Saturday, 28 March 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Stone

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend.
The railway continues to run eastwards


Post to the west Stone Lodge

Bell Close
This appears to be on the site of a house called The Limes. The Close is crossed by the footpath which crosses the railway
to the north and continues to the church in the south.

Birch Road
Scout Hut

Charles Street
Charles Street now has a spur which runs north to a roundabout and to Crossways Boulevard which are to the north of this square.  This spur once went to a complex of rail lines which were associated with the Kent Cement Works, later APCM. Around the spur stood a number of buildings, on site now covered by Burger King, shrubberies and new flats, which were associated with the cement works.  Before the cement works in the 19th this was a dairy farm and buildings on the east side of the spur were called Manorway Place.
208 Mad Play. Children’s play centre. This building appears to be industrial and appears to date from the 1960s.
Mad Play car park, from the car park steps come down to the road. Southward the steps lead to a footbridge over the railway and a path to Bell Close, which is crosses and then continues to the Church. This path going northwards once led to Manorway Place
Travel Lodge – new build motel on a site which was once rail lines and buildings associated with the cement works to the north. There was also a house here called Dairy Cottage – presumably associated with the Dairy Farm which once stood on the site of the cement works.

Church Hill
St Mary’s Church Hall
Flint walls
Stone Crossing Halt. By 1900 the railways were suffering from competition of tramways.  There was a mile gap between the Dartford and Gravesend systems and the South Eastern and Croydon Railway looked to fill the gap. Thus Stone Crossing Halt and Swanscombe Halt were opened in 1908. It had timber platforms either side of the double-track or were not staggered. A level crossing with timber gates already existed at the eastern ends of the platforms. Gas lamps stood either side of the lines to illuminate the crossing gates. The rail motor services lasted ten years and were replaced by standard trains. As part of electrification, Southern Railway modernised its halts. At Stone Crossing the site was retained, but alterations war made. In 1930, prefabricated concrete, platforms and shelters were built. Electric lights posts replaced gas lamps, and new ticket prefabricated concrete booths were installed on both sides of the level crossing. A joint telegraph and signal post was put up at the eastern end of the down platform. In 1956, the platforms were extended as part of the ten-car train scheme. The word Halt was dropped in 1969. The platforms were extended again in 1992, for twelve-coach trains and also fitted with cameras and television screens. In 2008, the prefabricated concrete waiting shelters, were demolished and replaced
Level Crossing. To the left of the main gate is a pedestrian walkway and its gate can be automatically locked from the ex signal box when a train is approaching.
Signal box. This was adjacent to the up side and was a single storey building in timber. From 1970 Dartford signalling panel took control and Stone Crossing’s box became gate box and ticket office. The ticket booths were demolished, and the signal box acquired a door and a canopy. It appears to be still in use.
Crossing keeper’s house. This was on the down side opposite the signal box. It was demolished in 1967

Church Road
From the church a footpath runs south, crosses the railway and once continued into the marshes.
St. Mary the Virgin Church. In 995 Ethelred II gave Stone to the St Andrew in Rochester and there is an implication of a parish church already in existence here and was a Saxon foundation. It has been suggested that oldest remains of the Saxon church are under the current tower and re-used Tufa blocks are in the walls. The current St Mary’s is 13th but it is not known who paid for it since it is unlikely this tiny parish could fund it.  The quality, scale and similarity are like that of Westminster Abbey and it has been suggested that the same masons worked here. Following a lightning strike in 1638 and a fire which destroyed the spire melted the bells and burnt out the roof of the Nave and aisles remedial work was undertaken. Cressy and Street carried out substantial work the church in the 19th for free and in the course of it destroyed post 13th work. There are Paintings of Virgin and child and the martyrdom of St. Thomas a Becket. There is said to be an attached chapel for Sir John Wiltshire which became ruinous and that this area is now taken up with the Organ which is an original Father Willis refurbished in 1999 by Manders
Rectory. A 19th Rectory once stood west of the church on the north side of the road. Land had been bought from Thomas Colyer in order to build a school and replace the old rectory in St.Mary’s Road.
Stone Court, Manor House. The manor was on the west side of the church and dated from before 1200.  A Bishop’s palace is said to have been rebuilt here before 1214 after the former Stone Manor house had been burnt down. (Such ‘palaces ‘often referred to places where a bishop and his entourage could rest on a journey). In the early 19th it was said that it was the home of a farmer and that a chimney remained from an early building. It was sold by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1856. 
Stone Court. This is a late 19th house now flats. A stone over a doorway is marked '1654'.
National School. The school was intended to be for poor children and adults, managed by trustees. It was converted from two cottages on land adjacent to the garden of the new rectory in 1869. It was later replaced.

Cotton Lane
West Lodge
Stone Court Cottages
Rail lines. The industrial railway from the Kent Works on the riverside arriving at a point north of the main line where it tunnelled under parallel with a side road.  Some buildings associated with the line appear on the north side of the tunnel. The line continued into the pit to working areas and to Stone Works. One branch turned to the west to access the Atlas Stone Works in pits to the west. This travelled between the main Line and Cottons Lane running behind Railway Cottages. Another line went east to meet a line which had passed through another tunnel west of Stone Crossing Halt. The line through this westerly tunnel had come from another complex of lines going to the river and the Kent Works. As noted there was a connection between it and the line running under the more eastern tunnel. Its main branch ran due south under Elizabeth Road to continue between the eastern pit and a sports ground where it fanned out into a number of branches. There were sidings and a connection to the main line to the west of this area
Rail tunnels – these were to transport material from the pits to transport hubs and factories. A standard gauge railway built before 1885 ran under the road and under the South Eastern Railway line. Later a cutting was made south of the main line to access these pits to the west. This included transport for Atlas Stone which was in the westernmost pit from 1928. The tunnel also allowed a rail connection with the adjacent 1885 Stone Court Chalk Works whose operation was to quarry and supply chalk for the cement industry. To the immediate south of the tunnel was an area bordered at both its north and south ends by roads. The western portion was used by the Stone Court Chalk Works, and the eastern portion by the Kent Works. The Kent Portland Cement Co, had been established near the river in 1919 and a year later taken over by APCM. By 1938, the Kent Works’ excavations had reached London Road and were to tunnel under it by 1960.   Stone Works was set up in the most easterly of the two pits before the 1930s to the south east of the tunnel from where a number of branches fanned off to working areas within the pits.
Easterly Bridge. Abutments of the more easterly bridge may exist between the Lodge and the junction of with Elizabeth Lane.
Westerly Bridge. A level crossing existed here on Cotton Lane
Stone Pits 9 and 9a. In the 1950s the Borough of Bexley tipped waste here when the pits were owned by Blue Circle Industries and the Trustees of the Colyer Greenhithe Estate. Later the Greater London Council tipped here. Dartford Council became concerned about gas from this landfill and this went to the High Court and legal action was ongoing. The site is now owned by Frontier Developments Ltd who intends to landscape and promote for recreational use. Gas is still recovered from these sites.The Orchard

Elizabeth Street
Lads of the Village. Pub, said to date from 1833.

Hayes Road
Stone Pavilion. Council offices, Parish Council Offices and function rooms.

London Road
Stone Recreation Ground. This is managed by Stone Parish Council and has a children’s playground, basketball court, football pitches, and cricket.  It is home to a number of sports grounds. There is a very small war memorial in a small locked area.
289 Welcome All. Pub
Horns Cross. Traditional name for the area and what appears to have been a hamlet around the cross roads
293 The Bull. Large pub on the cross roads.
Horns Cross Garden. Green with a village sign and seats on the cross roads
152 Fire Designs Solutions. Fire safety manufacturing. Founded in 2001

St Mary’s Road
Brewery House – earlier this was Brewery Farm. It is known there was a small brewery in Stone in the 19th . The railway from the cement works once ran along the north boundary of the house, and thus surrounding it by rail lines. The line of this railway appears to be visible through gates and lines of land.
Kids Inc Nursery. Closed. This appears to be on the site of a Flint Works.  Flint was a waste product of the cement industry but was used as a building material among other things. This area was once the centre of gun flint manufacture.
Old Rectory.  This building burnt down in the 1970s and has been replaced with modern buildings. It was a 16th timber-framed building which had stopped being the Rectory to Stone Church in 1857 and was replaced by a, since demolished, building opposite the church.
Thames Water. Stone Pumping Station

Stone Place Road
New housing on the site of the drill hall
Stone Place. This was a large house, possibly built in the 16th.  It has been speculated that Henry VIII stayed there with Anne Boleyn in the 1530s. In the 18th Hasted noted that the gatehouse to it still stood
Territorial Army Centre. Drill Hall. This was built in 1939 when reserve forces were being gradually expanded and used were for air defence units, the threat of air attack being seen as an increasing threat. It has now been demolished


Sources
APCM booklet
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Bygone Kent
Cox. Kent
Dartford Council. Web site
Grueninger. In the footsteps of Anne Boleyn
Kent Churches
Kent Rail. Web site
Medway City Ark. Web site
Millward. Lower Thameside
Pastscape. Web site
Penguin Kent
Pevsner. West Kent
Porteus. Dartford Country
Stoyel and Kidner. The Cement Railways of Kent

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Stone Lodge

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway runs eastwards

Post to the west Bow Arrow
Post to the east Stone

Bow Arrow Lane
Cottage Hospital. In 1885 a detached isolation hospital was built as part of Stone House at the corner of Cotton and Bow Arrow Lanes. 

Cotton Lane
Fantaseas was a chain of indoor waterparks.  The first was opened in 1989 at Dartford on the west side of Cottons Lane. It had six American-style waterslides, an outdoor heated lagoon and a cafe and gaming arcade. In 1992, it was found the foundations were inadequate to support the building but it was also in financial trouble and shut down. The site was guarded and kept in good condition but the buildings were demolished in 2000 and the site used as a refuse dump
Kennels
Stone Lodge Farm and pit site
This large site is bounded by Cotton Lane to the west and London Road to the south.  An area to the east is in the next square. It consists of an infilled chalk pits to the north and to the south the area of Stone Lodge Farm.
Chalk pit. This pit was actively used for chalk extraction from the late 19th but was described as ‘old chalk pit’ from the 1920s. It appears to be the pit taken over by Atlas Stone inn 1928.  They also extracted gravel from the southernmost part of their area. In the 1930s a railway ran into the pit and appears to have been a connection to the adjacent Stone Court workings railway. In the 1930s the railway ran on to another chalk and gravel extraction side to the south west which continued into the 1950s. It has since been infilled with rubbish.
Dartford Judo Club. This is the first purpose-built Judo facility in the UK and it provides a programme of classes for children and adults, catering for players of all standards. It was the British Judo Performance Institute in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics. The site fronts onto Cottons Lane near the junction with London Road.
Dartford Stone Lodge Bowls Club. The site fronts onto Cottons Lane near the junction with London Road.
North Downs Steam Railway Co. This dated from 1980 with an interest in the old Gravesend West Line.  They moved to several sites and in 1987, came here, where, was am expanse of undeveloped land, was ideal for the storage of their stock fleet. In 1996 they moved to the Spa Valley Railway.
War memorial. Cross on a plinth on the edge of woodland. This is east of the derelict path running from London Road to the old farm buildings. It dates from before the Second Wrold War and at once time seems to have been south of a belt of orchard or similar woodland stretching to London Road.
Landfill gas station. This is served by. A gas pipeline.  Some of the gas is burnt on site and some piped to Northfleet as an industrial fuel.   There are a number of other installations around the site in connection with collection of gas from landfill.
Rifle Range. This was sited centrally on the eastern boundary of the site. This was owned by the Council. Now closed
Viewing area provided in connection with the construction of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.
Pylons. Eleven pylons which carry a 33,000 volt, two 132,000 volt and a 400,000 volt overhead power cables supported by eleven pylons.
Pipeline.A main Esso oil pipeline

London Road
Stone Lodge Farm. In 1887 Stone Lodge Farm and 107 areas of land immediately to the east of the Asylum were purchased by the City Corporation. The farm was used as a work place and a source of food for inmates at the asylum. It later became a children’s farm used as a tourist attraction. This closed before 2000.
Turnpike Gate. Presumably this was in the area of the junction with Tollgate Road. This was the Dartford and Strood Turnpike Trust and included a tollhouse.
131 Welsh Tavern. The building is from the 1870s but the pub dates from 1828. This was once called the Welch Arms. The current building was built around the 1870's. The pool room was once a separate shop.
Alamein Gardens. Small park attached to sheltered housing in Tollgate Road.
Electricity transformer station with other equipment.
Tunnel. On maps a tunnel is shown running under the road here. This may be the tunnel built before 1960 by APCM to connect pits north and south of the road
Stone House Hospital
Stone House Hospital. This was built after the Commissioners of Lunacy said that the Corporation of London provide its own asylum for pauper lunatics., It opened as  the City of London Lunatic Asylum  in 1866,  It was a yellow brick castellated structure in extensive grounds. There was a grand dining room and a Great Hall with a chapel above.  Dormitories in wards and single cell one for men and one for women. There was a water tower in the centre of the site.  The Medical Superintendent had his own house - 'The Hollies'.  Patients could enjoy the outdoors but the sexes were kept segregated. From 1892, private patients were admitted but kept in separate wards from the paupers. In 1901 St Luke's Chapel was built and the old chapel became a recreation hall with a stage.  A clock turret and belfry were put over the north entrance and a new boiler and engine house were built.  In 1909 a Nurses' Home was added at the southwest of the site.   By then almost half of the patients were private. It was never transferred to the LCC but remained with the City Corporation until 1948 when the NHS took control.  The Hospital was renamed Stone House Hospital.   In 1998 the Thameslink Healthcare NHS Trust decided it should be closed.  It finally closed in 2005 with 145 beds. It is the most complete example of a 19th hospital complex to survive in South East England and the main buildings and the chapel are Grade II listed.   The vacant buildings and surrounding parkland were transferred to English Partnerships as part of its Hospital Sites Programme. 


Sources
Bygone Kent
Dartford Council. Web site
Fantaseas. Wikipedia. Web site
Kent County Council. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Pevsner. West Kent
Pubs Galore. Web site
Stone Parish Council. Web site
Stoyel and Kidner. The Cement Railways of Kent
Turnpikes. Web site

Monday, 23 March 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Bow Arrow

Railway line from London Bridge to Gravesend
The line turns north eastwards

Post to the west Dartford
Post to the east Stone Lodge

Attlee Drive
Temple Hill Estate. This is a post Second World War housing venture by Dartford Borough Council. It was, was opened in 1947 by the then Prime Minister, Clement Attlee
Bow Arrow Lane
Said to be a lane which is probably Saxon. Until the 1890s the west section was a track along the railway. Bow Arrow Farm to the south
Bow Arrow Infections Diseases Hospital.  The Hospital opened in 1893 as an isolation hospital, replacing the fever hospital north of the Dartford Union workhouse. Originally wards were in temporary huts but a permanent hospital was built in 1904.  In 1935 a Nurses' Home opened, and a Nurses Training School established. The Hospital joined the NHS in 1948 and in 1950 became a tuberculosis sanatorium and later specialised in chest disorders. By 1982 it mainly long stay beds for geriatric patients and was later used for young physically disabled patients. It closed in 1983. The building has since been demolished and the site is now houses.  Some boundary walls may remain.
Littlebrook Hospital. In patient mental health care.
Littlestone Continuing Care Unit is for persons with a diagnosis of dementia and associated challenging behaviours.
Bow Arrow Lane Cemetery. This was the burial ground for Stone House Hospital and appears to be totally overgrown and abandoned
Greenacres. Shore lodge. Leonard Cheshire home
Chalk pit to the north of the road. This was used for landfill. There is a small plant at the northern end generating from the resulting methane.
Archery House. In the late 1980s Archery House was built at the northeast part of the Stone House site for patients with learning disabilities who were being relocated from Darenth Park Hospital. It is used for a range of NHS activities.
Footbridge over the M25 joins the two parts of the lane
Dartford Tunnel Approach
The tunnel was planned to connect to the planned "South Orbital" road, but because the line had not been fixed there was little choice but to terminate the approach road on the A2 Dartford Bypass. The approach roads are designated A282, because the Tunnel built in the 1960s was seen as a local connection. A second tunnel was added, and because it was a dual carriageway, 1980s the M25 was routed through it through.
Littlebrook Interchange. Only the south eastern section of the interchange is in this square. The junction was first built in 1988. It is a very busy junction and is Junction 1a of the A282
Howard Road
Brick Works. In the late 19th a brick works lay to the east of the road, disused by 1909. Earlier it had been in the ownership of Charles Barham
Invicta Road
87 Treetops. Short Breaks Unit for disabled children. This was originally Rainbow Lodge. Opened in 1988.
St.Michaels Iron Church. Built 1883 and administered from Stone church. It was on the east side, about half way down and the site is now housing.
Littlebrook Manor Way
St. Anselm's Catholic Primary School
Milestone Road
Gateway Primary School. This is an ‘academy’. It is on a site which appears to be marked as ‘Cobbs Croft’ on many maps.
19a Old School Room. Now offices this is marked as ‘Parish room’ on some maps.
Osbourne Road
This road intersects the site of the old Bow Arrow Hospital with new housing
Railway
Littlebrook Junction. This was two thirds of a mile east of Dartford and was formed in 1937. A grassed area alongside the line is the remains of the an area used as a siding in connection with this branch line
Branch line to Littlebrook power station came into use in 1937 with a mile-long single-track line to a the new power station near the river.
Signal box for Littlebrook Junction. This was on the up-side and was replaced in 1960
St Edmunds Road
Temple Hill Community Primary School
Temple Hill Baptist Church.  The foundation stone says that it was laid in 1955 and was a daughter church to that in Highfield Road.

St Vincent’s Avenue
This was previously Fulwich Lane but was renamed for St Vincent's Industrial School which was to the west of the road.
Fulwich Farm. This was south of the railway on the corner with Fulwich Road. It is said to have been a poultry farm and that Fulwich means a farm with fowls. In the 19th it was owned by a Mr. Hartley, growing Canary Seed.
Garage. The farm site has been a garage and owned by A.Pile, dating from 1918.
Fulwich Hotel and pub.
81 Inspiration House. The Redeemed Christian Church of God. The church orginally met at BETHS in Bexley

Sundridge Close
Bow Arrow Farm. The farm appears to have been nearby this close. The farmer was a potato grower, Mr. Oliver

Sources
Dartford Brickfield Map. Web site
Dartford Council. Web site
Gateway Primary School. Web site
Kent County Council. Web site
Kent Rail. Web Site.
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Millward and Robinson. Lower Thameside
Sabre. Web site
St. Anselm’s Catholic Primary school. Web site
Temple Hill Baptist Church. . Web site
Temple Hill Community Primary School. Web site
The Redeemed Christian Church of God. Web site
Tree Tops. Web site

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend - Dartford

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues south eastward

Post to the east Dartford
Post to the west Maiden Lane
Post to the north Darent meets the Cray

Anne of Cleves Road
The road dates from the 1890s-1900s and was built on some of the land between Priory Farm and the railway
Avonmouth Road
Service road on part of the greaseproof mills site
Burnham Road
Named for Lord Burham, owner of the Daily Telegraph in the 19th. The road dates from the early 1900s
Pumping station. Dating from the late 19th. This preceded but was adjacent to the Priory Road electricity works.
Tram depot which opened on 1906 was sited in Burnham Road and housed sixteen tramcars. In 1917 it was burnt down along with thirteen tramcars
Swimming pool. This was built by Dartford Council In 1907. It was an outdoor pool with 'dressing boxes' as changing facilities for bathers, and seats for spectators. In 1936, it was reconstructed.
Stanham Farm. Building in the railway triangle and completely surrounded by railway lines going into Dartford and between Slade Green and Crayford stations. It is only accessible via a footpath from Burnham Road north of this square.  A medieval/Tudor building stood here until the 1930s.

Cochrane Drive
New housing on what was an internal hospital road
Constance Grove
A new chapel was built for the workhouse in 1878. Its west end windows were damaged by bomb blast during the Second World War.  It closed during the 1980s and was used for storing X-rays.   It was reconsecrated in 1994. It was the sole remaining hospital building and was designated in planning consents for community use, but, having been burnt out, it now appears to be derelict
Cross Road
Christ Church. In 1868 the Rev. H. B. Bowlby vicar of Holy Trinity. Dartford felt another place of worship was needed and land was obtained and a corrugated iron church was built. The first service was held in 1870. Curates and in 1904 land was donated for a new church in Christ Church Road. The Church was consecrated in 1909 at although only the building was shorter than originally designed. Instead of completing the church it was agreed that a hall should be built and this was opened in 1934. The church was completed after the Second World War.
Dartford Road
The road is on the line of Roman Watling Street – which is its subsidiary name.
Toll Gate –this stood at the corner of Shepherd's Lane
Dartford Grammar School – the school’s address is in Shepherds Lane, however the Hardy Building fronts onto Dartford Road. This is the original school house and named after the novelist Thomas Hardy who was assistant to the principal architect, Arthur Blomfield. This was built on land was acquired in 1865 to build a new school and to move from the schools original site in Dartford Market. It is now used for administration and some teaching.
West Hill Primary School. This appears to be an amalgamation of a Junior and Infant school, originally a Board School. The buildings, with an eccentric tower, date from 1886

Essex Road
2 Dartford Family Centre
Enterprise House. This was Dartford Technical Institute which opened in 1902 and offered day or evening courses. It also housed a Museum and later Education Offices. It was renamed Enterprise House and used as offices. It is likely to be demolished.
Dartford Working Men’s Club Ltd. The club dates from the 19th century although does not seem to have been based in this building until after the Second World War.
Flanders Court
Housing which appears to be built in a pit or quarry
Hallford Way
Named for lorries made by J. & E.Hall from 1906 to 1926
Highfield Road North
Police station. This opened in 1872 and was later replaced by another in Instone Road.
Magistrates' Court. This was built behind the police station
Baptist Church of 1865-7 built by James Sharp following evangelistic work in the town by Albert Sturge. The hall which is part of the church was originally used as a school and now is home to a playgroup.
11 Walnut Tree. This is a pub which is now closed.
Humber Road
Service road on part of the greaseproof mills site
Kent Road
Air and Breathe Night Club. This was the Scale Cinema which opened in 1921. By 1937 it had, a balcony, and a stage with dressing rooms. It was Taken over by Medway Cinemas and used as a cinema until 1947, when it became a live theatre. It was taken over by Granada Theatres Ltd. chain in 1949, and was leased out to a repertory company. In 1963, it was converted into a ballroom and in 1970 used as a bingo club. In 1978, it became a nightclub, the latest version of which is Air & Breathe.
King Edward Avenue
Our Lady’s Catholic Primary School
Ursuline Convent. In the 1880s the Sisters of St Ursula settled in Dartford,
Coleburt Centre. This was the convent of the Sisters of Mercy was bought back from the diocese for use as the Coleburt Centre in the 1880s. This housed the local Roman Catholic a parish centre, as well as a local business centre, the Coldart Centre. It was opened in 1990. It has since been closed and demolished.
Entrance to West Hill Hospital. Two infirmaries were built for the workhouse between 1887 and 1897 and these were also used by the townspeople.  These became known as King Edward Hospital, with their entrance in King Edward Avenue.
Priory Hill
The road goes through an area once part of the area of Priory Farm.
Weather boarded building is the former Zion Chapel of 1720 with two associated cottages. Blessed Hope. Seventh Day Adventists
Priory Road
The Dominican priory was founded in 1355 by Edward III following representations to the Pope on the matter by Edward II. It is possible that there had been a previous religious institution here. The Priory was to educate women and was for an order of nuns, the only such to be founded in England. Princess Bridget, daughter of Edward IV, was an inmate and it provided a school for the daughters of great families. The dissolution of the priory took place in 1539 and pensions were granted to the nuns. Henry VIII kept the site and buildings as a house for himself and in 1548 granted it to Anne of Cleves. After her death in 1557 it was restored to the Dominican sisters. In 1559 they refused to take the oaths of supremacy and they were ordered to leave and went to the Netherlands.  The priory, site and buildings reverted to the crown, and Elizabeth kept them and rested here in 1559 and 1573. Under Elizabeth’s parts of the house were demolished building materials were removed to be re-used in other building projects. James I granted the premises to Sir Robert Cecil in exchange for Theobalds. Foundations, probably of the Priory church, were uncovered in 1913. The site became a farm - allegedly where cabbages were grown for London markets. It was purchased by J & E. Hall in 1927 and became part of their factory site and is now the registry office.
Smelting.  It is believed that an area of the site was used for smelting a black ore in the 16th which was thought to contain gold. This had been brought here by Martin Frobisher from Baffin Island. It was later found to be worthless. This was deduced from stones alleged to be found in the perimeter walls which are believed to be associated with this.
Dartford Registry Office. This is in the West Gatehouse which is all that remains from Henry VIII's Manor House. It was built in 1541-4 on the site of the Priory.  Tthe gatehouse was purchased from the farm by J. &E. Hall in 1927.  Halls used it as a pattern store, and offices and latterly for a sports and social club. It is now owned by the Borough
Walls – some remains of the priory wall stand along the east side of the road. It is made up of work from a mixture ranging of dates from medieval to modern.
Electricity Transformer Station. Dartford Urban District Council had built a power station in Priory Road for the town in 1901 on the corner with Burnham Road.
Priory Road North
Greaseproof Mills. The site was bought by Wiggins Teape from the Ettrick Forest Mills to build a greaseproof paper works. This was done with the Belgian company, Louis de Naeyer. They were to make Glassine which was a special paper for cigarette wrapping and specialist uses, they were also to make ordinary greaseproof paper and also a high quality paper for commercial food wrapping, like biscuits etc. The site was designed by Wallis Gilbert. It was opened in 1933. Pulp was delivered by barge from Dartford Creek and paper shipped out by lorry. The mill was later taken over by Joseph Rank Ltd and closed in 1957.
The London Paper Mills Company based at the Riverside Mills, Dartford, opened in 1889 and installed five machines installed which. Initially produced 250 tons of paper per week. In 1909 the company was taken over by Albert Reed and production increased to 400 tons per week. They specialised in the manufacture of printing paper. In the 1930s they employed 500 people making paper for photographic printing, office paper, envelopes and stationery. The mill remained open until 1968.
Mill House. Wiggins Teape paper mill office building opened in 1910. The mill itself was to the north of this. 
Prospect Place
This trading estate was the site of the great J. &E.Hall works. Only the western portion is in this square.

Shepherds Lane
Boys and Girls Grammar Schools. Modernised 1936. Dartford Boys Grammar School had originally been founded in 1576 and was in the High Street. A new building was provided in 1866 and designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield. Old boys include Sir Erasmus Wilson, Sir Henry Havelock, and Sir Mick Jagger. On the corner of Shepherd’s Lane and Dartford Road
The Mick Jagger Centre, this is a performing arts venue on the site of Dartford Grammar School; which is also open to the local community
Becket Sports Centre. Thus is in the grounds of Dartford Grammar School. It was opened in 1995 as a community centre for the use of the school and the local population of Dartford and surrounding areas. It houses sports including, badminton, table tennis, football, cricket and netball.
Spital Street
Waterbridge Court. This was previously the Masons Arms
Reformed Christian Church of God. Centre of Joy Parish, above the shops.
Royal Oak. Dartford’s oldest pub built in the 17th to serve travellers on the old London to Dover road. It was refurbished in the 19th
43 Court House. Pub in old county court building. This was first erected in 1850 as part of the church but was converted into a Crown Court within ten years. It became a pub in the 1990s but it retains its Royal Arms
Tower Road
Light on the Hill. Spiritualist church founded in 1919 but with a more modern building,
Twisleton Court
John Twisleton was a member of the leading gentry’s family and a local mill owner.  He built the Spital Almhouses in the 18th.
Endeavour House. This consists of the original workhouse buildings. A Dartford parish workhouse was built on Lurchin's Hole at the corner of West Hill and Priory Hill in 1729. Dartford Poor Law Union was formed in 1836 with an elected Board of Guardians. It took over the existing workhouse but built a new building designed by John Whichcord with an unusual layout a long entrance block fronted onto West Hill to the south with a central archway flanked by the porter's lodge and board-room. There was a men's hall and receiving ward to the west, and women's to the east. The rear building was in a semi-circle with a chapel in the centre, there was also on the spine a washhouse, cookhouse and kitchen. The Master's residence was at the southern end. Two infirmaries were added 1887-97.  By 1986, the original workhouse buildings were scheduled for demolitions but were refurbished and are now used for small business.
Victoria Road
Depot –site of extension to Hall’s works
Victoria Trading Estate. Surface Water Pumping Station.  The station was established  in  1908  by the Dartford Urban District Council and  used  to pump surplus surface water from   the low  lying  ground  on  the North side of Dartford.
Cafe in a blue hut with no name and no road number, up against the wall
Priory wall

West Hill
4 Church Court. Old Congregational and United Reform Church church opened as a Congregational Church in 1882 and designed by John Sulman. It closed in 2000 and is now flats
West Hill Hospital. The workhouse infirmaries were used by the townspeople.  A  Fever Hospital was built northwest of the workhouse which closed in 1893.  In 1913 the infirmaries became known as King Edward Hospital. During the Great War Vickers-Armstrong took over the workhouse and Hospital for their workers. The workhouse became a hostel, and the Hospital became a hospital for the workforce. In 1919 it was returned to the Board of Guardians.  In 1930 Kent County Council took over the Hospital, which by this then had taken over the workhouse site.  A Nurses' Home was built in 1934. It was renamed the County Hospital, Dartford, in 1935 and health, light and orthopaedic clinics were established.  In 1937 the Louise I ward block was built.    In 1940 a high explosive bomb demolished one of the two women's ward blocks, killing 2 nurses and 22 patients.  One of the ward sisters, Mary Gantry, crawled through the wrecked building and administered injections of morphine to the trapped, injured women.  The Hospital joined the NHS in 1948 as West Hill Hospital.  A new maternity unit - Louise II block - was opened in 1949.  The air-raid shelter was adapted into a sterilising room, milk preparation room, bathroom, sister's offices and a nurses' Lecture Room.    In 1950 the old casual wards built in 1898, became the psychiatric unit but were demolished in 1964 for the new Out-Patients Department and Accident Unit.   In 1971 a new Accident & Emergency Department, operating theatres and Out-Patients Department were opened by Princess Anne. In 1997 Accident & Emergency Department and ancillary services were transferred to Joyce Green Hospital and everything closed in 2000 when the new purpose-built Darent Valley Hospital opened. The Hospital buildings were demolished in 2001 and the site is being redeveloped by Barratt Homes as West Hill Park
Spital almshouses. The Almshouses were built in a former leper hospital in 1572. They were rebuilt by John Twisleton in 1704 and used until 1975. They provided nine aged widows of the parish with £12 per year each, besides coals and wood;
National Schools. Built in 1826 and now flats. Reports of the 1970s excavation describe the site as Holy Trinity School
A Saxon cemetery was discovered to the rear of the school and has been excavated
50 Dartford Delivery Office. Royal Mail. Includes Royal Mail sports and social club.  Appears to be on the site of the lime kiln.
Bate Motor Cycle business. Bate’s Yard to the rear of the premises would appear to be in a chalk pit.
The area on the south side of the road was chalk pits with limekilns and whiting works.
43 Rose and Crown. Traditional pub with Mystic Nikki
Lock Up. This building with four cells was built in 1843. When the new police station opened in 1872 it was used as a casual ward and drying closet by the workhouse.
72 Oddfellows pub
West Hill House. This is now the Masonic Hall. It was the home of John Landale in the 1810s that won £300 in a lottery and built the two terraces of cottages alongside the property.
MonpelierTerrace. Cottages with modelled heads
Martyrs memorial hall. Kent Martyrs’ Memorial Hall. This was built in 1890, with a library, reading and refreshment rooms, a gymnasium, and a hall. An additional hall was a memorial to Sir Stevenson Arthur Blackwood K.C.B. and is used as an institute for lads. From 1928 it was the YMCA.
YMCA A new building opened in 1971. It provided sporting and other facilities for young people of Dartford. A branch of the YWCA was started in Dartford in 1917.
Sources
Air and Breathe. Web site
Baldwin. The River and the Downs,
Books of Dartford,
Bygone Kent
Carr. A spot that is called Crayford
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Christ Church, Dartford. Web site
Cox. Kent
Dartford Baptist Church. Web site
Dartford Grammar School. Web site
Dartford Council. Web site
Dartford Historical and Archaeological Society. Newsletter
Hesketh, J. &E.Hall Ltd.
Kent County Council. A history
Kent County Council. Web site
Lost Hospitals. Web site
Miller. Halls of Dartford
Penguin. The Penguin Kent
Pevsner and Cherry. West Kent
Skinner. Form and Fancy
St.Anselm Church. Web site
St.Anselm Primary School. Web site
Tapsell. Kent Cinemas
Walking London's Waterways,
Wrist Hill Primary school. Web site
Workhouses. Web site

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Slade Green

Railway line from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues south eastwards

Post to the south Thames Road
Post to the east Crayford Marshes

Bridge Road
Bridge. The bridge over the railway dates from 1961. Plans to build it were approved by Crayford Council in 1955 but construction was delayed because problems of design of the bridge and footpaths. Agreement with British Rail was not achieved until 1959. Up to this time the only access to the area was via level crossings over the railway.
Slade Green Medical Centre
Community centre.  This has now closed
Pop in parlour. This has now closed as a result of the Community Centre closing. It had been run by AgeUK
Library. This was built in 1965 and is now closed

Cedar Road
Terraced houses built in the late 1800s by Messrs. Perry and Co. of Bow for railway workers. These were authorised in 1898 by the South eastern Railway in its final months. A second contract was let to Messrs Smith & Sons' of South Norwood.

Elm Road
Christian Fellowship Church and hall. This was Slade Green Baptist Church and remains within the Baptist Union. It is a substantial building dating from the early 1930s
Railway housing –built by the South Eastern Railway in the late 1800s for workers at their large maintenance depot, adjacent.

Forest Road
Slade Green Station. The station lies between Dartford and Erith on South Eastern Trains.Trains also run between here and Crayford Station. Land was purchased for a station here by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway in March 1899 to serve the engine shed and those who were to work there. It was opened in 1900 and named ''Slades Green'', rather than the previously designated name of ''Whitehall''. There were two platforms and a brick building on the down side and a timber shelter on the up side. There was a subway between the platforms. It was called Slade Green from 1953 and at the same time the platforms were extended. In 1968 the station was rebuilt using the CLASP modular system.
Level crossing. Originally called Whitehall Crossing, this was replaced with a footbridge in 1968 and closed in 1971. The gatekeepers house, built at the same time as the other local railway housing was demolished in 1968
Signal box. This was at the Dartford end of the up side and built by Evans, O’Donnell and Co. It closed in 1970, and was demolished.
Shops. These were built in 1954 - having been promised by the South Eastern Railway in 1900.
British Rail Staff Association Slade Green Club, This is on the site of the original Railway Institute and is known as 'The Hut'.

Hazel Drive
Slade Green Recreation Ground. This has a children's playground and two football pitches.
Tumulus. This is shown on maps pre-Second World War and appears to be in the area of the children’s playground

Hazel Road
The Lord Raglan. Rebuilt in 1900 but originating from 1855,
Terraced houses built in the late 1800s by Messrs. Perry and Co. of Bow for railway workers.
Howbury Lane Open Space. Playing fields.

Hollywood Close
Thames Water site. The Dartford Rural District Sewage Works was here. This later became a council depot. The Slade Green Sewage Pumping Station was a small brick building beside a sewage sump pit built in1902.  It was demolished and replaced with an automatic electric pump house in 1998

Moat Lane
Was once called Whitehall Lane – the area was then known as Whitehall.
1a Railway Tavern. This was a decorative public house with columns and an open balcony. It was Built by the South Eastern Railway and opened in 1900 as the Railway Hotel. It was built by the same contractor as the adjacent railway housing in the late 1890s and was illuminated by electricity. Its main role would have been a pub, with bed and breakfast rooms for visiting management, contractors, or workers. After being derelict for many years it was converted to housing in 2006
The Glen. Slade Green Athletic Football Club. Before the Second World War Slade Green had three football clubs. In 1946 they merged to form Slade Green Athletic Football Club. They were successful for many years but closed down in 2009.  The club played on a pitch named The Glen. In 1987 the 'Small' prefix was added. The ground has a car park and clubhouse, with a shelter alongside pitch.
35 The Sportsman. This is a drinking club in what seems to be a big old sports pavilion.
Howbury Farm. This includes the walls, the moat and the remains of a 19th oast house.
Howbury moated grange.  This is a 12th moated manor site once the home of a Tudor official, later rebuilt. The Norman moat encloses the manor house - a 17th building now damaged beyond repair. The wall of the moat is still there but the drawbridge was replaced by brick one in 1778 which has now collapsed. Occupants of the property were latterly tenant farmers, and after the building of a new house -  Howbury Grange to the south - in 1882 the building was abandoned in the 1930s.
Howbury Cottages. Built for farm workers,
Tithe Barn at Howbury Farm. The barn is 17th or earlier. The doorpost has the remains of a mechanism to adjust the shutters during winnowing.
Howbury Grange. This was built for the tenant farmers on a Saxon site. It is the offices of the Russell Stoneham estate, local landowners and apparently part of ReadyMix.. There is a house of 1880 plus stables and a coach house. This currently has conditional demolition consent as part of a large road and rail freight interchange.
Oval camp 500 yards south east of the Grange.

Oak Road
Housing built for railway workers in 1900 for the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.

Railway
Junction with the Bexleyheath Line. In 1895 a triangular junction was opened from the North Kent Line to the Bexleyheath Line. Called Perry Street Fork Junction.
Railway sidings to sandpits north west of the station to clay pits and brick works in the 1890s. Crayford Brick sidings
Railway sidings to Eonit and brick works to the north
Slade Green Railway Works.  A railway locomotive and rolling stock depot built over 12 tracks parallel to the North Kent Line in 1899.  In 1897 the South Eastern Railway drew up plans for a large steam locomotive engine shed here. The shed, built for the suburban tank engines of these intensively-used commuter lines, was completed 1899. The plans outlined a building, nearly 600 foot in length and housing ten parallel tracks, two of these which were dead-end and a repair shed. A through line was planned to serve a coal stage on the south western shed to be used instead of a station goods depot. The building was to be built in yellow bricks. It was initially called ''Whitehall, Erith'. the shed lines had a pair of 50 foot turntables, flanking the building entrances, the engine shed had a total capacity, of 110 engines. All regular maintenance and heavy repairs were undertaken here and there were two five ton travelling cranes within the adjoining repair shed, and all roads had an inspection pit. A 150,000 gallon water tank was complete with water softener. After Grouping, the Southern Railway began an electrification programme here and it was proposed in 1924 for the engine shed to be converted into an electric multiple unit depot. Also a new heavy maintenance building was to be built to do all major repairs on the fleet. This was complete by 1925, in time for electric working on the North Kent Line to start the following year. The depot also had a mechanical carriage washer in 1935. the engine shed building was lengthened in 1954 to take the longer trains. the depot officially became ''Slade Green'' in 1953. In 1990 the 1925 repair shed was replaced to take eight dead-end tracks for the 'Networker fleet. This opened in 1991. It continued to do repairs on the 1952 slam-door stock until 1995.
Trench Warfare Light Railway. This came off the running lines some 350 yards beyond the ''Dartford'' end of the engine shed, curving sharply to go in a north east direction across the marshes to the Thames Ammunition Works. It was 1½ miles long and opened in 1917. It closed after the Great War but the internal rails of the works remained, as did a section between Slade Green and a refuse dump which went out of use in 1924.

Slade Green
The name of Slade Green is found in records from the 16th meaning a low flat valley. The area was farm and marshland until industrial developments in the 19th.  Slade Green belonged to Howbury Manor and was locally called  'Cabbage Island' – that being the crop grown in market gardens between Whitehall Lane and Slade Green Lane.

Slade Green Road
Church, schools and Howbury Centre all lie in the square to the north
Electricity Power Station. This was built by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway beside the railway line in 1899 to supply power to the railway workshops. There were some remains of the building on the Power Works Industrial Estate albeit altered and extended.
Power Works industrial estate. This was built on site of South Eastern Railway power station.
Corner Pin Pub. This was originally built by the Stoneham family in 1844 as part of a row of farm labourers' cottages. It eventually took over the cottage next door. The public house, was demolished in 1958 and rebuilt

Whitehall Lane
Whitehall Lane Clay Pit. Small pit worked probably by Furner. This was extended to Slade Green Brickworks with a clay pit and brickworks which were owned by William Furner 1870-1915 A tramway from the railway ran into the site

Willow Road
Railway company housing,

Sources
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Bexley Civil Society. Walk
Carr. A spot that is called Crayford
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Hamilton. Crayford Industries
Ideal Homes. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
South East London Industrial Archaeology
The Glen. Wikipedia Web site

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Erith

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues south eastwards

Post to the north Erith

Aperfield Road
Road built on the site of a brickworks – Erith Clay Pit in the 1860s and through various owners to become Amalgamated Brickworks in the 1930s
Anchor Bay Farm was partly on the site of the brickworks
Appold Street
The road is cut off by bollards after a short distance but once extended to the deep water jetty.
Railway bridge over line going to works to the east. There were marshalling yards for coal trains between here and Wheatley Terrace. The railway is said in 1930 to be a private railway belonging to Turner and Newall whose works was on the old Easton and Anderson site, to the east of this square. The line once the railway to the asbestos works now appears to be a footpath alongside Morrison’s car park.

Arthur Street
Cobham House. This is a 13 storey block approved in 1960.
Playground and youth shelter
Mission Room. This 19th mission building was on the north side of the road and was supported by Sir William Anderson who took services there.
Avenue Road
Laid out around.1769 to form the driveway to the newly built Manor House for the Wheatley family. The house was demolished in 1858 and the estate was sold in 1874 and developed thereafter. The road had been built as a direct route in the town and named from the long avenue of trees which lined it. Until recent redevelopment the road extended into the town centre as what is now James Watt Way
Bowling green. Since 2006 this has been run by Avenue Road Bowling Club. The previous occupants were Crayford Social Club.
Erith Recreation Ground.  This opened in the early 1900s.  The original Park Keeper's House survives at the leisure centre turning circle. Second World War air-raid shelters have left a footprint visible in dry summers. There are lime trees along the northern boundary and copper beech and horse chestnut remain in the shrubbery belt near the entrance. There are two hard tennis courts operated by a private company as well as football pitches and a children's playground. There was once a bandstand
Erith Stadium. This was developed alongside the recreation ground post Second World War.  The original cinder running track and the stadium were built in the 1950s. It was rebuilt and upgraded in 1999. The pavilion at the track is The Myra Garrett Pavilion.
Football pitch used by Erith Town Football Club. The club dates from 1959 and was originally as Woolwich Town Football Club, a Sunday club. In 1989 they briefly changed their name to Woolwich Heathway Football Club but reverted back. In 1991, the club switched to Saturday football and left Woolwich Barracks Stadium, and in 1995 came to Avenue Road. In 1997 they changed their name to Erith Town Football Club.
Erith Leisure Centre. Swimming Pool and gym. Modern centre built in 2005 by LA Architects. Operated by commercial company.

Bexley Road
The stretch between Cross Street and the High Street was once called Back Lane
Police Station. Erith become part of the Metropolitan Police in 1840 and until 1847 Bexley officers were deployed. In 1847 a Station was built and remained in use until 1908 when the riverside station was built. The site is now under new roads
Wheatley Arms. This, also called the Wheatley Hotel, stood at the site of the roundabout where Bexley Road meets Queens Road
Fish Sculpture. This is the De Luci Pike by Gary Drostle.  It is a 7.5m mosaic sculpture inspired by the former Erith Urban District Council's coat of arms that incorporated three pikes, the symbol of the De Luci family landowners in medieval Erith.
Boundary Street
The boundary between Erith and Crayford. Once called Powell road check
Cranbrook House. This is a 13 storey tower block with 77 flats, was approved in 1960.
Pigs – these are bronze, and by Philip Bews cast by the Castle Fine Art Foundry.
Canterbury house. This is a 13 storey tower block approved in 1960
Britannia Close
Britannia Close is built on the line of the railway to Erith Pier from the main line. The siding connection trailed off the ''down'' North Kent Line to Cory Wharf and originally opened in 1864 to connect with the deepwater Erith Pier. By 1900 this network of lines served a coal terminal, an iron works, a brick works, clay pits and a gravel pit. It went out of use in the late 1980s

Colebrook Street
Mural. This was created by William Mitchell in the late 1960s for the side of the now-demolished Riverside Baths. It used the cloisonne technique to show events and individuals that have a connection to the history of the local area. He used a raised sand and epoxy border to define the different compartments which were then painted in bright colours. Tile mosaics were used to provide greater detail to the faces. The mural was restored and re-erected in 2010, plus an interpretation plaque. It was unveiled by Mitchell, then aged 86

Compton Place
Built partly on the sites of rail lines and sidings as part of the complex of industrial lines from the North Kent Line to the riverside.
Crescent Road
The northern side of the road is taken up with the wall behind which were rail lines and sidings for the transshipment of coal. Railway Line Vast amount of coal went to Bell Green gas works from here. Several train loads a day.
Crescent Road Board Schools. These were built in 1875 and consisted of a girls' school and an infant school. The School Board offices were also here. There is now modern housing on the site.

Erith High Street
This section of the High Street redeveloped in 2013 following reconfiguration of the Siefert built centre
100 Erith Library. New built as part of the new centre.
The Public Hall was built in 1871. It was used as a cinema from 1908 by Sydney Bacon, who had a small local circuit. It closed as a cinema in 1926, and became a dance hall. It later became Mitchell’s Second Hand Store, and was burnt out in the 1960’s, and demolished.

Erith Riverside
This replaces the Siefert built Town Square which had been refaced and extended to provide social housing and better quality shops.
Shopping Centre Gates by Onya McCausland. These feature images taken from x-rays of items borrowed from shoppers visiting the centre. It includes pens, lamps, glasses and socks and so on. They are reproduced on blue and green colour backgrounds to look as if they are under water

Frobisher Road
This road and a series of closes off it is built on the site of the British Fibrocrete Factory which lay largely to the east of this square and fronting on Manor Road.
Eonit Works. The siding from British Fibrocrete curved to meet the North Kent Line. South of the curve was the Eonite Works. They were an engineering company but here they made blocks from pumice aggregate which was sold as a building material. The majority of the works however was in Richmer Road a private gated road to the east of this square.
The southern end of the road which turns westwards is probably on the path of railway sidings which ran into the British Fibrocrete Works.

Glebe Way
Christchurch Hall. Built as a Sunday School and used for a variety of local activities
Scout Hut alongside the church hall.

James Watt Way
This was previously part of Avenue Road
Atrium Court.  This is on the site of the Odeon Cinema. It has 23 flats, a Resource Centre shell and a Young Persons Foyer.  There is a Water Sculpture by Sokari Douglas Camp in hand forged glass and metal inspired by the River Thames.  It transforms when lit up at night
Odeon. Built for the Oscar Deutsch chain, it was opened in 1938 when it was on the corner of High Street and Avenue Road. The frontage was entirely covered in faïence tiles, broken only by long narrow window, just above the canopy. Kt was designed by George Coles in his Ocean Liner style on a triangular site.  The flamboyant sweptback 65 feet high fin-tower, tower with the Odeon name inserted gave it an imposing presence on a prominent site which became a landmark in the town centre. Inside was a Deco style auditorium and on each side of the proscenium were panels with back lit horizontal bands. There were a series of decorative plaster bands along the ceiling towards the proscenium, which were broken only by a light fitting in the centre of the ceiling. It had a central 'island' pay box with the design reflected in the balcony to the circle foyer above.  It was taken over by the Classic Cinemas Ltd. chain in 1967, and re-named Classic Cinema. From 1971, on Sundays only, it became a Tatler Cinema Club playing uncensored adult films. 1973 there was a Mecca Bingo Club operating in the former stalls area, and a cinema in the former circle, Classic Cinemas leased the entire building to Mecca Ltd. from 1974, and the cinema was re-named Mecca Cinema. It closed in 1976 and the Mecca Bingo Club took over the stalls and circle levels. In 1995, it was taken over by the independent Jasmine Bingo Club chain, and was closed in 1996. The building was boarded-up and lay unused until late-2002, when it was demolished. A block of retail units and flats was built on the site in 2005. It is said the developer tried to keep the tower but were unable to do so for structural reasons.
Avenue Congregational Church. This was on the corner with Queens Road
20 Avenue Hall, this was attached to the Congregational Church. It was built in 1850.
Cottage Hospital. This was on the corner with the High Street, The Erith, Crayford, Belvedere and Abbey Wood Hospital had opened in 1871 in the Sun Cottages in Crayford Road.  It was always busy and too small. In 1875 Col. Wheatley, offered this site. It had 12 beds but was too short of money to use them all. The building was cramped, and had only one bathroom for everybody. The staff were housed in cellars near the morgue and Noise was a problem.  In 1922 a site in Park Crescent was donated and the hospital moved there.
4 Erith Trades and Social Club. Red brick building of 10-8 previously the Erith Amalgamated Engineers and Allied Trades Club and Institute.  This opened in 1908 but is now closed due to debt.  There is now new housing on the site.
Morrison’s Store. The weathervane in the cupola, is of a Thames sailing barge. The store was built on the site of coal sidings and transshipment facilities
Prince of Wales Hotel. This was on the site now occupied by Macdonald burger café.
Royal Arsenal Co-operative store with distinctive tower. The Erith Branch of the Society began in 1882 Kent House

Larner Road
Local authority housing in North End clay pit. Now being demolished. The new housing to be called Erith Park
Pretoria House now demolished. It dated from 1967
Cambria House one of the earliest two blocks built on the estate. 15 storeys approved in 1964
Sara House one of the earliest two blocks built on the estate 15 storey approved for construction in 1964. Now demolished
Medina House 1967. Now demolished
Hamlet House 1967.  Now demolished
Norvic House 1967. Now demolished
Verona House 1967. Now demolished

Lesney Park Road,
Developed by the Wheatley family
6 Christadelphian Hall


Manor Road
Cottages. Rows of houses from 1866 and larger houses from the early 1900s on the other side of the road. Those older ones near the Royal Alfred were built for the workers of Easton and Anderson’s, Erith Ironworks.
British Fibrocrete Factory. This was a very large works most of which lay on both sides of the road but largely to the east of this square. The factory dated from 1911 when it was set up to make construction materials using cement and asbestos. It had rail links in from the west with sidings off the North Kent Line. It appears to have become part of Bells United Asbestos group before 1928 when Bells were taken over by Turner and Newall.  The works was demolished in the 1970s. 
Erith Brickworks. This was on the site of what became the asbestos factory. It was worked from 1839-1903 by J.White and from 1900-1915 by C.Norris. 
Railway Bridge where the line from the North Kent line to sidings and the jetty one passed under the road
101 Royal Alfred. This pub dates from the early 1870s and may now be closed.


Pier Road
This was previously Stanley Road.  It is now a pedestrianised area within the shopping centre
Hedley Mitchell’s Department Store. It was this store which was ceremonially smashed by the Mayor to start the Siefert development in 1966. The shop had closed in 1961. Hedley Mitchell was one of 12 children of Lesney Farm owner. He opened a shop in Pier Road in the 1890's, and later purchased other premises until he had a very large site Hedley himself lived in South Africa and the Company was run by Mr. Cope
Ritz Cinema.  This was built in 1926 as The Picture House for and the Sydney Bacon Circuit. It was the first cinema in the local area to show ‘talkies’ in 1929, It was taken over by Union Cinemas, modernised two years later by Percy Brown and renamed the Ritz  . It became part of ABC in 1937. It was demolished in the 1960s and shops built on the site.
70 Bank Chambers. Built for London and Provincial Bank in 1898. From 1901 it was the head office of Herbert Clark, tug owners and lightermen, who had a coal wharf based in Anchor Bay the Clarke family now operate a travel agency from the build.
Wind Wave and Sail Sculpture. Designed by Penumbria Compilers 

Queen's Road
Earth Core Columns by Gary Drostle and Onya McCausland. These pillars feature words and artwork created by children and young people, abouy their personal history as Erith residents and drawings of fossils and finds.

Queen Street
Baptist Church.  Church of 1877 now the church hall with a new church from 1892
South Road
Bridge which carries the roads across the North Kent Line.

Stuart Mantle Way
This road was named in 1945 after Councillor Stuart Mantle

The Nursery
Previously St Martins Vale

Town Square
This now refurbished shopping complex was designed by Richard Siefert in 1968. I was in concrete and pretty nasty. It has been reconfigured as Erith Riverside Centre with better quality shops
Erith Market. This was behind the Town Square and replaced a medieval market which had fallen into disuse. It dated from around 1980. This is now a car park.

Victoria Road
Christ Church. The church is partly built over a chalk pit. It is large with a tower and a stone spire added in 1915. It was built in 1874 by James Piers St Aubyn in brick with some patterning. Inside the walls are covered with murals by Ward & Hughes, 1906-9. Reredos has a painted triptych of the Adoration of the Magi in a c15 Italian style, by A. O. Hemming, 1904. Stained glass by Hardman and Sons, 1875. Windows commemorate the coronation of Edward VII.   
Churchyard. This is mainly grass with specimen trees including a row of Lime trees which screen it from the busy road. It has never been used for burials.
War Memorial. This dates from the 1920s and is a marble cross on a stepped plinth

Wharfside Close`
Erith Gardens. In the 19th these were on the site now covered by Morrison’s’ supermarket. They opened in 1845 . There was a broad walk, archery field, bowling green, conservatory, maze, refreshment rooms and a fountain. It was not a success and was sold on 1874. Beadle Bros. coal merchants took over the site of the gardens from the 1870s.  From 1896 the site was operated by Wm. Cory and Sons ltd.
Pier the Guardians of the Wheatley Estate built a wooden pier going out, 444 feet into the river. This was opened in 1842. Two ships called here from Gravesend/London every day. Following a takeover of the site by Beadles and later Cory’s it was known as ''Cray Coal Wharf'' or ''Cory's'' connected to the rail network although the rails on the Pier were narrow-gauge. In 1957 a new concrete pier was built allowing access to larger ships. This has since been renovated by Morrison’s as a local attraction. It is the the longest pier in London, with many benches and good views along the Thames.
Rail lines. Line which opened in 1864 and connected the North Kent Line with the deep water Pier.
Pier Hotel. This was built in 1844.It was later used as offices and demolished in 1957.
Shuttleworth's ship yard

Wheatley Terrace
This road once ran parallel to the river through the area now used as Morrison’s car park and to the then Easton and Anderson Works to the east of this square.
General Metal Spinners

Sources
Arthur Pewty’s Maggot Sandwich.  Web site
Bexley Civic Society. Walk
Bygone Kent
Chelsea Speleological Society, Newsletter
Christ Church Erith Centenary Booklet
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Erith and Belvedere Local History Society. Facebook page
Erith. Official guide,
Field. London Place Names
Hudson. Archaeology of a Consumer Society
Ideal Homes. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
London Mural Preservation Society. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Pevsner and Cherry. West Kent
Pritchard. A History of Erith
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
UK Housing Wiki. Web site
Waymarking. Web site

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend. Erith

This entry relates only to the south bank of the river in this square

Railway line from London Bridge to Gravesend
The line continues south eastwards

Post to the west Erith
Post to the south Erith


Bexley Road
Bexley Road also seems to be the name of the steps going down to the High Street from Bosworth House.
33 Celestial Church of Christ – this is an old retail, tyre workshop building.
33 Redeemed Christian Church of God, as above

Bronze Age Way
This is the Erith -Thamesmead Spine Road opened in 1997 and named Bronze Age Way after archaeological discoveries during its construction.  It is the A2016.

Chandlers Drive
Modern housing which part of a development called Ocean Park. To the north and west is a succession of industrial buildings based in West Street or Gas House Lane – predecessors to Telcon’s Ocean Works.

Chichester Wharf
Modern housing which part of a development called Ocean Park. This is the old Ballast Wharf siding.

Cricketers Close
This site is near part of the chalk pit used as a cricket ground and where a touring Australian side played in 1884 and 1890

Erith
The name of Erith is thought to mean a muddy harbour.  This harbour developed where prehistoric track ways met the River.

Erith High Street
Lane leading to Erith Causeway
Pilots' Hut. PLA building at the landward end of the Causeway
22 Police Station. This was used by the ordinary police, following the departure of Thames Division from 1994. It is now housing.
River Police Buildings. These are adjacent to the old police station. The Thames Division extended its patrols with a combined river and land stations at Erith in the early 20th.
Hudson Coal Merchants. This was replaced by the police station
Erith Rowing Club. This is now in the old police station. The club was established in 1943, and had a club house behind the Running Horses pub. The old Thames river police station is now called The Boathouse and the club occupies the ground floor of the building for its indoor training and clubhouse.
Kort. This is a family run firm which operates worldwide and is based in the old River Police building. Kort Propulsion was founded in 1935 in Germany but the licence was suspended in war time and became a UK based enterprise. They were then owned by ship repairers R and H Green and Silley Weir, then P and O. And later was a management buyout .The company has international links and is regarded as the best of marine engineers.
32 Stone Court. Housing built in 1985 with replicas of some pre-existing 18th cottages. Behind is a raised walk way with gardens leading to a modern brick block and Anchor Retirement Home. Stone’s barge yard was to the rear.
Mosaic by Gary Drostle. The design for the frieze was taken from the pargetting plasterwork above no 38’s balcony.
40 Cross Keys. Built in 1892, with fantastic decorative features, replacing a 17th pub. May be closed following problems with customers’ horses – said to be renovated as offices.
43 The Crown. This was on the opposite corner to the Running Horses and was destroyed in bombing with some loss of life
44 Potion Bar. This was the White Hart built in 1903 which had a garden with birds and animals to amuse children. It also had a bell in the bar which summoned theatre-goers when the curtain was due to rise in Erith Playhouse. There is a mural on a side wall of a Thames sailing barge painted by Gary Drostle in 2005 as part of a series of public art works in the town
57 Yacht Tavern. This stood opposite to the police station and was demolished in the mid-1930s as part of a road widening scheme. The licence was taken by the Yacht public house in Bexleyheath.
89 Post Office. Built by the office of Works in 1929
Erith Playhouse. This is on the site of the Oxford Cinema which opened in 1913. It was built for W.T. Collar of the Oxford Picture Theatre Co. and had a Classical facade. In 1929 it was taken over by the independent Sydney Bacon Circuit which was in turn taken over by Union Cinemas who closed it in 1935. After in 1939 it was used by Erith Council as a furniture store for bombed out families.  In 1946 the building was leased to the Erith Theatre Guild who got permission to convert it into a playhouse. Following work by the Guild members this opened in 1949 with a new proscenium and stage as well as a scene dock and dressing rooms. In 1973 a new front of house was built and the original entrance and facade were demolished following which was another grand opening. The building continues to house amateur productions of plays and is administered by a registered charity
Riverside Gardens. Public riverside path running from the West Street junction to the PLA jetty entrance.  The land for the gardens was partly given to the people of Erith by William Cory & Son, the coal and barge company. It began in 1937 when the whole sweep of the river could be seen but there were alterations in 1982 to build the flood wall. The William Cory promenade is along the riverside.
Site of Cannon and Gaze flour mill. The original mill belonged to Fletcher & Gaze, who amalgamated in 1892 with Stephen Cannon of Bexley Mill to form Cannon & Gaze Ltd of Erith. New mills were built in 1903, after the original was destroyed by fire. From humble beginnings in a small country water mill, working three pairs of stones, to one of the most prosperous flour milling enterprises in N.W. Kent. Cannon had worked the South Darenth watermill from 1806 and the family continued with other mills in North Kent. By the 1870s work was concentrated at the Old Mill in Bexley and in 1878 Stephen Cannon bought Erith Water Mill. Two years he formed a partnership with Mr Gaze, from a Norfolk milling family. They were to go on to purchase more mills in the area. In 1892 the steam roller mill was built at riverside Erith to more easily access grain from America. It was Built by Kirk and Randall of Woolwich with 4/5 storeys and a turreted tower fronting the street. The milling machinery was by Robinsons of Rochdale powered by Yates and Thorn and Easton and Anderson steam engines.  There was a Davey and Paxman generator set for electricity.  The old Erith Mill remained in the new buildings which were lit by electricity. A joint stock company was formed as Cannon and Gaze Ltd with all the shares held by family members. In 1913 Erith Mill was remodelled on the cyclo pneumatic plansifter system, increasing capacity to 35 sacks an hour. By 1913 they employed the largest fleet of motor wagons in the industry. Most of it was demolished following fire in 1937 to make way for the Riverside Gardens
Running Horses pub. Originally with an address in West Street in 1874 it had been established in 1834 and rebuilt in its present form in 1938. It was badly bombed in 1940 and many killed.
Swimming bath. This was built in 1968, having been designed by Richard Siefert. It had a glass wall, to give a panorama of the river to the swimmers. A mural by William Mitchell showed scenes from Erith’s history. It closed in 2005 and has since been demolished.

Maxim Road
West Street Nursery

Maximfelt Road
During road works engineers found a cave complex - maybe do it yourself air raid shelters.

Mildred Road
Mildred Road now runs down to new housing which back onto Bronze Age Way, which itself is parallel to the railway line. In the past the road was shorter and the new housing is on the site of sidings running northwest ward from the main line, and curving at the bottom of Mildred Road to what is now Nordenfeldt Road, where it joined the line from the chalk pits.

Nordenfelt Road
This is the line of the railway from the ballast pits.

Riverside Walk
Long modern pier for private boats. This is apparently called Monarch Pier.
Naval Storehouse. The ship building industry was integral to Erith in the early Tudor period and a naval storehouse was built under Henry VIII. Newly-built warships anchored here to be fitted out from the storehouse: the most notable of these being the “Henri Grace de Dieu” or “Great Harry ". This was built at Woolwich Dockyard in 1515, and was then the largest ship ever built in England. Samuel Pepys records visits to the town in the course of his Admiralty duties, and John Evelyn came here about the sale of ships captured from the Dutch. The dock is said to have been west of Railway Station Wharf. There was also a gun emplacement erected somewhere on the Erith waterfront.
Upper Ballast Wharf’. This was built in 1842 and worked until 1971. There was a railway line from Parish’s pits which was used for shipping ballast from Parish’s pits in Fraser Road. Also called Parish’s Wharf it was a wooden cross braced jetty built 1900 11.25m wide and 57.5m from the bank. Locomotives from the pit were uncoupled before they reached the wharf and a horse was backed onto it.  The horse then pulled the trucks the 50 yards along the wharf.  The horse was then uncoupled and the trucks continued alone. A man then fastened a chain under the trucks and as the trucks hit the end of the wharf the tipping mechanism was released – and the sand fell into the hold of the waiting ship. The truck was then pushed back to the siding by a lad. The assembled trucks were then returned to the pit by the locomotive. Later this system continued with lorries which also were not allowed on the wharf.  The wharf ceased working in 1971, but a white lantern tower remained as a land-mark. The cricket pavilion could also be seen, with an engine shed and fitters' shop and an old forge in a long low building. Now all gone, last to go was the engine shed.  The cricket pavilion was burnt down in the 1970s.    Parallel to this was a standard gauge line going to Fraser and Chalmers.   There was also an old wooden house used by the Venture Scouts.
Railway Station Wharf.  This was previously called Lower Ballast Wharf and was used for shipping ballast from Parish’s pits in Fraser Road between 1808 and 1842. A large structure built here with a slipway extending out into the mudflats indicates the presence of ship building or repair work. In 1897 it was renamed ‘Railway Station Wharf’ and it was cut back into the river bank in 1900 when its working side was 50m long. It was later used by Vickers and by Fraser and Chalmers up to the 1930s. It was rebuilt in concrete in a 1977 as a river walk way topped with railings.
A site which thought to be the location of a submarine pen but this has largely been disproved by research
Thames Steam Sawmills. Opened in 1898 by Beadle Bros.with their own riverside wharf built 1897 - 1909 a network of encircling railway or tram tracks. The wharf itself had  was built after the river wall and apparently cut through it. A previous slipway had gone being replaced with a covered entrance to the river with an pair of dock gates. hames Steam Saw Mills built a wharf by 1909 which seems to have incorporated the existing wharf. The site was taken over by Venesta for wood laminates and partitioning in 1949 and a new building erected cutting back much of the wharf area. The works closed in 1995.
Chandlers’ Quay housing is on the site of the saw mills and surroundings.
Cannon and Gaze.  Old Wharf used for the flour mill fronting on hr High Street. There was accommodation for ten 250- ton barges alongside the mill,
William Cory Promenade – this fronts the Riverside Gardens in the High Street
Erith Causeway.  This is a landing Stage first built in 1909 for tenders for ship crews. It was renewed in 1951 and then in 1970. It extends into deep water at low tide and includes a 175m long 2.5m wide Jetty currently used as a landing stage by Erith Rowing Club. It was previously used by the river police. It is said to be owned and maintained by the PLA and the PLA once had a wooden office building at the landward end.
Ferry from Erith to Coldharbour Point. Thought to have been there in 1512.
Stone Brothers Barge Yard.  Operating from Chalk Farm Wharf, they were the main sailing barge builders in the Erith area also operating a lighterage and tug business. The yard was behind the Cross Keys pub and the wharf built in 1890. Stones, also based in Brightlingsea, were the first barge builders to fit a steering wheel, rather than a tiller, to a barge.

Saltford Close
Bosworth House. This is a 15 storey tower block approved in 1967 and completed in 1971.  It has 56 flats.

Stonewood Road
Stonewood Road is roughly on the line of what was Station Road, accessing the station from the junction of the High Street and West Street before the building of Bronze Age Way. Parallel to it ran the line from the Nordenfelt works to the river at what became known as Railway Station Wharf.
Erith Station. The South Eastern Railway's opened their North Kent Line between London Bridge and Strood via Blackheath and Woolwich in 1849. It had a double track and at Erith there were two staggered platforms.  There was a brick building designed by SER's architect Samuel Beazley on the down side and a goods shed was located at the London end of the down platform. On the up platform was a timber shelter. After 1900 more facilities were provided on the up side platform. There was a water column at the Dartford end of the ''down'' platform. A riveted-steel footbridge was provided by the Southern Railway in 1935 and they also put a valance on the main buildings canopy. The platforms were rebuilt by the Southern Railway in the Exmouth Junction-produced prefabricated concrete and re lengthened in 1954 for ten-vehicle EMUs. . In the 1990s, the single-storey extensions of the station building were demolished, the old brickwork restored, and the taxi forecourt re-laid.
Goods Sidings. There was a goods siding from the start at the Dartford end of the up platform. In 1898 a second set were opened at the Dartford end of the down platform, with a cattle pen. The domestic goods yard closed in 1968. ,
Standard gauge lines.  By 1900 a line looped under the station through a tunnel, linking two armaments works to a railway wharf on the Thames. These joined the South Eastern Railway network by way of the freight sidings built for the goods shed on the ''down'' side.  A spur from the Nordenfelt works ran parallel to the narrow gauge line and used the tunnel under the main line
Narrow gauge line A 4 ft narrow gauge line belonging to Parish passed under the North Kent Line beyond the London end.
Signal Box. This was installed in early 1870s next to the timber shelter, behind the siding. It was without a brick base but had a chimney and sash windows.  Another box was later built next to it. In 1970 the South Eastern Railway designed box from 1890 was closed, and its functions taken over by the Dartford Panel. The original ground structure from the 1870s remained there for the next ten years.
Garden on the roundabout with plinth and interpretation panels.
Baths. The open air swimming pool was on the corner with Walnut Tree Rd and opened n 1907 with a display by the Erith Swimming Club. The pool was damaged by a land mine in 1940. It never reopened to the public but was still usable by clubs who could book it.  It could no longer be properly filled.

Walnut Tree Road
Built by Erith Urban District Council as part of the Erith tramway project. It allowed trams to go from West Street up towards Northumberland Heath
Walnut Tree House this was a big house in grounds where John Parish, of the local loam pits, moved in 1876. It was named for a line of Walnut Trees which had led to the Manor House. He held parties for the district's old people. The estate was acquired by Erith Council in 1900 who laid out Walnut Tree Road and built the generating station, tramshed and library
Tram Depot built for Erith Urban District Council in 1905. Proposals for an electric tramway were agreed in 1902. This included a plan to build a new road through Walnut Tree House Estate and a site for the depot. The existing power station had to be doubled in size for the extra equipment. The depot for 16 cars was built on o the West side of Walnut Tree Road opposite the powerhouse. It had four roads and entrances with a 19 foot clearance. There was a berthing shed and attached maintenance workshops. . In 1933 the undertaking passed to the London Passenger Transport Board. The Erith cars continued running until 1935 when they were replaced by trolleybuses. It was demolished in 1980 and nothing is now left.  The site is to be used for a new Community College.
Generating Station built by Erith Urban District Council in 1903 initially for street lighting. It was a basic 2 storey brick building at one end opening into a hall with five Westinghouse/Bellis generators. To the back was the boiler house with 5 Yates and Thorn Lancashire boilers. It was extended as part of the tramway scheme. In 1927 it was replaced by a cabled supply from Woolwich but continued as a substation. It was demolished after a fire in 1998.
Community College building opened 2015
Town Hall. A two storey brick building built in 1931-2 to the designs of Harold Hind, surveyor to Erith Urban District Council. It was refurbished and given a mansard roof in the 1990s. Used as offices the old council chamber for the Urban District remains with a domed ceiling.
Erith Museum and Library. This was built by Erith Urban District Council in 1906 and designed by W. Egerton in red brick and funded by Andrew Carnegie. There is a cupola surmounted by a bronze sailing ship weathervane. Inside are two war memorial plaques to individuals. On the porch floor is a mosaic with ‘Labour overcomes all things’.  The building has not been used as a library since 2006 and is currently apparently unused.
Erith Museum. In 1931 E. Bridgstock Choat, offered his services as honorary curator for a museum. Part of the library basement became a Museum in 1934. In 1959, the Museum the Carnegie Trust and the Erith Borough Council financed alterations to the first floor and the Museum moved there. As part of the London Borough of Bexley Erith Museum was turned into a Museum Study Centre for schools in 1974. Schools found it difficult to get to Erith and the Museum was closed. It was reopened in 1983 after repairs and redecoration with a new lay out. The Museum was closed by London Borough of Bexley in 2014.
Tram siding protected by the longest level crossing gate in Britain.


West Street
Level crossing for the railway from Parish’s Pit to Upper Ballast wharf which was probably laid at the time the wharf was built. Horses were used at first, but steam had taken over by 1881. Talbot took over the pit in 1932 and they went on running the 4'0" gauge railway until 1957. The lorries which replaced it were not licensed for road use and continued to cross West Street by the old level crossing which It survived for many years with its control box and a standard gauge siding. Traffic was warned of the locomotive about to cross by a bell.
Crossing from the Nordenfelt works by railway which had run alongside Station (now Stonewood) Road and gone to the Lower Ballast Wharf.
71 house once used by J.Stone, barge builder.
105 Erith Youth and Family Centre
110 The Ship. Sports pub. This dates from the 1860s

Sources
Archaeology Data Services. Web site
Arthur Pewty’s Maggot Sandwich. Web site.
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Bexley Civic Society. Walk 
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Bygone Kent 
Chelsea Speleological Society. Newsletter
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Erith official guide
Erith. Official Handbook
Erith Rowing Club. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Kent Rail. Web site
Kort. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
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Pevsner and Cherry. South London 
Pevsner. West Kent
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Reilly Country to suburb 
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Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
Thames Police Division. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames
Woolwich. Antiquarians. Transactions