Telegraph Hill: The Cracks of Mount Doom

BC is sometimes criticised for being obsessed with trivia but there is nothing footling about the imminent fiery death of a large number of you reading this story.

Reader Ben brings the bad news:

"I'm perplexed to see a huge number of large cracks have opened up in the pavements and tennis court in the upper park of Telegraph Hill. Is the park going to fall off the hill and destroy half of South East London or are we all safe!?"

So is 2012 about to come early in Telegraph Hill or worse - is Telegraph Hill suffering from subsidence? If anyone has an explanation for Ben, please post it here.

11 comments:

Tyrwhitt Michael said...

It's just London Clay.

Shrinks when its dry and slides when its wet.

I wouldn't recommend building on it but try telling the ancestors.

Brockley Nick said...

easy to be complacent from the safety of the Brockley conservation area. People's lives are at stake man.

Tamsin said...

Back to bad contract management - the paths were meant to have their footings completely re-stabilised when the parks were restored five years ago.

Not quite big enough for Gollum to fall into, but a child could catch their foot.

Anyone recall the lovely mouth of hell artwork at the first Hillaballoo?

Tamsin said...

Found the photo on flickr quickr than I thought I would...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8001433@N02/905396970/

Simone said...

Wouldn't it have to rain? An awful lot? I lived in a city where this actually happened.

A clay layer with several houses on it slid down the hill and collided with the houses lower down. The ripped up sewerage pipes made an interesting mess.

I reckon there's a higher chance that a certain barrier at the end of our little river gets flooded first though.

Then my smugness about living at the top of a hill in a watery valley will be justified.

Ha!

Lou Baker said...

I know of at least one house near the park which is suffering from subsidence. Maybe the park is too. Certainly the paths have deteriorated noticeably which does suggest there's a problem.

Brockley Kate said...

Subsidence is a major problem for any old houses built on south London clay-based hills (according to my insurance man at least). Sorry, conservation area residents, that means you too.

Alternatively, I diagnose a volcano. Flee!

Anonymous said...

So the upshot of completely melting the polar ice caps and sinking the polar bears is that in years from now we can sit on deckchairs on Telegraph hill, ocadiobally pausing to pick a pineapple from overhanging exotic trees?

Excuse me while I go and rev the car for a bit...

Tamsin said...

When I worked in conveyancing the new Environmental Reports came in which - based on centrally held data - gave risk factors for subsidence etc. Basically the clients would be freaked either way - if you were built on granite and so free of the threat of subsidence/heave you had radon to worry about.

Telegraph Ian said...

The cracks have been there since I was kid. IN the early 70s Aske's playground had surveyors rulers nailed to the cracks so that we could measure how fast the school was slipping down the hill.

Sadly it never made it all the way to the girls school. I was looking forward to that.

Tamsin said...

Do have a look it really is an amazing piece of artwork in the photo. Sorry I can't do a direct link but copy and paste works.

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