Woolwich Road

WOOLWICH ROAD

The area immediately south of the Woolwich Road was, and is, partly owned by the Hatcliffe Estate Charity. It is now the site of the Flamstead and Caletock Estates. The Caletock Estates was built by the Greater London Council in the late 1970s on the site of roads of terraced houses with the same (made up) names. In the 1880s the eastern part of the area from Woolwich Road and covering the Tunnel Avenue area was an explosives factory belonging to Dyer and Robson, and this site is later marked as ‘Martini Henry’.

The Skinner Plan shows sites along the Woolwich Road, marked as ‘Poor of Greenwich’ occupied by Elizabeth Sheersby and Mary Evans  probably let as tenements (PG1 & 2) with a large site owned by the Northampton Charity to the rear occupied by John Land  (NC1) and two eastern sites owned by Thomas Ward occupied William Willbee (TW1 &2).

By the time the Tithe plan was drawn up in the 1840s things had changed considerably.  The corner site of Woolwich Road and Blackwall Lane (PG1 on Skinner – todays Flamstead Estate) is covered in buildings and is described as owned by the Feoffees of the Hatcliffe Estate and ‘formerly  a garden occupied by Poor People. Now Buildings’.  Next to it – the area described as PG2 on Skinner and now the southern portion of the Caletock Estate was also owned by Hatcliffe in the 1840s and occupied as a market garden by a John Wilson.  The Northampton Charity area (largely the portion covered by the north western part of the Caletock Estate)  remained in that ownerships and leased as grazing land by Thomas Wheatley.  The eastern portion, now regarded as one plot, was also owned by Northampton and let to Wheatley.

By the 1890s housing covered much of this area.   That now covered by the Flamstead Estate appears to have been built in conjunction with the, still extant,  roads on the west side of Blackwall Lane – Conley Street and Commerell Street which ran across Blackwall Lane to include Hatcliffe Street, a portion of which still remains. To the rear and east of them were built Glenister Road, Davern Street, Caletock Street, Lenthorpe Road, Armitage Road, Collerston Road and Selcroft Road – and these names appear to have no meaning and it is assumed they reflect some random interest of the builders.    The firework factory was to the rear of and entered from a house sited roughly at the top of today’s Glenforth Street.

By the time of the First World War and the building of Tunnel Avenue more streets were added to the east – Glenforth, Fingal, Marlton and Chilver Streets. Behind them, and fronting on to Tunnel Avenue the British Oxygen works was built – the site now covered by new terraced housing.

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