Thursday, 30 July 2015

Riverside on the north bank and east of the 'Tower. Grays.

Riverside east of the Tower and the north bank. Grays
TQ 61272 77961

Town Centre of this old, downmarket, riverside town

Post to the west Grays
Post to the south Northfleet Terminal

Argent Street
The Theobald Arms. Two-bar, family-run local in the rejuvenated riverside area of Grays, opposite the Town Wharf. Former stables at the rear. It was previously called the Hoy and was recorded from the 18th. It is named after a James Theobald who is a past owner of Belmont Castle.
Shefield House. In 1870 this 3-storey house built in the late 17th, became the infirmary and staff quarters for the Training Ship Goliath, in the grounds were a playing field and swimming bath. They were later used by the boys from the Exmouth. It stood near the Town Wharf, and the site of Theobalds Arms, east of the High Street and from the 17th was the principal house in the town.
The Castle. This was present in 1854. This pub is no longer in existence
The Tops Club. CIU social club, in long low brick building which either it or its predecessor is shown on maps as far back as the 19th.  Now designated as a site for new housing.

Bridge Road
57 Spring of Life Chapel, Gratitude Plaza. Part of the, originally Nigerian, Redeemed Church of God.  This is probably the Pentecostal church of the Assemblies of God built originally in 1937 and called Clarence Hall.
New Recreation Ground - Football ground. This was on the west side of the road. Grays Athletic played here from 1906 to 2010. It had previously been used by Grays United. In 1981 the Club Patron, Mr. Ron Billings, bought the ground to ensure the future of the club but after his death the club was unable to negotiate terms with his family, and the ground was redeveloped for housing
Bricklayers Arms. This probably dates from the late 19th, but it does win competitions for its floral displays.
Congregational chapel. This was opened in 1886, at the corner with New Road. In 1941 it was gutted by incendiary bombs and the congregation moved elsewhere. 
Congregational chapel opened in 1858 and sold as an extension to the brewery in 1885.
Co-op Milk Depot. This was used as a Home Guard base in the Second World War.
Thurrock Brewery.  The Thurrock brewery of Seabrooke & Sons was founded in.1800 by Thomas Seabrooke, in High Street. The family had previously had a brickmaking business. The brewery was moved to an old soap boilers premises in Bridge Road in 1819. It remained in the hands of the Seabrook family throughout and they had other business interests, early on they ran a shipping line to Newcastle. By 1929 the brewery employing 180. had its own railway sidings, an artesian well, a wharf on the Thames and owned 120 public houses., they were taken over by Charrington & Co., which closed the brewery which was demolished in 1969. The main premises, later used by the Grays Co-operative Society, were demolished in 1969
Co-op Laundry. The old brewery buildings were used by the Co-op as a laundry until demolition in 1969.
New housing on the site of light rail and tramways going to the riverside and tidal pools.

Bruce’s Wharf Road
Alexander Bruce were timber importers with a wharf on the river near here. The site was acquired by the forest products group Montague L Meyer in 1951. It had previously been a pole and sleeper depot with creosoting facilities. It had an open concreted area with undercover storage. There was a modern transport fleet
Coal Court
Modern housing on site where coal was handled when it was a real wharf
Columbia Wharf Road
Modern housing on a road near to the shipbreaking site
Wards Wharf. Wards are a Sheffield based machinery manufacturer who also acted as scrap suppliers to Sheffield metal workers, having ship breaking sites in a number of port areas.  The site here had access to the rail system and their own locomotives. Boats were driven up to the wharf from the River and were cut up, along with other vehicles and vessels. The scrap metal was then transported by rail to various steel makers

Conway Gardens
Modern housing on the site of Drum’s Oil Drum Works. They had been there since 1926 but from 1900 the site had been the The Rock Manufacturing Co., makers of patent plaster and cement.  During the Great War a factory there had made plywood for the Government and subsequently it was used by N. Kilvert & Sons, lard refiners

Crest Avenue
Modern housing on the site of a sports field – this seems to have been the Co-operative Society’s Sports Ground.

Crown Road
Bus station

Derby Road
The long bridge over the railway was built in the early 1970s as part of a scheme of town centre regeneration conceived in the 1960s.

Exmouth Road
The road was named after Training Ship Exmouth which was moored off Grays 1876-1979 to teach seamanship to boys.
Long Ferry. In the 17th Grays was served on every tide by the 'Long Ferry' boats to and from Lion Quay which was downstream of London Bridge. But at Grays passengers had to be rowed out to the boat which was out in the tideway.
Short Ferry. This was owned by the Lord of the manor and had run since at least the 12th. It is thought that originally it went from a piece of drier land jutting out into St.Clement’s Reach but eventually it went from Town Wharf. It was leased out from about 1600 and lessor had to have three tideboats and one wherry and for it always to be available when wanted. It was still running in the mid-19th.

George Street
This town centre road dates from the 1890s and the period shortly before that
Post Office built here in 1930
State Cinema. Opened in 1938 the building remains in much of its original state built by Fredericks Electric Theatres Ltd. to the design of F. G. M. Chancellor of Frank Matcham & Co. It is equipped with a Compton 3Manual/6Ranks organ with Melotone attached and a ‘Rainbow’ illuminated surround. It has a fully equipped stage and 3 dressing rooms and there was also a restaurant. It closed in 1991. In 1993 the foyer was used as a nightclub and there were occasionally concerts. In 2001 it was bought by Morrisons to allow them to build on the car park and once they had done this they did minimal repairs and it was sold to a property company. Much of the organ has been stolen during break ins.

Goldsmiths Wharf
E. J. & W. Goldsmith were barge builders and hauliers. As one of the foremost barge companies on the river they built and repaired barges, as well as running their own fleet until the late 1970s. They had 147 vessels at their peak built to have interchangeable sails and said to be the largest fleet ever assembled. In addition to haulage they also had racing barges

Grays Co-operative Society Wharf
The Co-op used this for coal imports.  The co-op also imported wheat for use in their bakery which was near the riverside.
High Street
The High Street originally ran down to the river.  It was realigned in 1973 and the bottom end called Kings Walk.
Bull.  This was also known as the Bull’s Head. It dated from at least 1679 although it had been refronted it the mid19t when a window from the market house was installed. It was demolished in 1970.
The Anchor and Hope. Thus was previously called the George and dated from art least 1727. It was closed in 1960 and demolished in 1970
78 The Rising Sun. Also known as The Sun, and later The Mess. Dates from at least the late 18th. It is now a doctor’s surgery and clinic.
The Queen's Hotel. At the corner of Orsett Road and once the largest public house in Grays. This was originally called The Green Man (or Man and Bell). It was gutted by fire in 1890, and rebuilt. It closed in 1979 and became a Macdonalds.
Dutch House. This was a 17th gabled house demolished in 1950. It was the first building used by the Grays Cooperative Society.
Level crossing. This cuts the High Street in half. It is by the station and the gates need to be opened and closed nearly 100 times daily.  Various solutions have been sought and not implemented.
The King's Arms faced the Market Square with big windows. It dated from at least the late 18th
St.Peter and St.Paul's church.  This 12th church was ‘restored’ in 1846 and it is said that older features were removed.  There are many memorials including two 16th brasses including women and six children and a memorial tablet from 1870 to the memory of the schoolmaster and boys who died in a fire on training ship Goliath. The north porch was built as a war memorial in 1958, including the 12th doorway, removed in 1867, but had been preserved in a local garden. Recent work to the church has included a kitchen and toilet.
The Pullman. This was previously the Railway Hotel, dating from 1863
The Empire Theatre. This opened in 22nd 1910 with films and variety it had 800 seats. It was owned by Frederick’s Electric Theatres Ltd. It closed in 1941 for re-furbishment, re-opening as a live theatre. In 1942 and was requisitioned by the Ministry of Food and after the war, it became a greengrocers store, then later a Tesco. It was demolished in the 1960’s, and the site is now a Boots Chemists
The market place. This was at the south end of the road.
Livestock market. This was opposite the church but by 1843 the site was a timber yard.
Kings Walk
This was originally part of the High Street
The White Hart. The pub is said to date from 1791. The current building was constructed in the 1930s.

London Road
St. John’s Ambulance. Grays building

Maidstone Road,
62 Thurrock Targeted Therapeutic Service.
Gurdawara Grays. Sikh Temple. This is in an old works building
Local authority power station. Grays Thurrock Urban District Council opened an electricity works here in 1901. In 1948 this passed to the Eastern Electricity board. The site is now in other hands as Thurrock Enterprise Centre. There was also a mortuary on site

New Road
Thurrock Municipal Buildings and Civic Centre
Echoes. East of High Street, at the far end of New Road, was the Echoes, built c. 1869, which was for long the home of Charles Seabrooke the brewer. It was demolished in 1966
Pier Wharf
The wharf  was developed in 1841 with a pier 400 feet long, to ensure that passengers could now catch ferries at whatever the state of the tide and not have to transfer into smaller transfer boats for access Associated on either side of the wharf, were many companies operating along the foreshore of Grays, some had their own river facility for brining in raw materials or transporting the finished products.
Cole and Lequire. Firm of cornfactors and seedsmen, begun by a Henry Cole who in 1890 took over the corn merchants' business of Leonard W. Landfield and with their own fleet of purpose built sailing barges worked from Pier wharf until 1922 or later

Seabrook Rise
This was once part of New Road
The Regal Cinema. This opened in 1930 as Thurrock’s first ‘super-cinema’, with luxury furnishings, and a ‘Symphonique’ organ. The auditorium was in a semi-Atmospheric style by Fredericks Electric Theatres designed by F.G.M. Chancellor of Frank Matcham and Co. It had variety shows and there were six dressing rooms. It closed in 1960 and became a ten-pin bowling alley. It later became derelict and was demolished in the mid-1960’s. There is now housing on the site

Seally Road
Area of trading estates and supermarkets. This is built on the line of an industrial railway going to riverside works. Part of the surrounding site was a brick works.
Station Approach
Grays Station. Original intermediate station of London Tilbury and Southend line of 1854.  Roman remains may have been found when the stationmaster's house was built.

Thames Road
The Beach. This was first put forward as a possible feature for the town in 1902 as part of the Grays Coronation Committee suggestions for the coronation of Edward VII and that money should be raised for a public baths. Land was acquired on the riverside following this suggestion but there was some local dissent. The committee recommended a scheme which included fencing, an open air swimming pool and lake plus a children’s cricket ground, bowling green and for other games as well as trees, shrubs, seats, a shelter, a store and WCs. In addition there would be a memorial fountain.  Work began on digging the lake and putting up fences. It opened in 1905 with a big ceremony. By 1912 the pond was open daily for swimming. The beach was covered in sand brought in from Great Yarmouth. The fountain was vandalised and removed by the Council for safety. In 1999 the pond was filled in with sand and new playground equipment was added.
Kilvert's Field. This was at the south end of Sherfield Road and was also known as Fishers Field,
Co-op’s coal yard, this was behind their bakery. It received coal once a month from a collier ship.
Exmouth Swimming Pool. This had been the pool for Training Ship Shaftsbury and open to the public at certain times and days. This swimming pool was originally to provide formal swimming training for boys on the training ships. It was accessed via a slipway from the swimming pool. It was repaired in 1907 when it was transferred to Exmouth, as was the swimming pool - although it was thought it could be turning it into a rifle range but it remained as a pool
Kilvert's Wharf. Thurrock Yacht Club. The club was begun in 1946 and has been active ever since. The current clubhouse dates from 1973. Previously the clubhouse had been an 18th lightship called "The Gull". This was uneconomic to repair and its light mast was saved and is now at the top of the slipway.

Town Wharf.
This dates back the middle ages and was closely linked to the Lord of the Manor who also leased the rights to the ferry and to wharfage dues. The earliest reference to Grays Wharf is a complaint by the Prior of the Hospital of Jerusalem against unreasonable access and tolls by Richard de Gray, Lord of the Manor in 1228. Gray first purchased the manor of 'Thurrock' in 1195, from Isaac, a Jew. Their surname was later adapted in to the name of the parish, Grays Thurrock. A public right of way exists to one side of Grays Wharf allowing pedestrian access to the river front/

Training ships
Goliath. From 1870-75, the Forest Gate School District had a ship called the Goliath moored here, It provided boys from all London's Poor Law authorities with training to help them enter the Royal or Merchant Navy. The ship was destroyed by fire in 1875 with the loss of twenty-three lives
Exmouth. In 1877 The Exmouth took over from Goliath managed by the Metropolitan Asylums Board. Exmouth was an old wooden two-decker line-of-battleship, built in 1854. In 1903, the ship's hull was condemned. A replacement built of iron and steel, was commissioned from the Vickers in Barrow-in-Furness. It was inaugurated at Grays in 1905 where there were also on shore facilities
Training Ship Shaftesbury was established in 1878 by the London School Board, as a good way of dealing with problem boys. They bought the former P&O Nubia to be renamed Shaftesbury. She was moored near Exmouth. Boys were taught seamanship in addition to ordinary lessons. There was a major incident when she broke away from her moorings in a storm and then moved to Greenhithe. 1904, when the London School Board was closed and the ship needed extensive repairs, she was closed along with the school in 1905.

Vicarage Square
Site of the Exmouth Infirmary, which fronted onto West Street

West Street
The original market was at the south end, at right angles to the street. The west part of this had the market house or town hall. The market house was rebuilt in 1774 and it was a two storey building, on columns, with open ground floor and court house above. It later became a Congregational church but was demolished in 1824
T.S. Exmouth Infirmary. In 1907 the Metropolitan Asylums Board bought the Shaftesbury's Infirmary from the London County Council. The existing Infirmary moved here with 34 beds. In 1930 the London County Council took over control of the Training Ship. In the Second World War the cadets and crew were evacuated to Burnham on Crouch and the Exmouth was requisitioned by the Admiralty for use as a depot ship. The area has been completely redeveloped and nothing remains of the Infirmary

Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
British History online. Grays. Web site
Children’s Homes. Web site.
Cinema Treasures, Web site
Down-London Tilbury Southend,
Grays Athletic. Web site
Peaty. Brewery Railways
Pevsner and Cherry. Essex
Port of London Magazine
Seabrook Family. Web site
Thurrock Council. Web site
Thurrock History. Web site
Thurrock Yacht Club. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames
Walford. Village London
Workhouses. Web site

Monday, 20 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and north bank of the River. Grays

Riverside north of the river and east of the Tower
TQ 60743 77616

Acres of indentikit modern housing on old industrial sites with no sign of anything except houses. One old pub, some defunct chapels

Post ito the west South Stifford
Post to the east Grays
Post to the south Broadness

Argent Street
Built across the site of a former cement works
Cement works – making Shoobridge Anchor Brand. 1871-1922 . This originally belonged to Brooks, Shoobridge and Co, then from 1900 Hilton Anderson Brooks and Co. Ltd and from 1900Associaed Portland Cement Manufacturers (Blue Circle) but it was known as Brooks or Anchor Works. At first there were three wet process bottle kilns but the works expanded considerably.  Despite being next to the main railway to Tilbury, it had no rail link, and used barges for haulage. The site was derelict until after the Second World War when it was redeveloped for industry. It is now under housing
Gumley Road
Recreation ground

London Road
312 new housing on the site of what appeared to be a small chapel, latterly in use as a dancing school.
Gas works.  This was set up by the Grays Thurrock Gas and Coke Co. Ltd. In 1853 it became statutory in 1884 with an original site on the south side of the road adjacent to the railway. It was taken over by the Gas Light and Coke Co. in 1930. They were connected to the railway system via the Cement Company's system and are also said to have had a wharf on the Thames. Until 1913 had been a small company operating only in Grays and Tilbury but they then took over four small works in south-east Essex which they closed down. Their districts were connected to Grays by a then new system of steel mains taking gas to many isolated properties. The works output trebled in ten years and so the retort house was rebuilt and stoking machinery introduced as well as a Carburetted Water Gas plant. The works was extended to the north side of the road and holders built there, probably in the late 1920s.  They were closed by the Gas Light and Coke xi in 1931 but the site remained as a gasholder station. The original site on the south side of the road appears to have been in other use for many years, the site on the north is about to be redeveloped.

Wharf Road
Chalk Row. Cottages which once stood on the east side of Wharf Road south of the railway
The Wharf Hotel. This is shown as ‘The Wharf Hotel’ on maps from the 1890s and possibly earlier. It is said to have once been called the ‘Sailors Return’.
Rail and tram lines once ran from sidings on the main London-Southend Railway south westwards. One line ran to the north to serve the cement works beyond and others ran down to stop short at sites west of the hotel.
Ulmate of Ammonia Works.  This was on the site of the later cement works in the 1860s. This was probably a works making some sort of fertiliser from manure.
Malthouse. Marked on maps from the 19th century to the east of the hotel

Wouldham Road
New road which covers some of the area of the Wouldham Cement Works, to the west.

British History online. Web site
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
Cement Kilns. Web site
Stewart. Gas Works of the North Thames area.
Thurrock Council. Web site.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank. South Stifford

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river
South Stifford
TQ 59532 77402

Post to the south West Thurrock
Post to the east Grays

The main road into Grays passing through the barely perceptable village of South Stifford. Factories and marshland surround the strange and isolated church of St. Clement's.  Why is it there?? Is it true about the pilgrims??  What’s all this about Hastings?

Foxton Road
TCS Yacht Chandlery in portacabins
South Stifford Baptist church. This began in 1900 as a mission in Grays Thurrock. The building here was first hired, and purchased in 1908. In 1915 the building was replaced by a school-church and a hall was built in 1932 on the other side of the road. The church had closed by 1976 and is now in other use. The hall fronting on London Road appears to be totally derelict.
Martin Cross Church Organ Builders are now in the church building. They appear to have a national reputation and to have restored and built many organs

Gumley Road
Road running parallel to the railway with trading estates and light industry. Before the road appears on maps in the 1970s there were a number of industrial sites here behind buildings in London Road
Hedley Avenue
Proctor and Gamble detergent factory. This detergents plant was built by the Newcastle based soap manufacturer Thomas Hedley & Co, which had been part of Proctor and Gamble since 1930.  The Thurrock plant was opened in 1940 and in 1962 Hedley's became part of the Proctor & Gamble group. The factory produces a wide range of soaps and detergents. They make products like Fairy washing-up liquid and Ariel, Bold, Fairy and Daz laundry detergent powders. They also have a distribution centre on site. The original Hedley plant was the easternmost part

Lion Cement Works
Lion Works opened in 1874 on the site of an old steam mill. Chalk was quarried locally from sites to the north. Clay was obtained from river mud. , Originally there were two wet process bottle kilns with three more added in 1880. From 1880 to was owned by D. Robertson and Sons and in 1888 six chamber kilns were built and more added in 1892, and 1896. From 1898 the owners were S. Pearson & Son Ltd
Wouldham Works. Pearson’s aimed to upgrade the plant to state-of-art and formed the Wouldham Company as a partnership with J. B. White & Bros. named as a result of Robertson’s transfer of business from Wouldham, Kent. The company installed six rotary kilns in 1912 it was taken over by British Portland Cement Manufacturers and installed what was Britain’s largest kiln. The plant ran through both World Wars. A rail link was established after the Second World War but much of the cement continued to be despatched by barge until closure. After 1970, it was the last Blue Circle plant on the north side of the Thames. The kilns stopped in 1976, the end of the Essex industry. It became a distribution centre for cement from Northfleet. A section of silos and packing plant was kept and appear to be still there.
London Road
The eastern part of the road – roughly as far as the railway bridge, constitute the old village of South Stifford.
Railway line on west site of Old Shant once went from quarries to cement works
432 Old Shant. This seems to have once been known as The Club House –although it appears to be a 19th building this is not shown on OS maps until the mid-20th and even then not marked as a pub.
470 Ship pub. This dates from at least the 1820s.
Vicarage on a large site to the east of the present church pre-920
St Clements Health Centre
567 St Clements Church. This is clearly a new church and appears to be part of the same complex of buildings as the Health Centre. It is part of the Grays Thurrock Team Ministry. It appears to be on the site of a previous church hall and vicarage in the 1960s
Parsonage Farm to east of that up to the railway. The farm was sold for industrial development in 1917. The farm house of brick and tile, stood until the 1960s
Railway bridge. This carries the line from Upminster over the London Road to West Thurrock Junction. .
471 Ultimate House site. Also called Drapers Yard – Drapers were a haulage company who moved there in 1974 and the site later became the William Ball, kitchen, distribution centre.
Home Farm – this was in the area of the Europa Trading Estate
Horns Farm.  This was on the north side of the road in the area of Palmerston Road. It is said that a small piece of land on the corner of Mill Lane remained into the 1970s with pigs and cows. This would have been between Mill Lane and a now defunct railway line. This piece now appears to be open land but the corner of London Road and Mill Lane has a fine piece of walling with coping stone and the remains of entrances – however some maps show this as the site of Brickwall Farm.
Railway crossings – the road was crossed by a number of industrial rail lines and tramways going to and from pits to the north and cement works to the south.

Manor Road
West Thurrock Primitive Methodist church may have begun in 1845, a small chapel was built here in 1876 and it was closed and sold c. 1903. The building was demolished in the 1960s to make a lorry park.   At the time the chapel was built there were houses on Manor Road – now it’s all lorry parks and sheds.
West Thurrock junction. This is the junction between the Fenchurch Street to Southend line and the Romford to Grays line which was built in 1892.
West Thurrock Signal Box.
Parsonage Road
On the site of Parsonage Farm.

St Clements’s Road
St.Clement's. This church is thought to be on a pilgrim road which crossed the Thames here. There are only three churches like this in the whole country. – It originally had a circular tower which was also the nave, in imitation of the Jerusalem Holy Sepulchre abs these are - usually Knights Templar churches.  It has a 15th tower and is built of knapped flint and Reigate stone, badly repaired in the 17th century. In 1632 three bells made in Whitechapel and a ringing chamber was added to the tower... The church had a rector from 1100. Had been sold to Hastings Grammar School which Beckett was associated with and it has a long connection with Hastings collegiate church. Knights were sent from here to guard the castle of Hastings for 15 days a year. The tower arch has the arms of Hastings. It has recently been restored by Procter and Gamble.
Old St.Clement's Wildlife Sanctuary. This is the old churchyard allowed to run wild.

Barnes, Grays Thurrock Revisted
British History online. Thurrock
Cement kilns. Web site
Dean and Studd. The Stifford Saga
Procter and Gamble. Web site
Pub History. Web site
St.Clement’s Church. Web site

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank. West Thurrock

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank.
West Thurrock
TQ 59609 77342

Small, but heavily industrialised stretch of riverside.

Post to the west Stoneness
Post to the north South Stifford
Post to the east Broadness
Post to the south Ingress Abbey

Fiddlers or St Clement's Reach.
An anchor is a ‘fiddler’ and legend is that St Clement was martyred by being lashed to the anchor and he is the patron saint of `mariners. Trinity House real name is the “Guild of Holy Trinity and St Clement and the Saints”. The anchor is its emblem.  St.Clement’s isolated church is north of the river here
Industrial Chemicals Ltd. The company was founded in the early 1970's with just one vehicle. In 1976 they moved to the Titan Works here.They run a transport business for chemical distribution, plus a Hydrochloric Acid pickling plant, de-rusting wheels for Ford Motor Company.
West Thurrock Terminal. Operated by Industrial Chemicals Ltd. It has a  Deep-Water Berth. including accessible mooring dolphins and access is available for HGV Vehicle Direct Access via Fixed Link Bridge Approach Road to the Jetty. It is used for imports of raw materials for in-house processing. There is a Siwertell Mobile Screw Unloader, a Travelling Rail Mounted Quay Crane, and a Mobile Ship-Loading Conveyor
Procter and Gamble factory. The neighbouring detergent plant expanded onto part of the power station site when that closed.. 
Cross river power lines. The 400 kV Thames Crossing is between Botany Marshes in Swanscombe and West Thurrock using the tallest electricity pylons in the UK at 623 feet high. The current crossing was built in 1965, with a span of 4501 feet. Each tower has three cross arms and carries two circuits of 400 kV three-phase AC. 
West Thurrock Electricity Substation.
West Thurrock Power Station was a coal-fired power station. It was built by the Central Electricity Generating Board in 1957 opening in 1962. It had two tall chimneys and was later converted to burn oil and natural gas. It was operated by National Power from 1989 and was decommissioned by 1993. Part of the site was taken over by Procter & Gamble works including the former coaling jetty.

Electrical Infrastructure. Web site.
Grace’s Guide. Web site

Industrial Chemicals Ltd.
Placeandsee. Web Site
Proctor and Gamble. Web site

Thurrock Council. Web site

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river. Stoneness

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river

TQ 58575 76204

A lonely area and a tiny reminder of what most of the Thameside marshes once were.


Burnley Road

Road Train. This is a lorry drivers training school
Tardis. They supply clean water in tankers

Channel Tunnel Rail Link
This runs north east:south east under the area

The point marks the river’s turn out of Long Reach and into St.Clement’s or Fiddler’s Reach
Lighthouse  No.5. This is 22 miles from London Bridge. It was established in 1885 and carries a wind generator on its top, at 44 feet high, the light is visible for 9 miles.
Pill boxes – these are defence structures from the Second World War and there is one either side of the lighthouse and point.
Sluice outlet
Ancient ferry to Greenhithe. Thought to be used by pilgrims although this can’t be proved. There is a footpath to Stoneness from St. Clements Church. It is thought mainly to have been used for cattle.  It continued into the 1950s.

West Thurrock Lagoon and Marshes.
When the sea wall was rebuilt the flood channel behind it, about 1,100 yd. west of Stone Ness, was left as a lake, named as 'the Breach' on maps down to the 19th and later shown as swamp. It is an important site for wintering waders and wildfowl attracted by the extensive intertidal mudflats together with a large and secure high tide roost,
Stone Ness salt marsh is noted for the size and character of its marsh plant community. The saltings constitute the largest area of salt marsh in the inner Thames estuary,
The lagoon is an important high tide roost for overwintering waders and wildfowl. Large reed beds border its south and eastern perimeter where Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and the Bearded Tit breed.
West Thurrock trading estate

English Nature. Web site
Lighthouse compendium. Web site
Road Train. Web site
Tardis. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames
Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide. Web site

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Riverside north of the River and east of the Tower. Dartford Crossing

Riverside north of the River and east of the Tower
Dartford Crossings
TQ 57449 76762

Section of riverside taken up with large aggregate and oil terminals and some very large jetties.  The are is however dominated by the high - and very busy - bridge.

Post to the west Purfleet jetties and Littlebrook
Post to the east Stoneness
Post to the south Stone Marshes
Post to the north Thurrock Dartford Tunnel Approach

Dartford Tunnel
The idea of a tunnel below Woolwich was first considered by the Ministry of Transport in 1924 and this was eventually proposed between Dartford and Thurrock. It was thought to be suitable for part of a ring road round London. A pilot tunnel was drilled in the late 1930s but further work was delayed due to the Second World War
New Tunnel. By 1970 the tunnel was carrying over 4 times the original estimate and a second tunnel was announced by the government. This was to be part of what was then the North Orbital Road, now the M25. Work was delayed due to a lack of funds, which was resolved by European funding granted in 1974. The second tunnel opened in 1980, allowing single direction working in each tunnel and connection of the crossing to the M25.
Old Tunnel. Work began in 1959, using a similar construction method to the Blackwall Tunnel but the delay in work due to the war allowed the tunnel's design to be improved with a better ventilation system. Tolls were levied from the start. The two-lane tunnel opened in 1963,
Queen Elizabeth Bridge. There was a concern that the two tunnels would not be able to cope with the full demands of a completed M25. In 1986 proposals were made for improvements and in 1986, a Trafalgar House consortium won a bid to build a new bridge under a private finance initiative. This included transfer of the control of the whole crossing to Dartford River crossing Ltd. Work on the bridge began in 1988.[ It was designed by German engineer Hellmut Homberg, and the two main caissons were constructed in the Netherlands – and designed to withstand a collision with a large ship. The towers are about 200ft high. It was opened by the Queen in 1991when it had the longest cable-stayed span of any bridge in Europe. It is the only bridge across the Thames downstream of the Tower,

Lafarge Wharf . This wharf handles Marine Aggregates only, with receiving hoppers and discharge conveyors for self-discharging vessels.
Tunnel Wharf – this was the wharf for the Tunnel Cement works which stood to the north of the railway
Vopak Wharf and Terminal. There are 3 berths on the wharf. The site has 86 steel tanks doe oil storage. There are fully automated road vehicle loading facilities available and loading and discharging facilities for sea. They handle high and low flash petroleum products.

Dartford Crossing. Wikipedia. Web site
Port of London Authority. Web site
Tarmac-Lafarge. Web site
Vopak. Web site

Riverside north of the River and east of the Tower. Purfleet jetties

Riverside north of the river and east of the Tower
Purfleet jetties
TQ 56808 77004

This posting covers only a small section of riverside on the north bank. The south bank section is Littlebrook
This small stretch of riverside west of the Dartford Tunnel takes in a series of jetties connectred to aggregate wharves. There is also the outlet for a small watercourse and steps. A path goes along the riverside.
Civil and Marine Jetty
This is operated by Hansons with two berths each wtith two dolphins. It deals with self-discharging slag bulker and North Sea dredgers. Specialising in  Slag Grinding.

Port of London Authority. Web site

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the River. Purfleet Unilever

Riverside north of the river and east of the Tower
Purfleet Unilever
TQ 56405 77889

A stretch of industrial riverside with oil storage a major factor - along with the Unilever margerine factory.

Post to the west Purfleet. Purfleet Board Mills (north bank) and Long Reach Hospital (south bank)
Post to the south Purfleet jetties (north bank) and Littlebrook (south bank)

Jurgens Road.
Unilever.  This was originally the Van der Bergh Jurgens works set up in 1917. It is now Unilever's‘spreads’ factory - Stork, Flora, Bertolli, and ICBINB margarine.  It is an integrated refinery for crude oils and fats alongside a jetty .The plant produces 180,000 tonnes of margarine and olive oil based spreads per year, the equivalent of nearly one million 500g packs every day. Waste mayonnaise from is turned into biofuel and plastic laminates
Pura Foods. This company makes a range of edible oil and fat produces and dates from 1987.

London Road
Mountain of Fire and Miracles. Purfleet Branch this is in what was Purfleet Baptist church.
Purfleet Baptist Church. In 1892 a congregation met in a member’s home. Charles Hall, a Baptist and manager of the Anglo American Oil Company offered them a room in the Company offices. A site for a church was leased from Samuel Whitbread this opened in 1897 under the Grays Baptist Tabernacle. A new church was built in 1938 and the old church became the Sunday School. Both buildings were bombed in 1940 and demolished and a new church opened in 1950.
Esso Refinery.  The oil installation, now belonging to Esso, was established in 1888, and by the end of the Great War about 50,000,000 gallons of oil were passing it each year.  It provides fuel to customers in the South and East of England receiving it direct from Esso’s Fawley refinery via cross country pipeline. It can also accept deliveries by ship to its jetty. The site had five bottom loading bays of which three are typical retail bays for Mogas, Super Unleaded and Diesel and two bays for Diesel and Gasoil.  No refining takes place and the tanks, are for storage purposes only.
Purfleet Wharf and Saw Mills. a company for marketing West Australian timber, and had bought forty-two acres of ground at Purfleet in Essex to use as a depot known as Purfleet Wharf and Saw Mills, Ltd. It was set up in 1902 and closed in 1941
The Fleet. Restaurant and bar. This was previously Purfleet Club and Institute founded in 1904 although the building was formally opened in 1909. The club closed in 2004.
Jarrah Cottages. These were built by Purfleet Wharf and Saw Mills for their workers. Jarrah is a type of Australian hard wood.
Cobelfret. Purfleet Deep Wharf. This is the C Ro Ports London Ltd ro-ro terminal owned by the Cobelfret Group which handles cars and trailers in conventional ro-ro style as well as using two rail-mounted gantry cranes and a fleet of reachstackers. Annual throughput is around 200,000 containers, 250,000 trailers and 250,000 cars. There are three daily sailings to Zeebrugge and one to Rotterdam. The terminal has its own rail sidings from the London-Southend line which can handle container and car traffic. Among the manufacturers using the terminal are General Motors (Vauxhall and Opel), BMW, Mercedes and Mazda. C Ro ports operate in Europe and Scandinavia and date from 1928.

Archives online. Web site
British History Online. West Thurrock
Francis. The Cement Industry
Port of London Magazine
Thurrock Council. Web site
Unilever. Web site

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Riverside north of the Thames and east of the Tower. Purfleet Board Mills

Riverside north of the Thames and east of the Tower.
Purfleet Long Reach
TQ 55791 78000

Major industrial riverside site awaiting a new use

Post to the north Purfleet
Post to the west Darent meets the Thames
Post to the east Purfleet Unilever
Post to the south Long Reach

This post covers the north bank of the river only - the south part of the square is Long Reach Hospital

London Road
Large site on private Mill Road. This has had a number of commercial uses - most recently Smufit Kappa and British Gypsum. The site is owned by Thurrock Council and is part of a regeneration scheme not yet implemented but for which the site will be, or has been, cleared. The site is that of the Thames Board Mills – this was the largest factory of its kind in the country producing cardboard and fibreboard for packing. It was first set up because of river access in 1887 by Louis Cartiaux as the St. Louis Park Mills Co. Which made board from stable straw manure waste and also made newsprint. The local water was not suitable and the works was not a success. The site was taken over in 1902, by W. J. Alford as the Thames Paper Mill Co. and was expanded throughout the 1920s and 1930s and again in the 1960s. In 1965 they were taken over by Unilever and in 1975 South Mill was closed and demolitions followed. In 1986 the mill was bought by Davidson Ltd. who renamed it Purfleet Board Mill. It closed down in 2004. What remained on site was the converting factory built by James Lomax Simpson in the 1920s and expanded in 1930 by the L.G. Mouchel using the Hennebique system. A warehouse from 1939 also survives as does an earlier 1930s timber warehouse with laminated roof. The North Mill dated from the 1960s and was the main paper-making area.
Jetty – the site includes a large riverside jetty.

Archaeology Data Service. Web site
British History on Line. West Thurrock. Web site
Thurrock Council. Web site

Monday, 13 July 2015

Riverside north of the Thames and east of the Tower. Purfleet

Riverside east of the Tower and North of the river
TQ 55019 78469

Purfleet was a garrison and chalk quarrying village which is now full of a lot of new and very decent housing.  The squalor of heavy haulage and rubbish tips are all around. As a village it has a station, a church and a hotel which is doing its best to make something of itself -but very little else. The sole shop seems to be an Indian take away.  To the south is the river, largely inaccessible, and to the north various versions of the A13 and the CTRL thundering past.  On the old A13 is the Circus Tavern which must represent south east Essex writ large.

Post to the west Purfleet
Post to the north Thurrock
Post to the south Purfleet Board Mill (north bank) and Long Reach Hospital (south bank only)

Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is both the name of the old hill with lighthouse and quarry, and of a road on the hill with modern housing.
Excavations here show the site of Paleolithic, Iron Age, and Romano-British settlements. Here the chalk rose to a height of 120 feet but most of the hill has now been quarried away.
Beacon. A system of warning beacons along the Thames was set up in the Middle Ages and revived during the Armada crisis.
Lighthouse. In 1828 the Corporation of Trinity House leased a piece of land from the Whitbread Estate for a lighthouse where they could test new types of lamps and reflectors and the lighting values of different kinds of oil. It was a standard 19th shore type, with living quarters. In 1829 experiments were carried out with Argand burners and reflectors, and observed from the Trinity House Buoy Wharf at Blackwall or from Trinity House’s yacht on the Thames.  It had four revolving sides or faces, which were provided with lights of different kinds. All the lights were accurately placed in focus and the machine set to perform one revolution every 8 minutes.  It became disuses during the 1870's, though parts of the building survived until 1925. In 1933 all that was left was a round brick stump 5 or 6 feet high.
Anti-aircraft battery 1914 -1918, said to have used the remains of the lighthouse.  At the start of the war they had AA guns and pom poms manned by Royal Marines. Later this was increased because of Zeppelin raids .In the Second World War there was a section of the Territorial Army, Royal Artillery with a Lewis gun here.
Quarry At the base of Beacon Hill Whitbread owned a chalk quarry. Purfleet is 17 miles down ricer below London Bridge. Here the chalk out-crops on the northern shore, to provide the first high ground east of London there, From 1554 many leases of the cliffs and limekilns at Purfleet are recorded In 1669 Samuel Irons of Purfleet issued a token depicting a limekiln. In 1738 the chalk-pits, 3 limekilns, and 2 wharfs were leased for 61 years to Matthew Featherstonhaugh. His company was known variously as the Bricklayers Co., the Lime Co., and the Purfleet Co. When the lease was terminated in 1794 the landlord, Samuel Whitbread, began to mechanize the quarries.  In 1807 Arthur Young described the trucks carrying the chalk to the kilns and the lime to the wharf. In the 1820s and 1830s the quarries and kilns were worked by Meeson and Hinton. By the 1930s the estate was owned by Messrs. Harrisons (London) 1931 Ltd and the open chalk quarry was levelled with the remainder of the hill sculptured to a smooth mound with a wild meadow.
Railway - The first railroad in Essex was laid at Purfleet to carry the trucks of chalk from the workings to the riverside and the waiting ships. in 1812, "The chalk is got into the vessels much more easily than they used to do, by having small ridges of iron called rail-roads, by which means one horse can draw three times as much as it could without the rail".
World War II Prisoner of War camp. This was successively No. 286 Purfleet Camp which was for Italian Prisoners who worked on local farms.  No. 654 Purfleet Camp, No.4 Transit Camp; No. 655 Purfleet Camp, No.1 Transit Camp. Guards' compound consisted of huts; prisoners' compound consisted of tented accommodation within a rectangular wire enclosure. The transit camps were for Germans some of who had huts rather than tents. After 15 January 1920 acted as Dispersal Unit for overseas soldiers arriving at Dover, Folkestone or the Thames. Dispersal Camp closed 10 September 1920.  It was later used to house homeless families
Beacon Hill Park

Botany Way
The road climbs through a series of worked out chalk pits passed innumerable haulage and other depots, tips and oil storage tanks – an area almost entirely about heavy freight and rubbish disposal.
Beacon Hill industrial estate
Botany Pit which originally had chalk capped with Thanet Sand. In the early 1960s the quarry was extended by removing the sands and gravels on the north side of the hill. Palaeolithic stone tools and hundreds of flint flakes and cores with some hand-axes were found. Some bones of fossil mammals were also found including horse, red deer and probably bison. Botany Pit was cut back to a low angle in the 1980s when it was developed as an industrial estate
Botany Gardens. This was set up by Whitbread in an overgrown chalk quarry. There were boat trips there and later there were cheap rail excursions from east London. For some years up to 1914 western and war films were made there. The gardens were closed by 1917
Caspian Way
This is named for Caspian Wharf which was operational on Purfleet riverside from 1890
Chieftain Drive
One of a number of roads of local authority housing on the site of the Magazine and all named after tanks.

Church Hollow
Called ‘The Dipping’ it was in the western part of Whit breads quarry. Most of the area is now new housing. By 1800 a chapel, a school, and two rows of cottages had been built in the Dipping, an old chalk quarry, for chalk workers' family. These buildings appear to lie derelict behind modern housing in the road and adjacent roads. The quarries adjacent to Purfleet (The Dipping) were used as an oil storage depot. Towards the end of the 20th century the storage use ceased and the tanks were eventually demolished. The area is presently being developed for residential purposes.
Chapel. Built in 1791 this was a small building with round-headed recessed windows.  The Whit breads owned and maintained it and required their workers to attend.  The Methodist circuit preachers were gradually replaced by a Calvinistic schoolmaster and the building was used mainly for Anglican worship, and about 1863 it was put under the care of the vicar. It became a house in the 1920s. It is now totally derelict.
School. This was later called Church Bungalow and used as housing. It is now totally derelict.
Church House. This was the school masters house. It is now totally derelict.
Hollow Cottages. These are near Botany Pit and were built in 1790 by Samuel Whitbread for his workers.  There were originally 12 but they have now been turned into 6 by making one house out of two cottages. They front onto a communal green.

Church Lane
Church Lane now consists of new housing built on the floor of the chalk pit.

Harrisons Wharf
Esso depot. This was an Esso Petroleum Ltd bitumen terminal. It had rail access via a siding to her riverside on which they ran a Hunslet 0-4-0 diesel mechanical locomotive built in 1940 acquired from the War Department which is now at Quainton Railway Centre. Before development the site was operating an aggregates yard, and faced onto a semi-derelict riverside.  The area is marked on earlier maps as saltings.
Housing. This is made up of 103 flats overlooking the Thames by Bellway Homes. It is thought to be of very poor design and the development was built with no direct pedestrian access to the actual river.

High Street
The High Street appears to be an area to the north of London Road and west of Church Hollow. It does not appear to be a road in any accepted sense. The Whitbread family are said to have developed a relatively small industrial estate here in the 19th.
Purfleet House. This was built in the Dipping around 1790 by Samuel Whitbread. It had 26 rooms and was used as his family home. It was partly demolished in 1920, the remainder surviving until 1951 as parish offices. Now the site of St.Stephen's church
St. Stephen’s Church. This is the successor to a small in the Dipping which closed in 1920. The vicar of St.Clement’s then bought the chapel, with Purfleet House as the site of a new church, and St. Stephen's was built there in 1923, as a chapel of ease using stone from the demolished house.  However it is also said that the church was built as a hall by the Whitbread’s behind their house.
Rose Cottage. 19th cottage set behind a small garden.

London Road – this road runs parallel to the river through Purfleet Village
This was the A1090 which took the original route of the A126 through Purfleet in Essex, when it was bypassed in the 1920s. It headed south over the Mar Dyke into Purfleet and within sight of the River Thames it ran parallel to the river, before crossing a railway line at a level crossing by Purfleet station.
Riverside Green. This is a substantial riverfront open space with wide views across the River. There is a flint faced and brick capped wall which frames the east side of the green. Mature trees to the rear rise above the edge wall. There is a beacon by the river
King's Stairs. Old ferry landing with a weather-beaten and tide-washed mooring post said to have been in position since 1798. These stairs replaced an earlier landing a short distance upstream which had become part of the Government Magazine.
Ferry.  The ferry is known to have existed in 1577, and continued to operate into the 20th crossing to the Long Reach Tavern and earlier may have gone up the Darent to Dartford. There also may have been a “long ferry” up to London. . From 1838 a steam ferry from London to Gravesend could be hailed by boat from Purfleet. It was originally a Royal ferry until Edward III transferred it to Dartford Priory. It was later in varied ownership and a ferry house is also mentioned
A pier was built in 1843 and a telegraph station was associated with it.
Royal Purfleet Hotel. This stands on the riverside overlooking Long Reach and Erith Rands. Owned by the Whitbread family until 1920, when it was acquired by Trust Houses and later by Punch Taverns. It is now in private ownership. It is said it began as The Ship Inn, built around 1769.  In 1828 its name changed to the Bricklayers Arms, due ownership of local pits by the Bricklayers Company. In 1848 it was remodelled and the hotel became known as the Wingrove Hotel, after the owner John George Wingrove. Around the 1860's, the hotel changed its name to The Royal Hotel. However it is also said it was called the Purfleet Tavern and also it was once called the Royal Opera House. It had become fashionable and famous for whitebait dinners. It also had a reputation of card games and betting on bare-knuckle fighting, and as a high-class brothel. It is said that the Prince of Wales was a visitor – hence the ‘Royal’. It is also said to be haunted
Mermaid Causeway. HMS Mermaid was moored here and used to transport gunpowder
War Memorial. This stands in front of the church with an inscription to the memory of local men killed in the Great War.  It consists of a shaft and cross with the inscription on copper plaques
Railway crossing. A metal fence on the north side of the road indicates where a rail siding ran under the road to a riverside oil wharf.
Yara Terminal. Cornwall site. YARA is a Norwegian company mainly supplying fertilisers. The Yara Purfleet Terminal supplies the UK with bulk liquid CO2. The terminal is constantly supplied by a fleet of dedicated CO2 tanker vessels. These include Yara Embla and Yara Froya, who are both equipped with the largest liquid CO2 tanks in Europe
Cornwall.  Training Ship Cornwall was a reformatory moored off Purfleet. It was the third such establishment which used an old frigate, the Cornwall which was certified for operation on in 1859. Boys on the Cornwall learned nautical skills, tailoring, and carpentry. In 1915, sixteen of the boys and an officer died after the sailing cutter Alert belonging to the Cornwall collided with the steam tug Empress. The boys were buried in a communal plot at St Clement's Church, West Thurrock. In 1934, the ship became designated as an Approved School but at the start of the Second World War the boys were moved to Brandon and in 1940 the ship was destroyed in bombing at Denton.
Harrisons Wharf (see above)
Cory's Wharf. Coal was landed at Purfleet between 1906 and 1917 by the Steam Ship Owners Coal Association and by 1926 this was William Cory and Son.In 1962 a new 800-ft. jetty and oil storage tanks were installed and Cory was taken over by Powell Duffryn, later P.D. Oil and Chemical Storage. The wharf was later derelict
Botany Cottages. Built 1905 by the Steam Ship Coal Owners Association
Purfleet Station. Opened in 1854 as an original intermediate station of the London Tilbury and Southend Railway. Part of freight line to West Thurrock
Level Crossing. This is by the station

London Road – this road bypasses Purfleet and is the old A13 main road to Southend
The A1306 was once the A13. This section was renumbered in 1998-99 when the western extension of the then new-build replacement A13 was opened to the north.  In this square it runs parallel to the Channel tunnel rail link, and crosses the Mardyke to go as far as Meads Corner with the Circus Tavern, and then continues onwards
Meads Corner – junction with the old A13 and the other old Purfleet Bypass.  There was or is a motor dealership there called Meads
Circus Tavern.  A large south east Essex pub calling itself an entertainment complex. It is said to be famous for hosting darts matches but it also has music events country and western and Irish music 'big name' acts, kick boxing, wrestling, racist comedians, male strippers – and tribute nights, and and and ..... 
Coryton Commercials depot. Until 2011 this was the London Borough of Havering’s Purfleet depot

Purfleet by pass
The Purfleet Bypass was the A126 from the mid-1920s, being a contemporary of the old the A1306.  It is now the A1090,

Tank Hill Road
Tank Hill (formerly King's) Road was a private, gated road, built by the government after 1760, to connect the powder magazines with a road to London.
VOSPA. Department of Transport Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. It includes a goods vehicle testing facility. This has now closed
Health Centre
Woodlands Pre-school
Purfleet Primary school. This now calls itself an 'academy’.  It originated in a nonconformist school held in Whitbread's chapel in 1772. This was an evening school, started by Methodists for the children of lime burners. It had closed by 1808 but began again in 1819 as a Sunday school.  By 1839 it was a day and Sunday school, still partly supported by the Whitbreads although the the garrison had its own school by 1871. A school board for West Thurrock was set up in 1876 which took over the Purfleet School and ran it in Whitbread's chapel. In 1889, they built a new school on Garrison Hill to which a teacher's house was added in 1892 and an infant room in 1894. West Thurrock School Board was handed over to the Education Committee of Essex County Council in 1903. In 1904 a small piece of land was leased from Whitbread to teach gardening to the boys. In 1909 it included a fruit garden with 100 trees, and the school won numerous medals for fruit at Royal Horticultural Society shows. A manual, cookery and laundry centre was built at the school in 1914. From October 1914 to June 1915 the school was requisitioned by the military authorities as a hospital for Purfleet Camp. By 1930 what had been Purfleet Council School was known as Garrison Hill Council School and this remained until at least 1948. In the Second World War children were evacuated to Martlesham, Suffolk, and others to Devizes, Wiltshire. The school was badly damaged by incendiary bombs in 1940.  By 1951 the school was known as Garrison Hill Primary School. It was used as an emergency relief centre during the floods of 1953. By 1959 the school was called Purfleet Primary School, and by 1968 Purfleet County Primary School. In 1974 the school was enlarged for children from the Garrison estate.

Tank Lane
An ancient lane which proceeds on the ridge of the former chalk pit. Initially it is wide enough to be an access road and is partially framed to the north by the former outer garrison wall. It eventually emerges as a footpath on Botany Way

British History on line. West Thurrock. Web site
Children’s Homes. Web site
Havering Council. Web site
Essex Field Club. Web site
Lighthouse Compendium. Web site
List of Prisoner of War camps. Wikipedia. Web site
Baldwin. The River and the Downs
On the Lakes. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry.  Essex,
Port of London Magazine
Royal Hotel. Web site
Thurrock Council. Web site
Yara. Web site

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the River. Great Coldharbour

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the River
Great Coldharbour
TQ 52021 78844

Post to the west Coldharbour Point (north bank) and Erith (south bank)
Post to the east Crayfordness
Post to the south Erith Anchor Bay

A bleak area of reclaimed marshy riverside surrounded by landfill.with some freight and industrial actvities

The ferry is sometimes said to date from the Romans and Roman bricks have been found here. It was reached by a path called Manor Way used as a drove road for cattle until the 1950s and the ferry is said to have been used for these cattle, fattened on the marshes. There is also speculation that this was the ‘Pilgrim Ferry’.

Great Coldharbour,
The name probably points to the bleakness of the location and dates from the 16th. There are several other examples of the name Coldharbour, all with the same origin and it is sometimes speculated that the name is Roman.  Little Coldharbour was slightly upstream. .The area is also said to have been an island, reclaimed in the late 17th by inning. In 1906 William Cunis Ltd. established a lighterage and dredging business here and from 1929 the company extracted gravel and ballast filling the worked-out pits with refuse from London. In the 1950s they were still operative and providing warehousing facilities here.  There are plans to turn the area into a Riverside Conservation Park.
Great Coldharbour Farm. This was a farmhouse demolished in 1920 and said to have been on the riverside.
Freightmaster Terminal. This is an industrial and warehousing estate.

British History. On line. Wennington. Web site
Field. London Place Names
Historical Houses. Web site
London Government. Web site
Tucker. Ferries of the Lower Thames

Friday, 10 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank. Coldharbour Point

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank

Coldharbour Point
TQ 51986 78831

A tiny promontory with a warning beacon

Post to the north Wennington Marshes
Shared part of square (north of the riverI to the south Erith
Post to the west Erith
Post to the south Erith
Post to the east Grest Coldharbour

Coldharbour Point
The Name probably points to the bleakness of the location.
Lighthouse No. 3 at 17 miles from London Bridge. This lighthouse is identical to Margaret Ness and Cross Ness, and situated on the shoreline by the vast landfill site. It was established in 1885 and today at 38 feet high shows a light visible for 3 miles.


Lighthouse compendium. Web site

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the River. Wennington Marshes

 Riverside east of the Tower and north of the River.
Wennington Marshes

The area south of Coldharbour Lane is a huge landfill site

Landfill Site.
The landfill site has operated here since 19th and non-hazardous and inert waste is imported to the site by road and river. There are now plans to turn this into a Riverside Conservation Park.  The site currently  includes a materials reclamation facility, waste transfer station, composting plant, woodchipping plant, ash plant and a landfill gas power plant.
Jetty used by waste barges
London Governemnt web sit

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower, north bank. Hornchurch marshes

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank
Hornchurch marshes
TQ 50073 82174

Beam River. Another outlet to the river from the Beam comes down through this area, having come off the main river in an east:west channel which then turns north:south. This divides the areas used for car storage by Fords from the business park.

An area of marshland mainly used for car storage by Fords

Post to the west Dagenham riverside
Post to the north Dagenham marshes
Post to the east Rainham Marshes
Post to the south Jenningtree

Courier Road
Internal road to the Ford site and named after another of their cars. This leads to a vast car storage area.

Fairview Industrial Estate
Purpose built modern trading and light industrial area which houses around 125 companies

Fiesta Drive
Internal road to the Ford site and named after another of their cars. This leads to a vast car storage area.

Frog Lane
Biossence . This is a heat from waste project under construction

Hornchurch Shoot
An old wharf where rubbish was offloaded from barges to dump inland. This is a small area of inter-tidal habitat and flood defence wall supporting plant communities, over-wintering ducks and wading birds.
Wind pump

Old Man’s Head
Name for part of the riverside adjacent to Rainham Creek

Rainham Caves
Name for part of the riverside adjacent to Rainham Creek

Greater London Authority. Web site
Sabre. A13. Web site
Thames Estuary Partnership. Web site

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Riverside east of the Tower and on the north bank. Dagenham Dock

Riverside east of the Tower and north of the river.
Dagenham Dock
TQ 4898181794

This post relates to structures north of the river only

A tiny piece of riverside built out with large jetties originally for fitting out the Thunderer warship. 
This is a busy industrial area still undertaking port operations

Post to the south half of this square Crossness Engines

Post to the north Dagenham Riverside
Post to the east Fords riverside
Post to the south Crossness sewage works

Dagenham Dock - Perry Road
Efforts were made to create a dock here from 1841. This was built on the site of some of Dagenham Breach - an area of flooded marsh caused by the breaching of the sea wall in 1707, and intermittently flooded throughout the 18th.  In 1865 Sir John Rennie and Butterton built a jetty and a branch railway, with plans for a rail connection and ferry to Erith. They were bankrupted and a deep water dock was built in 1887 by Samuel Williams and Sons, barge builders, who had bought 30 acres from liquidators. By 1891 they had built a timber dock, with a railway connected to the London and Tilbury and Southend railway, together with two new jetties to create a tidal quay in 1907. Samuel Williams and Co. joined John Hudson and Co. and became a successful shipping company and this became a large coaling. Land alongside the dock was used for shipping and haulage either by themselves or by other companies like the Union Cable Company or the Ford Motor Company – who eventually had a ro ro operation here.  It continues to be the location of a small terminal licensed to handle coal off-loading. The site is also used for a number of river-related uses including a heavy haulage depot with 200 tanks for storage of petrol, distillates, etc.
Thunderer Jetty. In the early 20th, HMS Thunderer, the last major warship Orion class Super Dreadnought.built on the Thames. It was being fitted out after construction at the Thames Ironworks in Canning Town.  The new jetty, known as the Thunderer Jetty, was built upstream in 1910-11, by Arthur Williams.  It took nine months to build and the land had to be reclaimed too.  A150 ton crane was also used.
Coaling jetty. Built 1899-1903, for Samuel Williams & Sons. This was built to the designs by L. G. Mouchel & Partners, British agents for Hennebique's patent reinforced-concrete construction system. It was extended by one bay in 1906-7, to designs by Samuel Williams’s son, Arthur, who was an engineer. This incorporated his patent system for the horizontal casting of reinforced-concrete piles, developed in response to problems encountered with the vertically cast Hennebique piles. The Jetty is about 500ft long and  parallel to the river bank.

Bird. Geography of the Port of London
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Barking Riverside History. Web site
Dagenham Dock. Wikipedia. Web site
Port of London Magazine