Greenwich Past: Ballast Quay and beyond

Beyond Ballast Quay there were no roads or buildings, just the Greenwich Marshes which stretched halfway up towards Old Woolwich Road, which in those days, was the main highway running through East Greenwich, from Park Row.

Where Trafalgar Road is now, was all wooded: you can tell by the names of the roads, such as Woodlands Crescent, Woodlands Walk and Woodlands Park Road. It was all part of the park of about fifty acres surrounding Westcombe Manor House, which stood where Peacham Road is, off Humber Road. It was built in 1723, and owned by Sir. Gregory Page, who lived in a huge mansion, called Wricklemarsh, at Lee. He let Westcombe to various tenants. About a mile to the east of it was Woodlands House, owned by John Julius Angerstein, whose estate stretched down to the river as did the park surrounding Charlton Manor.

Vanbrugh Hill was called Love Lane or Green Lane. Blackwall Lane was called Marsh Lane, right up until Blackwall Tunnel was opened by Queen Victoria in 1897 (my father sat on his father's shoulders to watch the ceremony) and my grandfather always called it Marsh Lane.
At the top end of Marsh Lane there were a few cottages and small farms. On the main road going towards Charlton there were a few more cottages, beyond which it was all farm land and market gardens going all the way to Woolwich.

© Albert W. Gearing

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