Thames Tributary Ravensbourne - Catford
The Ravensbourne and Pool meet here and then flow northwards towards the Thames
TQ 37755 73712
Busy area of central Catford, with the Lewisham Civic Centre and a street market. Surrounded by suburban housing, playing fields and pleasant parkland
Post to the north Ladywell
Post to the south Bellingham
Brick bridge over the Ravensbourne – this may be the original on the old line of Catford Road.
Catford Bridge station. 1857. Between Lower Sydenham and Ladywell on South East Trains. Opened on the Mid Kent Line and retains its original Italianate entrance building on the 'down' side. It is yellow brick and two storey Italianate. The building on the ‘up’ side, with the covered steps up to Catford Road, was added c 1870. In 1968 there were floods, water all over the platforms. Burnt down in 1993 and rebuilding and renovation moved the ticket office.
Goods yard. Houses built there. Closed March 1968.
Features in films 'Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter’.
61 Priory Court. New housing on the site of Priory House School, this was Sangley Farm, 19th villa
Corner houses on Forster Estate roads have prominent features, to proclaim the entrance to the estate.
Fire hydrant iron pavement cover. Made by Ham Baker Co.
St.Laurence. a replacement church for one built in 1886. It is an octagonal church by Ralph Lovell, of 1968. It is built of red brick, with a clerestory of stained glass, and a concrete roof and tower. The Lady Chapel has an open steeple with a concrete base and a bell from the old church of 1897. There is stained glass by Beton of Belgium to designs by Carter Shapland. The Stations of the Cross are paintings by John Collins 1982. In the Lady Chapel is a wood carving of Martyrdom of St Laurence by Samuel of Kenya 1975.
Laurence House. Car park was the site of the older St. Laurence church built 1887 and demolished in 1968. The church developed from a mission hall in
107 South Metropolitan Gas Company demonstration house
1 ABC cinema, opened in 1913 as Central Hall Picture House, and outlasted other cinemas in Lewisham. Closed 2005.
The area was part of the 1261 Genes estate and belonged to the College of St.Laurence Poultney in London. The road was not created until the late 1870s, with the demolition of Priory Farm.
Eros House. Designed by Owen Luder, 1962 and it is one of the brutalist towers built around the fringes of London in the 1960s. Called Eros after the cinema once on the site – it replaced the Hippodrome Theatre and the Gaumont Cinema. The Hippodrome was where Adelaide Hall sang all night during the bombing,
Sculpture outside Eros House. The Water Line by Oliver Barratt. It is inspired by a time when a river ran through Rushey Green, and was jointly commissioned by Desiman Ltd, who own Eros House, and the Creative Lewisham Agency.
4 Holy Cross Catholic Bookshop
23 Salvation Army. In their usual style
16/18 corner building with a turret, of 1912. Above an upper floor window is an inscription 'Nothing without industry'. It was built as a branch of the Bromley & Crays Co-operative Society. It is in part used as we Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Was Berlin Avenue
Power league Sports field for Banks Athletic club. War memorial in the clubhouse
Probably does really mean ‘the ford where the cats are'. The name is first noted in 1254 when the area was owned by the Abbey of Ghent. The ford was across the River Ravensbourne through what was once woodland. Catford was a small rural hamlet before the coming of the railway in 1857. Catford Bridge, now also the name of the station, is on the site of the original ford and the bridge is on maps from the early 19th.
Catford Broadway begins with two curved terraces built in the 1880s. There is a street market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday. There were Catford Floods so the road is a causeway.
Spring at the junction of Catford and Rushey Green Roads., It flowed north to the Ravensbourne but was probably diverted for various ornamental gardens. It flowed to join the stream in the High Street. The stream vanished when the bed was pierced.
Lewisham Town Hall. This complex is the result of piecemeal replacement of a Victorian vestry hall. In 1931-2 an extension was added as a theatre offices and shops. In the late 1950s a curved block of offices was added and in 1969-71 the Civic Suite
Town Hall. Had been built in 1875 and was demolished in 1968. It had been designed and built by George Elkinton, Surveyor to Bermondsey for the Lewisham District Board of Works. It was enlarged in 1899 and was demolished in 1968.
Civic Suite 1968. The entrance hall is dominated by a mural in Italian marble tesserae by Hans Ungeri Eberhard Schuize. Council Chamber.
Lewisham Theatre, called Lewisham Concert Hall until 1984 was built in 1932 by Bradshaw Gass & Hope. It is a curved stone building and an art deco interior.
Green in front with Pensive Girl, a sculpture by Gerda Rubinstein 1994.
Milford Towers. Council flats, of yellow brick. Now included as part of the shopping centre
Shopping Centre a mix of open and covered spaces by the Owen Luder Partnership, 1969-74.
Catford Hill Riverside walk
The Ravensbourne is joined here by a stream from Forest Hill which is now in a pond.Old bridge over the old channel.
Laurence House with a narrow glass canopy all round. It is on the site of the old St Laurence Church.
Terrace of 1927
Drinking fountain in memory of Michael Whitehill. Gone and also previously moved in the 1950s.
Copperfield. Large Tudor-style pub once called the Railway Tavern.
Holbeach School. Red brick London School Board building of 1901, towering over the surrounding streets; the upper part is a mix of gables and turrets.
Penfolds Manor was Lodge to the school with a projecting tower
Features in films 'Small time Obsession’.
138/148 five died bomb 6.September 1940. The rescuer got the George medal.
Site of Down Fields, a path crossed it
Extending from Culverley Road to Newquay Road this was built from 1903 long sequences, of gabled Edwardian houses.
The section of the road immediately entering Rushey Green was called the Retreat. It was once called Elizabeth Place then was "Retreat House" standing back in a small garden
Holbeach Baptist Church. A simple Gothic church, built 1883 as a Mission Hall, which then developed into St Laurence Church after 1887, and became a Baptist Church in 1954.
South Metropolitan Gas Company lamppost.
Sewer vent pipe. Ornamental and made by Stones
Catford Mill was demolished c 1890 when the railway was built. It was roughly on the site if Wikes/There is some railway brickwork in the Wickes site. The westward diversion may have been to peovide a head of water for the mill. Weir on the river here and a long narrow mill ond with boats.
Ravensbourne Park Estate
Laid out to the north of Catford Bridge from 1825, but very slow to develop. There are some early survivals.
The area was laid out as a high-class estate from 1825, spaciously planned but little remains of this
3-7 & 11-15 built by 1835
7 now part of a terrace with a modern block. c1830,
11 has a door case with Doric columns; c1830
15 have a porch c1830 and is linked to The Cottage, which is late 19th.
25/27 early 1870s,
60-62 stucco Built 1825-30,
Ravensbourne Park Gardens,
A private green for the estate.
Riverview Park Road
20-40 31-45 bombed 25.June 1944
Probably named from Richard’s Green, mentioned in a will from 1544. It is also ‘Rushet Green’ in 1544 and ‘Rushy Green’ by the 17th. This comes from Old English ‘ryscett '- ‘a rush bed, a place growing with rushes'. This area near the Ravensbourne would have been marshy in early times. There was a mansion here called Rushy Green Place in the early 16th and it was a hamlet in the 16th
120/124 The upper floors were built 1830, but they need to be seen from the opposite side of the road.
88 The Rising Sun, a mock-Tudor pub of 1937, with Tudor chimneypots and twisted brick door pillars. Closed.
Horse trough by the pub 1830 with pump
Priory Farm, formerly Rushey Green Place. Roughly on the site of Ringstead Road. Water feature or pond here.
109 London For Rye. A second generation Wetherspoon’s - completely open plan with no - partitions or alcoves. In a parade of shops
141-145 Queens Hall Cinema. Adacent to the Hippodrome. 1913, still going strong in the 1930s.
Rushey Green Place.
Entrance to The Catford Centre, by Owen Luder 1969-73. A large black and white cat draped over the entrance sign
Hand pump. On the green by the road junction. 1850s.
167 Black Horse and Harrow. There has been a pub on this site since 1543 and the present building dates from 1897. It has recently been called ‘The Black Horse’ and “The Goose on the Green” but its original name is shown in the facade. There are granite columns along the ground floor, grotesque carved stonework and a corner turret. The stables are now used as a garage and car park
Horse trough by the pub 1863.
Original entrance to Black Horse pub, 1923. Used by Timpson’s' silver buses – they were horse & travel agents with 18 double deckers on 47, 53 & 75, and other routes. They also covered Westerham & Bromley, with premises in a 19th century horse tram depot. This became London County Council in 1902. The South Eastern Metropolitan Tramways building from the 1890s, with living accommodation for the manager over the arch has been demolished.
Catford Island. Behind the pub created by the South Circular Road one way system
Toilets gents and ladies with a vent with three gas lamps.
The Pound was in the area of Farley Road.
Old homestead of Sanguil Manor House whose old kitchens were still there in 1910. Sangley Road was Cokeshead Lane. The Farm called that and also White House Farm. It was called Sandhurst Road then
127 Common house for many years, in 1910 weather boarded house,
St.Dunstan's College. Founded by Henry VI in 1446. Built on land owned by the church – the Parish Field in 1632. The site of the pond was a common field called Clangours. It was part of the grammar school part of St.Dunstan in the East, 1883. This building is 1888 E. N. Clifton, a large, serious terracotta-trimmed Gothic front in the style of Waterhouse. Dining-hall of 1961, with a dramatic roof , 1961 by Vemer Rees, Laurence & Mitchell,, Central gable flanked by turrets, prominent chimneys. The top floor was originally designed for boarders. Large hall behind. Window by Lavers, Westlake & Co. with St Dunstan and craftsmen. Swimming bath 1955 by W. Fraser Granger, library and science laboratories 1957, pavilion 1959 by Verner Rees, Laurence & Mitchell, music block and science laboratories 1972 by Austin Vernon & Partners.
Catford Station. 1st July 1892. Between Bellingham and Crofton Park on South Eastern Trains. Gives its name to the Catford Loop Line, which was opened in 1892 as a diversionary route between Nunhead and Shortlands on the main line from Victoria to Orpington. The present station building is modern, of 1971, and leads up to modern platforms on an embankment
Elmwood. A house of 1736, but hidden by a mid 19th extension with ironwork. The core of the old building can be seen, but partly hidden by 20th extensions. Built by Nelgarde Dogget. It was adjacent to Catford Manor with a large pond which in 1844 was connected to a flow from Springfield.
Staggered terraces built 1972, LB Lewisham
Road bridge over the Ravensbourne which is in a deep concrete channel.
9 Catford Ram. Pleasant split-level pub within Catford Shopping Precinct. Popular with market folk and town hall staff at lunchtimes. Local history prints on the wall.
Barton. Lost Rivers of London
Black Horse. Web site
Catford Ram. Web site
Cinema Theatre Association. Newsletter
Clunn. The Face of London
Field. London Place Names,
Lewisham History Society. Journal
London Borough of Lewisham. Web site
Nairn. London's Modern Buildings
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St. Dunstan's College. Web site
St. Laurence. Web site