London Local History - this lists street by street items of historical interest - public, industrial buildings & some environmental features in London and its immediate surroundings. Streets are given in OS grid squares - but numbering is not included (sorry!). Older squares give links to adjacent squares - but many are unfinished. Enter search words above right
Betchworth TunnelThis 385 yard tunnel was constructed
western end of Betchworth Park. Itsopening was delayed by falls of sand during itsconstruction in 1867 and twenty
years later theroof and
walls gave way, causing the tunnel tobe blocked by running sand. The repairsnecessitated the closure of the
tunnel for sevenmonths
A large number of bollards and rails exist
around Dorking. Many were installed by the Dorking District Local Board
(embossed DDLB) with later ones by Dorking Urban District Council (embossed
DUDC) which was formed in 1895 to administer the same area. Of the 200 plus
bollards some have various embossings, for example, a lady's leg and thigh, a
key, a founder's name. Some were designed as lamp columns or fire hydrants.
With renovation to the paving around the town the use of cast-iron bollards is
continuing. Some of the new pieces are embossed 'Dorothea'.
` Deepdene Mansion. The Dorking Manor was owned by the Howard
family, the Dukes of Norfolk, and the house was built by Charles
Howard, Duke of Norfolk in the 1760s. In 1808 it was sold to Thomas
Hope, who was extremely rich and who added orangeries, conservatories, a
library and extended the estate. It was later the home of Tyer who owned
Vauxhall Gardens. In the 1920s the estate was broken for housing and the house
became a grand hotel but the London Road bypass ruined the gardens. It was
occupied by the Southern Railway in the Second World War and used by
over 500 railway staff .It was demolished in 1967 and a modern office block built on the
family mausoleum buried to roof level.
Tunnels extend up to 100 feet into the hillside. One from under the house
seems to have been built through to a hillside to a vista. One tunnel goes from
a brick summerhouse and the two tunnels in the grounds probably pre-date 1939.
They were enlarged as wartime shelters and stores.
Two large tunnels are in parallel with a single joining crossover. It has
three entrances and the railway used it for an underground telephone exchange-
switchboard dehriosremained. The
tunnels were lined with concrete and corrugated iron wuth Railway track used
fors roof supports. a spiral staircase from the end of the longest tunnel to
the surface served for both escape and ventilation. It emerges into a small
brick structure surrounded by a fence. There was also anoher crossover tunnel.
East Cave.This tunnel is a single
drive about 85 ft. long which increases in cross-section asa it progressed. The
far end is of unlined sandstone and ther is an escape shaft in the domed roof
which admits daylight. This seems to have been used as a rifle range.
Ice house. Now in the grounds of Kuoni
House. built to look like a small temple approached by a flight of steps. It is
Close to the tarmac road, and ther is a substantial lined underground chamber
via a flight of steps.
Embassy Cinema. It was on the site of the
car park of the council offices at Pip Brook. It seated 1,290, was opened in
1938 as the Gaumont. When it closed as a cinema in 1973 it became a meeting place for Jehovah's Witnesses until
it was demolished in 1983.
Dorking Halls These halls in Reigate Road
were built in 1930s by a private company who got into financial difficulties
and sold out to Dorking Urban District
Council in 1946. They are still run by the local authority. A number of sandpits, which are no
longer worked, may be found around Dorking. This is an example
Watermill Restaurant. Close to the original
mill buildings. There are two unconnected caves in the bank some 30ft.
apart.They are both of some age
and are lined with lichen.The east
cave is some 10ft. high and wide and is 20ft. long. It is unlined. The west
cave is of .similar dimensions and 30 ft. long. It has a brick entrance arch
and the first few feet are brick-lined.Probably dug for storage and now in use as garages.
Post to the south Woodside Post to the east Birkbeck Post to the north Anerley Albert Road This road is the earliest built here, first listed in 1855, and although the Croydon Canal was no longer in use it influenced the alignment of the road. From the junction with Portland Road looking the curve of the road reflects the line of the old canal which was to the north of the houses. It is named after Albert, the Prince Consort. 74-76 Stanleybury . Very large three-storey semis. Built for William Stanley, who moved to 74 in 1867. William Stanley’s works in South Norwood was complimented by his local philanthropy. His site is now a close of modern flats. Accidentally demolished. 67 small trading estate and MOT centre . At one time this was home to a theatre transport specialist. St.Mark . This was the first church in the area and is the parish church by G. H. Lewis. The nave was built in 1852 and the church was extended in 1862 and in successive years until 1890. It is in Kentis
River Lea/Bow Creek The Lea winds itself generally southwards towards the Thames TQ 39505 81448 Canning Town on the Essex bank of Lea/Bow Creek. This was, and is, a heavily industrialised area together with a very down market housing area with markets, shops, cinemas, pubs and many charitable and missionary organisations. In the 2000s public transport has been transformed and much housing renewed, and it is an area in a great deal of change. Post to the west Poplar Post to the south Leamouth and Dome Post to the east Canning Town, Butchers Road Post to the north West Ham Station Appleby Road The road is named after a local ARP warden who was killed during the Blitz. A pre-war suburban ideal is demonstrated in this West Ham estate. Barking Road It was built by the Commercial Road Turnpike Trust from the East India Docks eastwards. Now the A124 it formed part of the original A13 before the building so the East Ham and Barking Bypass in 1928. It was widened as part o
Post to the west (north west quarter) Mile End Post to the west (north east quarter) Post to the east Bromley by Bow Post to the north Old Ford Addington Road Addington Arms . Pub dating from the 1860s. It does not appear to be still there. Police stables . From 1938 twenty horses were located here. These stables were built in moderne style white concrete by police surveyor Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. There is a stable at the back as well as tack rooms and a chimney for the forge – there was a full time farrier. Above are two flats for married police officers. The white concrete wall is original. Alfred Street 1-5 Inland Revenue Office . Sold off 1981. Has been used as a college an as offices Almshouses Way, This was once called Priscilla Street. 1 Drapers' Almshouses . These were built in 1706. What remains is a brick group of four tenements with central raised and pedimented chapel. They were restored in 1982 but were originally part of a larger group funded by