Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend - Thamesmead

Railway from London Bridge to Gravesend
The railway continues eastwards

Post to the east Yarnton Way

Abbey Way
This footpath leads for from Southmere to the Lesnes Abbey ruins and the woods. It is mostly on a ridge, created using soil excavated from Southmere. It is carried by bridges across main roads and the railway line.   It is described as a linear park.

Binsey Walk
The earliest residential buildings in Thamesmead were built here as a linear block of maisonettes and old people’s accommodation. The construction method turned out to be inappropriate for industrialised construction methods.  These early homes were restricted to having no ground floor rooms because of by-laws against flooding. This area has now largely been demolished.
Newacres Library. Thamesmead Library managed by Bexley Council. This has now been demolished and a new library is planned.

Boxgrove Road
Mulberry Park Childrens' Centre. This includes Grace Neighbourhood Nursery.
Boxgrove Primary School. The school has recently been extended.

Corraline Walk
The earliest residential buildings in Thamesmead were built here as a linear block of maisonettes and old people’s accommodation. The construction method turned out to be inappropriate for industrialised construction methods.  The first show house on the estate was here, and the first residents moved into an adjoining property in 1968.
32 The Barge Pole. Pub

Eynsham Drive
Thistlebrook Industrial Estate
1c Freda Powell Centre, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals. The hospital opened in 2001 funded by Jim Powell in memory of his wife, Freda . Freda and Jim Powell grew up near Eynsham Drive, where the PDSA PetAid hospital, stands.

Felixstowe Road
Lyndean Trading Estate
137 African Community Centre

Great Marsh
From Erith marshes stretch westward to Plumstead, below the high water level of the Thames and kept from flooding by the river wall. little creeks run through it. The marshes were a grazing ground with alluvial clay 4 to 10 feet thick above a peat bed, full of trunks and roots of as 'submerged forest'.
Plumstead parish included 1000 acres of marsh between Crossness and Woolwich Arsenal. In 1279 the abbots of Lesnes enclosed a great part of the marsh and in following years a commission was set up which included the Lord of the Manor. Nevertheless there were great breaches in the wall and terrible floods ensued.  Following the reformation is was difficult to identify the monastic land and various commissions followed. Effective drainage and river walls were eventually put in place.

Harrow Manor Way
On the east side are some of the original system built Thamesmead flats. Because of Bexley by law about flooding of ground floor habitable rooms had to be on the first floors and it became too expensive to complete.

Kale Road
St John Fisher School. Small catholic primary school

Lensbury Way
Bexley Referral Unit
Pathways Short Stay School
Church of the Cross. An ecumenical church shared by the Church of England, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church

Seacourt Road
Willow Bank Primary School. Now an ‘academy’.


Southmere
Southmere. The largest of the Thamesmead lakes – this square contains only the southernmost tip.

Tavy Bridge Centre
Shops and community rooms along a on a windswept plaza and the first local shopping centre, built in 1972. This has now been demolished and is being redesigned and rebuilt.
Lakeside Health Centre. Attractive angular by Derek Stow & Partners, 1970-2, dramatically jutting out on piers over the shallow southern corner of the lake. Quite dramatic

Thamesmead
Built from the mid-1960s and planned by the London County Council as a self contained community rather than a suburb. Altered as building fashions changed. Thamesmead was built as part of the new Labour vision. Although it was aimed to provide homes for 60,000 people, it never achieved its target.

Thistlebrook
Thistlebrook Travellers' Site. Built 1967. The Plumstead and Erith marshes has been a traditional camping ground for Travellers. Their horses used to be seen in very great numbers on the marshes here, The Travellers were very badly affected by the 1953 floods.  The council provided a site for about 54 caravans on a site planned in conjunction with the Gipsy Council.

Wilton Road
Abbey Wood Station. Opened in 1849 it lies between Belvedere and Plumstead Stations on South Eastern Trains. It was built by the North Kent Railway, along the line of land where the marsh and river cliff meet. It was managed by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway from 1899, and in 1923 it became part of the Southern railway. A new station was built in 1975.  The station is again is being rebuilt in preparation for Crossrail for which it is to be terminus of one of two eastern branches and will offer an interchange between terminating Crossrail services and existing Southeastern services

Sources
Abbey Wood Station. Wikipedia. Web site
Boxgrove Primary School. Web site
Bygone Kent
Green Chain walks
Greenwich Historical Society Journal
Ideal Homes. Web site
London Borough of Bexley. Web site
London Borough of Greenwich. Web site
London Encyclopaedia
North West Kent Family History Society. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. Kent
Spurgeon. Discover Woolwich
Spurgeon. Discover Erith and Crayford
Wright. Thamesmead. Back to the Future

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