The area of Angerstein Wharf can roughly be determined as that land to the west and north of Lombard’s Wall – the historic parish boundary between Greenwich and Charlton. Lombard’s Wall is (or was since it is now entirely disappeared under heavy duty lorries) an embankment constructed by the Tudor historian, William Lambarde, to prevent flooding of his property in Westcombe – referred to in 1555 as an ‘in-wall’ or a ‘man way’. The north-west boundary to the area is Horn Lane, the line of which can still be traced running parallel to the modern Pear Tree Way. This was known in the sixteenth century as ‘Hornewall’ – another flood barrier. However on the Skinner plan of 1746 Horn Lane does not reach as far as the river but peters out at the ‘common sewer’ coming from Marsh Lane parallel to the river, which here took a right angled turn to reach the river as ‘Kings Sluice’. It must therefore be inferred that the drainage of this area must have taken place between 1601 and 1622, or before 15?? – and could not have been part of the schemes of the 1580s, since that was in the reign of Elizabeth
From c.1912 to post 1955 part of the wharf was leased to William Christie, with, among other things, a plant to treat timber with creosote.
Some of the earliest references to land in the Marsh refer to ‘Thistlecroft’ and it may that this is the area referred to.. In 1555 the riverside area is named as ‘Abbots Howkes’. However the land was in Westcombe Manor, in a sub area known as Nethercombe, which stretched as far as the areas now known as Blackheath Standard.
The land had been part of that passed in AD 918 by Princess Aelfrida to the Abbey of Ghent and then nationalised by Henry VIII in 1537, and then annexed to the Royal Manor of Old Court, East Greenwich, and briefly owned by Anne Boleyn. Various other tenants and lessees occupied the area, including the Tudor historian William Lambarde, until in 1801 it was passed to John Julius Angerstein, the Russian born founder of Lloyds.
When the Skinner Plan was drawn up in 1746 the two plots between Lombard Wall and Horn Lane are marked as owned by Sir William Sanderson in the occupation of Thomas Moor. Moor was the lessee of Combe Farm (the farm was between Combedale Road and Woolwich Road). A century later the Tithe Map shows most of the area not let but under the control of John Angerstein – and he was later to construct a private railway line through the fields. This railway remains in use, although it has never carried passenger traffic.
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