Riverside east of the Tower, south bank. Rotherhithe - Surrey canal entrance
Riverside east of the Tower, south bank. Rotherhithe - Surrey canal entrance
This post contains only sites south of the river. North is Shadwell and Ratcliffe
Post to the north is Wapping (sourth east portion) and Wapping (south west portion)
Post to the east is Rotherhithe, Nelson Dock
Post to the south Surrey Docks
Fisher Athletic Ground
Fisher Athletic Ground Fisher Football Club began in the Fisher Catholic Club for Boys, founded in 1908 by Norman Potter to provide sporting and recreational facilities for underprivileged youths. It was named The Fisher Club in memory of St John Fisher, and was supported by the Fisher Society – the Catholic Society at Cambridge University. The first home was an old engineering shop in Rose Court where the ground floor was used for athletics, with space above for board games. Friar Stephen Rawlinson persuaded the Abbot Downside in Somerset, to take over responsibility for the club and they became the Downside Settlement. In the 1960s the club was reorganised and based in Mitcham but in 1982 moved to the purpose-built Surrey Docks Stadium. This was on the site of part of Globe Pond. In 2009 unpaid tax led to a court winding up order and a supporters’ trust was formed. The club was renamed as Fisher FC and no longer the owners of the Surrey Docks Stadium. In the club unveiled proposals for a new community football facility at the St Paul’s playing fields site, the old site is now owned by Fairview Homes and is being turned into housing which is being sold in the Far East.
Globe Pond. Built as No. 6 pond in 1861 by the Commercial Dock Company. It had been filled in before 1929. It appears to be on the site of the King and Queen Ironworks. A small part of Globe Pond was restored as a water feature in Russia Dock Woodland by the LDDC (slightly off the edge of this square to the south east). It was later the site of sports ground and now housing.
Grand Surrey Canal
Grand Surrey Canal. In the late 18th Ralph Dodd, the engineer who was also involved with an early proposal for a tunnel under the Thames at Rotherhithe, proposed a canal linking Deptford with places as divergent as Kingston, Mitcham and Croydon. Eventually, the project was submitted to parliament for an enabling Act which was passed in 1801. The Company were authorised to build a canal from Rotherhithe, to Mitcham plus a number of branches. As work began the company also agreed to construct a system near the river entrance where two branches of the canal enclosed an island – the northern branch as the through route and the southern as a waiting area or dock. This together with a ship lock, was opened in 1807. They also opened the canal, as far as the Old Kent Road, in 1810 to Camberwell, and in 1826 to Peckham. At first built, the canal ended at the Stave dock, connected to the Thames by a lock. This was replaced by a new lock in 1860, to the west of the original, which linked the Thames to the Surrey Basin, which itself linked to Island Dock and Albion Dock. Island Dock led into Russia dock, where the canal had an entrance lock. In 1864 the company amalgamated with the Commercial Dock Company together they became the Surrey Commercial Docks. In 1904, when the Greenland Dock was extended, a new entrance lock was built on its south side. By this time, nearly 1 mile of the original canal had been destroyed by dock construction. After the formation of the Port of London Authority in 1908. The canal was managed as part of Surrey Docks. The timber trade to them ended in the 1970s, and subsequently the canal was filled in.
Halfpenny Hatch to Deptford
Halfpenny Hatch to Deptford. This is shown on the early 19th Horwood Plan as running alongside the northern edge of the Grand Surrey Canal from the entrance lock. Further along it is marked as a “towing path”. There are a number of footpaths in this area with this name at that period,
Island Yard. This was an area at the north west ‘top’ end of Stave Dock. .It was land between the old and new entrance locks to the Grand Surrey Canal. There was a competition run by the London Docklands Development Corporation for a mixed development here which did not happen because of the 1990s recession.
Rotherhithe Youth Hostel. Built 1989 for the YHA by Alan Turner Associates
Rotherhithe Pier at Clarence Wharf was built in 1882 as a coal jetty for the South Metropolitan Gas Works, which had premises on Rotherhithe Street. Its remains preserve the original cast-iron columns: It was originally built by the South Metropolitan Gas Company in 1882, after they had taken over the Surrey Consumers Gas Company, the gas works closed in 1959 and the sand and gravel firm, Redland Aggregates, then used it for another 33 years to land sea- dredged ballast, and it finally ceased work in 1992.
They were Crown owned water mills for manufacture of gunpowder. A mill was built here on land called ‘The Crenge’ by Henry Reve in 1554-5. It is thought possible that this was an established mill because of complaints of damage to banks and structures. By 1562 five mills had been built for government supply. In 1563 there were leases on a mill to the east to the Lee family for a gunpowder mill. It is thought likely that this was the Kings Mill. A token indicates the use of the mill by a Rebecca Smallman in 1669 – although it is possible this relates to a pub with that name
Kings Mills. Converted in the 18th to make ships biscuits having been taken over by Victuallers. This is marked on the mid 18th Roque map as “ruffells mill’ or maybe ‘Russell’s Mill’. T
Kings Mills Wharf. In 1803 this was bought by John and James Mangles H. Powell and Sons continued the building's 18th tradition of producing ship’s biscuits here. The site had 8 ovens each with its own chimney, and was also used to store tar and turpentine. Mills continued using steam. The land was later used for the Surrey Docks entrance and some went to the gasworks.
Surrey dock tavern. This was first recorded in 1859 and remained until 1904. It was demolished eventually for part of the Rotherhithe Tunnel works.
King and Queen Wharf, and Bellamy’s Wharf. These sites have a complex history with boundaries changing as various shipwrights and others move in and out.
King and Queen Stairs. They were alongside the current inlet
King and Queen Pub. This was on the inland side of the road and was first recorded in 1754. It was demolished around 1942. It had two storeys and an overhanging first floor. The name was changed 1754 - 1789 to the 'Ship Queensborough'. In 1792 the licensee w as the shipbuilder Peter Mestaers who was using the nearby dry-docks.
Howard, Ravenhill and Co, King and Queen Ironworks. This was on the inland side of the street next to
King and Queen Shipyard. This was on the site of the Lower King and Queen Wharf and had other dry docks and slips. It was in use by ship breaker and timber merchant, Sir Thomas Gould, from 1633.
Quallet and Sparrow. In the 18th part of the King and Queen Yard was called Pitchers Point and was used for shipbuilding by John Quallet and Joshua Sparrow.
Mestaer shipyard. From 1770- to 1818 Pitchers Point and the dry docks at King and Queen shipyard were used by Peter Mestaer. He had a reputation for high quality work for the Royal Navy, East Indiamen and other trade.
William Evans. From 1818 the upper part of the King and Queen Yard was taken over by William Elias Evans. He eventually took over the rest of the yard but it was later spilt and he moved to the lower section. He was a pioneer of steamship building, and between 1821 and 1835 built many steamships including the first Post Office Packets.
William Rennie. The Lower King & Queen Dock from 1860 until 1867 was the base for clipper designer, William Rennie.
Globe Pub. 1754 and closed in 1892. This was on the inland side of the road and may have become the Wheatsheaf
223 The Globe Works. Established in 1876 Henry Quirk was an antimony refiner in what was also known as Aaruna wharf, which was on the site of the old Globe Granary. Thomas Barton and William H Quirk, established their works in 1876. Quirk, Barton were smelters and refiners of imported lead and antimony ores. They also manufactured tea lead, sheet and pipe, solder and litharge. On Aaruna wharf there was a furnace shed and refinery with a small assay office and laboratory fronting Rotherhithe Street.By the 1930s the firm was operating in St. Helens, Lancashire, and eventually became part of Associated Lead. They were in existence until 1964
Younghusbands and Barnes and Co oil merchants on were in King and Queen Wharf in the 20th
King and Queen Wharf. A riverside block of modern brick built flats with balconies and terraces. There is access to the Thames through arched steps and. A clock tower houses the lift
Bellamy's Jetty – this has now been converted to a walkway using the jetty’s concrete piers. This was originally 350 feet and could handle large ships which could not access the upper docks at all states of the tides. It had nine electric and hydraulic cranes.
Bellamy's wharf. This replaced a granary of 1822 burnt down in 1894. It is now part of King and Queen Wharf modern flats. Bellamy’s was probably part of Thomas Gould’s ship breakers in the 17th. By the 1670s he had probably leased the site to Gressingham and Collins. In addition Castle ship breakers were on the site and also Hackwood and Trevathem ship builders. In the 20th this was Bellamy’s Wharf and Dock Co. Ltd. which operated this and King and Queen Wharf. They handled fruit, sugar and general cargoes. It is said to have been built by French prisoners. It is now modern flats.
Great Bulls Head Pub. This was opposite Bulls Head Dock Wharf from 1805 to 1888. The site is now modern housing
Half Moon and Bull's Head. This pub was first recorded in 1805 and closed 1985 when it was called Coopers. The building has had floors added and some other changes.
Woolcombe shipyard. Here were built warships and East Indiamen. From 1810 William and John Beatson were here and by 1815 David Beatson was operating it as a ship breaker.
William Caudery. This was a guano and manure works. Bull Head Dock. Caudrey’s business as a chemical manufacturer is said to have begun in the mid 1840s.
Thames Bank Ironworks Bull Head Dock. This was run by John Hague and then Christie Adams and Hull. From 1838 as a general engineering works. This included building six railway locomotives for the London and South Western Railway in the late 1840s. They also made steam traction engines,
Bermondsey Vestry wharf, Bull Head Dock, used for barging away rubbish. They had a pulveriser which could handle 85 tons of rubbish a day,
Pacific Wharf. This appears to be the current name for Bull Head Dock and describes the current development of flats, which appear to have been spectacularly badly built.
Wilkinson’s Gun Wharf. Acts of Parliament enabling the canal describe the site of the original entrance as Wilkinson’s Gun Wharf. This is assumed to be John ‘Iron Mad’ Wilkinson the Black Country based 18th ironmaster. However a available notes about Wilkinson describe his Rotherhithe works as being a lead pipe works and that it was taken over by Enthoven and that his ‘gun wharf’ was adjacent. The Enthoven site is clearly some distance to the east – so without more and better information it must be assumed that this was an iron foundry, or a transit wharf owned by Wilkinson and if so would be of some importance. Wilkinson is not, however a uncommon name
Created in 1978-81 by Southwark Council to take the through traffic, it makes a loop parallel with Rotherhithe Street but further inland to make it suitable for 'modern traffic'. It was formed from the road that ran part of the way round the edge of the Surrey Docks and it now links with other main roads and Redriff Road. It was named for Bermondsey MP and doctor, Albert Salter, who sought to transform the area in the early 20th.
This timber pond was formed on the basis of the northern arm of the original line of the Grand Surrey Canal, built as a through route. It was infilled in 1984. It is now the site of the Ecological Park.and the line of sports grounds.
Surrey Water. This body of water was created from the former Surrey Basin. It represents the remains of the basin built by Bidder for the Canal Company in the 1860s as part of the arrangements for the new entrance to the canal. The Lord of the Rotherhithe Manor, Sir William Maynard Gomm sold land to the Canal Company and an extended lock to the river was built slightly upriver. This opened into a new basin which connected to the new lock and to what became Albion Dock. It could be closed off from Albion and Island docks and then be used to lock vessels in and out of the river without losing water levels.The basin was infilled by the Port of London Authority, but reopened and reconfigured by the London Docklands Development Corporation. It acquired a pontoon and a fountain switched on by Princess Margaret, both have gone.
A Rotherhithe blog. Web site
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Charlton Society. Web site
Closed Pubs. Web site
Cocroft. Dangerous Energy
Crocker. Gunpowder Mills Gazetteer
Evening Standard. Web site
Docklands History Group. Minutes
Ellmers and Werner. London's Lost Riverscape
Fisher Athletic. Web site
Geograph. Web site
Grace’s Guide. Web site
Gun powder Mills Study Group papers
Hounsell. London’s Rubbish
London Borough of Southwark., Web site
London Wildlife. Nature Conservation in Southwark
Naib. Discover London Docklands
Passmore Edwards. Web site
Pub History. Web site
Thames Shipbuilding Conference. Transactions
Trench and Hillman. London Under London
Williamson and Pevsner. London Docklands