Tuesday, 27 February 2007

First, an update on points of interest in the area

I would like to get on and post about my walk on Feb 2nd (another lovely, clear, fresh sunny winter's day) but maybe I should take a moment to answer some of thew questions I have raised in the past, and Steve Grindlay answered so eloquently.

1. The house I spotted opposite the junction of Honor Oak Road and London Road (across from the Horniman Museum) was the property of "A & G Taylor" and I believe was called Forest Lodge. "A&G" (to their mates) were probably the leading Victorian photographers of "Cartes de Visite", a sort of postcard plus means of correspondence of the age. A little like today's MMS text messages, just for quick notes. More on them in future I hope.

2. The avenue of trees I found leading off Honor Oak Road after Hamilton Hall do not lead to a disused railway, but a reservoir. I suspect it is derelict now, but as it is totally enclosed, and residents have succesfully fought off the developers, it is another "secret garden". I MUST get in here for a look. Can anyone help?

Steve also told an interesting story of how this reservoir (built at the end of the 19th century) influenced a then young boy who became a great poet. Unfortunately my knowledge of this art form, beyond the Owl and the Pussycat, is extremely limited so I didn't catch the name. Another one for the future.

3. The bottom of Manor Mount, where the ambulance station is, has a strange building backing on to it. I always thought it looked vaguely nautical (round windows, made of wood, with a big balcony, etc.). It turns out that the whole area was the basin for the canal that ran through here, so I need to find out whether that building is contemporaneous. (Nice word, hard to spell.)

4. Much of the area behind the Horniman Museum was owned by a single family (I promise to find out the name I have already forgotten) who might even have considered offering it as another extension to the Horniman Gardens (now THAT would have been impressive). This area is known as Tewkesbury Lodge. However, they didn't and it has since been developed. The only remnant of their massive Lodge is the folly that had been built in the garden to take advantage of the beautiful views. This still remains, and it remains a place I need to try and get to visit. Unfortunately it is in someone's private garden now.

5. And finally, although Christ Church on South Road is being redeveloped (slowly) as flats, a few of the remaining monuments from the graveyard remain. These are important historical references to the Tetley (tea) family, the (Lea &) Perrins family, a wealthy merchant called Chaplin (no relation to ol' Charlie) and one or two more. All these people lived, died and came to rest in Forest Hill. If you happen to buy one of those flats, think about that when you next boil the kettle!

More updates and clarifications soon.


Applespider said...

I've seen you on SE23.com but just stumbled across this site.

Is the reservoir you are talking about on Honor Oak, the brick covered one? If so, then it's by no means derelict

From the Thames Water site (with a picture halfway down the page)

Honor Oak Reservoir is Europe’s largest underground reservoir, beneath Peckham Golf Course. It holds enough water for 1 million people.

Robert McIntosh said...

Hi Applespider

yes, that's me on SE23.com too, welcome to my own little (less regulated) corner of the interweb

thanks for the link (I would like to see the higher res photo they mention) but this isn't the one I mean.

the one I am thinking of is about 1/2 of the way down Honor Oak road from London Road to Honor Oak.

See this link (you may need to zoom out to get the location):

This one is much smaller and appear on my map of FH in 1894, so reptty old. As far as I know it is disused, but the land is still empty.

Robert McIntosh said...

looks like the link failed

try this:

map link

Applespider said...

Ah OK... I thought it was a little too obvious! I just remember being astounded when reading a book on Underground London to find out that there was such a large reservoir at the other end of my road!

Interesting to find out that there was another one - presumably that stop being used when the larger one came into being?

Robert McIntosh said...

I am sure that there is a surprising amount going on beneath us that we never know about

It is possible that they replaced one with the other, but I imagine that they would have wanted to keep both, but this is something worth looking into. In fact the whole history of this sort of infrastructure would tell you a lot about the development of the whole area.

Jim said...

As the secretary of the Aquarius golf Club, which is on and around the Honor Oak reservior or Beechcroft reservior as it is known, I can assure you it very in use as is the golf course.

The reservior was opened in May 1909, so 100 next year, the golf club in 1912.

any further details please conract me

jim halliday

Robert McIntosh said...

Thanks Jim

Actually, the reservoir in this case is the covered reservoir along Honor Oak Road, between Horniman Drive and Canonbie Road. I still would like to get more information on this place as it seems nicely mysterious.

I think many people make the same mistake (see the other comments), and I am very well aware of the Beechcroft/Aquarius connection but somehow have never mentioned it. I will rectify that asap

Jim said...

Thanks Robert

I don't know anything about the Cannonbie Road reservior, but I shall ask my contacts in Thames water Operations


Anonymous said...

Hi there, been wandering around SE23 today and just googling a few places of interest....saw your post & then this a few mins later & thought you might still be interested? http://www.london.gov.uk/wildweb/PublicSiteViewFull.do?pictureno=1&siteid=6370

Robert McIntosh said...

that's excellent! thank you very much

shame that it confirms the place is not open to the public, but good to now a little more about it.

Teresa Howard said...

when I bought my house at the top of Manor Mount I was told there there had been a spring on Manor Mount. Do you know anything about this or where it might be situated. If the reservoir is at the bottom of the road would it seem likely that the spring was at the top of the road?