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
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
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 Street
Hanover Stairs. These are near the end of Isambard Place. They were once between Norway and Carolina Wharves. They were originally at the end of Neston Road which was renamed Hanover Street – presumably as some sort of reference to the royal family. They are shown on the early 18th Roque map. Site of Talbot Bros. Barge Builders.
Norway and Ransome's Wharf. Talbot Brothers, barge builders. This was a large family of barge builders, originating in Berkshire, who moved here from Lambeth in the late 1840s.
Ginesi stone merchants
Cristall's Wharf, (later Clarence Wharf ). this was a timber and ship breakers yard.  Previously in 17th it had been timber yard and garden of William Warren. 
Bennets Oil Works (later site of gas works). at Kings Mill. Whaling family who made geographical discoveries in the Sputh Seas. Bennett was a whaler and transporter of convicts to New Zealand.  He an oil wharf bought from a Mr Bush at King's Mills in 1802 remaining there until the 1840s. The works consisted of warehouses, as well as a house, and gardens. He later moved to Blackheath, - Bennet Park is named for him.
Clarence Wharf.  Rotherhithe gas works. This was originally built by Stephen Hutchinson in 1849, opening in 1855 in competition with the Phoenix Gas Co., occupying the land that had formerly housed the Daniel Bennett Works but was falling down since. In an attempt to change things one of Joseph Hedley's son's had taken over the works. Hedley were commercial gas-works builders and managers.  Some sort of siege seems to have resulted and T. Abercrombie Hedley was forcibly ejected by Angus Croll. It then became the Surrey Consumers Company and remained independent until taken over by the South Metropolitan  Gas Company in the 1870s during their era of expansion to take over all of the gas supply in South London  A holder still stands in Brunel Road. There were at one time three gasholders. The site is now covered in housing.
Clarence Wharf. This was the gas works wharf. It also, before the 1880s, appears to have been used by stone merchant, Cooper and Hansom, and later by the marble importers, Ginesi.
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.
Bridge crossed the road here in line with Clarence Wharf. Rail system over the bridge between the gas works and the jetty.When the site was used for aggregates there was a conveyor belt on the bridge. 
Kings Mills. It is said that this was the earliest mill for gunpowder and that it was run by the monks at Bermondsey Abbey, which seems unlikely.  It is said that it was a tide mill – although the mill shown on the Roque map is clearly at the mouth of a water course running from a marshy area to the south east.
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.
Surrey Dock Stairs were Kings Mill Stairs 
Rotherhithe Tunnel Ventilation shaft. The Tunnel was constructed between 1904 and 1908 and the ventilation shafts - cupolas - were designed by the engineer Sir Maurice Fitzmaurice. Made from red brick and Portland stone, each contains a staircase down to the tunnel and four ventilation fans. The ornate iron grilles on the windows spell out the letters ‘LCC’ – for ‘London County Council. The tunnel is said to attain its maximum depth at this shaft. These shafts were not only for ventilation but had stairways as foot entrances to the tunnels – said to have been closed during the Second World War but in fact were open until at least the moid-1960s. The tunnel was accessed via an ornate spiral staircase which can still be seen, although blocked, down in the tunnel itself…. This shaft is now hidden behind railings and some ancillary buildings. There is a bench mark on the wall of the shaft.
Dolphin. This is a structure in the river – in effect an anchor post for ships maneuvering into the entrance. It is of an unusual cast-iron plate construction from about. 1860
Old Salt Quay. Large pub, said to have been built to resemble a boat house.  Built in the early 1990s and previously called Spice Island. There were no salt or spice unloading or storage facilities here. This is said to be on the site of Island Yard and/or Dinorwic Wharf.  With entrances to Surrey Canal and later docks on either side of it.
Grand Surrey Canal original lock and entrance. The Grand Surrey Canal had been set up in 1801 and ran northwards (south and east of this square). It was then to run into a large circular basin with a central artificial island. In effect it divided into two with the southern section called ‘Outer dock’ and the northern remaining the line of the canal.  The two joined again near the river.  This left a portion of land in the centre called The Island. The original canal entrance and lock was where there is now an inlet to the east of the pub. It was infilled by at least 1888 and is said to have been completely demolished during the Second World War. 
Grand Surrey Canal entrance. This was was built in 1860, together with a basin. It appears to have been built at the outlet of a watercourse running north west towards the river. it was mainly used by barges and smaller timber vessels for only five to six hours per day according to the tide. The engineers were George Bidder and Joseph Jennings.  It was infilled as a sluice channel in the 1980s but reopened by LDDC although not so that it worked. The curved dam incorporates the original iron lock gates, with the arms of the early 20th hydraulic gate rams reinstated. Cast-iron capstans and bollards. As a result of the reorgamnisaiton the two arms of the canal going round The Island were removed. The northern channel, used as the canal for through traffic, was infilled too become Stave Dock. The southern section – used as a dock became Island Dock. The Island itself was used for timber sheds, while Surrey Basin was built to the south, Led to the Surrey Basin
Surrey Canal Wharf. From 1829 to 1858 this was the Beatson ship breakers where the Temeraire and similar ships were broken up. Later Welsh slate was also handled here but delivered by road.
Bascule bridge. This is a mid 20th rolling-bascule lifting bridge. It was raised to allow ships into an entrance to Surrey Basin and the Surrey Commercial Docks. It replaced a swing bridge.
Surrey Dock Wharf.  Porter millstone makers were on site in the late 18th
Dinorwic Wharf was named for the Welsh slate quarry. This was their London depot. John Williams marble merchants 1894
Surrey Commercial Wharf.  George and Henry Green wharfingers, they operated the wharf in the late 19th
Bull Head Dock. This was a dry dock, but later a wet dock for barges and lighters. It lay behind Bellamy’s jetty and in the 1790s had been part of the Woolcombe shipyard and in the 1830s it was Beatson's yard. Richard Jarvis shipwrights 1894. Bull Head locomotives built here.
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 Dry Dock. This second dry dock was on the site of the current inlet
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 
Bellamy’s Granary. In the late 19th and early 20th there was a large granary here operated by Bellamy’s.
King and Queen pub. The original works was that of Henry Tillot. Said to have been founded in the 1760s, probably in the City, and eventually closed and sold in 1863. Thomas Howard, father and son were Quakers.  They were said to have a wharf in Rotherhithe. They wren founded for the re-manufacture of scrap iron, they used Howard's Patent, for links used in suspension and girder bridges – used for example in Chelsea suspension bridge. The works include rolling mills, a condensing steam beam engine, steam boilers, shears and forges with a Nasmyth steam hammer, and much more. 
Crouch shipwrights 
Lower King and Queens Wharf. This had been King and Queen Dry Dock but was infilled 1894. It is now the site of part of modern King and Queen Wharf housing.
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.
Amos Estate.The estate was built on the site Mestaers Buildings and the iron foundry It was named after the Rev. Andrew Amos who in 1922 was the Rector of Clare College Mission in Rotherhithe. It was redesigned for the Family Housing Association in 1988 by the A & Q Partnership.
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. 
Prince’s Riverside. Modern flats built 1996. There are "neo-Edwardian" domes and balconied towers on the riverside.
Prince’s Dock. The Iron Screw Collier Co. had a repair depot here in the mid-19th. They were basically a shipping company specialising in collier work.
Upper Globe Dock Shipyard. Henry Bird Jnr built small ships here for the Royal Navy during the mid 1700s and William Marshall also had a timber wharf.  In the 19th it was a site for Hawks and McGhie and from 1880 used as a repair yard for General Steam Navigation.  John Stewart, the Isle of Dogs based shipbuilders used some of the site in the 1890s
205 Globe Wharf. Thames Rice Mills. Built in 1883 as a grain warehouse. It is a six-storey block built by Albert and Percy  Keen and was one of the largest warehouses along the river. In 1887 it could hold 60,000 quarters of corn. In 1924 Globe Wharf was converted for storing and milling rice by Thames Rice Milling.  It was converted into flats in 1996 by PRP Architects and there is also a retail and leisure complex... This conversion includes internal courtyards where brickwork shows different stages of the building’s evolution.  A rice chute is said to be preserved in one of these. On the Thames frontage there is a lattice jibbed red crane attached to the wall which was a 20th addition in the period of the Second World War. This site covers that of the Upper Globe Dock Shipyard.
Globe wharf. Shofield Wright manure
Globe Wharf. Henry Gurney timber and hop merchant was here in the 1860s.
Globe Stairs. Accessed via an unlocked gate.  There was also a pier here in the early 20th.  The stairs date from at least the 17th.
The Wheatsheaf which closed in 1909, but had a subsequent lease of life as a cafĂ© before flats were built on the site,. It was opposite the Three Compasses.  It may have been a successor to the Globe Pub.
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
Lower Globe Dock. This small shipyard was immediately down river from the stairs and in the 17th and 18th run by the Shish family. In the 18th it was run by an Abigail Beard from 1735. From 1830 to 1850 John Sedger had a ship breaker’s yard here and he as followed by a number of small scale ship repairers. By 1907, the dry dock had been infilled and the site was the Crown Lead Works.
Globe Dry dock. This was in use by John Needham shipwright in 1894 but for sale in 1895. The builders of Globe Wharf retained the dry dock, but this was filled in and built over in 1907 and covered by the granary. Part of the site is now covered by King and Queen Wharf’s modern flats,
Wall letter box

Globe Pond – timber pond No. 5 appears to be on the site.
Homes for Heroes. cottages on the inland side of the road were built here by the London County Council in 1920,
Three Compasses,. building on the site of a pub with this name dating back at least to 1767.  In the 1890s it appears to be called Ye Olde Compasses. It was later renamed the Deal Porter and is now a pizza restaurant.
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
Watermen’s Arms'. This was extant in 1756 but in 1858 was demolished for the widening of the Surrey Basin entrance to the canal.

Salter Road
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.
Gas works. The remaning holder was on the inland side of  Salter Road.  

Stave Dock
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
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
Carr. Docklands
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
GLIAS. Newsletter
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
PLA Magazine
Pub History. Web site
Redriffe Chronicle
Smyth. Citywildspace
Thames Shipbuilding Conference. Transactions
Trench and Hillman. London Under London
Williamson and Pevsner. London Docklands


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