Riverside south of the Thames and east of the Tower. Barrier
This posting covers only the part of the square on the south side of the river. The north bank is Silvertown
Post to the east Woolwich Dockyard
Post to the south North Charlton
Post to the west Charlton Angerstein
This was originally called Marsh Street and was built by John Long on the south side of his riverside property in 1808–9. It turned at right angles to a new river landing. This area is now an industrial estate with many buildings in use by arts projects.
17-21 Siemens office building. Built in 1911–12 using the Kahn system. This was a five-storey telephone-equipment factory with an engineering shed behind. It included a laboratory and experimental rooms for engineers. Siemens Brothers took out the first British telephone-exchange related patent in 1913.
17 is now a Chinese performing arts centre
25 junction-box factory built 1925–6
34 Siemens building for training in the use of radar and radio equipment built with Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Co. Ltd. And preferred to Manchester
37 Siemens factory for making rubber-coated copper-wire cable. It is five-stores and remains as built when it was one of London’s largest factories. The building was designed by Herbert and Helland, and it has a reinforced-concrete interior and flat roof on the Kahn system which allowed half the wall surfaces to be given over to steel casement windows. There were five-ton capacity electric travelling cranes on the ground floors.
Siemens factory for armoured power cables built in 1923. Designed by Southey with polychromatic brickwork.
Siemens reinforced-concrete cable shop to which A single-storey machine shop was also added, Laboratories and experimental workshops were unified, and garages and bicycle sheds were built for a workforce that had grown to more than 9,000 on a site that now covered thirty-five acres.
Westminster Industrial Estate. The site was bought in 1971 by the Westminster Construction Company to let as a trading estate. The Greater London Council later bought the complex and leased it to the Co-operative Insurance Society. Siemens’ buildings were largely retained around Bowater Road and the larger ones used as factories. There were also clearances and large standard single-storey sheds were put up in the 1970s between Westfield Street and a new road to the north called Faraday Way. More recent use includes artists’ studios.
Part of an estate built in 1908 by William Cory and Co, for their workers. They were sold to Greenwich Council in 1983. Derricks were the cranes used to convey the coal on a hulk called Atlas.
This was previously called East Street and lined with low quality housing. . It is now all industrial – car breakers and metal workers.
Standard House. Let out as office locations
Barrier entrance. Controlled entrance to the Thames Barrier estate
Hardens Manor Way
Manor way built as 'Ardens Man Way' in the 16th century as part of marsh drainage scheme. Hardin was a local far. This was a toll road and causeways across the marshes. It is now a private road with restricted access. The southern end as well as the northern end is now a footpath through the park.
United Services Tavern. Pub from the 1840s since, demolished
Barrier Arms. This ex-pub was previously Lads of the Village, renamed 1979. It was built about 1830, rebuilt in 1899, and then bought by Mann, Crossman and Paulin. Closed and become a vets business.
Manor Arms. This was a Beasley's pub built about 1880. Rebuilt in 1925 but closed and demolished when Siemens closed
Tram electricity substation built
Siemens, Three-storey red-brick block. This was built on a bombsite by Siemens between Harrington and Bowater Roads.
Siemens machine shop built 1937. this was extended in 1957 as a rack-wiring factory, and is now a warehouse.
Barrier Gardens. This is a flat linear north-south park on land on part of Siemens Brothers Telegraph Works. In the 1980s Greenwich Council got funding from the Greater London Council to landscape it. This consists of beds planted with native trees and shrubs and amenity grassed areas.
This is now a cul de sac and parking area along the riverside with restricted access
Siemens - Nothing remains of the original Siemens building of 1863, which was in Harrington Way. However, ranges of buildings from 1871 to 1899 remain on the south side of the road. These are now in use as an arts complex
Mellish Industrial Estate. Long’s Wharf and Warspite Wharf were unified in the early 1970s for A. W. Mellish Ltd, rice millers. This is now an Industrial Estate, in a range of four sheds with a brick face to the river. Since 2009 the estate has also incorporated Trinity Wharf
Second Floor Studios. It was founded by Matthew Wood and Kelvin O'Mard who had met at Goldsmiths College. They opened in Greenwich High Road in the old Merryweather factories, but in 2009 moved to Mellish Industrial Estate. Emafyl Properties, the site owners, agreed to support the expansion of the artists' and crafts maker studio provision and this has led to just over 390 artists' studio being developed
The Reach. This claims to be London’s biggest climbing wall. Around 50 lead climbs, plus 650 square metres of bouldering surface and a 4-metre-high boulder.
Siemens, The west end of the site between Bowater Road and Harrington Road was used to manufacture equipment such as galvanometers and Morse-telegraph and laboratory instruments.
Siemens. In 1892 an electricity generating ‘central station’, said to be the first of its kind for the electric driving of a factory, was formed on the south side of the road. Siemens probably accounted for a third of total British electrical and telegraphic production
Previously North Street
Siemens. Siemens had a large building on the corner with Westmoor Street.
House of Praise Charlton branch. A part of the Redeemed Christian Church of God
3 The raceway. Go Kart Racing. Bunker 51. This is under the House of Praise and claims to be a decommissioned nuclear bunker offering paint ball and other games. This is probably the massive foundations built for the glassworks factory.
Dome shaped structure built as a salt store
Trident House Johnsen and Jorgensen Ltd. Thames Wharf. This was a glass works. Founded by two Norwegians who came to England to sell Arctic products in 1884. They became involved with Scandinavian glass works interests. They imported glass bottles and then built their factory at the end of Herringham Road. Their factory needed 300 octagon piles of concrete to build. Bottles were then imported from Scandinavia. They became the biggest producer of phials in Europe made with tubular glass imported from Germany. They also made glass tableware in the 1930s and along with United Glass made the majority of wine glasses used in pubs and hotels. In the 1960 they began plastic moulding and made bottle closures. In the 1960s they opened a big new factory and by 1970s were the biggest manufacturers of glass ampoules in Europe. However their big warehouse was expensive to manage. The factory closed in 1981 and the 1920s buildings demolished.
Silicate Paint Works. The company had originated in Widnes as J.B.Orr and Co. with another works in Glasgow. In 1872 they set up in Charlton making a white pigment called Lithopone as ‘Charlton White, and also making Duresco the first washable distemper. They were renamed Duresco in the 1930s.Lithopone ceased manufacture in the 1950s. In 1963 they were taken over by British Dolomac and closed down and moved to Abbey Wood.
Maybank Ltd. Maybank Wharf. Maybanks took over the Silicate paint site. They were waste paper merchants who came here in the 1950s initially on the old tram depot site. In 1964 they built a factory on the paint works site in Herringham Road. This was a vast operation for processing waste paper and was eventually sold to Reeds. There are still recycling firms on the site.
45 Lafarge Tarmac. Riverside Wharf
New Lydenburg Street
Trading Estates – New Lydenburg and Ashleigh. In the 19th this was lined with low quality housing.
Hiroshima promenade Nagasaki way – these names given to the riverside walk in the 1970s no longer seem to be used.
Charlton ballast wharf. This was east of Anchor and Hope Lane and handled sand from nearby pits. It was associated with the Glenton Railway which ran down parallel to the east side of Anchor and Hope Lane from pits on what is now Charlton football ground.
Telegraph wharf. This was east of Anchor and Hope Lane and was owned by Johnson and Phillips, electrical engineers of Victoria Way
Thames Wharf jetty built for Johnson and Jorgenson. And ran 150 feet from the bank with an arm at right angles. There was a railway crane for unloading
Wharf for Johnson and Jorgensen built lower than Thames wharf and used for unloading smaller vessels.
Thames Barrier, The north-west corner of the Siemens site was cleared from 1972 for the Thames Flood Barrier, built by the Greater London Council in 1974–84. This includes a public riverside park include a disused ticket office and river landing stage, a café and information centre, and a visitors’ learning centre; a tented rotunda-like building used for exhibitions has been demolished.
The Barrier. There was a decision to build this in 1953 after the disastrous Thames flooding. It is the largest moveable flood barrier in the world designed for the Greater London Council by Rendel, Palmer & Tritton. Work Began in 1972 and was completed in 1982, and first used 1983. It is a third of a mile long and runs across four main shipping lanes and is made up of 10 separate moveable steel gates of 3,000 tons each which lie on the river bed. Between each gate are concrete piers housing electro- hydraulic equipment sheltered beneath elegantly shaped stainless steel forms. There are shell-like hoods of stainless steel - seven large ones each facing a smaller one. Ships can pass through the four wide gaps between the central piers controlled by navigation lights. The final decision for closure lies with the Thames Barrier Duty Controller. The barrier is closed under storm surge tide conditions to protect London from the sea. It is also closed during periods of high flow over Teddington Weir to reduce the risk of flooding in west London. It remains closed until the water level downstream is at the same level as upstream. The barrier has closed 175 times between 1982 and April 2015.
Promenade. There is a out promenade on the south bank which goes in a tunnel under the Control Building,
The Visitors Centre is to the south of the cafe. This is now an information centre, which is not always open.
Halletts' Panorama of the City of Bath. This was there at the time when the barrier was more promoted as a visitor attraction. It has now gone
Russian submarine. Foxtrot U-475. This was moored here for a while. It had been acquired after the break-up of the Soviet Navy and has now gone.
Howlett Barge Yard. This was a barge building and repair business founded in 1897 by William Howlett. Working with his son they repaired many vessels, but the lease expired in 1937 and the son went to work for the Admiralty.
Long’s Wharf Clark, a timber merchant from 1806–had a wharf west of the sand wharf. This was taken over by John Long, who had the sand and chalk pits on the site of the modern Morris Walk Estate. It had an eight-acre river frontage. It was also the site of a second Castle ship breaking site where figureheads removed from the old ships were displayed. It was taken over in the early 1970s for A. W. Mellish Ltd, rice millers, who were about to lose their premises in central Woolwich. It is now the Mellish Industrial estate
Royal Iris. This wreck is lying on the mud against the sea wall. She is a former Mersey Ferry built by William Denny & Brothers and launched in 1950. During the 1960s popular bands are said to have played on her in Liverpool. She was taken out of service in 1991. In 2002 the vessel was towed to a berth on the river awaiting a possible refit as a floating nightclub. This never happened and she just sits there rotting with constant interest from the river police.
Swimming bath. Built by the Marine Society on a river frontage in 1861 designed by G. A. Young, architect. The baths were vacant by 1908, but not demolished until the 1940s.92
Rigby’s Wharf. Occupied in the 1850s by T. and C. Rigby, Westminster builders,
Halen and Richbell. Steam-driven rocket factory from 1848. This was on the site of Long's Wharf
Siemens Brothers. Up to the 1960s this works covered most of the area covered in this positing. Siemens Road was named after them,
Siemens Brothers’ telegraph and telephone works. In 1863 the firm relocated a five-year-old submarine- cable business from Millbank, to here. Karl Wilhelm Siemens had come from Prussia to England in 1843 as a young man to develop initiatives and inventions in electrical engineering. Karl Wilhelm was the London agent to his brothers’ Siemens and Halske based in Berlin and then a partner in an independent English subsidiary for which J. S. Newall & Company made cable. William Siemens’s move here allowed his firm to begin to make its own cable. In 1865 the company reformed as Siemens Brothers. This was the first German multinational in Britain and profits soared. One of the biggest early projects was the Indo-European telegraph from Prussia to Tehran, and in 1873 the Platino-Brasiliera cable. The works almost tripled in size in 1870–4. The ground was covered with mostly brick sheds within which cable was made. There were also engine and boiler houses, offices, landing sheds and secondary workshops. The southern block included workshops for the refinement and storage of India rubber and gutta-percha -. The southernmost range of this block survives. Western part housed a gutta-percha masticating shop, the central and eastern parts rubber cleaning, mixing and core covering. There is still a three-storey former core-tanks building of 1873 .they were also involved in electric-arc steelmaking. In 1881–2 an imposing three-storey and thirteen-bay office and showroom block went up at in Bowater Road’s and to the rear along Harrington Road, armouring and lead sheathing workshops were added in 1898–9, The eastern parts of this complex survive. In 1954 Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) Group, took over the whole company. The Woolwich factory was then mainly engaged in making electro-mechanical Strowger telephone exchanges for the Post Office. GEC, the Woolwich works in early 1968.
Telecommunications mast. This stands almost exactly where a tall chimney that served the Siemens works stood until 1969.1
Barrier control. The Port of London Authority’s Thames Barrier Navigation Centre co-ordinates the safe navigation of 33,000 vessel movements through the Thames Barrier every year. It does this 24 hours a day, 365 days a year using aids including radar, Thames AIS, electronic charts, VHF radio and CCTV
Sculptures made up of items of equipment used during the construction of the Barrier. There are two tremies, or funnels of the pipes used to pour concrete into the pier foundations. There is an anchor and chain used for mooring the concrete sill units.
The road is now entirely a trading estate and light industry.
Siemens. In 1925 there were enlargements of the battery department, between Siemens Road and Westfield Street. In 1930 Siemens introduced the ‘neophone’, replacing the ‘candlestick’ form with one that became ubiquitous for decades – a semi-pyramidal black Bakelite base with a circular dial and a cradle on top for a bracket-shaped handset. To start with these were made exclusively at Woolwich.107
Prince of Wales pub. 1830s built beer house. Thus was badly bombed and Demolished in 1947
Siemens. There was further Siemens building her in the 1950s, erected at right angles in 1956 as a labour and welfare centre using recycled materials from the site’s air-raid shelters
Bird. Geography of the Port of London,
Borough of Greenwich Local List
Docklands history Survey
Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. South London
Second Floor Studios. Web site
Smith. History of Charlton
Spurgeon. Discover Greenwich and Charlton
Spurgeon. Discover Woolwich
Subterranea Britannica, Journal
Survey of Woolwich
Transactions of Greenwich and Lewisham Antiquarians
UK Government. Thames Barrier. Web site
Woolwich Architectural Trail