Sunday, 16 December 2018

Eltham Town Centre


Post to the west Eltham Common
Post to the east Eltham


Archery Road
Named for the target practice butts which were somewhere near here in 1600
32-62 the earliest houses in the road, built in the 1920s
55 blue plaque to Lord Morrison of Lambeth, 1888-1965, cabinet minister and Leader of the LCC, who lived here 1929-60.  Plaque installed 1977.
Baptist Church, this is shown on the current site of no54 before the Second World War.

Court Road
Built after Mottingham Station was built on an old track from Chapel Farm to Eltham
Eltham United Reformed church. This was a Congregational Church. Built 1936

Court Yard
Where medieval markets were held with a charter from 1299. The road runs from Eltham High Street and Church to the gates of Eltham Palace.
11 Rusty Bucket Pub. This was previously The Crown, a Beasleys pub rebuilt in 1930

Dobell Road
Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses,

Elizabeth Terrace
Terraced cottages of around 1840.
Methodist Chapel. Eltham’s first |Methodist church was here in 1840 and survived, in other use until the 1930s.

Elstow Close
Royal Eltham Miniature Golf Course Co. This lay between the Close and Archery Road before the Close was built in the 1940s. It was derelict by1941.
Club house. For the golf course. This is probably the bungalow on the pathway between Elstow Close and Archery Road

Eltham High Street
2 White Hart. Old pub which appears in early 19th directories as a coach stop. It was rebuilt 1926. In the 19th it was a Dartford Brewery house.   The pub now appears to be closed.
Forster alms-houses. These were to the rear of the White Hart until 1926 when the pub was rebuilt. There were four rooms which were given to widows or single women and some pensions given to other needy Eltham residents.
6 Modern House. This is currently a music school – Street Vibes Academy.
8-24 and 43 Ancaster car dealers.  On the north side of the road they are on the site of the Eltham Brewery,
Brewery. This was set up before 1850 as the Beehive Brewery belonging to Leare and Turner. Changing to Berners & Kemp by 1870 who replaced the old timber brewery replaced with a tower brewery by Arthur Kinder. By 1870 the brewery traded as Grier & Shepherd in and then the Bavarian Brewery Co. It closed in 1888, to be opened by the Kenward Brothers in 1900. Edward Kenward developed a low alcohol beer here. The brewery was for sale by 1920. It was then paint and varnish works until destroyed by Second World War bombing. In the 19th a Baptist meeting used the brewery stables.
34 Draughts. This pub restaurant is in what was The Chequers.  This was built in 1903, with half-timbered gables and a chequer-board sign.
Milestone. This is attached to the front of Draughts. It is from the early 18th erected by the New Cross Turnpike Trust, with iron plates reading '8 miles to London Bridge, 4 miles to Foots Cray'.
60 King's Arms. Closed, demolished and replaced by an office block as part of the Grove Market Place redevelopment.
St John the Baptist.  This old parish church is on an ancient sacred site and is first recorded in 1115.  It was rebuilt when in the 1667 the church 15th had deteriorated. It was replaced in 1872 by the current building by A. W.Blomfield. Originally the tower and spire of the previous church were kept but replaced in 1879. There was considerable damage in the Second World War.  An extension with a vestry was built in 1988.  Inside it is simple, whitewashed and spacious, with stained glass at both ends -  at the east end traditional, by Sir Ninian Comper, and at the west end modern by B.E. Barber.  Inside the porch, is a square stone marked with a cross which is part of a 12th coffin and there is a 19th Royal coat of arms. The pews are 19th from St Mary’s Lambeth.  There is a plaque to the burial in 1721 of Thomas Doggett, founder of the Doggett’s Coat & Badge Race.
Churchyard. The old burial ground is to the north with 17th walls.  There is a stone of 1794 to Yemmerrawanyea Kebbarah, one of the first two Australian aborigines to visit Europe. And the tomb of Sir William James, commemorated by Severndroog Castle. It is now managed as a nature reserve with doves and hedgehogs. There are old yews. Scrub with many grasses and flowering plants.
War Memorial. This remembers the Great War and was unveiled in 1924 by Field Marshal Sir William R Robertson. It is a cross on a plinth with 316 names engraved,
80 Bankers Draught. Weatherspoon’s pub
86 Ye Olde Greyhound Inn.  A brick village-style pub, completely rebuilt 1978 to look like 1720.  There is a stone Tudor fireplace possibly brought from Eltham Palace inside.  This is a now an Indian restaurant
90 Old Shop. Wine bar in a shop from around 1720 with weather boarded side and with artifacts from its earlier use as a pharmacy inside.
124 Palace Cinema. This was on the corner with Passey Place. It opened in 1922 built by Thomas & Edge of Woolwich for the Kent Cinema Circuit Ltd. A dome on the corner was covered in gold leaf and was topped with an arc-light. Inside were a tea room, lounge and smoking room. In 1934, the interior was remodelled and in 1936 it taken over by the Union Cinema chain, them taken over by Associated British Cinemas in 1937. It was re-named ABC in 1964, and eventually closed in 1972. The building was demolished later and a shop and offices built on the site.
140 Castle Pub. Now a fried chicken shop.
162-164 Carpenters Arms. Closed in the 1980s and demolished
180 St Mary’s Centre. An early 19th house which was once part of a Roman Catholic school and convent. It became a community centre in 1986. Ancient lights

Eltham Hill
Eltham Hill School. The buildings are in part of what was the grounds of Eltham Palace. The rear of the original Girls Grammar School building of 1927 can be seen from Queenscroft Road.  The buildings fronting Eltham Hill date from 1975.  The modernist 1969 block is by Trevor Dannatt. In 1974-5 the school became a comprehensive, and a games hall was added. It was again rebuilt in 2012. It was at one time a technology college and is now a community school with a sixth form.
Van Dyke Building - a Late 17th garden house in the school grounds with an associated garden. It is now part of the new school entrance.
Adjoining walls and the boundary wall in front of the school may also be 17th and once enclosed a farm.
Lyme Farm. This was sold to Woolwich Borough Council in 1919 and the Page Estate was built.
85 Eltham Hill Club. This is on the site of the Lyme Farm farmhouse. CIU registered working men’s club,
Eltham Baths. These were built in 1938-39 by the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich design by the Borough Architect, Herbert Tee. There were two pools. The building was in modernist style with two public entrances allowing the pools to be used separately. The large pool could be covered and used for concerts, etc. A hydrotherapy pool for disabled people was added in 1968, and an electricity substation probably in 1989. The baths were known for their synchronised swimming teams. The complex closed in 2008 and was demolished in 2011.
Reconstructed palace wall at the junction with Kingsground, It marks the north perimeter of the old palace grounds and shows how the original wall would have looked. There is a plaque
Gaumont Cinema, Built 1938 by Andrew Mather. This was at the corner of Kingsground.  It was an Odeon built for and operated by the Oscar Deutsch Odeon Theatres Ltd. Chain however it did not show new Odeon releases which were allocated to the Odeon Well Hall. Eltham Hill Odeon played the Gaumont releases and in 1949 was re-named the Gaumont. It was closed by the Rank Organisation in 1967 and converted into a Top Rank Bingo Club, and now Mecca Bingo.

Eltham Palace Fields.
Formal grounds, a recreation ground and fields.  It includes a large area of open land with old hedgerows, a variety of grasses and wild flowers. There are also wetter areas - ponds and the palace moat. Until fairly recently there was a real farm with meadows.  A pasture on south east side has a natural pond with hawthorn and hedgerows. There are also allotments.

King John's Walk
Long footpath running downhill through fields from b3ehud Eltham palace to Mottingham, Part of the Green Chain walk.   It originally ran from the palace to the King’s stud farm and hunting ground to the south. It is named after a French king who was a prisoner here in 1360s or Prince John the son of Edward III, or John of France or John Shaw or anyone really. There are often donkey’s or horses in a field part way down
Eltham Palace – the palace buildings itself lie in the square to the south. This square covers the entrance gates, walls and some of the moat.
Moat.  The palace became a royal possession from 1305 when it was already a moated manor house. Under Edward III part of the great wall around the moat was built and under Richard II the stone bridge was built which still serves as the northern entrance, the oldest bridge in London still in use. The palace fell into disuse but in the 1930s Part of the moat was reinstated and in the 1990s the northern side of the moat was landscaped with rockwork, shrubs, and London plane trees;

Kingsground
K2 type cast-iron telephone kiosk, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1927 by the junction of Kingsground and Queenscroft Road.

North Park
Part of the Green Chain Walk despite the up market suburban housing.

Orangery Lane
Orangery red brick garden building of around 1720; which was at the end of the garden of Eltham House, demolished in the 1920s.  .
Merlewood House. Telephone exchange. This is at the end of the lane, encroaching on Well Hall rad. Very large art deco building replacing an 18th building with the same name,
10 SEGAS depot now in other use
20 Greenwich Trussell Trust food bank. This is an old council depot

Passey Place
Originally this was called Park Place.
45 Park Tavern 19th pub. Small friendly local off the high street.
4 GPO previously called the Old Post Office. Built in 1912 this is the old post office and sorting office. It has an ornamented pediment and the royal insignia over the doorway. G.V.R. in the wrought-iron gateway.
20 United Methodist Church. This stood here until the 1970s, later known as the Park Room.
22 Ismaili Jamaat Khana mosque
Entrance to pathway to rear of the shops – with a dramatic brutalist design.
Philpot Almhouses. These are on a side road running to the east from Passey Place, and also called Passey Place. Thomas Philpot who died in 1682 owned land bequeathed money for an Alms-house for six poor people from the parishes of Eltham and Chislehurst.  This was built in Eltham High Street in 1694 and later extended into side streets. In 1926 nine units were built on the current site following an arrangement with Woolwich Borough Council. It was designed by Wratten and Godfrey. In 1974, more units were built and the rest upgraded.  A hall was also added. There are now thirty six units surrounded by gardens.
32 Eltham Community Hospital. The site as originally used for Eltham and Mottingham Cottage Hospital. What was originally Eltham Cottage Hospital opened in 1880 in the, High Street and was funded by wealthy local residents. In 1896 following a public meeting a building committee was set up to build a new hospital. The hospital was to be built to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria on land in Passey Place. It opened in 1898 with two public wards, two private wards a bathroom, and an operating theatre.  In 1900 a children's ward was added and in 1909 a Casualty Ward. There were other additions funded as memorials by wealthy residents. In the Second World War the Hospital joined the Emergency Medical Service, for air-raid casualties. A Preliminary Training School for nurses was set up. In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS. By 1956 there were 42 beds but the wards were old-fashioned and staff accommodation was inadequate.   The Hospital closed in 1980.  From 1984 to 1988 the premises were used by the Brook Hospital Charity Shop.  In 1988 the buildings became a nursing home for the elderly, called and Eltham and Mottingham House opened on 5th December 1989.  It was managed by the Hexagon Housing Association. This closed in 2010 and has since been demolished. The Eltham Community Hospital has now opened on the site

Philpot Path
This is a major route, now a footpath, running along the south of Eltham town centre between Court Yard, and what is now Sainsbury’s.  It is named after the alms-houses which now stand on an extension of the path now called Passey Place.

Pullman Place
Housing on what was the coal depot for Eltham Well Hall Station.  The depot site is also partly covered by the Rochester Way Relief Road – meaning that this housing development is cut off from the site of what was the station.

Queenscroft Road
Queenscroft Park. Up until 1938 this was the site of Oakhurst Farm. The park was installed by Woolwich Borough Council and laid out after the Second World War. In the 1950s it had a playground, a paddling pool, a boating pool, drinking fountain, lavatories and 2 shelters. On the hillside are the remains of the landscape before the park was laid out. There are oak and lime trees, and a more recent line of Lombardy poplars. below the playground are the remains of the now dried up paddling pool and model boating lake along with a water feature with concrete walls, circular ponds and a small bridge. Vandalism followed the removal of park keepers and now much of what is left are ruins. There is however a new outdoor gym and a games area.

Railway Line
The railway line opened in 1895 as the Bexleyheath Line built by a small company and taken over by the South Eastern Railway soon after.  It runs around the Well Hall Estate on a dangerous curve which contributed to a major derailment in 1972.
The line between Blackheath and  Falconwood is a green corridor with cuttings and embankments with sycamore and oak woodland.  Hawthorn and bramble provide a habitat for birds and animals.

Rochester Way Relief Road
This opened in 1988 to relieve pressure on the A2 Rochester Way and runs between Shooters Hill and Falconwood

Roper Street
Eltham Primary School. This was the village school attached to the church and founded in 1813 and by 1816 had 213 pupils. An infant school was added in 1840 but moved to a different building in 1852. In 1868 the school moved to the current site with separate rooms for the boys and girls and houses for both head teachers. It was taken over by the London County Council in 1904.  In 1933 the infant school moved to a separate building at Roper Street. In the Second World War School the children were evacuated and the school taken over by the Heavy Rescue Service. Air raid shelters were built in the playground. Further expansion has taken place and new buildings added. In 2014 it had 313 pupils.

Sowerby Close
Built on the site of the vicarage for St Johns and named after the vicar

Well Hall Road
This was laid out in 1905
Old tram shelters erected in the 1920s and now painted yellow and used as public toilets. .
Congregational church. Replaced by a Burton’s shop, built during the 1930s.niw McDonalds
Eltham Well Hall Station. This was opened in 1895 by the Bexleyheath Railway. The owner of Well Hall, Sir Henry Page-Turner Barron forced Parliament to consent to Well Hall Station in 1887. Opened as ‘Well Hall’ and precipitated large scale building in the area. The original Entrance was from the west side of Well Hall Road. In 1916 it was renamed ‘Well Hall and North Eltham’ and in 1927 it was renamed ‘Eltham Well Hall’.   A footbridge was built prior to electrification in 1926. A downside entrance built in 1936 along with a new red brick up side building. I closed in 1985 and was replaced by Eltham.  The site is partly under the Rochester Way Relief Road.
Signal box. This was in place until 1970,
Goods site. This had ac a 5 ton crane which had been brought from a closed station at Sandgate. In the Great War ambulance trains arrived with patients for the Royal Herbert Hospital, and sidings were built for them. In 1915 thru were also with many train loads of building materials. In 1938 it was extended with accommodation for an extra 14 wagons.
Eltham Station. This opened in 1985. It lies between Falconwood and Kidbrook on South Eastern Trains. It was built here because of the construction of the Rochester Way Relief Road and built at their expense.  It is in red brick and concrete with a large car park. The booking office and facilities are at ground level.
Bus Station.  This is integral to Eltham Station
Spiritualist church. This stood next to the railway before the Second World War
Police station built 1937 and designed by Pinckney & Gott

Wensley close
Demelza Children’s Hospice.

Wythfield road
Bob Hope Theatre, building 1910, which was originally the parish hall for St Johns Church.  In 1982, before his death, the film star provided assistance to keep the theatre open

Sources
Blue Plaque Guide
Brewery History. Web site
Bygone Kent 
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Eltham Hill School. Web site
Eltham Primary School. Web site
Eltham Pubs. Web site
Friends of Queenscroft Park. Web site
Goldsmiths. South East London Industrial Archaeology
Johnson’s Directory 1818.
Kennett. Eltham. A Pictorial History
Kennett. The Eltham Hutments
London Borough of Greenwich. Web site
London Gardens on line. Web site
London Parks and Gardens, Web site
London Railway Record.
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
MOLA. Web site
Philpot Almshouses. Web site
RIBA Web site
SABRE. Web site
Spurgeon. Discover Eltham

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