London Local History - this lists street by street items of historical interest - public, industrial buildings & some environmental features in London and its immediate surroundings. Streets are given in OS grid squares - but numbering is not included (sorry!). Older squares give links to adjacent squares - but many are unfinished. Enter search words above right
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Co-op Woods owned by Royal
Arsenal Co-operative Society. First outdoor school there in 1907, London County
Council. Became campsite. Site of building depot for the estate, which was all,
made on site, bricks, and all. Chalk mine under the site. Social services
building was the work canteen, entrance to mine at the back,
Gardens of big properties
to the east of the road have become part of the Abbey Grove
St.Benet, R.C. 1909
by F. Coyle.
500 The Harrow.Typical locals pub
Named for nearby Lesnes
Abbey and associated woods, which belonged to it.
Abbey Wood Road
All Angels, 1908, Blomfield & Son.
129-131 Rose Lea Villas,
RACS bought Bostall Farm in
1899, characteristic names
Harrow Manor Way
Barge Pole. Unprepossessing exterior and a welllooked after interior and an expanding rangeofrealales.
Hurst Farm Estate
West of New Road
Hurst Woods Pond
Fossil beds. Rich in
fossils it is the Blackheath Beds. National importance and SSSI
woodland plus an ornamental
Bexley Hospice on site
of Shornells, which had been built by architect of Woolwich Library, Henry
Church. In 1914 it became a convalescent home for officers and bought by Royal
Arsenal Co-operative Society as Jubilee Memorial 1918. Education and rest home.
Second phase of hospice 2003.
Belvedere Private Clinic
was The Cottage
Deneholes. three deneholes were examined 1906- 1908.The result was inconclusive.Each hole yielded six chambers in the
chalk.Some bones were found but no
Fossil Beds, Blackheath beds, Site of Special Scientific
'Lessness' might mean 'little nose'. Marked as ‘Leesing Heath’ on Bowen's map of c.1762 and as ‘Lesness
Heath’ on the Ordnance Survey map of 1805. Named from ‘Leosne’ mid 11th,
‘Lesneis’, ‘Loisnes’ 1086 in the Domesday Book. ‘Hlosnes’ in the late-11th,
‘Lesnes’ 1194. It has been suggested that it might be from an Old English word
‘hieosn’ -'burial mound' or 'shelter'
in a plural form ‘hleosne’, later showing association with Old English. Thus
possibly 'the burial mounds' or 'the shelters'.It was the name of one of the medieval hundreds of Kent, the meetings of
which were held here on the heath.Lesnes Abbey Woods, is marked Abbey Wood on the Ordnance Survey maps of
1805 and 1888 - hence also the name of the residential district of Abbey Wood -
so called from the Abbey.
Abbey.Founded 11th June 1178 by Richard de
Lucy as an Augustinian abbey. Henry II's Chief Justifier to Thomas a Beckett, De Lucy
had Lesnes Abbey built as penance for Beckett’s murder,although
excommunicate, and retired in 1178. He died within months and
was buried in the grounds. The Order of St Augustine possessed large parts of
Plumstead and the monks reclaimed the marshland north of the abbey and it is
thought built the first river wall here. Farms were established and the Abbey prospered.In
1283 financial control
was taken from the abbot and given to the canons because of mismanagement. King Edward I visited it, on his way to
Canterbury in 1300.In 1381 Poll Tax
rebels from Erith came here on their way to join Wat Tyler at Blackheath taking
a boat from the canons to cross the river. In the 15th they got into debt because
of over-sale of corrodies. So it was ‘Grubbed up, but already stripped of its
honour-chewing meat and sniffing
women’. In 1525 Wolsey's agent, Dr
William Burbank, took possession and closed it down and the income used to set
up Christ's College, Cambridge.In 1537 the river banks burst and 2,000 acres were flooded and not fully
reclaimed till 1563 when an Act of Parliament allowed exiled Italian theologian
and engineer Giacomo Aconzio to reclaim part of the land. Within two years he
had embanked a quarter of the land and by 1587, three quarters. By 1630 the
abbey was described as a ruin, its stones used on other buildings. In 1844 it became Abbey Farm, 350 acres,
on the site of Abbey Grange. Sir Alfred Clapham excavated the site in1909-13, but the remains were only laid bare after the
mid 1950s. In 1930 it
was bought by the London County Council
The abbey is believed to have been built from Normandy
stone but on the outer walls are blocks of flint. These were probably came from
the river that used to flow downhill from the south.Much of it is now low walls and foundations
but the sections of the abbey are signposted and the foundations provide a useful diagram
fromwhich to learn the
layout. The church had an aisled nave in a plan
more normally Cistercian. The bases of several shafts remain, with leafspurs of the under curling kind called 'waterleaf,
typical of c.1180. The Lady Chapel was east of the transept and built in 1371.
Other buildingslay on the north side
of the church for drainage reasons. On the side of the cloisters was therectangular chapter house, North of this was the
dormitory and reredorter. The refectory can be recognized by the steps up to
the pulpit and the kitchen witha serving-hatch
through the wall. The only complete feature to survive is a doorway. There was
a separate infirmary block.There are a
few 13th tiles in atransept chapel. The
ruined walls support rare plants – rue leaved saxifrage.
Medieval harbour line
identified by deep channel to the west of the ruins,
Lesnes Abbey Wood was controlled by the Augustinians and
stretched as far east as Erith. Sweet chestnut trees used to dominate the
forest and can still be found along with sessile oak. Ancient areas of
heathland and acid grassland.. It is now a habitat of Metropolitan importance. There are
dangerous caves where there have been fatalities.There are important bat sites.
LCC Park opened 1939. Flower beds and mulberry,
thyme, leaved sandwort, black mendick, wall barley, harts tongue, black
spleenwort, maidenhair spleenwort, polypody male fern. Plaque to
antiquarian,Erwood. The site
is beautiful with simple but neat ornamental gardens and the massed trees of Abbey
Wood rising on mounds to the south. The daffodils are the best in London. There are also
wild daffodils, wild anemones and bluebells, and wild service trees.
West Wood, stream running
Hurst Pond. Was pond of
Hurst House and called Pine Pool. Ponds were once linked by rustic bridges.
Willow Pool and Fountain Pool now silted
River Lea/Bow Creek The Lea winds itself generally southwards towards the Thames TQ 39505 81448 Canning Town on the Essex bank of Lea/Bow Creek. This was, and is, a heavily industrialised area together with a very down market housing area with markets, shops, cinemas, pubs and many charitable and missionary organisations. In the 2000s public transport has been transformed and much housing renewed, and it is an area in a great deal of change. Post to the west Poplar Post to the south Leamouth and Dome Post to the east Canning Town, Butchers Road Post to the north West Ham Station Appleby Road The road is named after a local ARP warden who was killed during the Blitz. A pre-war suburban ideal is demonstrated in this West Ham estate. Barking Road It was built by the Commercial Road Turnpike Trust from the East India Docks eastwards. Now the A124 it formed part of the original A13 before the building so the East Ham and Barking Bypass in 1928. It was widened as part o
Post to the west (north west quarter) Mile End Post to the west (north east quarter) Post to the east Bromley by Bow Post to the north Old Ford Addington Road Addington Arms . Pub dating from the 1860s. It does not appear to be still there. Police stables . From 1938 twenty horses were located here. These stables were built in moderne style white concrete by police surveyor Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. There is a stable at the back as well as tack rooms and a chimney for the forge – there was a full time farrier. Above are two flats for married police officers. The white concrete wall is original. Alfred Street 1-5 Inland Revenue Office . Sold off 1981. Has been used as a college an as offices Almshouses Way, This was once called Priscilla Street. 1 Drapers' Almshouses . These were built in 1706. What remains is a brick group of four tenements with central raised and pedimented chapel. They were restored in 1982 but were originally part of a larger group funded by
Post to the south Woodside Post to the east Birkbeck Post to the north Anerley Albert Road This road is the earliest built here, first listed in 1855, and although the Croydon Canal was no longer in use it influenced the alignment of the road. From the junction with Portland Road looking the curve of the road reflects the line of the old canal which was to the north of the houses. It is named after Albert, the Prince Consort. 74-76 Stanleybury . Very large three-storey semis. Built for William Stanley, who moved to 74 in 1867. William Stanley’s works in South Norwood was complimented by his local philanthropy. His site is now a close of modern flats. Accidentally demolished. 67 small trading estate and MOT centre . At one time this was home to a theatre transport specialist. St.Mark . This was the first church in the area and is the parish church by G. H. Lewis. The nave was built in 1852 and the church was extended in 1862 and in successive years until 1890. It is in Kentis