Category Archives: maps

More on boundary changes

Blackheath boundary map before and after
Good article in the Telegraph about the nonsense of not releasing the actual maps.
Guardian mash up of the new boundary maps
Telegraph combining the Guardian’s maps with the existing boundaries.
(Animation above is based on the Blackheath bit of the Telegraph’s page).

PS- that’s my quota of animated GIFs used up for the year… probably…

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Beggars Bush

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:

For example, this link:
http://www.nmm.ac.uk/servlet/ThumbnailServlet?src=%2FLargeImages%2FF04%2FF0460%2FF0460%5F1%5F7%5F19%2Ejpg&width=400

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…

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Dowager’s Bottom

Having said in the previous post that I couldn’t find The Crown Pub on John Rocque’s London survey map from 1746, I’ve found it on another site:
Section from John Rocque's survey map of Blackheath

If you look just below the delightfully named “Dowager’s Bottom”, you can see a sprinkling of buildings, around the triangle that is now Tranquil Vale and the Royal Parade.

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Map of Liofshema, Grenewic, Hacheham

Hand drawn maps of Anglo-Saxon London by the Londonist
Lovely hand drawn maps imagining Anglo-Saxon London. Blackheath included geographically, but not mentioned explicitly.

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Cave Map overlaid on Google Earth

Blackheath Caverns map overlaid on Google Earth
UPDATE: Several people pointed out that the map was oriented wrongly. I think I’ve corrected it now, but please feel free to correct it yourself (.kmz file), and send me a more accurate version! Incorrect version was here.

Here’s the map of the Blackheath Cavern from 1946 (mentioned in the previous post) overlaid onto Google Earth. I couldn’t work out how to get it into Google Maps unfortunately. Zoomed out version below (old map is in the top left corner, village is at the bottom).

Blackheath Map of Caverns from 1946 overlaid on google earth

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Pagoda Planning Proposals – Garden Grabbing?

UPDATE: Image removed due to rights issues – originally from this PDF file.

The current owners of the awesomely beautiful, and historically fascinating Pagoda in Blackheath have put in a planning request to Lewisham Council, to turn part of their back garden into an “eco-house”. The full details are here, and the documents submitted are here.

I highly recommend a look through the plans. Whatever your opinion on the site, it is a well put together document, full of historical photos and paintings of the Pagoda, the area around, and a spectacular Tithe Map from 1762:

UPDATE: Image removed due to rights issues. Original can be found here.

It could be argued that this is an example of garden grabbing, dressed up with a fig-leaf of eco green-washing. The primary definition of an eco-house in my mind is one that reduces dependency on resources, such as fuel, electricity and water, through innovative uses of alternative technologies, such as heat pumps, solar panels, wind farms etc. From what I can understand of the plans, this appears to be a retirement flat with some turf on the roof.

From the planning documents:

Although The Pagoda was originally designed as pavilion for taking tea, entertaining and enjoying the distant views it was later extended and adapted into a house over a period. It was listed when a house and it will continue to be so. The viability of this in social and economic terms is not compromised by this application.

The planning document includes a letter from John Payne Estate Agents, confirming that in their opinion, the remaining garden attached to the Pagoda would still be “sufficient” for a house of that size. (Page 17 of 25).

The proposal also quotes Blackheath Historian Neil Rhind (who was not referring to the specific plans for the Pagoda’s garden), when justifying the addition of a new architectural style to the area (page 11 of 25):

‘…it is not just the architectural set-pieces, listed buildings or formal uniform terraces that set Blackheath’s overall character. It is the juxtaposition of these with a rich and varied mixture of buildings of different periods; unexpected corners, strange historic survivals, and stylish new additions – all these give Blackheath its distinctive and pleasing character.’

I wonder if Mr Rhind feels like a film critic misquoted on a movie poster! The Blackheath Society felt that they could not endorse the plans (page 17 of 25):

The wooden pergola running the length of the pond, erected by the present owners, combine to provide a most attractive outlook from the house and undoubtedly enhance its current setting. In our view, their loss would be detrimental to that setting. If the current plans were to be approved, the long pergola (which we accept is modern and in need of restoration) would be lost, while the 1920s pergola would be taken out of the Pagoda garden and become a prominent feature outside the main living room of the new building.

We accept that the essential character of the Pagoda’s setting is a walled garden and that your proposals seek to retain that character. Nevertheless, the proposed new building would be very close indeed to the principal garden elevation of the house and would occupy more than half the present garden area: its very high wall would result in the Pagoda finding itself in a heavily reduced setting. A slightly smaller footprint of the new structure, moved slightly further South, and retaining the pergola, would change this significantly.

Lewisham’s Conservation Area Policy specifically mentions safeguarding larger gardens of listed buildings: the planning authorities will need to be persuaded that the planting proposed in the scheme, on the boundary wall and for the roof element, will result in a permanently acceptable replacement for the lost planting and greenery.

Taking all the above into account, and with considerable sympathy for your proposals, as matters stand the consensus of the committee is that we should not support the scheme in its present form.

Following this, the plans were modified to move the boundary wall slightly to the south.

The proposals were originally submitted back in February. The planning department have not yet reached a verdict.

(The images shown above are from the planning documents, which are publicly held by Lewisham Council. I will take them down if they are subject to copyright).

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Leaflets delivered by constituency

Leaflets delivered by constituency
If you haven’t played with The Straight Choice website yet, then you should. Above is a map showing the number of leaflets delivered in the Blackheath area. Greenwich and Woolwich are the purplest, which means they’ve received the most leaflets, followed by Lewisham Deptford, then Lewisham East. Thanks to the opening up of the Ordnance Survey electoral boundary data, you can also see the constituency boundaries very nicely too. If you receive any leaflets from any parties, scan or photograph them, and add them to the site! (Especially if you live in Eltham – there’s only one so far). And when you’ve done all that, don’t forget to look into their eyes!

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More maps of the Climate Camp

Hand Drawn Map of Climate Camp Blackheath 2009
Looking at the ad-hoc maps of the climate change camp in Blackheath is really interesting – here are some overlays of the hand-drawn maps versus the GPS trail that I made yesterday:

Here’s the hand drawn map overlaid onto Google Maps:
Clime Camp Blackheath Map 2009 overlaid on google maps

And here it is overlaid onto the GPS trail that I made yesterday:
GPS trail & Hand Drawn Map of Climate Camp Blackheath 2009

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Blackheath Climate Change Camp Google Map

Blackheath Climate Change Camp Map


Here’s a very vague map of the Climate Change Camp, complete with markers for toilets. I think the Blackboard mentioned in the previous post might be more use (or just ask anyone once you get inside).

I tried to create a proper Google Map, but it isn’t appearing on my computer for some reason. Maybe you can see it above?

I’ve also added my traces to OpenStreetMap (the Wikipedia of maps) using this very nice app. But they haven’t appeared yet, and I might have done it wrong… But the wonderful thing about these maps is that anyone can fix them – so please tidy them up!

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Map of Parking in Blackheath

UPDATE: If you’re thinking of driving to the Bike & Kite Festival, don’t. There won’t be any spaces, and the place is crawling with traffic wardens.

A new project… Inspired by Bugle-dad coming to visit, who doesn’t share my penchant for Oystercards (“Take a train? Don’t be ridiculous!”) I’ve had to spend a good while in a car trying to find somewhere for us to park. Aside from this revealing that I have little or no concept of what a one-way street is, it also demonstrated that parking in Blackheath is a right Royal-Standard pain in the backside!

So, I’ve started trying to create a map of parking for non-residents in Blackheath.  Anyone can add to the map, so please click on the Google Map here, and add some more info!  This is an experiment, so if I find the map filled with adverts for viagra, I may switch it back to being privately edited…  Please only add places where the public can park, not residents parking (which most of the roads seem to be).

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