More from Subterranean Greenwich and Kent, on the exact nature of the Blackheath Cavern.
Excellent piece of investigation here, showing how a search for an ancestor lead to a discovery of chicken theft in the family! But does “Conduit Lodge, Blackheath Park” still exist?
If anyone can shed any light, please do! I’m off to rustle some chickens from CostCutter.
Nice find over on British Army Lineages – a description of the army camping on Blackheath from 1697:
Partial transcription from my squinting at the text (shout if you see mistakes, or manage to transcribe the rest!):
A description of the camp on Blackheath which begun on Thursday the 1st of July 1697.
On Tuesday the 1st day of July 1697, the 7 Regiments of Foot marcht to Black-heath in the County of Ken, about 6 Mile from London’ in order to Encamped, and having the Ground set out for the setting up their Tents’ and on Thursday and Friday the 1st and 2d Days of July, the 7 Regiments of Foot came all into the Camp, then the Camp was full, which consisteth of 7 Regiments. Lieutenant Colonel Withers Brigadier for this Camp, acteth as chief. The distance of each Regiment as they are Encamped on the Heath is 24 Paces; and between the Regiments they are xx Paces. The distance of the Foot Companies one from another, is about 4 Paces in the Front, and 12 Tents in File, two Foot between every Tent; in length 813 Paces from thence to the Brigadiers Tent.
Here’s an interesting thing. In 1941 Reg Counsell worked for the Holmes Plating Company in Blackheath. He’s 85 now, and has sent in some photos of his time there. One in particular caught my eye – a group of the workers up on the heath. So I went to try and work out whereabouts it was taken. There are so many more trees on the heath now! And for some reason the three windows on the big white house are now blocked up. Maybe blacked out during the war? But if that was the case, surely they’d prefer to have a view of the heath now? Very odd… Anyway, I’ve made a montage above showing Reg’s photo, and some current images from the heath.
Blackheath Society Vice-presidents Neil Rhind and Tony Aldous will be carrying out a guided walk (same route both days) looking at some of Blackheath’s best Georgian and early Victorian buildings on its south east corner. Meet outside the Princess of Wales’s pub. Walks approx. 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Maximum numbers 30. Tickets (free) available on a first-come first-served basis from 10.45 am (Saturday) and 2.45 pm (Sunday).
Saturday 17th September (tomorrow) – 11am
Sunday 18th September – 3pm
This should be excellent. Neil Rhind is always an interesting speaker, author of the excellent Blackheath Village & Environs series, and knows more than is healthy about the history of this area!
Great photo from 1974 of a Number 54 bus passing the Heathview hotel in Montpelier Row by Lloyd Rich on Flickr. As one commenter pointed out “just about to be overtaken by Emma Peel too”. Sent in response to the perennially popular post Memories of Blackheath 1944-1958 by Bob Land.
Abbottabad (the city where Bin Laden was killed late last night) has a strong connection with Blackheath. From Neil Rhind (author of the seminal books about Blackheath):
Bugler – Good morning. Thought your readers would like to know the following before the national press get it wrong.
Abbottabad. in Pakistan, now famous/notorious for being Osama Bin Laden’s place of execution, was named after a Greenwich man: General Sir James Abbott (1807-1896) who was born at No 5 The Paragon. He was one of three illustrious sons of the family of Henry Abbott, navy agent and Calcutta merchant. James was commissioned in the Bengal artillery in 1823; in 1839 he was sent to negotiate a treaty between Khiva and Russia, signing the terms in St Petersburgh, in 1840. He was Commander of the garrison at Hazara, in the Sikh War of 1849-50, and held it so tenaciously that he enjoyed the thanks of both houses of Parliament. Abbottabad was named after him. His memoirs of the Khiva campaign were published in 1843. His brothers, Augustus and Frederick, were also promoted to Major General and were knighted for their services in India and Afghanistan. The Abbott family lived in Blackheath from the 1790s to 1820. Abbottabad “ … a remote city in a valley …” suffered dreadfully in the earthquake in October 2005.
Many thanks to Neil for sending this in. If you live in Blackheath, then buy his books. They’re really, really excellent.
It would be great if Blackheath Society did the same thing with their photos. They’ve got loads of old photos too, but very few are on the website.
Does anyone know if the Sainsbury’s photo is from Blackheath? I have a feeling that Shepherd’s used to be a Sainsbury’s years ago?
UPDATE: According to Blackheath Village and Environs, 1790-1970: The Village and Blackheath Vale v. 1 (p54) Sainsbury’s occupied the travel agents building. One of only 100 opened between 1892 and 1914. It closed in February 1959.
Here are all the links:
Education in Lewisham
Leisure and Recreation
Lewisham’s Industrial past
Inns, Taverns and Pubs – public houses in Lewisham
Shops and Shopping
Lewisham Cinemas and Theatres
Neil wrote to me, as he’s in the process of setting up a website dedicated to the place name and literary phrase Beggars Bush. He noticed that there is a “Beggars Bush” listed on a map of Blackheath from 1695 by Samuel Travers, and wondered if anyone knew the origin of the name? It isn’t indexed as a place name in Neil Rhind’s Volumes 1 or 2 of Blackheath Village and Environs.
There is a terrible online interface to the map mentioned in the post, at the National Maritime Museum. It is completely beyond me as to why a museum would insist on only providing tiny piecemeal chunks of a map like this. They say the map is copyright, but given that it was created in 1695, and published in 1812, I can’t help thinking it should really be in the public hands (even if the mechanical copyright to the photograph is owned by the museum). It’s not as though bandwidth for delivering large images is unaffordable.
Interestingly, the delivery mechanism is very simple:
Delivers a single square of the map.
Increasing the numbers 5F7 and %5F19 within the URL above, adjusts the Y and X coordinates shown, respectively. Which makes me think that any web developers with a spare Sunday afternoon could probably pull down the entire map, tile it together, and then upload it somewhere out of harms way…
The film above shows a “house of tomorrow” somewhere in Blackheath. It was filmed by Pathe in 1957. Olly emailed me, asking if anyone knows where it is. Do you? I’d assumed it could be a Span House, but I’m not sure. Click the image to view, and try to ignore the irritating pre-roll advertisements. Terrible website for some great old newsreel clips.