East Wickham

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Abbots Walk

In 1930 the first of the new roads, Abbotts Walk, was marked out. Other new roads followed in rapid succession, although the Urban District Council's planning scheme and building byelaws prevented the sudden influx of speculative builders experienced in some neighbouring areas. During the 1930's an average of 495 new houses per annum were built, rising to over 800 per annum in the last two years before the war. The original new inhabitants of Bostall were by v/ay of being pioneers. The new houses preceded any amenities such as shops or schools and in most cases preceded the actual roads themselves. The rows of houses spread across the open fields, the building materials being delivered by a system of narrow gauge railways, white the concrete roads were made afterwards. The original residents of Abbotts Walk spent their first winter by candlelight until the electricity mains were connected.

St. Hillary’s Estate by Messrs Absolom in 1930s. No electricity when houses were built. Distinctive bungalows on cabbage fields.

V2 attack 18 February 1945 6 killed, 17 seriously injured, 87 slightly hurt.

V2 10th November 1944  disintegrated above Erith. Its break-up did not do.any good for those on the ground, because the warhead exploded in the centre of the road-way of King Harold's Way. The blast demolished twenty homes, killing two people and injuring 24. Peter Gilham, aged 13, whose home was in King Harold's Way, was at school in Northumberland Heath at the time. He saw the flames and smoke of the explosion in the direction of his home but was not too worried because he knew that his parents were out. When he returned home for lunch, Peter found the house in a reasonable state, being about half a mile from the point of impact. In a neighbour's garden were firemen working to lift out the engine of the V2 from the soil into which it had imbedded itself. a woman had been killed while taking a bath and another person was killed in the street.

Brampton Road

St.Andrew. Began as a wooden hut in 1935. New building in 1957. Became the mother church of a new parish in 1984.

Brampton Road Brickfield. J.  Amos 1847 and J.H.Sankey and Sons 1907-1918

Clam Field

Anti aircraft gun site

Dixon’s Farm

Fields and orchards of Dixon's farm disappeared under the extensive development of Messrs. Feakes and Richards, although many of the original orchard fruit trees still survive in the gardens of the houses

East Wickham

East Wickham. ‘Wikam’ in 1240, ‘Wykham’ 1254, ‘Estwycham’ 1284 ‘Est Wycham’ 1292,’ East Wickham’ c.1762, probably ‘homestead associated with a vicus’, i.e. an earlier Romano-British settlement', from Old English ‘wic-hdm’. -East' to distinguish this place from West Wickham, which lies some 10 miles south-west and has the same origin: both names are likely to belong to the earliest stratum of Saxon names. Its situation is significant, lying as it does just north of the old Roman road from London to Dover and some 3 miles from the probable site of the Roman town of Noviomagus.  Much of the area owned by the Surrey based Leigh family.  In the 20th development in Welling meant that what was left of the old hamlet of East Wickham became a relic feature eclipsed by twentieth century development.

Roman road followed the parish boundary,

St. Thomas More RC began in a temporary building, in 1936, which continued in use as the church hall after the new church replaced it in 1951

East Wickham House, for nearly 200 years the home of a family named Jones, some of whom are commemorated in the old church.


Another council development commemorates the name of the large house previously situated there. The house survived to become an auxiliary fire station during the Second World War, suffering bomb damage before its final demolition to become a site originally occupied by temporary prefabricated housing

Goldie Leigh Drive?

Cottage at edge of woods was lodge for big house,

Avenue of trees behind it,

Goldie Leigh Hospital: Site of Old Park House. Built 1902. Part of Sir George Leigh's manor of East Wickham. For handicapped children. Transferred from Metropolitan Asylums Board to London County Council.

Hartley Road

Home of Raymond friend of Lenin

King Harold's Way

Parachute mine in 4.1941. Damaged 1,072 properties

Library After six years of service from the mobile library, Bostall was provided with a permanent library service in 1939, when Erith Borough Council purchased a bungalow in King Harold’s Way for conversion to a branch library.

St.Hilary Estate – distinctive bungalows on cabbage fields between here and Abbot’s Walk. Preceded any amenities such as shops. The building materials were delivered by a narrow gauge railway.

V2 attack 18th February 1945. The Gilham family were seated around the dining table when the huge explosion blew doors open and sent tiles flying off the roof. Everyone dived under the table. A terrific whoosh sound like a train entering a tunnel rose in the sky and faded away 7.44 pm

Longleigh Lane

Horse trough


Odd corners, such as the council estate here remained to be built on until after World War II

Methodist church was opened in 1955

West Heath Road

The area of Erith adjacent to the Heath remained rural in character until 1930, the only houses being a few villas in Woolwich Road and West Heath Road. The years between the wars saw a spate of new development by which the built-up area of Greater London expanded rapidly into surrounding districts, and in 1930 the building of the "new estates" in the Bostall area was begun. New houses appeared in West Heath and Brampton Roads

West Heath recreation ground portion of Gray family property, which survived. Opened by the Minister of Health, Sir Kingsley Wood, on July 2nd 1937.  Temporary housing for bombed out families from the war occupied it for several years, where a collection of adapted Nissen huts was known as Nissen Way

Woolwich Road

The Gray family's extensive property fronting Woolwich Road was built on by Messrs. Thoburn, although the splendid line of trees along its frontage was preserved

St.Joseph’s. Antedating the churches by 30 years, St. Joseph's Convent was established in Woolwich Road in 1904. Its attendant Secondary School for girls grew steadily in number of pupils, and the large modern wing was added in 1956.


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