It had art deco decoration as befitted a town centre building with three fluted chimneys as a local landmark. Generation stopped in 1978 and it was demolished the following year

Greenlaw Street
This was previously Orchard Street and renamed after a 19th rector.
St. Mary Magdalene with St Michael and All Angels.  This is now Church of England and United Reformed and there are fittings brought from the demolished Presbyterian Church in Woolwich New Road.  There are Community organisations in the crypt. The church is a successor to the original parish church in a commanding position on a hill overlooking the river. There is evidence of a church here by 1115 and there may have been a Saxon church here. The medieval church was dedicated to St.Laurence, and later to St, Mary the Virgin.  It seems to have suffered from subsidence and slippage.  The site is now a viewing platform. The current building dates from 1727 by Deptford bricklayer, Mathew Spray and completed in 1739.  Its application to be one of the Fifty New Churches Act of 1711 was turned down. It is a plain Georgian brick church Built of stock bricks with a plain square west tower. Inside are galleries on octagonal supports –but the galleries and nave were closed in 1961 and now used as offices. The Chancel as added by Oldrid Scott in 1894. A stained glass window commemorates the dead of the Princess Alice disaster in 1878. The church is allowed to fly the Red Ensign because of its importance as a navigation point and at one time a semaphore was on top of the church tower. In the vestibule are the royal arms.  There are wall monuments, including one to engineer Henry Maudslay who died in 1831.
Churchyard. Thus was taken on by the MNetorpolitan Publuic Gardens Association in the 1890s and tuned into a public park opened as Woolwich Gardens by the Duchess of Fife in May 1895. There have been other changes to it since. A drinking fountain was erected in 1900 and funds for its maintenance were provided by John Passmore Edwards Gravestones were laid round the walls. There is a monument to the bare knuckle fighter Tom Cribb, Champion of England for Life who died in poverty in Woolwich, in 1848. The monument has a colossal lion resting its paw on an urn. There is a Balsom Poplar in front of the Church entrance.  There is also sundial of 1830 with no maker’s name. The Maudslay tombstone was rescued by Jack Vaughan and others in the 1980s. Until the late 1980s bedding plants were grown in a glasshouse in the staff yard and on what is now lawn behind the New Wine Church. The landscaping includes a lime walk, shrubbery beds and floral displays and one of the flowerbeds is designed with a nautical theme. Trees include silver birch, lime, maple and London plane trees, and also an Indian bean tree and a weeping willow and seating overlooking the river.
Almshouses. The Woolwich Parochial Almshouses were relocated to the west side of the street in 1958 in plain brick

Hardings Lane.
Woolwich Equitable Gas Works. The Company was established in 1832, and incorporated ten years later, to supply a cheaper and purer gas than that which was being received from the first Woolwich gas company, and the works and apparatus of this older concern were bought. They built a new works which eventually consisted of four gasholders, a retort house and other buildings (including a pipe factory), on the western side of the Royal Arsenal. The works and was amalgamated with the South Metropolitan and the site sold in 1887. It was then occupied by Messrs. Kirk &; Randall, building contractors, but during the Great War the buildings of the Royal Arsenal were extended to include it.  The site has been the subject of a recent archaeological dig by MOLAS, and in the 1980s by the Kent Rescue Archaeology Unit.

Hare Street
The road is named after John Hare who had an 18th brewery here. The road was laid out by him and his partner but built up in 1804 as part of the Powis Estate and initially called Richard Street. It was widened by Woolwich Council in the 1880s becoming the main road to the ferry and there was then much rebuilding – and it became a major shopping street.
40 Prince Albert or ‘Rose’s’. This was originally a beer shop associated with the brewery in the alley adjacent. It was rebuilt in 1928 by E.J.Rose & Co. And a bottle store behind added in 1930.
51-61 this is a Burton’s menswear store built in 1929 and was in their signature faience with black granite surrounds. Above was a billiard hall, which is now a club. The shop is now a restaurant.
24-28 this was an early Woolworths shop opened in 1911 in a former grocer’s shop and rebuilt by their in-house architects in 1924.  It was later extended to appear as one shop.

Hog Lane
This was later Nile Street
A building from the 15th or 16th stood on the west side and was part cleared in the 1880s and entirely in 1905.
4-5 Ferry Eel and Pie House. This was a 17th timber building demolished in the 20th.
Nile Tavern. This had been the Green Dragon and was demolished in 1887
Hog Lane Stairs. Also known as Green Dragon Stairs. The stairs remain parallel to the river, near the Foot Tunnel but sealed off from the footpath. They were rebuilt in 1970 to replace stairs that extended onto the foreshore and remains remnants of the paved causeway can still be seen at low tide
Baptist Meeting house built in 1757. This appears to have been short lived.
Woolwich Consumers Protective Gas Company was formed following complaints about the price of gas in Woolwich. In 1844 a gasworks fronting the river at Hog Lane was opened. The company was incorporated in 1855 as the Woolwich, Plumstead and Charlton Consumers Gas Company. Around 1862 it moved to Glass Yard

Hopton Road
Building 45. This is the north and south single-storey ranges of the west quadrangle of the Grand Store.

James Clavell Square
Green laid out in 2004. This is in front of the Firepower offices and library. It was previously the site of a War Office police section house of 1963 demolished in 1999–2000. It has an array of mounted guns

John Wilson Street
This is the final eastern section of the South Circular Road – which began at Kew Bridge.
St Mary’s Gardens. Entrances to the gardens from John Wilson Street were
Ebenezer Building, Christ Faith Tabernacle. This was the Granada Cinema for many years previously the Gala Bingo Hall. Built in the 1930s the Granada had seating for nearly 3,000. Cecil Masey and Reginald Uren were the architects and the builders were Bovis. The plot is awkwardly aligned to the High Street, and layout resulted in what are two joined buildings – the frontage and vestibule and the auditorium. The stark brick exterior hides a quite fantastic interior, he most elaborate of the purpose-built Granada cinemas - “the most romantic theatre ever built” by Theodore Komisarjevsk theatrical designer, of Moscow Arts Theatre. There are panels of figures in a Quattrocento style was probably painted by Vladimir Polunin. There was a tower, which was illuminated at night, café-restaurant, a ‘Hall of Mirrors’, and a Wurlitzer organ. But the café- was disused by 1953, and by the early 1960s Bingo was being played once a week. The cinema closed in 1966 and was converted for full-time Bingo; the organ was removed... Bingo ceased in 2011 and the building converted into a church.
Gateway House, New Wine Church. This was the Odeon Cinema, latterly the Coronet. The Odeon cinema chain was known for Art Deco stylishness and The Woolwich cinema is a good example. The exterior is considered to be the finest surviving example in London of the 1930s 'Odeon' style,   picked out with neon tube lights.  It was planned from 1935, with George Coles as architect built by James Watt (Catford) Ltd. The outside is streamlined, curvaceous and window-less with buff-faience surfaces, with vertical fins. Inside stairs lead from the vestibule into an inner foyer and auditorium.  In 1964 decoration was removed and it closed in 1981. It reopened as the Coronet Cinema in 1983, and was altered in 1990 to allow for two screens. This closed in 1999. The building was then adapted for the New Wine Church

Laboratory Square
The Royal Laboratory. The Workshops at Greenwich Palace that had been the 16th armoury were taken over by the Board of Ordnance in 1671 and became a laboratory for making ‘fireworks’. It was moved to Woolwich when the Royal Hospital was built. It was laid out around two yards in 1695–7. In 1695–6 a barn in the Greenwich tilt-yard was re-erected at the south end. This was a highly rational development, to undertake the tasks associated with the making of gunpowder, shot and shells, there was a watch-tower and clock-house gateway for surveillance and control, an early planned instance of the co-ordinated time and work discipline. The main quadrangle had Tijou gates facing the river between stone piers topped by carved lion and unicorn, which survive at Building 40. There were no chimneys. The pavilions survive, still bearing King William III’s monogram. By the 1770s women were working in the laboratory, sewing flannel cartridges. In 1854 the tower was taken down and the quadrangle covered with an iron-framed roof to enclose a steam-driven ammunition factory. This continued as the main machine shop through the Great War. This was taken down in 1950–1 and 1972–4. The pavilions stood derelict for many years. Restoration by Berkeley Homes is intended.
The Royal Brass Foundry. This dates from 1716-17 and was the first building here designed for the manufacture of guns. It is on the site of the old Greenwich barn. The building of furnaces and a boring machine would have been undertaken in consultation with Andrew Schalch, the Swiss founder who moved from Douai to Woolwich when appointed as the Board’s first Master Founder. The Portland stone royal arms over the foundry’s north entrance and those of Marlborough in the keystone below were carved by Thomas Green of Camberwell. The foundry was entirely timber-framed in a two-colour brick shell when, there were few domestic models for large workshops. Gun making was then still a rural craft and its formal origins are with barns. It comprised a long tall nave with low aisles which housed furnaces. At the north end, timber-was a vertical gun-bore smoothing mill driven by a horse gin. In 1770 Schalch's successor was a Dutch master gun founder, Jan Verbruggen, who undertook an extensive reconstruction of the foundry in 1771–4. In 1878, no longer suitable for gun making, it was taken over by the Royal Laboratory and again partly rebuilt.  It became a store in 1939 and a garage for officers’ cars. It was sold to the National Maritime Museum in 1972 and the interior was filled with demountable storage racking.
Statue. Outside under an awning, is a high-relief figure of a tunic-clad oriental barbarian of the 1st to 3rd AD. It was dug up in Alexandria by British troops in 1801, shipped back to London and left at Woolwich.

Major Draper Street
Cornerstone Cafe
The Dial Arch
. This is now a Young’s Pub.
Great Pile (Dial Arch). This dated from 1717–20. It was called Grand Square by 1764 but only the entrance range remains. It is in such a strikingly personal style that it seems more likely that Vanbrugh was responsible than Andrew Jelfe, the Clerk of the Works for the Ordnance from 1719.  It was known as Foundry Square before it became Dial Square or the Dial Arch Block The range was once part of a complex of buildings built around two brick built squares. What survives is the front range of a forecourt of workshops. Behind them were two gun-carriage storehouses, one for the sea service, and one for the land service. The sea-service building had a central circular basin called ‘fountain court’. The south-west block was used for turning, washing and engraving brass cannon while the south-east block was smiths’ workshops. These buildings could only be entered through the Dial Arch – with pylons topped with pyramids of shot above and in 1764 a bronze sundial to help regulate work. At The back decorative cast-iron arch has ‘1780’ and the names of the Inspectors of Artillery and of the Royal Brass Foundry from 1780 to 1855. In 1775 the workshops were adapted for horizontal gun boring using horse mills replaced with steam in 1842–5 and in the iron foundry in the 1860s a seventy-ton steam-hammer anvil was cast.  The complex shut down in 1950 and was cleared in 1969. The south range was refurbished around 1984, and more substantially overhauled in 2009–10 to become a pub. The rest of the Great Pile site was redeveloped in 2010–11 as flats.
Stone ‘tribute plinth’ with a bronze football. This is to commemorate the origins of Arsenal Football Club
Roman Burial Ground. In 1853 workers digging here found Roman burial urns, and subsequently a burial ground was found beneath what is now Dial Square

Market Hill
The market had moved by the 1670s to where the High Street widened, south of Bell Water Gate on part of the old Gun Yard, this is the current Market Hill was sold and built on in 1723–6 . The manor of Charlton acquired it with the right to the market tolls. In the 1720s Sir John Conyers owned it and built a new market place in a square with offices and sheds for and new houses on three sides with the wharf to the north. In the 19th there was an attempt to move the market to a site to the south in what is now Calderwood Street but Trade continued in the old market house and at Market Hill and eventually the market moved to its current site in Beresford Square
The King’s Head. This was part of the market development in the 1720s
Crown and Cushion. Probably early 18th and rebuilt in 1875 and again, in 1930–1 for Mann Crossman and Paulin, and demolished in 2008.

Marlborough Road
On the south side of the road are the buildings of the Grand Store - also described in the square to the east.  These buildings were used as storehouses for many items and changed over the years.  Later they were converted to offices and some used as book stores for the British Library. They have now mainly been converted to flats.

McBean Street
This was previously Union Street
MacBean Centre – Electricity Department Depot. In 1930 Woolwich Council’s Electricity Department extended its rear premises onto what had been Thomas Nash’s timber yard. This extended from Macbean Street to Murray’s Yard. On its south side a three-storey block of stores and offices was built in 1931. Later a covered link was made to the showroom building. The Greenwich Development Agency took it over in the early 1980s and turned it into the Macbean Centre, for community and voluntary sector organizations, including Greenwich Mural Workshop. Subject to demolition
Woolwich Polytechnic Lower School. The School Board for London bought a builders yard here to build Union Street School in 1881. In 1920–1 the London County Council enlarged. An infants and a babies’ room was below the girls’ school, with the boys and their practical workrooms on top. The school was renamed Powis London County Council School in 1938, and it was also used for evening classes by Woolwich Polytechnic. It became the Woolwich Polytechnic Secondary Technical School for Boys in 1956 and then Woolwich Polytechnic Lower School. This was moved away in 2006 and it was demolished in 2011.

Meeting House Lane
Meeting House. Around 1690 Presbyterians built a wooden meeting house, in an orchard near the river, close to Cutt’s Stairs and what later became Meeting House Lane. This was enlarged, and then in 1800 used by Methodists and then Unitarians and demolished in the 1840s.
Baptist wooden meeting house from about 1690 to 1772.

Mortgramit Square
A back alley which once was the site of low grade housing. The name is made up of the builder’s surnames.

Nelson Street
The Woolwich Baths and Lecture Hall Company built here in 1850 as one of London’s earliest public baths. There were two plunge baths, and slipper baths below a first-floor lecture hall plus a reading room and library. In 1888 Furlong converted the building it to a furniture depository, with van-loading bays where the baths had been. In 1911 they added a reinforced-concrete warehouse on the south facing the High Street. The main building was demolished in 1950 and the warehouse in 2008

New Laboratory Square
Building 41 (New Laboratory Square) Greenwich Heritage Centre.  The sea storehouse of 1783–5 on the west side was James Wyatt’s first project for the Board of Ordnance. It was built to house supplies for the Navy, He prepared plans in early 1783 and it was built in a rearranged shot-yard.  The ‘square’ was formed in 1808 when storehouses were built to the east and north.  In 1856 work was done here to form a factory to make packing cases and barrels for ammunition. This was done under the supervision of Col. Beatson. It had a sawmill in the east range and the west range had carpenters’ shops and a wood store. The south side of the square was closed with the building in 1877–8 of a carpenters’ workshop with American machinery for making boxes and barrels. The carpenters’ workshop was adapted around 1900, during the Boer War, to be a factory for small-arms bullets which continued through the Great War. Around 1917 the west range was converted to a drawing-office. Later the first floor of the east range was a firing range, and much of the rest was a Customs and Excise stores.  English Partnerships and the London Development Agency refurbished it in 1999.  Since 2003 the former sea storehouse to the west has housed the Greenwich Heritage Centre, which shares the southern workshops with Firepower
Building 40. The Academy. Tower Place was replaced in 1718–23 by a new building with two dwellings and corporate space. In 1718–20 a new Board Room and entrance ‘saloon’ were built and in 1721–3 a second ‘great room’, to be an Academy for training the young officers of the Ordnance’s two newly formed ‘scientific’ corps, the artillery and the engineers.  The brown-brick façade is arresting and unusual with certain stylistic features that probably derive from Hawksmoor. The storekeeper’s house to the rear is plain and functional and laid out with a ‘great kitchen’ with a three-bay arcade so that food for the Board Room did not need to be carried through the house. This was demolished around 1890. In 1741 two more houses rear amend Rooms for the first drawing master, and model makers, were fitted up in 1743 in the Tudor tower’s upper rooms. In 1764 the Royal Military Academy was reorganized and became an enlightened establishment in which training comprehended ‘writing, arithmetic, algebra, Latin, French, mathematics, fortification, together with the attack and defence of fortified places, gunnery, mining, laboratory-works, fencing, dancing, etc’. Many of it masters were extremely distinguished in their fields. The Tudor Tower was demolished as unsafe in 1786. The Royal Military Academy moved up to Woolwich Common in 1806 and this building home became part of the Royal Laboratory, which used it as ‘model rooms’. , In the 1840s the former Academy Room housed specimen ingredients and machines for the making of gunpowder, and on the floor and tables there were ‘moulds for casting balls and bullets of various sizes. The former storekeeper’s house was refitted as a chemical laboratory for Frederick Abel around 1854. A clock, made by John Bennett of Greenwich and Blackheath with a mechanism by Thwaites & Reed, was put in the in the pediment in 1837 and also a weathervane, also supplied by Bennett’s firm... On the outside back wall is a tall gauge for explosives testing from the 19th. Around 1920 the ‘model rooms’ were converted and The Royal Arsenal Officers’ Mess continued here until 1994. Since a refurbishment of 2000–1 the building is left largely empty save for occasional hire of the grand rooms.

Nile Street
This was originally Hog Lane
Woolwich Free Ferry.  This was planned by the Metropolitan Board of Works who has been petitioned by the Woolwich Board who were keen for it to happen. The Act was passed in 1885.  It opened in 1889 to great celebrations. The first ferries were the side-loading paddle steamers Gordon, Duncan and Hutton, named after General Gordon, who had local connections, Colonel Francis Duncan MP and mathematician Charles Hutton who had worked at the Royal Military Academy. Each was powered by a condensing engine manufactured by John Penn & Son of Greenwich. This fleet was replaced, in 1923 with The Squire, named after a former Woolwich mayor, and in 1930 with the Will Crooks, after Woolwich's first Labour MP and the John Benn, Liberal MP for Wapping and a member of the London County Council. The current three vessels were built in Dundee in 1963, and were named John Burns, the first Labour Cabinet Member, Ernest Bevin, local trade union organiser and government minister and James Newman, another Woolwich mayor. These ferries feature Voith Schneider propulsion systems for maneuverability. A cycloidal propeller is fitted centrally at either end, and each is driven by a 500bhp 7-cylinder Mirrlees National diesel engine. The original southern ferry approach at the end of Nile Street was flanked by blind-arcaded walls. There was also a new river wall from which two lattice-girder steel fall-bridges ran which could be hydraulically operated. These gave onto the floating pontoon or landing stage, of wrought iron and timber. In 1900 this was widened and equipped with public lavatories. In the late 1950s problems generated by demand for the ferry from larger and more numerous vehicles led to new roads and the ferry approach being moved from here to a new road at the end of the south circular.

No1. Street
Verbruggen’s House. Jan and Pieter Verbruggen came to Woolwich in 1770 to take over the Royal Brass Foundry and did not like the accommodation used by Andrew Schalch, a new house was built in 1772–3.  It is a compact brown-brick block, with two rooms on each floor in an unconventional layout. After Pieter Verbruggen’s death in 1786 it was occupied by the Inspector of the Royal Military Academy, and his successors to 1829. It was eventually converted to offices and a Board Room for the Ordnance Select Committee. It continues in this use.
The Main Guard House dates from  1787–8 . James Wyatt designed this it between the earlier guard room and the Royal Brass Foundry. The plain stock-brick building has an outsize Portland stone Doric portico. , It continued as a guard room under various police forces until 1896–7 when it was converted for record storage. It remains in office use.
Assembly, a group of sixteen cast-iron standing figures, made by Peter Burke stands at the river end
Riverside guard rooms. These are twin octagonal buildings, the western one for officers, the eastern one for artillerymen, which were built in 1814–15. They flank triple landing stairs which were an important point of access. The west room was used as an armoury by 1864 and was a mortuary chapel for the body of the pretender Prince Imperial of France in 1879. The landing stairs were removed in 1931. The rooms were then used as stores but have since been refurbished.
Pontoon pier built in 1999 for Greenwich Council through Posford Duvivier, engineers.

Parsons Hill
Parsons Hill now barely exists consisting of a Chinese takeaway on the edge of the South Circular and its roundabout. It was once a steep path from the High Street to the Church.
Welsh Chapel, built in 1806. This became a synagogue from 1906–13 and then the Woolwich Animals’ Welfare Centre. Demolished.
Parson’s Hill Baptist chapel. This was built in 1857 on the corner of St Mary’s Gardens. From 1879 it was the Baptist Woolwich Tabernacle. This was one of John Wilson’s chapels and when he moved to Beresford Street it was bought by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society as the Co-op education centre. Demolished in 1960.

Powis Street
55-63 Marks & Spencer. This was originally a cabinet makers dating from the 1860s. In 1907 Gaiety Arcades’ ‘automatic machines and shows bazaar’ were on the ground floor. Marks and Spencer bought it in 1914. It was remodelled in 1934-5 after a Lutyens design and extended. They eventually took over adjacent properties.
71–77 A large house here was adapted in the early 1840s for the London and County Bank. By 1907 the local Labour Party had its Central Committee Rooms here.  It later became part of a large site that extended across the railway built in 1970–3, Littlewoods Mail Order Stores.
111-113 in 1894 this was the headquarters of the Woolwich Equitable Building Society. It was replaced in 1935 by Equitable House. It was founded in 1847 on Powis Street. It was a departure from temporary initiatives in Woolwich. The ‘permanent’ principle was introduced by a breakaway group of local businessmen who launched the Woolwich Equitable Benefit Building and Investment Association, using a schoolroom at the back of the house.  The Association’s patron was Dr Carlile, the Congregationalist pastor at the Salem Chapel. In 1858 the Society moved to what was then 113.  Eventually new offices were opened in 1897. Traces of identity, as well as the stone, have disappeared, as have the banking hall’s mosaic floor and mahogany fittings. The Board Room was on the first floor, and above that there were lettable offices,
117 was probably built in the 1860s to house the Woolwich Mutual Benefit Building Society.
119–123 were the premises of John Furlong and Son, ‘auctioneers, estate agents, valuers, undertakers, removal contractors, upholsterers, steam-carpet beaters, etc’. There was a three-storey showroom block to the fore, with new auction rooms and carpet-beating and other workshops round a yard. A new building was erected in 1964–5 and first let to a supermarket.
120-130 site of the Premier Electric Theatre was built in 1910–11 as a small cinema. It came to be ‘famed for its damaged seats’. It was bombed in 1940. Despite being declared safe to reopen after the war, the site was soon after cleared.
125-153 Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society. In 1873 RACS moved to house approximately on this site at the west end, this store was only open four evenings a week and on Saturday afternoons, with   commitment to unadulterated produce and the refusal of credit. Two adjoining houses were acquired for a draper, a tailor and a bakery, plus a lending library and reading room, a boot-making workshop, a bake house and a stable yard for ten horses. In 1884 the Society took four more houses, and George Smith’s rope ground and timber yard behind. It opened a butcher’s shop and a dairy. By 1889, RACS was the largest co-operative society in London. In 1893 another house was converted for a confectionery department, with tea rooms new stables were built in 1890–1 and  A large bakery followed in 1892 and this is a three-storey block, with a fireproof interior and the country’s first travelling oven was installed in 1912. It was converted to offices in 1961–3. The frontage for the central stores was erected in the early 1900s. In 1902 two commemorative tablets were put in place, and building work began. The opening included a speech by Labour MP, Will Crooks, and a procession round Woolwich and Plumstead of the society’s 130 horses and 86 vehicles accompanied by military bands. The final western section was added in 1925–6. A central copper-domed clock tower rises 106ft and there is moulded terracotta decoration. Above the main entrance is McLeod’s over life-size statue by the sculptor Alfred Drury. Above is the society’s wreathed motto. In the entrance hall are the foundation stones and a war memorial unveiled in 1920. There were shops for groceries, boots and draperies and the upper storeys were offices; there were strong rooms in the tower. To the west a furniture shop was under committee rooms, converted to the McLeod Café in 1926–7. The top storey was for workrooms and offices. The basement housed stockrooms. In 1937 in a radio and garden shop. The shop front was replaced in 1965–6 and the Central Stores were vacated soon after the RACS lost its independence in 1985. The building was then used by Greenwich Council as offices. In 2011–12 it and the Old Bakery were converted into a Travelodge hotel 
138-152 RACS Department Store. Plans for a new department store were prepared in 1935. And it opened in stages in 1939 and 1940. It presents contrast with its predecessor across the road, with a streamlined moderne approach with twin end towers anchoring the cream-faience-tile-clad elevation. The east tower houses a water tank above the store’s main open-well staircase, vertically lit to show off the wrought-iron railings which are patterned to form the letters ‘co op’. Inside the vestibule and stairs are lined with Travertine marble. The ground floor was an ‘economy’ department, for the sale of a wide range of cheap small goods. There was a restaurant on the third floor, finished with recessed lighting and white Indian mahogany lining. After RACS was taken over the department store closed, but the upper storeys were used as the CWS’s regional offices until 1999, latterly included an archive and small short-lived museum organized by Ron Roffey, the Regional Administrator.
136 This was built in 1930–1 for RACS funeral furnishers. A bay rises bears the society’s wreathed motto, ‘Each for All, and All for Each’.
Powis Street school and site of the Salem Chapel of 1798–9. This replaced a chapel on the Plumstead Road for the Countess of Huntingdon’s movement had founded. It went into decline after the foundation of the Rectory Place Congregational Church in the 1850s. It became part of Powis Street Schools, the London School Board’s only establishment in Woolwich in built in 1873 hwe3re, Infants used the former chapel and older children were accommodated in a new block with designed under E. R. Robson. In 1903–4 the premises were converted, the former chapel to take thirty blind children, the rear building for forty ‘mentally defective’ and twenty deaf children. From 1929–36 the premises were used for adult education and was cleared around 1960.
Woolwich County Court. This was built at the end of the street in 1935, designed by the Office of Works. The central public entrance incorporates a royal monogram and date, with the royal arms
179 The Castle Tavern replaced the Castle Inn, a major hostelry in the early 19th when it was used for petty sessions. It was rebuilt in 1937 for Watney and Co.

Consumers gas works (see Glass Yard)
Albion Wharf. Waterman’s Steam Packet Co., works. In the 1830s between Glass Yard and Hog Lane workshops were built here but closed in 1870. The wharf was sold to William Rose and Albert Mellish, millers and partners at the local Steam Flour Mills. In 1871 they built a tall flourmill known as Town Mills. In 1911 it was enlarged by which time it had been renamed A. W. Mellish Ltd’s Free Ferry Mills. It was demolished in the mid-1970s.
Remnant foundry. This foundry for making guns, shot and shells was west of Bell Water Gate. It belonged to Samuel Remnant and his son Stephen in the 18th supplying British and foreign governments with guns and ammunition.  In the 1830s it became Strother's coal yard. From 1906 until the 1960s it was used by Woolwich Council. There was also a house, with a clock turret, which was demolished around 1930.
Bell Water Gate Stairs
Gun Wharf. This lay east of Bell Water Gate. The Crown used the wharf for shipbuilding from 1512. And the ropeyard was built in 1573–6 and remained until 1833, during this time the wharf had associated uses. But after 1671 gun manufacture was moved to the Warren by the BH0ard of Ordnance.   In 1512 three galleys were built here and then the Great Harry an experimental carrack launched in 1515 and probably the largest warship in Europe. A dock was used to house The Sovereign in 1514–15. This and a wharf with a salt-house combined to form Gun Wharf. In 1912 the remains of a large vessel, which may have been The Sovereign, were found on a slipway here. By the 1540s naval shipbuilding had been relocated to the west. The wharf was used for the storage of heavy ordnance. It was also used as the wharf for the ropeyard. In 1671 William Pritchard, was granted the site as a private wharf while still being used by the Crown. By 1807 the ropeyard used the whole wharf
Power Station frontage. In 1933 the borough surveyor designed and built this stretch of mass concrete river wall some on reclaimed land.  This includes the still extant long wooden jetty parallel with the shore, which was used by Woolwich Power Station and a barge grid.
The Roman settlement is believed to have stood at the site of the old power station.
Pier from Eastern Counties Railway at North Woolwich 1846 used Roff Pier with wooden booking box
Gas Works. In 1817, Thomas Livesey and a Mr. Hardy, a coal merchant, built a gas works. This was on a site called 'Roff's Compound' or 'Edgar's Coal Wharf'. The works was eventually sold to the new Equitable Gas Co.,
Roff's wharf and pier. Around 1808 the old Gun Wharf frontage, east of Bell Water Gate to Globe Lane, was taken by William Roff, a coal merchant, and William Burgess, a lighterman.
Waterman’s Steam Packet Co. dock and works. This was set up in 1834 to run boats between to and from Hungerford Market. A pier was built in 1840 at Roff’s Wharf, and the eastern part used as a workshop. They built two covered graving docks in 1853–4, reusing an early Tudor slipway. In 1871 they began services to Clacton. In 1878, the office was used as a mortuary following the sinking of the company’s Princess Alice. In 1879 the pier was destroyed by a runaway ship.
Penny Ferry.  Cross river paddle boats to meet the Eastern Counties Railway were promoted by engineer, George Parker Bidder in 1847. This used Roff’s pier. This penny ferry’ carried on until 1908, after which the rebuilt pier at Roff’s Wharf was removed
Blue Anchor stairs. At the end of Globe Lane, previously called Toddy Tree or possibly Golden Anchor in 1707, or Parish Water Gate in 1807
Ship and Half Moon Tavern, This was present by 1712. It was rebuilt around 1850 and was a women’s lodging house into the 20th.
Ship and Half Moon Wharf. Waterman’s stairs. Also called sheep or ship stairs
Equitable gas works 1853 (see Hardings Lane)
Cutts’s stairs
Warren Lane Stairs. (See Ship and Half Moon Passage)
Royal Arsenal Gardens. This was the site of the original late Iron Age settlement and of the Roman camp. The Power Station’s coal yard cleared around 1988. In 1998 the Woolwich Development Agency, made this a park with a riverside walkway to link across to the Arsenal. It Opened in 2000 and includes a promenade flanked by lamp standards a semi-sunken skateboarding playground and sculptures by Ekkehard Altenburger and Richard Lawrence that allude to the history of Woolwich.

Ropeyard Rails
Woolwich Ropeyard. This was set up by the Crown in the 1570s to make large cables for Navy warships. This was the country’s first naval ropeyard. Rope was crucial for the Navy, and expensive. In 1573 Thomas Allen, a Muscovy Company rope importer was granted a Royal warrant to build a ropeyard in Woolwich. It was a mile from the dockyard, uphill on an oblique line now followed by Beresford Street. Hemp soaked, beaten, combed and then spun into yarn – by men who wrapped fibre round their waist, twisted the ends onto rotating hooks on manually turned spinning frames at one end of a long range, then, walking backwards formed the yarn. In 1633 the Ropeyard was leased to the East India Company and enclosed by a brick wall but by 1661 it was back with the Navy. The yard was constantly upgraded but was also subject to industrial action and also some criminal activity. There was a big brick warehouse was built, with a clock turret and here were two gateways, with the royal arms. There were also houses for the master rope maker and the clerk of the yard, as well as cabins for security staff. By the early 19th the ropeyard still had a workforce of 247 but rope making methods were changing. Around that time machinery was introduced at Woolwich, and in 1832–3 the ropeyard was closed and sold. Clearance followed in 1835.
Almshouses, Simms bequest. In 1621 four tenements backing onto Bowes’ almshouses and facing the ropeyard were given to the poor by Richard and Ann Sims.
Almshouses and Workhouse.  As a result of Sir William Pritchard’s bequest of the old market house to the poor in 1679 the vestry built three more almshouses. They were replaced by a workhouse, in 1731–2. Through another bequest in 1754 from Ann Withers a school-house was added to south of the workhouse. By 1820 two more houses of ten rooms each had been added to take more than 300 people. The workhouse and its school closed in 1839–41 following the Poor Law Act and formation of the Greenwich Union. Council Chambers, late The Old Casual Ward consisted of two doors, women on the right and men on the left and, no communication between the two. The site was redeveloped in 1843–4 with nine parish almshouses. The accommodation was similar to that in the Goldsmiths’ blocks. These almshouses they were damaged in the Second World War slum-cleared and demolished in the late 1950s

Royal Arsenal
Tower Place. In the 1530s, soon after the Crown had begun to build ships in Woolwich, Martin Bowes, a goldsmith and figure at the Royal Mint, began to buy lands in Woolwich There were already houses and watermills on the land, but by 1545, Tower Place was standing on the site now occupied by the former Academy, at the end of a first-floor gallery there was a five storey octagonal tower,. Some of the marshland that became a private garden and rabbit warren, with orchards, ponds and moats. The estate was later sold. Tower Place was replaced by the building which became the Royal Military Academy.
The Warren was called Woolwich Green. By the mid 17th the Crown was using it to prove guns made at Gun Wharf. A parapet range was built by Prince Rupert in 1667 along the riverside. In 1671 the Tower Place estate was swapped for Gun Wharf. Thereafter more fortifications were built on the river front plus a line of trees called Prince Rupert’s Walk. Tower Place was used as officers’ quarters but there was also a wharf with cranes and a shot-yard. There were also sheds to house gun carriages for ships, and a gunpowder magazine in an old dovecote. There was saltpetre refining and storage, and firework making, and in the 1690s a substantial ammunition factory was built. The Laboratory was transferred here from Greenwich. An accident intervened in 1716. Ordnance officials attended Baglys Moorfields foundry to witness the recasting of captured French guns. There was a devastating explosion and Seventeen of the twenty-five present were killed. Within six weeks the Board had decided to bring the manufacture of ‘brass’ guns in-house to Woolwich in a new purpose-built foundry. Tower Place was rebuilt as a new headquarters, and barracks had to be built to accommodate a growing workforce of artillerymen. The project was carried through with extensive levelling groundwork and a considered layout.
Cadets' quarters. These were demolished for the widening of Plumstead Road, which they lay alongside. In 1744 the students at the Academy were formed into a company of gentlemen cadets, and so quarters were built in 1751–2. This was a comprised eight rooms, each for up to eight young gentlemen, often two to a bed. Another building has a cold bath in 1760 and later a hot bath in 1774–5. The Warren’s hospital was later refitted to provide more cadets’ barracks and a colonnaded hall linked the blocks. After the 1860s they became homes for officers except for the central hall which was a school
Infirmary and social facilities. West of the cadets barracks along the same perimeter line, was placed the again rebuilt ‘firework barn’ converted to an infirmary for artillerymen in 1741. A larger cadets’ hospital replaced this in 1756–7.  Later they took over a three-storey office block of 1890 near Verbruggen’s House to constitute a works hospital. To the east a library and reading rooms were converted into a Mechanics’ Institution in the early 1860s. A larger reading room was adapted for lectures and concerts by 1884 and, later used as a theatre and for boxing. Beyond were a racket court and police barracks. All this was cleared in 1984–5 for the widening of Plumstead Road.
Tunnels under the site, It is claimed that tunnels going to Shooters Hill and Thamesmead exist.

Ship and Half Moon Lane
This was previously part of Warren Lane, going to Warren Lane Stairs
Warren Lane Stairs. This was included a public draw dock and a ferry. The ferry was a long established one running from Barge House on the north bank.  It had a horse raft and closed when the free ferry opened.

The Dust Hole
This area was on the riverside west of the Arsenal and east of Bell Water Gate, said to be very very poverty stricken and very dangerous

Warren Lane
Part of this is now Ship and Half Moon passage. Warren Lane itself has been subject to almost total demolition and is now a regeneration area with blocks of flats going up fast. The only remains from the past is a stretch of the Arsenal Wall and a few parking meters.
Pottery kilns of the 14th and late 17th have been found here.  And a later clay-pipe kiln.
Three Daws, pub which was on the north side. Demolished
The Marquis of Granby, pub which was on the north side. Demolished
The Royal Standard, pub which was on the north side. Demolished
Crown and Masons’ Arms, north side rebuilt in 1869 and since demolished
Goldsmith's Almshouses, classical. Demolished. These were endowed by Sir Martin Bowes in 1560–2. This was a group of five houses on what was then East Street and is now Warren Lane’s south-west side. They were managed by the Goldsmiths’ Company and rebuilt in 1771 for five widows in a block that survived until 1958.

Woolwich High Street
This is now an arterial road with nothing to remind one of the past apart from a few battered c 19 terrace houses. It may have had Roman origins as part of a route linking riverside settlements.
A market probably existed before it was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1618. A market house may then have existed near the corner with Ropeyard Rails. This market house was given to the parish poor by Sir William Pritchard and it was rented out as a school.
Town cage and stocks. There were here in 1671 and There was also A watch-house and from 1735, a pump. The watch-house and cage moved to the other side of the ropeyard, to the site of the old market house, in the 1770s; in 1812.
The ‘manor’ house. Woolwich Hall was here until the 1780s standing where Hare Street now joins the High Street,
Rectory. This stood near the Manor House.
Enon Chapel. Built by Baptists who moved from Hog Lane, in 1761. It was on the north side near its west end, close to the rectory. It was a simple box refitted in 1886. A Sunday school was built behind it in 1825. Both were demolished for the rebuilding of the free-ferry approach in 1964.
Furlong’s Garage. This has a forecourt to the High Street with buildings extending back to Powis Street. It is a complete motoring complex of said to be the largest in south-east London in the mid-20th. Furlong’s, interest in Woolwich began in 1812 when John Furlong set up as a cabinet maker, His sons and grandson diversified. Motoring was a logical progression after the Great War when the great-great-grandson of the founder, set up a motor-car garage at what had been Murray’s Yard. In 1938–9 Furlong’s built on Mortgramit Square the existing multi-storey ramped garage plus a showroom in Powis Street. There was a commitment to provide car parking for the two cinemas. There was a filling-station forecourt and a workshop and store with a caretaker’s flat, linked by a high-level bridge. The moderne faience showroom façade had an early neon sign. They expanded onto the High Street in 1955–6, building a service and filling station, and another car showroom to the forecourt is now used as a car wash. The garage behind is still used for repairs and parking.
Crown and Anchor, with a stuccoed front to an older 17th building, and demolished in 1974
Carpenters’ Arms on the north side of the High Street west of Market Hill rebuilt in the 1840s and again in 1924–5.
110. This was built in 1784–5. In the 1840s it became the Bank Tavern beer house and was partially rebuilt for the North Kent Brewery in 1892, and renamed the Coat & Badge.
111–112 the oldest houses in Woolwich dating from the early 18th
120 Coopers' Arms,  Plaisted’s Wine bar.  A pub was established here with the latter name in the 18th. the present building dates from 1929–30 and was built for E. J. Rose & Co. Its external lantern may come from the earlier public house. It was taken over by Rose around 1890 to be a wine shop, retaining both Plaisted’s name and the older one of the pub.  Plaisted was an earlier landlord.  The cellars may be original.
Waterfront Leisure Centre.  After the ferry approach was moved to the south circular the old terminal had no use. It was not until1985 that work began with a new river wall. The leisure centre was built in 1986–8, with a new the car park and a toilet block on the power-station site. The eastern Pool Block has the swimming facilities, a 25m fitness pool, plus beginners’, deep-water, lagoon and flume pools and a smell of chloride. The western Sports Block has a large hall, two games courts, squash courts, a projectile hall, fitness and dance rooms and a sauna suite. A lounge bar overlooks the pool and the river.
109 Ironmongers shop with on the wall a Mural People of Greenwich Unite against Racism by the Greenwich Mural Workshop 1981. Painted over inadvertently in 2008
Coach and Horses, demolished in the 1880s
Duke on Horseback, formerly Duke William, demolished in the 1880s,
George and Dragon, rebuilt in 1847 and reputedly the roughest public house in the area in 1900.

Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway,
Carr. Docklands History Survey
Chris Mansfield. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Crossrail. Web site
Glencross. Buildings of Greenwich
GLIAS. Newsletter
Goldsmiths. South East London Industrial Archaeology
Greenwich Borough. , Local List,
Hamilton. Royal Greenwich,
London Encyclopaedia
London Gardens Online. Web site
Pevsner & Cherry. South London,
PLA  Magazine
Spurgeon. Discover Greenwich and Charlton
Spurgeon. Discover Woolwich
Steele. Booth’s Survey of London
Survey of Woolwich,
Summerson. Georgian Buildings in London
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames,
Watts. Glassmaking in London
Woolwich Architecture Trail,
Woolwich Antiquarian Society Journal

As ever Edith is very embarrassed at the amount of material she has taken from Peter Guillery's very wonderful Survey of Woolwich. Please read the original rather than this, it is superb!!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Riverside - south bank, east of the Tower. Broadwater and Arsenal

Riverside east of the Tower, south bank

Arsenal lands - some converted to housing as much as thirty years ago, some being converted with heritage buildings.

Post to the south Plumstead
Post to the north Galleons and Gallions
Post to the west Woolwich and North Woolwich

Argyll Road
Building 50.  Building by the A& Q Partnership 2003. Flats in six storeys overlooking the river. This was the area of the east range of the Grand Store built in the early 19th and demolished by 1850 because of subsidence. This was rebuilt in 1855 with an engine house and accumulator towers for the Grand Store hydraulic power system. In 1895 it was redeveloped as an electric power station, rebuilt with turbines in 1903, and oil fired boiler house in 1967.  It was demolished for the current flats in 2000
Building 49. This was part of the Grand Store built from 1808 and completed in 1813. From 1855 this was the Ordnance Store Department and used for the storage of all sorts of items – tools and items for horses, primarily a nail and harness store. Internally mezzanine floors were later inserted and same jiggers and canes survive from the 1850s. The building was converted to flats from 2002.

Armstrong Road
This road has been built through an area which was a timber field but which was built up with industrial buildings in the 1870s.
Boiler house. This had 24 boilers
Rolling Mills.  It was built in 1875 for iron bars which could be forged into coils to make large guns. This was finally demolished in 1998 and its cast iron frame put into store.
South Boring Mill. Built in 1882 and eventually filled all the open ground left. Locomotive parts were built her after the Great War.
South Forge. This included what was said to be the world’s most powerful steam hammer with a falling mass of 40 tons. The anvil was cast on site in 1872 and weighed 103 tons. It was decommissioned in 1914 and is now displayed on the corner of Wellington Avenue and Arsenal Way.
1o Centre. This is part of the Employment Zone and consists of plain steel sheds.
Gun Yard.  This was to the east of the road and south of the riverside and included a shot and shell store.
East Laboratory Composition Establishment. This was to the east of the road. Small arms cartridges were made here.
Railway locomotive shed stood south west of the gas works

Arsenal Way
Shot and Shell Foundry. This is now Foundry House. This was needed in the 1850s to provide ammunition which could not be supplied by the private sector. It was built in 1856. It was made up of three iron framed workshops plus a moulding ground and a turning shed and a 224 foot high chimney. The ornamental gatehouse remains with iron work by Charles Bailey, an antiquarian architect specialising in the history of English ironwork.   The workshops were demolished in the 1960s and the ornamental gates removed, to be returned in 1991. Some electric furnaces were installed here in the 1950s later in the 1960s there were workshops for the Royal Air Force.  The replacement workshops have now themselves been replaced by flats and the gatehouse used as a sales office. Alongside are the bases of the vast steam hammers which were used here.
Gunnery House. This was building 7. These were carriage completing workshops replacing earlier seasoning sheds from the early 1860s and in 1871 a forgers shop. This was ‘the great smithery’ which aimed to be the most complete smiths shop in the world. There were sixty forges, eight steam hammers and a machine to punch holes in iron sheets. Other forgers were added and in the1960wsn it became a tool room. In 2002 it was converted into light industrial units.
Medical Centre. This is in the north and south ranges of the Royal Carriage Mews and was built in 2011. The rest of the building is in the square to the west.
Energy Centre. This dates from 2011 and replicates the former carriage storehouse which it stands next to. It has gas fired plant which provides hot water and electricity for the development.

Broadwater Green the generic name for a low rise mixed council/private estate built 1979-82. It was originally two roads, but since 1999 has become a large estate. There are no tower blocks. It covers the area of some of the buildings used for handling gunpowder with filling and press rooms.
Broadwater Green. Area of parkland adjacent to the estate.  This has a play area from the late 1970s and 1990s. New natural play spaces are now being developed. This includes a carved totem pole, a wildflower maze through long grass, woodland pathways, log stepping stones, planting of a jungle garden and new trees.
Broadwaters Centre. Local shopping centre of 1982 sited by the old Arsenal canal. These shops now appear to have gone.
The Royal Arsenal Canal. This was built by Chief Engineer, Lt.Col. Pilkington in 1812, extended again by 1816 and is a half mile long, 11 feet deep and 45 feet wide.  It had a dual purpose - one was to deliver materials into the heart of the Royal Arsenal military complex and the other was to create a defence boundary to the east. It does not seem that it was intended for the repairs of military vessels. It was used to bring timbers to the Royal Carriage Department and a branch went to the saw mill. Colonel Pilkington appears to have used the Isle of Dogs canal as a design. There is a lock to the river and it was eventually lined with warehouses. On the west bank were the New Army Ordnance Stores and on the east filling factory Danger buildings. The canal was also used for Torpedo testing. It was crossed by three railway swing bridges and another survives at the entrance lock. The Upper part filled in 1926 as far as the swing bridge and the rest of the canal was filled in before the Second World War. A wide slipway built by the Borough leads down from what was the Broadwater’s Centre, and a footpath runs along the east side of the canal to the Lock. . The sides have been widened and concreted. A large mooring bollard remains. These remains are part what was of the northern canal route. The southern canal route continued to what is now the junction of Whinchat Road and Goosander Way, then towards the roundabout at Broadwater and Tom Cribb Roads. This ended near the boundary with Armstrong Road partly encircling an area of the shell filling department. South of this another branch partly encircles at Timber yard with buildings off it including a percussion cap store. This was called Frog Island South of this branch was the cartridge establishment
Rocket Establishment. This was alongside the canal on the north side, and the later site of warehouses. It probably dated from 1855 and was built with hydraulic presses to manufacture Hale’s rockets. All rockets leaving here were painted red. It was relocated to a site to the east before 1914.
Broadwater Lock. This controlled the entrance to the canal and was built in 1814. The old lock gates and the swing bridge of 1876 which carried the Arsenal light railway across the entrance lock remain. The inward seaward gates have gone and the river gates are shut, cutting off the canal and the lock from the river. There is some similarity in the design of the lock and those on the Isle of Dogs Canal. The gates' curved structure is still visible.

Cadogan Road
The western part of the road covers the eastern side of a triangular and moated carriage yard in the early 18th. This later became an orchard and the moat extended into a canal on what was then the Arsenal’s eastern boundary.
Grand Store – the north side of the road runs alongside the back part of the Grand Store which fronts on to Marlborough Road,
25 Cannon House. This was the Cannon Foundry. In 1810 a proof department had been established.  A store was built here in what was Proof Square in 1853. A new cannon foundry was built in 1856 to the west of what was the Lancaster shell foundry. This building survives with some railway type characteristics. The central section included 10 cast iron casting pits and two travelling cranes. Bessemer is said to have trialled the use of steel here and rifled ordnance was also developed here. A Rifled Ordnance factory was built which has since been demolished. Eventually gun manufacture was standardised and here the 35 ton ‘Woolwich Infant’ was made; the building being called ‘the infant school’.  The building was also known as the Armstrong Gun Foundry and guns patented by Armstrong to Blakeley patterns were made here. In 1967 new floors were inserted and the building used by the British Library. It is now flats built by Berkeley Homes.
Buildings on the south side were part of the Shot and Shell foundry which fronts onto Arsenal Wayne
Wellington Park.  This was built on the site of much of the Shot and Shell Foundry in 2004. It is a landscaped roof to an underground car park. There is a pergola and three steam hammer bases and a sandstone engine base from New Laboratory Square,
Statue of the Duke of Wellington. This is in Wellington Park. By Thomas Milnes. It was commissioned by the Board of Ordnance in 1848 and was originally in the Tower of London. It was moved to the Arsenal in 1863 and put outside the Grand Store. In 1974 it became the Wellington Memorial with ironwork from the Royal Laboratory machine shop.

Cornwallis Road
Forge. This was for the radial crane of 1876 in a circular building. The crane could lift hot gun barrels up to 250 tons into oil tanks. The building was demolished in 1966.

Duke of Wellington Avenue
This was previously No.1. Avenue and renamed in 1978.
The Armouries. This was the Royal Carriage Factory. The factory remains as peripheral buildings to tall blocks of flats which replaced carriage sheds on the triangular fort section built in the late 17th.  Following a fire this area was built as a quadrangle of workshops for the Royal Engineers in 1802. The Royal Carriage Department was on the site in the early 19th and built from 1803. It was a large carriage works with an engineering section laid out like ‘a model farm’.  The north front had a clock and bells with a blind arch and side entrances. This was an inner quadrangle of workshops with three smitheries and twelve forges as well as carpenters, wheelwrights and so on.  Steam power was first used in the Arsenal here from 1807 introduced by Henry Maud slay.  To the east was a sawmill. In 1848 a scrap forge on the east side had the first Arsenal steam hammer and more steam powered machinery followed. As carriages grew larger and were less based on wood the factory was altered and enlarged. In 1937 a steel erecting shed was installed and used as an inspection facility from 1967.  On the south side is a 17 bay brick range built in 1893 to store gun carriages. It has been much rebuilt including in the 20th fiord naval X-ray photography. It was joined to the main building in 1895 with fitter's and tinman's shops.  Much of it was rebuilt in 2007 for Berkeley Homes with new blocks inside the original building. The clock tower was rebuilt. Much of this complex lies to the west of this square,
Sawmill. This was at the eastern end of the Royal Carriage Factory. Replacing a Martello Tower. It was originally designed by Marc Brunel and it was steam powered. It was designed to be reached by the canal.

Erebus Drive
This is the spine road for Royal Artillery Quays

Gadwall Way
This is one of a number of roads in the Broadwater estate named after birds.

Gallions Park
These sites are near the site of the Cannon Cartridge Factory. This was very dangerous and many special arrangements were made against explosions. Gunpowder was stored further down river in magazines and tumps
Landscaped park with grass, scrub and wetlands.  There are patches of natural hawthorn and willow scrub.  Planted woodland of alder and birch and lots of birds.  There are water voles and water birds. The park surrounds Gallions Lake and is filled with mature trees, benches, shrub beds and hedgerows
Gallions Lake. A small lake, with a nice setting provided by the promontory of Gallions Park which overlooks it. There is a public footpath round the lake but it is a fishing lake stocked with carp.
Eastgate wall. There is a stretch here from   1870, which marked the east boundary of the Arsenal before its late 19th expansion, has been preserved and is clearly visible from the main road.

Gas Works
This dated from 1857 and had two holders. In the works was a space from which balloons could be launched.
Saxon remains comprising a village and burial ground found in this area during archaeological investigation,

Griffin Manorway
Gateway into the Arsenal – 4th gate.
This is one of the old Manor ways into the river and is the road over Plumstead Marshes. In the late 19th it was said to be like the fen country - Deep ditches of water on either side of the roadway with Broad green grass fields divided by ditches. Horses were turned out; there was whippet racing and, pigeon shooting clubs. The Walls of the Arsenal on were on the west.   It led to Arsenal football ground and the rifle butts for the Arsenal. These are in the square to the east.
In the 1970s the creation of Western Way and Pettman Crescent led to the cutting off of the eastern part of the Arsenal, which was then still functioning and it was known as Royal Arsenal East and approached via Griffin Manorway

Gunnery Terrace
The site between here and what is now Cornwallis Road had been a proof butt which was replaced in 1777 by weather boarded timber sheds. Called the Blue Cross Storehouses they were used to store timber and manufactured wagons. 
Brunel’s saw mill was east of this in 1855
Building 5 was built in 1856 as an iron framed seasoning shed. There was also a pontoon store which later became a fitters shop and by 1867 was a woodworking area – housing wheelwrights, carpenters and so on. These were replaced by steel framed building sued for making navy guns. Demolished in 2001.

Hardinge Square
Blocks of flats and houses from 2001

Hastings Street
Blocks of flats from 2001

Marlborough Road
The eastern end covers roughly the site of proof butts built in the late 18th.  There were also shelters and vegetable plots attached to the convict ships in this area.
Grand Store. This was planned from 1802. This was designed by Lewis Wyatt with a central square and a riverside office block. The inner courtyard was finished by 1808 and the whole thing finished by 1813.  Although the original plans were cut back it was built and finished to a lavish scale. There is a Grand Quadrangle of two and three storey buildings using structural timber internally. They were used to store all sorts of military equipment and some original internal wooden doors remain. There is a western pavilion which was the original offices. It has a grand central staircase inside a large open hall – which contains an original dome headed stove. Posher offices here were the ‘Duke of Wellington Suite’ and bridges originally going to the shot yard were removed or covered. On the wall is a war memorial to men of the Army Ordnance Department. From the start the buildings fire proofing arrangements were not seen as adequate and it soon began to suffer from subsidence. From 1855 it was the headquarters of the Ordnance Store Department. Originally the outer quadrangles contained workshops and sheds most of which have now gone. The quadrangle was roofed in 1855 to provide covering for shot and shells. From 1900 it was rebuilt as a carriage warehouse and this included a water tower and there were also some demolitions. From 1969 it was used by the British Library and there again some alterations. The east quadrangle fronts onto today's Argyll Road. Some parts of the western end were used as s book store by the Science Museum in 1971.  Much was rebuilt again in 2004 as flats by Berkeley Homes and this included some underpinning. Some original features remain.
Cemetery – this was a collection of old guns surrounded by elm trees.  There were burial grounds all around where convicts were buried in unmarked graves.

Pettman Crescent
The southern loops in the Riyal Arsenal canal was known as Frog Island. In 1937 new Chemical Laboratories were built here. After the closure of the Woolwich Royal Ordnance Factories in 1971 they moved into a new building in what was to become the Royal Arsenal East approached via Griffin Manor Way.
Plumstead Bus Garage a relocated Plumstead Bus Garage was built on part of the site of Frog Island. The garage was built in 1981 by the London Transport Department of Architecture and Design, Chief Architect Hardy. It has a space-frame roof over the parking area; diverse elevations of red brick- staff quarters with conservatory and roof gardens. It is now owned by Stagecoach
Wall the relocation of the garage led to breaking down of parts of the 1804 Arsenal brick boundary wall. Part of it near Plumstead Bus station was replaced by iron railings and chain link fencing.

Pier Way
Gallions View. Nursing home.

Princess Alice Way
The Princess Alice was a major riverboat disaster in 1878 when 650 died. It was nearby off Tripcock Point so it is clearly thought appropriate to name a road after it.

The earliest railway in the Arsenal ran as a tram way between the storehouses to the shot piles.  It grew into a vast system connecting every part of the complex and was the main means of transport. From 1859 the railway system proper were constructed to standard gauge to regularise the ad hoc arrangement of individual plateways built by each department who did not work together in anyway. This had begun in 1824. They later came under the control` of the Royal Engineers. From 1871 onwards some of the track was constructed at 18 inch gauge making up 50 to 60 miles of track five new narrow gauge locomotives were bought in the Second World War and the final one in 1954. The remaining narrow gauge lines finally closed in 1966. Parts of the 18 in gauge track were built as dual gauge track, Some 120 miles of either this or standard gauge track existed by 1918

Riverside Path
The riverside area was reshaped from 1803. This included reclaimed land and a quay of 2,440 feet. To the east was a recessed area shaped for a dock. The construction partly used convict labour and a steam engine; Cranes were installed along the length of it. In 1820 the ground level behind it was raised 9 feet. It was refronted in granite in 1855 and refaced in 1906, 1920 and 1960 – which included new flood defences.
Convict Wharf. This dated from the late 18th and was made of timber.
Pier. This was built in 1869 and extended in 1875 with an 80 ton crane. It was to tranship ship heavy guns. It was later reconstructed to take a 200 ton crane which was eventually sold to Antwerp. The pier remains with some mixed gauge railway track
Coaling pier built of concrete in 1915. This had an overhead delivery system and coal was partly delivered for the Arsenal Gas Works.
Pier near the Grand Store. This was a T pier built in the 1850s and demolished in 1900.  It was built by Royal Engineers of timbers from St. Katharine’s Dock and opened by Queen Victoria. Its T branches were each 100 ft long and it went 150ft into the river. Shipping which used these piers were known as the Woolwich Navy and the headquarters were on the Arsenal site.  War Department vessels and Royal Engineers were in charge of mining defence work since the Navy did not think it was something they should do. War Department vessels had their own special crews and there were a number of sea going vessels as well as barges and smaller boats.
Boat House marked on the 1850s map
Mallets Mortar. This was displayed near the T pier but is now at Fort Nelson. This was a very large, but ultimately unsuccessful, mortar weighing 32 tons. This was one of the prototypes from 1857,
Spiral of steel. a blue footbridge over the flood wall, put up for Sustrans by Gerry Judah, sculptor, n 2004.
The former entrance to the Royal Arsenal canal, now concreted off from the Thames. The only indication of the canal is one of the capstans used to assist vessels into the lock chamber.

Royal Artillery Quays
A riverside housing development which is part of a 2000 home-building programme on undeveloped land started in the year 2000 by Barratt.  This is on part of the Royal Arsenal site south and west of the canal entrance and on the riverside north of the Arsenal gas works. There were a number of buildings on this site.
Examining House
Fuse Store
Mortar Store

Western Way
Main  road into Thamesmead
Whinchat Road
Heronsgate School. Th4 School opened in 1982 when you could see all the way from the school across the marshland to Erith. In 2011 the school opened a new site on Burrage Grove near the Royal Arsenal development although children attend only one of the sites
Heronsgate Health Centre

Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Cocroft. Dangerous Energy
Heronsgate School. Web site
London Borough of Greenwich. Web site
London Canals. Web site
Mercury, Connections,
Masters. The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.
Spurgeon.  Discover Greenwich and Charlton
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
Survey of London, Woolwich
Trees for Cities, Web site
Trust Thamesmead. Web site
Vincent. Warlike Woolwich

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Riverside. South bank east of the Tower. Gallions

Riverside, south bank east of the Tower.  Gallions

A small strip of new housing on an old Arsenal riverside area

This post is only about sites on the south side of the river. Sites on the north part of this square are at

Post to the north Beckton
Post to the east Tripcock Ness
Post to the south Broadwater and Arsenal

Merbury Road
This area of housing is on what was part of the Arsenal site – left as blank on many maps. It appears to have been the site of a depot of some sort with  roads and possibly some rail lines.

Riverside Path
Gridiron. This appears as a derelict jetty at an angle to the river wall. It was built as a roll-on dock for 100 ton guns to be loaded onto special 'Gog or Magog' barges After manufacture in the Arsenal the gun would be put on a railway wagon, taken to the dock, and rolled (wagon and all) directly onto one of the barges for transport to Shoeburyness or wherever.

Greenwich Indu
strial History. Blog site.


Riverside - east of the Tower, south bank. Tripcock Ness

Riverside south of the river, east of the tower Tripcock Ness

"Regneration area' on old military manufacturing area, includes an obscure eco-village and a new hill

Post to the north Beckton
Post to the west Gallions and Galleons

Barnham Drive
Barriers at the end and a cycle lane that goes nowhere. This is the route of a proposed new bridge into a new development and the riverside.
There is a structure in the grassed area at the end. It appears to have had a garden round it which is now derelict. There are blue curved walls around a feature which is out of sight.

Battery Road
Discovery Day Nursery and Children’s CentreDiscovery Primary School.  The school opened in 2007
Foxglove Path
This canal-side path leads from Battery Road, towards Gallions Reach Urban Village and a lake.
Margaret or Tripcock Ness
This is a promontory shown as ‘Magott Nesse’ on a chart of 1588 - ‘Maggot’ was once used as a pet name for ‘Margaret, It is also called ‘Tripcotts’ and ‘Tripcott Reoche’, in 1588, alluding to ‘Tripcock Trees’ shown on maps from  1805 - a line of trees by the river.  This may also be because from 1806 sailing vessels heading inland were forbidden to carry anchors cable hung ready to let go from this point – the practice was called "a-cock-bill" or "cock billed",
Lighthouse. This is 11 miles from London Bridge and the nearest lighthouse to London. It is on the river side of the flood defence bank, it is a red iron tower is 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. The light was established in 1902 shows a light visible for 8 miles
Princess Alice. In 1878: SS Princess Alice was sunk off Tripcock Point in Gallions Reach with 640 fatalities

Open space
A large open space remains between the river and new housing. Some of this, to the east, is due to be used for a development called Tripcock Park by Peabody. The area has most recently been used to dump spoil from infrastructure projects but in the past was used for explosives and other manufactures. There were a number of ‘danger’ buildings here. The area is often not shown on maps but seems to have had many buildings shown as ‘depot’ and some firing ranges.
This is also seen as an important wild life area. Elder bushes dominate the scrubland, although there has been tree planting, there are nanyt grasses, butterfilies, rabbits and hawks. To the east are wetlands with reed beds, drainage dykes and lagoons on what was contaminated soil.  There is marshland flora along with herons and kingfishers
Mugby - part of this area is marked as 'Mugby' on those maps which show detail - including from the 1960s,
East Gate - this is also shown on maps from the 1960s

Riverside defence structures. There is a World War Two Pillbox and Observation Post south-west of Tripcock Ness. These were strategically placed to observe and defend the river and bank to the west.
The pillbox is built on a concrete foundation raft with a brick outside and a flat concrete roof. It is unequally hexagonal and has a rear rectangular covered porch protecting the entrance which is on the south-east. Inside is one small room.
The observation post is two storeys and polygonal in shape, of concrete panels with a bitumen cover. At first floor is a raised turret with rifle loopholes on four sides. Steps lead to the ground floor and as curved narrow observation area.
The foreshore is reported littered with material many items – there are 19th and 20th barge hulks, an old barge dock, pottery of all sorts and blast furnace debris.
At a curve is an indentation whi h is probably the result of a breach in the river wall. The land was boggy and had been used for a magazine; and latterly for a latrine, with an outfall drain. Four old boats loaded with stone were grounded here in a line with more stone piled behind. These boats are now accessible at neap tides. The southernmost of them is the only known example of a ballast barge. It had a very basic hull, for local work in calm river waters, with a large hopper in the centre and a crane to dredge ballast from the riverbed. .

Thamesmead Central
This area of shops and local facilities, plus the twin tumps, lies mainly in the square to the east and will be described there.

Thames Gateway Bridge proposal
An area proposed for a possible Thames Gateway Bridge lies through this area. Mainly crossing  the unbuilt and restricted area,  it is planned to start from the roundabout, in the square to the south where eastern, western and central ways meet and then to go north westwards north of the Tor and crossing the river someway south of Tripcock Ness.

This is now called Gallions Hill. This is a twenty-metre-high hill – in this totally flat marshland landscape. It was built from "recycled excavated material". A spiral footway/cycleway leads to the top where there is a paved area in the form of a compass.

Tor Grove
This is part of the Galleons Eco Park. The  Tor Grove Block A is one of four blocks of sustainable social housing built for the Gallions Housing Association. The houses have timber frames, advanced insulation and double glazing, condensing boilers, solar water heating through panels in the roofs, and waste separation units to encourage recycling, as well as sunspaces in their south-facing elevations.

Discovery Children’s Centre. Web site
Discovery Primary School. Web site

Greenwich Industrial History. Blog
Pastscape. Web site
Royal Arsenal History. Web site
Thamesmead Trust. Web site
Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide. Web site