A walk around St. John's

Many moons ago, through some random googling, Brockley Jon stumbled across a home-made looking website which provided walking guides around the more interesting parts of London, with the south-east very well represented.

The walks on the site, London Footprints, are squarely aimed at those interested in finding out a little more about the origins of the area, and possibly seeing some hidden gems of pre-war architecture scattered amongst all the estates and urban sprawl.

A few weeks ago, Brockley Jon and the other half ventured out to try the St. John's walk.

Starting at the war memorial on Lewisham Way, we picked up the 3 mile loop about half-way round. The walk meanders through some of the lesser known bits of the St.John's and Lewisham Way area. The whole walk took about two hours, including a stop at the quirky and excellent Deptford Properly café gallery. Rather than recite the route, which you can read (and hopefully try for yourselves) here, we'll let the photos below do the talking.

Highlights that you may or may not know about already include the hidden gem of a road that is Somerset Gardens, with Beaufort Lodge sitting at its entrance, the wartime stretcher railings of Carrington House, and the timber framed shops of Tanners Hill.

Barclays building
The magnificent Barclays Bank building on Lewisham Way

Fairy tale house
The fantastic fairy-tale inspired Beaufort Lodge on Loampit Vale

Pub
The epic ship-like Cranbrook pub (anyone been in?)


All that is left of the once grand Pynes department store, now home to a bookies (typical)

35 comments:

Amanda said...

Nice pictures, and nice myspace style cropping.

Tom said...

Reminded me of a brilliant local history site, here.

Here's some awesome old pictures of Brockley.

So it went from farmland to rather grand. Look at the pic of Brockley Road!

Headhunter said...

That "fairy tale" inspired lodge building has always looked very architecturally interesting to me. What exactly is it's current use though? Last summer whenever I cycled past most of the time there was a barking mad bloke on the steps shouting rubbish at passers by. Is it some kind of care-in-the-community home perhaps?

Hugh said...

The lodge loony is also a tranny.

Headhunter said...

Really? Hadn't noticed that he was in fishnets and suspenders... Perhaps the lodge is a secret members only burlesque club...

spincat said...

I remember that colourful house from when I first moved to London mid-70s. I have heard it called the Hansel and Gretel house locally.
I remember seeing quite an elderly preson working in the garden back then, can't think that can be the same owner? The house was rather freshly painted and neatly kept then, but much the same in style. I have always loved it and been fascinated by it - anymore info you have about it from the walk would be most welcome

Monkeyboy said...

Hey kids, check THIS out!

It's a map from 1865. It's a bit clunky to navigate (check the top of the page)and Brockley only sneaks into the bottom right hand corner. My gaff, Malpas Road, seems to disapear into a field where the chipy is now. Manor farm looks like a big old estate. Is that where Hugh lives?

Not sure if the link will work, if not I'll post again

Monkeyboy, taking a break from downloading porn.... said...

Actually This map is slightly better, from 1871 apparently.

Dr. Monkeyboy said...

OK, promise this is the last map. Apparently according to Charles Booth (1889)Malpas road was populated by 'middle Class, Well To Do' types. Don't believe me? click HERE

Not so smug NOW are we, conservation area guys!

Headhunter said...

Here's some more info on the "Hansel and Gretel" house...
http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/lewisham/lewisham/loampit-hill-1987.htm

Richard Elliot said...

Everyone knows St John's is the smarter side of Brockley! ;-) (Well those of us that live here would say that.)

The Cranbrook Pub is ok, but nothing special.

Tamsin said...

OK, some shameless promotion. A link (I hope) to some history of the Telegraph Hill side of things http://www.thehill.org.uk/society/history.htm and Malcolm is doing a talk on the History of Telegraph Hill in Cafe Orange on 29th Feb., the first evening of the Festival. http://www.thehill.org.uk/festival/events.asp

The Booth Notebooks are amazing, aren't they. The information was collated by a massive team of people (including, I think, Beatrix Potter) who went around accompanied by the local beat bobby who gave them the inside gen street by street.

I lived in Ladywell in the 1980s and the really colourful house was the landmark for my mother to get of the 36 bus when coming to visit us. Sad how its deteriorating.

Tamsin said...

OK - not a link. Other than getting my high-lighter pen out and scribbling on the screen I'm not sure how to make it go blue. Just follow the trail through the Telegraph Hill link on the home page...

spincat said...

You may know about the Open House weekend in September. Last year or year before they had visits to the Stone House on Lewisham Way, and there is usually one or two Lewisham places to visit.
www.openhouse.org.uk
I don't think they'll have their programme up for quite a few months yet though

Bea said...

Monkey-boy - but - Hugh is living in the "Upper-middle and Upper Classes. Wealthy" (yellow) part of the Conservation areas. So I guess he can remain smug. :-)

Monkeyboy said...

But he's a lawyer! I would have though the areas marked 'Lowest Class, Vicious, Semi Criminal' would be more appropriate?

Chear up old boy, only kidding.

hugh 4 real said...

u wounded me, blud

hugh 4 real said...

u wounded me, blud

hugh 4 real said...

u wounded me, blud

Pete said...

So good you said it three times...

Headhunter said...

Last year that school in Hilly Fields opened up to show the murals painted in the 1930s in 1 of its halls. They were interesting to see

Chris H said...

"Fantastic fairy-tale inspired"? You should be an estate agent. We call it "the crazy witch house". And that was long before I first saw the gentleman on the front steps, only just managing to hold himself upright, ranting and raving at all and sundry.

nicola name said...

there's a lovely old detached whiteish house st back from the road on the way to St John's station - does anyone know anything about it? quite near the new tiny Tesco

Headhunter said...

"Nicola name", is this the buiding?
http://www.ideal-homes.org.uk/lewisham/deptford/stone-house-1840.htm

Brockley Jon said...

Lots of good stuff guys - keep it coming!

As you can see, links do get a bit lost. If you want to make them 'go blue', and actually click through, do this:

<a href="x">this is my link text</a>

...where x is the link, of course :)

Brockley Jon said...

Oh, and on Stone House, apologies for the lack of a pic of that one, but I thought the "St. John's walk" was becoming the "Lewisham Way walk"!!

Allegedly it's owned by a wealthy business man who doesn't even live in it - it's just an investment. Is it you, Hugh?

I have heard it referred to as the oldest house on Lewisham Way, but I always thought that was the Elephant House (until they knocked it down). Anyone know for sure?

By the way, we're planning an Elephant House feature soon, so if anyone has info, get in touch.

Headhunter said...

THanks Jon, but what does this mean?! I'm don't understand computers enough to be able to interpret... What buttons do I press?

this is my link text

So that building was called elephant house? I remember it being there, derelict before they demolished it. Would be fascinated to hear more about it

Bea said...

Has anyone else noticed the windows in the "fairy-tale inspired Beaufort Lodge"? The top floors are double glazed and the bottom ones retain the original sash windows. Does this mean the place has been converted into flats? Is it Council owned? And does this mean the colours go when all Council property get a new lick of paint? Also, the garden has an amazing array of flowers - very Caribbean looking.

nicola name said...

Headhunter and Brockley Jon, many thanks, and yes I do think that's it - 1771 picture is taken from the other side. It's amazing really what the area throws up in terms of history and beauty.

Headhunter said...

Oh I see Jon - in copying and pasting your linky thing I seem to have created a link! Magic!

Tamsin said...

I was lucky enough to get around the Stone House with my daughter when it was open last September - it is booked tours only because it is quite small inside but we were first on the waiting list and snuck in. Interestingly it does not own the area behind the long wall that looks as if it belongs to it.

Wonderful! The owner himself and his wife showed us around. Indeed a wealthy business man, but he lives there and loves it and is lavishing his wealth in restoring it. In full co-operation with English Heritage but to hell with wrangles public funding - he is doing it himself and doing it very well. And bespeaking new work as appropriate - murals of Greenwich in the dining room by Peter Kent.

The house nearly finished - after years and years, so the next project is the 1920s garden.

Tamsin said...

"What I tell you three times is true"
The Bellman Hunting of the Snark

Brockley Jon said...

@Headhunter - ha, now you see! Indeed, it's black magic!

@Tamsin, thanks for enlightening us., and I'm glad to hear it's being lived in. I really would love to see that place inside.

Tamsin said...

Look out in the next Open House and book a place as early as possible - as soon as the informaton goes up on line.

Anonymous said...

The Stone House was owned by the Water Board until about 10 or 15 years ago.
Moira

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