Thursday, 12 November 2015

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
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.

Tor
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.

Sources
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

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