Thames Tributary Ravensbourne - The Quaggy -Hither Green

- TQ 380 749
Thames Tributary Ravensbourne
The Quaggy continues to flow northwards to meet the Ravensbourne

Post to the west Ladywell

Post to the east Hither Green

Beacon Road
Named from Beacon Lodge.
Hither Green Primary School. opened in 1885 although a temporary school had opened on the site in1882 most children remained there throughout their school life. There were three departments. Infants on the ground floor. Boys on the first and Girls on the second. At the end of the Second World War, the school was used to accommodate Colfe's Grammar School pupils, whose school had been bombed. There are cast iron railings which survived salvage collection during the last war.
2 an old stable loft. A reminder of the days of horse and cart.
Cast iron plate cover to a water hydrant Seagers Ltd. Dartford
VR pillar box.
Shops, with mouldings above the windows. This site was once the site of a villa, Highfield Cottage, later rebuilt as Beacon Lodge.

Campshill Road
62 Sir John Morden.Closed

Courthill Road
62 Queen's Arms. Closed
117 Hansbury's Free House. Used to be an ordinary Whitbread local.

Davenport Road
This land owned by the Stoddard family

Dermody Road
Dermody Road and Gardens named after an Irish poet who is buried in St. Mary's Churchyard.
Ennersdale School. Dates of building and the ascription to London School Board and its initials LSB. A typical 'three-decker' Board School where originally Infants occupied the ground floor, the boys the middle floor and the girls the top
Last house bears an obliterated name stone at first floor level. In good light the old street name 'Ennersdale Road' can still be seen.
32 Holly Tree

Duncrievie Road.
North Park farmhouse. The farm land went far as Brownhills Road. West of Hither Green land was South Metropolitan farm. 300 acres belonged to Earl of St.Germans and sold for building in the 180s. 15,000 people there by 1910
Ennersdale Road
The Quaggy is straightened at this point and the backs of the houses go to the brook.

Farley Road
48 Elsa Lanchester born

George Lane
This land was owned by the wealthy influential family of Stoddard, in whose farmhouse the 'George Inn' was established in the eighteenth century.
28 is a more substantial, originally detached house
18a, 20, 22 cottages weather boarded in 1910 some shops are a group set back behind long gardens. c.1815
30/32 c. 1815
127 a plaque commemorating the famous sisters Margaret and Rachel McMillan. At the turn of the century, Margaret started the McMillan Infants School at Deptford, and Rachel was responsible for improved medical inspection and hygiene in schools.
Old farm 18th.
The Maples, John Aird. 1890. Pond in front of the house, dried up during the 19th

Hether Grove
Post war council buildings, many like them replaced because of low construction standards.

Hither Green
Name dates from the 18th century and covers the area of what was in medieval years called Romborough. It is spelt ‘Hether’ or ‘Heather Green’ in 18th- parish registers and ‘Hether’ or ‘Hither Green’ on 18th maps. ‘Hither’ may mean 'nearer to Lewisham' in view of a neighbouring Further Green recorded from the early 19th. From around 1600 when the woodland was cleared this was an area of nursery gardens and then posh houses from the 1780s. As a village it had only a few cottages and the Spotted Cow. The Scottish street names come from the estates built by Cameron Corbett, as a ‘another Hygera- ‘a garden of Eden’, with no pubs About 3,000 houses were built in the area by Corbett.

Hither Green Lane
An old country road. It runs along the crest of the high ground between the Ravensbourne and the Quaggy, and is thus a natural boundary and a right of way.
Green - Outside the hospital gates was the 'green' of Hither Green, which was enclosed in 1810.
Hither Green Hospital. Two dwellings. Lower Mount Pleasant and Wilderness House stood here. After their demolition in 1896 the Park Hospital for infectious diseases was built and opened in 1897 by the Prince of Wales. The building was typical of its architect Thomas Dinwiddy with castle-like turrets, and red brick-work. WAITING ROOMS' and 'DISCHARGE ROOMS' were carved into the brick-work on the first building with 1896 and the letters MHB. There is a water tower. It was transferred from Metropolitan Asylums Board to London County Council Hospital. The hospital later became known as Hither Green Hospital, and was no longer limited to infectious disease cases. Bombed in September 1944 when there were difficulties with shelters because of infectious patients. One man got the George Medal for rescuing a nurse. Demolished.
St.Swithun. Parish Church. The first building on the site was a Mission Church, from 1884 which is now the church hall. The main church was completed in 1904; by Ernest Newton. The interior is plain with a carved reredos and pulpit, erected by the Girls Guild in 1907. Both these and the choir stalls were the work of Messrs. Wispelaere of Bruges. The organ is from Blenheim Palace, bought from the Duke of Marlborough. It contains a display of modern art. Gladys Cooper, the actress was baptized here.
Catford School buildings
Campshill housing estates 'Campshill House' and ‘Southfields’ are built on the site of a large mansion known as Camps Hill. It had been built about 1823/4 on land managed by the Mercers Company on behalf of Trinity Hospital, Greenwich. The owner, and builder, was Henry Lee, who, with his brother John, had a brickfield on Loampit Hill from 1793. They had been involved in speculative building, in the City and locally. Henry lived here until he died in 1837. His son John sold it in the late 1850s, to a wealthy shipping family.
Spotted Cow. Old pub. Now housing.
Green. There used to be a small 'green' outside. Wide verges along Hither Green Lane, which represented the bulk of the common land of Lewisham enclosed under the Lewisham Enclosure Act in 1810. There is no public house along Hither Green Lane after the 'Spotted Cow'. The estate was developed by Cameron Corbett, an advocate of abstinence.
Park Cinema. More recently has been Sailsports or Kids Cabin on the corner of George Lane. The distinct architectural outline of an old cinema. Once the Park Cinema with a seating capacity of 500, and affectionately known as the 'flea-pit'. It opened in 1913 and finally closed its doors in 1959. After remaining empty for many years it was repaired and modernised, but despite the alterations it still retains its old cinema characteristics, including a canopy.
174 photographic works. Later Slee London Electrical Equipment Co.Lrd.(Lanier Works) miniature precision spot welding.

Hither Green Station
Hither Green Station 1st June 1895. Between Lee and also Grove Park and Lewisham and also St.John’s on South Eastern Trains 1895. It was opened on the South Eastern Railway mainline, 7 miles from the terminus. It is Typical of the worst period of station building on South Eastern Railway and very bleak. It was built on an existing junction – the Hither Green junction that had been formed some thirty years earlier at the point where the Dartford Loop joins the Tunbridge Line, with special platforms for the Loop. Originally there was a booking hall in Springbank Road which was built to serve the St. Germans Estate- The redbrick gateposts are still visible outside the timber merchants which now occupies the site. The original stationmaster's house survives at 69 Springbank Road. The main station building was built in Staplehurst Road. There was the Special offer of free season tickets from the station line to Dartford in 1900. In 1936 on the down side there used to be a constantly fuming rubbish pit, now levelled. The Station bombed many times, and people died June 19.44. In 1974 a new booking hall was put between platforms 2 and 3 via a ramp from a foot tunnel
Subway. A red line painted on the wall of the main subway, marks the position of the Greenwich Meridian of zero longitude. You can at this point stand with one foot in the Eastern and the other in the Western Hemisphere. Painted murals were the work of local children. They are ‘signed’ Ennersdale School. Entrance was in Springbank Road
Houses built all round the station soon after it was built.
Chiltonian Biscuit Co. started in this area.

Lanier Road.
Site of a villa with a duck pond, the home of the Spring Rice family. Their name is perpetuated in the nearby Springrice Road.

Leahurst Road
Natural river at the bottom of gardens here but subject to floodding

Lewisham High Street
295 Streete House, the Hire Shop, home of Joshua Morton, and later Methusalem Davies. It was originally Parish property called after Mr.Streete. It was built in the 18th with money left to the parish by Humphrey Streete in his will of 1628.
299 - 301, Olby’s. The last remaining example of a house once common in the High Street. Built 1791.
300-314 18th terrace altered in the late 19th with modern shop fronts.
305 solid, c1876.
307- 313 modern block, late 1930s, with decorative mosaic tiling
312-314 wooden shop front
315-317 the oldest shops in the High Street. Originally a house c1700, with dormer windows, and a large chimney. H. E. Olby, builders’ merchants.
316 Fox and Firkin, was the Black Bull. A rather jolly facade of 1907.
Horse trough at Black Bull Public House
318-324 are two large pairs of 1904,
315-9 in the front garden of a house built late in the 17th or early 18th
Swimming Baths, 1963-6 by the Borough Architects Department.
Lewisham United Reformed Church, a ragstone church by J. Tarring in 1867, with a landmark spire. It was formerly Lewisham Congregational Church. The interior was destroyed during bombing. Behind is a Sunday School of 1880, now the church hall. It was Built on the site of the Rookery, which was an 18th house demolished in 1847. All of this area was a nursery garden - headquarters of the Lewisham Nursery
Metropolitan Drinking fountain

Lewisham Park
Opened in 1967... This was ‘Lammas’ or ‘half year’ land. It is on the Site of Southfield. The land was enclosed for half the year to grow a hay crop. After it had been cut, the land was thrown open for common grazing. This generally happened on 1st August which is Lammas Day. It is 42 acres & allotments. It was later owned by Dartmouth Estates. Commons rights were lost in an enclosure act of 1810, and the land went for building in 1840. It was laid out in the 1850s as a large private square for the residents. Eventually in 1965 the private square became a public park. The depression in the centre was a gravel pit.
15/30 stock brick pairs with doorcase, of c 1890.
31/52 are gabled red brick houses of 1905.
65/67, pile built for the St Mauritius Housing Association 1995, with the centre tiered upwards to a circular tower and a zigzag shape along the front and sides
78 is the sole mid c 19- survival of the original development.
War Memorial a white obelisk 1921.
Pitman's College 7.9.40 destroyed

Longhurst Road
Quaggy on its east side.

Manor Park Recreation Ground
Entrance from Weardale Road steps. Quaggy forms the western boundary

Nightingale Grove
78-82 Davis Bros. sheet metal works. 
Wooten Coaches garage - uk wide coach tours

Romborough Way
At the end of Romborough Way, a footpath climbs steeply. About half-way along this footpath are few steps.
Medieval name for the area. It occurs in the documents as Romburgh, Ronburrow, or Rumbelow. ‘Rumbergh’ 1241, that is probably 'the wide hill or barrow', from Old English ‘rum’ and’ beorg.’ This was an important hamlet but it seems likely that the whole population was wiped out in the Black Death. Now a road in Lewisham's first council estate, built in the early 1920s.
St.Mary's School. This complex incorporates the oldest surviving school building in the Lewisham area, and looks like a rural school. The building with twin roofs is the original St Mary's School of 1833, extended in 1860 when it was divided into the boys’ and girls’ schools. Behind is a modern block of 1975. In 1860, the teacher's house and the infant school were built.
Open Space. Top of Romborough Way in the housing estate.
Obelisk. It is dated but there is no other inscription. Local tradition is that it is a memorial to an animal erected by former owners of the house.
Steps at end into Hither Green Lane

Ryecroft Road
Name perpetuates the name of the field which it succeeds.
Footbridge over a railway is an old right of way
Old cast iron dated Lewisham Parish boundary posts on the bridge.
Sir David Brewster Pub. Seems to have been named because of the association of the name 'brewster'. Sir David Brewster (1781-1878) was a Scottish physicist who appears to have had no local connection

SpringBank Road
Cast iron inspection cover in the ground small marked J. STONE & CO., LTD., DEPTFORD, the famous local engineers.

Springrice Road
Name of local family
South Metropolitan Gas Co lamppost
Entrance to Hither Green Station and station master's house

Station Parade.
9, Paladin Plastics Ltd., plumbers’ merchants, was once a cinema. It opened in 1913 as the 'Globe', and was renamed 'The Playhouse' in April 1914. By 1915, T. 0. King & Son, biscuit bakers, were here, and one of their products was a special ration biscuit made for the army. The firm later moved to premises in Manor Lane, and eventually became the Chiltonian Biscuit Company. On one side of this building is camouflage paint from the second world war.
Telephone boxes in different styles
2 Corner shop on other side has ‘Market Place’ on a name stone. This shop has always been a chemists, and at one time a surgery as well. Dr. (later Lady) Edith Summerskill's father, William, had his practice here during 1913 and 1914.
'Station Hotel' public house a nice example of Victorian-style architecture; this is dated 1906. Built as a hotel and the only pub in the area because of the religious views of the developer
Bench mark, 9 feet to the right of the Saloon Bar and 1 foot above pavement level, clearly visible in the brick-work. made by the Ordnance Survey, and reference to 25-inch and larger scale maps to the mean height above sea level at this point.
Vicarage 1692, with old bricks from Lewisham House
row of shops dated 1905.

Smith, G. Hither Green. The forgotten hamlet


jeff hilson said…
What about the three tower blocks at the foot of Lewisham Park? Old maps show three separate structures implying that the developers built directly on top of them to 'replicate' in some way the former layout. Any idea what these former structures might have been? On one side of the park there seems once to have been an infant poor school too...

Great blog by the way...
Anonymous said…
Five sets of large Semi-Detached villas were demolished to make way for the 3 tower blocks.

I think the houses were built been 1855 - 1865 and a map produced in the the early 1860's have shown own 6 of the villas.

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