Lovells Wharf – Greenwich Wharf

Information on Lovells Wharf

Coles Child

Lovells Wharf   three articles by Mary Mills published in Bygone Kent November 1999, December 1999 and March 2000)

LRA report on wharves description of the wharf in a review undertaken by the London Rivers Association 1980s

Rowton and Whiteway

Cement – see articles Lovells Wharf 


THE ICE WELL AT LOVELL’S WHARF – article by Mary Mills written for Kent Underground Research Group newsletter Ashby – general note

John Waddell and Co.

Mr. Walker


Davis Morgan & Co,

Joseph Guy. Hull Co.

Norman Houliford

Yarmouth Carriers

Shaw Lovell

Removal of Cranes copy of letter from Government office re. listing

Letters re background and listing of cranes letters re. Lovells cranes0001

London and Regional Developer

 lovells developer leaflet0001  copy of developer’s newsletter lovells original brochure0001 Revised regeneration proposals by the developer Lovells developer leaflet0001 on revision of housing development plans 2012 London and Regional Properties Return to Lovells Wharf


Riverway – industrial sites

Industrial sites in Riverway

Frank Hills – Chemical Works (information on this site after 1895 as Phoenix Wharf can be found under Gasworks)

The Tide Mill and Frank Hills

Frank Hills and his business interests

The Hills Family

Ballard – Nuisance Report

Cutting from Kentish Mercury 1846 on accident at Hills’ chemical works – see post

D.C.Davies – Extracts on Hills mining interests (not yet loaded)

Bryan Hope Chapter from A Curious Place on Henry Hills (copyright not loaded)

Mary Mills THE EARLY EAST LONDON GAS INDUSTRY AND ITS WASTE PRODUCTS  (more material on the same site)

Fuel Research

Charlton Research Works Fatality

Fuel Research – brief history

Coalite Plant

Brochure on Coalite History

Redpath Brown

Redpath Brown – new pictures and more

More Pictures of Redpath Brown

A Structural Steelworks on the Greenwich Peninsula

Letters on Redpath Brown – Arthur Turner, Rick Tisdell

Letter on demolition of Redpath Brown site. Andrew Turner

Redpath Brown brochure text

Final demolition of Redpath Brown buildings on the Dome site

Bolckow Vaughan

Dorman Long

Blackwall Point Power Station

Blackwall Point Power Station – article from GIHS Newsletter

Blackwall Point Power Station – official handout

Blackwall Point Power Station – note and sources

The Fatal Boiler Explosion

Blackwall Point Power Station. Frederick Gair

New East Greenwich and the Tide Mill

ceylon place pilot plaque
Plaque on the Pilot pub

Maps and plans of the tide mill

East Greenwich Tide Mill – by Julian Watson

Damn Your Eyes Mr. Sharp – article by Mary Mills for local paper

New East Greenwich – article by Mary Mills for Bygone Kent

Olinthus Gregory’s Description of the East Greenwich Tide Mill – contemporary account 1802 from Mechanics by Gregory who was a Professor at the Royal Military Academy

Richard Trevithick and the boiler explosion

The Explosion – Article by Mary Mills for Bygone Kent

Weale on the Explosion – contempory account from J.Farey, Treatise on the Steam Engine

Richard Trevithick Letter about the Explosion – copy of letter from Trevithick’s biography

Anniversary article – article by Mary Mills for local press

Richard Trevithick in East Greenwich – article by Mary Mills for Bygone Kent

200th Anniversary of an industrial accident – article in Greenwich Industrial History Newsletter – need to scroll down a bit

Miscellaneous posters and documents on the tide mill, East Lodge and Ceylon Place

East Greenwich Tide Mill – later 19th century accounts  – from The Engineer and Mechanics Magazine


Return to Riverway

Bugsby’s Hole – some background

Bugsby’s Hole – Some articles about the area and its originals



roundelWas there a pre-18th century building at Bugsby’s Hole?   – note by Mary Mills

Other Bugsby’s holes – note by Mary Mills

Letter from Pat O’Driscoll – please see very important comment on this posting by Dale Bugby

Who was Bugsby (cutting  from PLA Journal by Mr Green) please see very important comment on this posting by Dale Bugby

The Importance of Being Bugsby. Muriel Searle. Port of London. January 1975. (not reproduced, no copyright permission)

Bugsby is Bugby

Bugsby’s Hole. letter to the press  – Kentish Mercury 1923 An altered roadway – newspaper cutting – some recollections – Kentish Mercury 1932 Also see Return to Riverway

Bay Wharf – some information about the site

Bay Wharf
This area was owned by Morden College and was part of the Great and Little Pits

The area appears to have been divided into two – the southern section, now part of Morden Wharf and ‘Bay Wharf’ the area around Horseshoe Breach (or The Great Breach).

The site was sold in two lots by Maudslay – one the area now known as Bay Wharf and the other the plot subsequently occupied by Molassine.

Return to Maudslay Son and Field

Return to Bay Wharf

Tunnel Avenue

Tunnel Avenue as part of East Greenwich – East Greenwich
Tunnel Avenue as a road on the Peninsula – Tunnel Avenue

Tunnel Avenue Depot (Greenwich Council)

Text of booklet about Met. Borough of Greenwich Cleansing Centre

Robson’s Firework Factory

Cuttings on the accidents at the Robson and Dyer Factory – contemporary cuttings from Kentish Mercury

Gunpowder, Inspection and Death – article by Mary Mills from ByGone Kent

United Lamp Black

East Greenwich Residents’ co – cutting from Kentish Mercury about puddings

British Oxygen

British Oxygen – brief note about the company

An explosion at a Greenwich Works – cutting from Kentish Mercury about an explosion at British Oxygen

Wharves report 1980s

Extract from report prepared by the London Rivers Association 1980s.

WIMPEY Asphalt
This operation largely caters for the building requirements of the parent company. All road stone is imported by ship – about arrival a week is currently required, other raw materials for asphalt production are brought in by road. There is considerable local sensitivity about the lorry movements that this operation produces. The firm is known to be currently negotiating about sites in the Charlton Riverside area. It is believed that they are interested in a somewhat larger site than they are currently occupying (two acres). They would need good river access rot no rail access.

This firm that has been in the Borough for more than four decades is on the point of departing. The last barge to have been repaired in this yard left in December 19~6. The workforce of five were laid off and the company owners are reluctantly looking round for potential buyers.

This is the longest standing public wharf in the Borough; yet it is not safeguarded in planning terms. There is a clear awareness that, partly as a result of this, the value of the site is as great as the value of the going business. This is a family business with close association with the Thames but the prospect of considerable capital gains is becoming increasingly attractive. 40,000 tons are currently being handled which is considerably less than that achieved a few years ago or that potentially obtainable. The Company is currently heavily dependent on two steel stockholders outside the London area. The long term

This firm which is engaged in producing sophisticated armaments for submarines has not used its wharf for over a decade and is unlikely to do so in future. Unfortunately there is no separate vehicle access to the wharf and for security reasons access through the site is unlikely to be granted. There should be some discussion about; the future use of this wharf which is in relatively good condition and has good depth of water.

Victoria Deep Water Terminal
This is the only wharf in the Borough that handles containers. Currently over 40,000 boxes a year passes through the 40 acre site. This is somewhat up on previous years but is nowhere near the full capacity of the site. The terminal has two modern gantry cranes and large 279 metre berths. In the past few years the company has given up operating a shift system and undertaking groupage on site. Employment has fallen from 75 dockworkers and 60 staff four years ago to 20 and 30 respectively today. Two shipping lines account for almost all of their traffic – Bell Lines and Seacon. Both these are currently expanding and are happy with the service provided. The management are worried that by going out to attract new traffic they could alienate their long-standing customers. The company’s biggest problem is the size of their site and their rate bill (over £200,000 per annum). They are looking for a compatible tenant for part of their site and are campaigning for all ports to be assessed for rates on the same basis.

This is the largest sea dredged aggregates firm to operate on the Thames. It has recently purchased the Delta Wharf site (aver 4 acres) with a view to using it to land and process sea dredged sand and gravel. At present it has a large plant and headquarters at Purfleet but feels that it needs a processing plant on the south side of the river. The company operates t\«) 5CXX) ten sand and gravel dredgers. If it can find new processing sites it will invest in further in vessels. It considers that increasingly building materials such as sand and gravel will have to be obtained from the sea bed because of environmental objections to the use of land derived sources. At present the economics are finely balanced. Marine dredged aggregates are more expensive to mine but cheaper to transport. This gives a premium to landing these aggregates as near as possible to the end use. The first planning application was turned down because of objections from the houses that are close by and because of a concern that the operation might not generate a significant amount of new employment. A second planning application has been recently presented which the applicants hope will be more acceptable as it involves a smaller site within the S8IOO employment levels and will free parts of the 5 acre site for other employment generating uses.

This old established barge and boat building firm is occupying a one and a half acre site on the above Civil and Marine freehold. They moved here three years ago after being ousted from their premises in the Royal Docks by the PLA. They have successfully moved into boat building and repair and employ 18 craftsmen and three apprentices. Their order books are full for the next two years having recently secured a large contract to build a 60 ton private cruiser. Their main problem is that they are currently occupying; their site on a licence and could be evicted at a moment notice. While it is understood that Civil and Marine are happy that this firm continues on the site, the lack of security affects the ability to plan for a long term future and the ability to secure finance from Banks.

Ordnance Wharf
This area is let on short term leases to five firms none of which use the river. There are two wharves on the site which could be used in future for cargo handling. They have good water and road access. All the existing users have leases up to 1995 from British Gas which has said that they are interested in disposing of the site. Consideration should be given to its development for river related uses in the longer term. The whole site is over six acres.

Blackwall Point Power Station 
This has recently been bought by Brown and Mason a demolition firm which is currently demolishing the Power station and want to develop the site for their own benefit. The site is about three acres but; may well be seriously contaminated. The firm wants to develop for the highest value which they appear to believe is a high class residential development but are Prepared to talk about; other possibilities. It is believed that they acquired the site at a considerable discount because they were prepared to take on the Problems of asbestos on the site and the risk of contamination.

GREENWICH SAILING CLUB. This is owned and (currently) run by the Borough.  A 20 person Community Programme scheme has been run from these premises for the last four years. The plan is that the borough will pull out and the area (about three acres of land and metres of tideway) will be let out at a peppercorn rent to the Greenwich Yacht Club. The Club has access to a narrow slipway (called the causeway) and recently the British Steel Wharf which they intend to use as additional moorings. At present they have over 100 moorings on the tideway and over an acre of hard standing. The club is currently used by an Association of disabled people but their future involvement is unclear

Future of the gas works site. 1980s.

This report is included with some reservations. The copy it was scanned from had no identifying marks as to authorship, origins or ownership. It appears to be a document commissioned, possibly by British Gas, on the history and future of the East Greenwich Gas Works site – and is thus of considerable interest.
If someone feels they own the copyright please get in touch and it will be removed with an apology, or an acknowledgement inserted.

1.1 The earliest name that we know of is Lee Ness, which is likely to be of Anglo- Saxon origin, and mean ‘thinly wooded headland’ or ‘headland [covered] low-lying meadow’; it could also have been named by attraction from the river Lee which run northwards from the opposite bank of the Thames, whose name appears to derive from an ancient British river-name from a root meaning ‘light’ or just possibly ‘the river of the god Lugus’. .

1.2 Before a system of embanking was in place (by C17, probably earlier, and perhaps as early as the Roman period), this was a place of marsh, water-meadow, and reed- beds, and almost always liable to flooding .On the other hand, it was an ideal place for hunting wildfowl, and Henry VIII certainly hawked here from his palace of Placentia at Greenwich. Indeed, there is no reason not to expect that the Roman period inhabitants of the area (whether officials or natives) would have done likewise: there were, after all settlements of that date at Charlton, Woolwich, and Greenwich, and the main London-Dover road (Watling Street) ran within 2km of the south end of the peninsula.

1.3 During the Anglo-Saxon period Lee Ness was part of a large estate which would have been called Lieveshamscire (Lewisham-shire) and included Lewisham, Greenwich, Woolwich, Mottingham, and Combe. This estate belonged in 918 to Elstrudis, youngest daughter of King Alfred, and in 1006 was the subject of the document reproduced. Vow of Edward the Confessor as heir apparent to the throne In the early years of the eleventh century, the Danish fleet wintered at Greenwich (and, incidentally, slew Bishop Alphege over non-payment of ransom; at that spot, it is said, the church of St Alphege was built, now represented by the monumental C18 fabric of the old church of Greenwich) and forced the Thames up to London.

1.4 In 1588, Robert Adams drew a descriptive plan of the Thames, showing its defences (and Queen Elizabeth’s route to her famous Tilbury speech), among which are shown a bastion at Lee Ness connected by a pontoon barrier to one of the north bank at Blackwall, clearly sited not only to form a final line of defence before the City, but also to command the mouth of the river Lee which was an important navigable channel. [It should be noted that there has been no search of the records for references to this defence line, so that at the moment this plan remains the sole evidence for its existence.] Its appearance would be not dissimilar the Italian engineer Gianibelli’s 1588 design for defences at Tilbury.

1.5 By 1695 when Samuel Travers, HM Surveyor General, compiled a plan of ‘the King’s Lordship or Manor of East Greenwich’, the peninsula was wholly protected from flooding and had been divided up into fields, with a Watch House in the centre of the northern part. The only other building shown is the New Magazine, which by 1760 was in such a dangerous condition that it was declared unsafe; it lasted however until 1802 before being demolished. [There were constant petitions to Parliament in the early C18 for its removal because of the danger of explosion.] The C18 also saw the removal of Execution Dock from Wapping to a point on the west side of the peninsula. This iron-caged gallows can be seen in a 1782 view from Blackwall (figure 6). Towards the end of that century a tide-mill was erected on the east side just north of the river end of the modern River Way. This was the site of a serious explosion of a high-pressure boiler installed by Trevithick, which led to improvements in boiler design, and thus a footnote in the history of steam engineering. When the early/mid-Victorian entrepreneurs needed to expand from their cramped quarters in and around the City, the peninsula offered an ideal greenfield site, and by 1874 the Thames Conservancy’s river plans show a whole series of such works. On the west side (running selectively northwards), were at Enderby’s Wharf [now owned by STC] and Morden Wharf. Tthe consortium trading as the Telegraph Construct; and Maintenance Co (manufacturers of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable laid on an epic voyage by BruneI’s leviathan the Great Eastern), Maudslay Sons & Field (who expanded to this site in 1865 and were builders of innovative marine steam engines for, among many other ships, BruneI’s Great Western of 1837 and also the Time Ball on top of the Old Observatory in Greenwich Park). [This is now the derelict site of Humphery & Grey’s Bay Wharf Construction Co Shipyard, Bessemer‘s Patent Steel Works then Bethell’s Chemical and Alum Works, Mockford & Co’s Chemical Manure Stores, and, right on the point, the graving dock managed by Lewis & Stockwell, which still survives, having been converted into a river water reservoir for the gas works, and is now backfilled although structurally complete. In 1874 the north east sector of the peninsula was still undeveloped, apart from F.C Hills & Co Chemical Manure Works and Bugsby’s Mill immediately north of River Way.

1.7 The South Metropolitan Gas Company (now part of British Gas) bought the vacant land between 1881 and 1885 and thereafter absorbed more to reach today’s total of 99ha. The last two major acts are, of course the construction of the two Blackwall Tunnels, the first opened in 1895 and the second built between 1960 and 1967.

2.0 Preservation

2.1 Within the British Gas site very few standing structures remain. Of these (and of virtually all the other buildings on the peninsula) one stands out as a pre-eminent candidate for preservation: the Ammonium Sulphate Storage Shed, built in 1956 by the Demolition & Construction Co Ltd to hold up to 10 000 tons of dry powder. [This was used in the scrubbing process to remove ammonia from the raw manufactured gas.] Its reinforced concrete parabolic roof is a remarkable and spectacular example of concrete engineering virtuosity. Attempts are being made by groups such as the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society to have it Listed as it is now over 30 years old (the cut-off point). An out- standing opportunity exists here to seed the regeneration process by creating a major cultural centre which could easily gain international status. There are already excellent communications by road, rail, air, and water. Ideally, sufficient land should be included to create a parkland atmosphere, thus producing a resource more akin to Glyndebourne than the Royal Albert Hall. [See Appendix for a musical assessment and further details.]

2.2 Also within the British Gas site (on the south side of River Way) are the earliest standing buildings on the peninsula: Ceylon Place (a row of two-storey cottages) and the Pilot Public House, on whose front wall is a plaque inscribed CEYLON PLACE New East Greenwich 1801. These are on the Local List and clearly merit preservation
2.3 To the west of the massive cast/wrought iron coal and coke jetty are two gasworks buildings of c 1900. Further from the river is the wash house and nearer is an engineering workshop. Although both buildings have been truncated in plan, neither is without a certain architectural charm: the wash house has a series of engaged piers with corniced capitals of brick on its south wall, and the workshop south wall is arcaded. Of the two, the workshop is probably more suitable for preservation.

2.4 Finally on the site, there are three structures, all of which have some claim to preservation and all of which present major problems not only of refurbishment but also of integration within the overall redevelopment scheme. These are the massive cast and wrought iron coal and coke jetty of 1886 (the southern arm of the T added soon after 1903), the remaining gasholder (no. 1 of 1886 by George Livesey, the world’s first four-lift gasholder) which is a major landscape feature at over 60m high in an otherwise relatively flat terrain and the dry dock at the north end of the peninsula (1871, lengthened before 1890)
3.0 Archaeology

3.1 For most of its documented history, the British Gas site has been low-lying meadows, reed beds, and marsh, constantly liable to flooding until systemic embanking perhaps as late as the early C17. Changes in the course of the Thames as yet largely unassessed for this area, will have altered the topography, possibly in a fairly drastic manner if we consider the whole period of human occupation of the middle and lower Thames catchment area.

3.2 Much of the peninsula is covered by a layer of peat (recorded in ground investigations) between about O.75m and 5.5m thick, whose upper surface is at about -1.5mOD. This peat band is likely to represent the Tilbury IV marine regression, which has been identified in archaeological contexts in London and dated to within the Middle Bronze Age (later 2nd millennium BC). Analysis of this type of deposit allows us to assess the topographic and vegetational environment in which prehistoric Thames-dwellers lived.

3.3 On the sites where it has been identified in London, the Tilbury IV peat sealed a Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age landscape which produced evidence for cereal farming (including minor structures such as platforms). This opens up the exciting possibility that (apart from areas disturbed/destroyed by recent foundations) up to 99ha of early 2nd millennium BC landscape underlies the British Gas site!

3.4 The archaeological implications are drastic, not least because, unlike the better known types of prehistoric site that have an impact on the modern landscape, such as Stonehenge, hill forts, and barrows, the sort of occupation site that might be, found here is more likely to be the remains of a temporary shelter and/or a scatter of stone/flint tool fragments and food bones. It is therefore almost impossible to predict the locations of such sites, although a thorough analysis of the ground investigation data for the area should give some idea of the’ topography at that period and hence areas that might be more likely to be ‘settled or otherwise used in an archaeologically recoverable way. That said, the importance of investigating a broad spectrum of the landscape must not be minimised, and it should be noted that piling is just as destructive of these types of deposit as deep excavation: in other words almost any typical ‘brown land’ foundation method will result in a total loss of the archaeological deposits. 3.5 Furthermore, slight though such remains as discussed above are, they represent an important (and often much neglected through their difficulty of recovery) part of our heritage and, imaginatively interpreted and displayed, can add to the ‘sense of place’ that is so crucial to the successful establishment of a largely new residential area such as is planned here.

3.5 Without the detailed study of the early topography of the area mentioned above it is difficult to estimate accurately the archaeological potential of the later periods up to the seventeenth century (by which time the river wall seems to have been in place), particularly as virtually no stray finds have been recorded which might offer some clues. One which was recorded (in 1948) from the northern edge of the peninsula was a find of C4 Roman pottery (one complete and one broken ‘vase’ from a depth of 7.5m), which need not indicate more than a relatively casual loss, possibly from a passing ship.

3.6 We must now return to the Armada bastion. Because the original plan was drawn at such a small scale (1: 63 360) it is difficult to go further than a location to the nearest 6ha. It is, however, clear that English Heritage will object most strenuously to development within that area without at least a full-scale trial excavation, which is likely to cost about £20,000 and take between one and two months to complete. Once the site is found, a major excavation will be required, costing perhaps £0.25M and lasting possibly three months. Post-excavation processing can be expected to cost virtually as much again. [It is difficult to be more precise at this stage, but these figures give a reasonably accurate view of the likely financial and time costs involved. The bonus, of course, is a site of enormous heritage potential and with major promotional possibilities.] While the visible remains, when uncovered, will .be disappointing to those unfamiliar with excavated structures, it will be entirely possible to recreate an accurate replica either on the same site (which is now perhaps 70m back from the modern river wall) or on the present river edge.

3.7 The opportunity should be taken, while groundwork’s are proceeding, to carry out a series of fairly small-scale investigations of the early river wall(s): we do not know at present when embanking first took place in this area, or indeed whether or not it was systematic or piecemeal. All these questions are, in theory, answerable, but it is more likely that we will be able to recover only part of these answers. Nevertheless, that part will be very valuable for building the overall picture.

3.8 Finally, the one thing that can confidently be predicted is that during these investigations we will find something that is completely unexpected, and that is supremely difficult to build into a budget or timescale.

The Ammonium Sulphate Storage Shed: Performance Possibilities. Virtually every new performing arts structure, and especially those for music, has proved to be acoustically inadequate (eg the Royal Festival Hall). It is therefore exciting when a building becomes available that has excellent acoustics to start with and does not need expensive modifications. Here some combination of materials and three-dimensional geometry has offered an ideal venue for the performance of early music (for instance Monteverdi’s works could for almost the first time be performed in exactly the way they were designed (both tonally and locationally) for San Marco in Venice, where groups of musicians and vocalists were scattered around the galleries of the church), and also for modern ‘electronic music such as Stockhausen, Boulez, and the Paris-based Institut de recherche et de coordination accoustique/musique (IRCAM). The purity of the reverberation here should be stressed-unlike some halls it does not distort the sounds, which means that both early (including Mozart and modern (eg Berg’s Lulu) operas would perform well here. Indeed, there is very little that .is put on at Glyndebourne that could not be put on here. It is, however, easy to ruin acoustics-soft fabrics and carpets are particularly absorbent, as, indeed, are audiences. Therefore, while portable dampers may be required for some types of performance, every effort should be made to retain hard surfaces. In addition, as little as possible of the air volume should be occupied, so that while the audience seating platform will probably require a slight rake it should be no more than 2m from front to back. It would also be advantageous to have as few permanent structures as possible, including the seating; in this way the utilisability of the building.


Return to East Greenwich Gas Works

Groundwork’s 2002 Riverside enhancement works

In 2002 Groundwork undertook a programme of environmental and artistic work on the riverside path – this involved partnership work with a variety of site owners, public bodies and individuals. £££££ was spent on jetties and riverside works. They produced a booklet some of which is copied below.
Most of their work has now been destroyed by new site owners and developers
(the whole booklet is not reproduced because it is full of pictures, and I do not know who owns the copyrights)

Groundwork said:


Groundwork Thames Gateway London South Building sustainable communities through joint environmental action

“Groundwork Thames Gateway London South is an environ-
mental regeneration charity operating across the boroughs
of Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley. Working in deprived
neighbourhoods, we deliver practical projects to improve
the local environment, engage people in their community
and provide training for employment.

We are part of the Groundwork Federation, comprised of 46
independent trusts working around the country. Established
21 years ago, Groundwork has become the UK’s leading
environmental regeneration charity.

The London Development Agency works for the Mayor,
investing in new jobs and skills for Londoners,supporting
businesses and bringing derelict land back into use.Wrth an
annual budget of £300 million and major land asse1s,we
work with business and other partners in order to provide
opportunities for all to benefit from London’s economy.

Alatel , Amylum U.K. Ltd Deptford Discovery Team Emergency Exit Arts Environment Agency Greenwich Arts Forum Greenwich Council Greenwich Development Society Greenwich Experience Greenwich Industrial History Society Greenwich Local History Library Greenwich Mural Workshop Groundwork Thames Gateway London South Inner London Probation Service James Garner Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects Jonathan Louth Associates
London Development Agency Peter Kent Richard Lawrence Roadways and Car Parks Ltd Robert West Consulting Engineers Thames 21

We have tried to acknowledge all the projects and their initators, developers and funders. We apologise if we’ve left anyone out.
Should you desire further information, please contact Groundwork Thames Gateway London South on 0208-694-5000.
September 2002

The East Greenwich Waterfront stretches from the historical Greenwich Town Centre and old Naval College to the Millennium Dome, and encompasses some of the borough’s largest industries, It is widely recognised as a site of
great historical, economic, ecological and aesthetic importance, and attracts visitors from far and wide, as well as the local community,
It is one of the few surviving stretches of industrial riverfront with working wharves in inner London, People using the riverside walk encounter a spectacular sequence of Thames views with a foreground of wharves, jetties, silos, chimneys, working industrial plants and boat building and repair activi
ties, The industrial heritage is immense and apparent in the remains of old barges, slipways, mooring dolphins and jetties, The old cable loading facilities at Enderby’s Wharf also remain and it was here where the world’s first transatlantic telegraph cable was loaded onto The Great Eastern in the 1860s,
Set against this industrial backdrop is a wealth of biodiversity. Over the last 20 years, the water quality of the River Thames has improved enormously and the river now supports 118 different species of fish. This has also enabled the Foreshore to grow in ecological value, and there are now saline tolerant plants such as the sea aster and accompanying freshwater species; invertebrates thrive in the river silt, while the industrial landscape forms an important habitat for the endangered bird; the black redstart The riverside is a prime location for arts events, attracting visitors from the local community and beyond. Recent projects have included ‘The Hysterical Walk” in 2000, the carved steps at Enderby’s Wharf (both by Greenwich Mural Workshop) and the mosaic tiles at Greenwich Power Station commissioned by Greenwich Council.

Such a unique site requires a sensitive approach in terms of environmental and access improvements, where the local distinctiveness of the riverside sites is celebrated and enhanced – rather than homogenised by a major masterplan.

This was recognised in the 1999 “Green Links Initiative Report” by the Deptford Discovery Team. The report was based on a partnership established with the two major riverside employers, Amylum U.K. Ltd and Alcatel, as well
as Groundwork. It set out a vision, rationale and programme for a strategic series of riverside enhancements between Lovell’s Wharf and Bay Wharf.

Further to that report, a diverse range of works have taken place and several are ongoing or in the pipeline, initiated and implemented by bodies including The Deptford Discovery Team, Groundwork Thames Gateway London South,
The Environment Agency, Thames 21, Greenwich Council and the landowners themselves. Funding for these has come from the London Development Agency, other public bodies and the local business community.

The purpose of this report is to bring together and summarise projects carried out to date and to describe those currently projected, between Lovell’s Wharf and Bay Wharf.

The next step envisaged is the establishment of an independent and accountable River Group including riverfront and riverwalk users, in order to lobby for and decide upon further improvements and alterations, and the conservation/preservation of existing features. We hope that this report will act as a catalyst for interested parties to become involved.

Industrial Heritage Information Panels
Etched stainless steel information panels have been located at both Primrose Jetty and Enderby’s Wharf, depicting in detail the industrial heritage of the East Greenwich waterfront between Greenwich Power Station and Bay Wharf. The panels were researched, designed and delivered by the Deptford Discovery Team with assistance from Mary Mills of The Greenwich Industrial History Society, the Greenwich Local History Library and the artist Peter Kent.

The Hysterical Walk
An arts event that took place on 4 occasions in the year 2000. A guided walk, led by actors telling the story of the life of a beachcomber, connected a series of sculptures, light installations and projections, picture frames producing “paintings” of river views, music, dance and theatre. The event was delivered by Greenwich Mural Workshop and funded by Greenwich Arts Forum and the Greenwich Development Agency. The artists involved were Emergency Exit Arts, Margaret Harrison, Richard Langford, Rib Davies, Carol Kenna, Johnny Goodwin, Louis Silcott, The Simba project and TIPP.

Works have been done on:
Lovells Wharf
Dead Dog Bay
Granite Wharf
Granite Wharf Sluice Inlet Site
Badcock Wharf Passage
Providence Wharf
Piper’s Wharf
Enderby’s Wharf
Bendish Sluice and Outlet
Alcatel Ferry Steps and Causeway
Alcatel Jetty
Former Jetty Remains
Amylum Oil Jetty
Amylum Garden
Amylum Silos
Morden Wharf
Primrose Wharf Habitat Enhancements
Primrose Jetty
Bay Wharf
Riverside Footpath