Tag Archives: Neil Rhind

If you find gold, it’s the Queen’s

Great piece in South London Today reviewing Neil Rhind’s new books “Walking the Heath” and “Greenwich Revealed”:

The book includes the only known surviving image of the medieval St Alfege Church in Greenwich Church Street and some buildings which still exist in the town.
The authors believe that architect Nicolas Hawksmoor who designed the current St Alfege Church had a hand in the drawings which languished in the archive of the Earl of Pembroke at Wilton House, Wiltshire.
Walking the Heath by Mr Rhind and Blackheath Society member Roger Marshall, covers sights such as the Vanbrugh Pits, the Paragon, Eliot Place, Whitefield’s Mount, Eliot Pits, Dartmouth Terrace and The Point.

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The Walkers Guide to the Heath

Neil Rhind (author of many books about Blackheath) writes:

I am hoping that the Blackheath Buglers can help the Blackheath Society on a small point of location. The Society is moving close (November) to the publication of a Walkers’ Guide to the Heath – three long walks, all plotted out drawing the ramblers attention to features, facts and history. There is also a timeline from the Romans to the present day. This is all being compiled by the undersigned and Dr Roger Marshall, a member of the Blackheath Society committee. as part of the Digital scheme to make the Society’s collection of about 15,000 images available on a web site with full public access.

One feature noted is a concrete “horse trough” at the south end of Montpelier Row. No animals drink there but it is used for floral displays. We believe that it was once elsewhere in the Village. Can anyone tell us where?

Free copy of the Blackheath walkers’ guide to the first person to get it right.

Their email address is:
office@blackheath.org

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Open House London 2011

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!

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Bin Laden’s Death: The Blackheath Connection

James Abbott dressed as an Indian noble. (B. Baldwin, 1841)
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.

Image above is of Sir James Abbott (from Wikipedia). For more terrorism-related links about Blackheath, you might enjoy the shoe-bomber post, from a little while ago…

UPDATE: Below are two images, showing Abbottabad in the 1860s, and in the present day (also from Wikipedia) (thanks to Michelle!)
Abbottabad in the 1860s from WikipediaAbbottabad City at Night from wikipedia

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Blackheath: The expert speaks


Neil Rhind is going to be speaking about Blackheath’s history at the Old Royal Naval College on 1st May. If you haven’t heard of Neil Rhind, then you surely haven’t being paying attention to this blog.  It would be no exaggeration to say that he is the authority on Blackheath’s history. If you’ve never read his books, then I urge you to check them out. Reading Blackheath Village and Environs is like peeling back the layers of time. It’s a forensic examination of every little nook and cranny of the area. You can pick it up in the Bookshop on the Heath, in Blackheath Library (look, it’s on the shelf!), and they even sell it in the Clarendon Hotel.

The talk is on Saturday 1st May, at the Old Royal Naval College, in Greenwich (map and full address here), from 6pm-8pm. It costs £20. To book your place, telephone Rachel Wiltshire on 020 8853 7037.

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My god, what an ugly statue.

Clarendon Hotel Garden Statue, Blackheath

I popped in to the Clarendon Hotel the other day, looking for the definitive Blackheath history book “Blackheath Village & Environs” by Neil Rhind. I thought I ought to get a copy if I’m writing this blog, as it would be good to have a better understanding of the history of Blackheath.

Clarendon Hotel, GardenAs it was a sunny day, I thought I’d check out their garden at the rear of the hotel. If you haven’t been, you’re not missing much (as the Phantom pointed out). It looks a bit like a 1970s council block from the rear, which is a shame as the front looks quite impressive. Full of tacky garden ornaments too, like the beauties shown above.

I sat down for 5 minutes, and tried to do a crossword. Nobody asked me if I’d like to order anything, so I went off, book in hand.

If you’d like a copy of the book, but can’t get to the hotel, they also sell it in The Bookshop on the Heath, or you could try amazon or abebooks.

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