Celebrating Charlton’s history: Should these SE7 landmarks be locally listed?

Rose of Denmark pub Woolwich Road Charlton
Could the Rose of Denmark pub be added to Greenwich Council’s Local Heritage List?

We’re grateful to Charlton Champion reader BECKY HOLMES for submitting this post on Greenwich Council’s consultation on the area’s historically interesting buildings.

Greenwich Council recently invited nominations for Local Heritage Listing – and has just opened a public consultation on the “architectural, historic and environmental” merits of the proposals. 

It says: “The purpose of the local list is to identify buildings, structures and monuments of local architectural or historic importance and to preserve their features of interest as far as possible.”

Interestingly, it’s the first time the council has received nominations from community groups and individuals, while be be considered alongside its own proposals. The Lee Forum and Positive Plumstead Project groups have both contributed.

Nominations include an eclectic compilation of buildings, details and structures – from bridges to pubs, to railway stations and lighthouses. “Local heritage listing is a way for local communities to identify and celebrate historic buildings which enrich and enliven their area.”

I found out about the heritage listing by chance, after getting in touch with the conservation team on the Charlton Riverside Heritage Consultation. It felt like the conservation effort should cross Woolwich Road and by a bit of luck this opportunity came up.

‘An underdog at risk of losing its identity’

I haven’t lived in the area for long but I already feel really protective over it – slightly unloved and riddled with traffic pollution, but with an amazing industrial heritage and lots of interesting details. It’s an underdog at risk of losing its identity due to over-development.

A few favourite local nominations include the Angerstein freight railway crossing and alley by Fairthorn Road – built in the 1850s by local landowner John Julius Angerstein so workers could better access Combe Farm, which sat at the bottom of Westcombe Hill (Angerstein’s collection of paintings funded the National Gallery). Locals still cross here everyday.

It’s modest and unpretentious and that’s why it suits the area so well – like something out of a Famous Five novel. It’s a breath of fresh air next to the concrete traffic jams of the A2. Despite walking through the dim alley at dusk, hoping that the person behind is a friendly commuter and not an axe murderer, I’d hate to lose it.

Similarly, the strip of old factory walls and old doors on Ramac Way have a time-worn feel to them. As the last factory walls standing, they feel like a poignant reminder of the need to preserve local industrial heritage and that this area hasn’t always been a place to buy stuff but a place where we made stuff – useful stuff! Transatlantic electrical cables, shipping propellors, batteries, Bakelite telephones as well as Airfix kits, the stuff of childhood dreams.

The Rose of Denmark pub also feels like an unsung hero. Its post-war styling is very evocative of the area and style of the old Valley ground.

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Characterful heritage buildings are at risk with all the new development – nowhere feels safe from redevelopment! Hopefully by adding more heritage spots, more people will appreciate the history of the area – and it might help encourage sympathetic development in the months and years to come.

Have your say on the architectural, historic and environmental value of the nominations.The consultation documents are available online here.

Comments on the architectural, historic and environmental merits of nominations should be given by email or post, by 5pm on 30 October 2018.
By email: planning.policy[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk
By post: Royal Borough of Greenwich, Planning Policy Team, 5th Floor, The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London, SE18 6HQ

Find out more and view Greenwich Council’s current heritage list here.

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Dates for your diary: Pub Quiz, FoCL, Winter Social

Rose of Denmark, Charlton

7th November – Pub Quiz:  The Charlton Pub Quiz returns! Fans of quiz-master Paul’s sparkly jacket can see it in all its glory at 8.30pm at the Rose of Denmark. The pub quiz can also be found on Twitter – @CharltonPubQuiz – and if you don’t have a team you can contact the quiz-master there or leave a comment here and he’ll help to match you up. You can expect 6 rounds of classic trivia, such as sport, history, current affairs and the life and films of Bill Murray.*  Entry £2 per person, cash prizes from the quiz takings for winners.

* Maybe.

16th November – Thorntree School Christmas Craft Market:
Thorntree School is hosting its annual Christmas Craft Market on Saturday 16th of this month. Running from midday till 4:00pm the event showcases local crafts such as Kat’s Kalma handmade soaps, Nicola Corrigan designs, jewellery and vintage items. There are also cupcakes and other festive refreshments! Entry is £1 for adults and children go free. Organised by the Friends of Thorntree Association, money raised by the event goes towards their efforts to make purchases that the school may otherwise not afford. But it’s mostly a chance to go along and enjoy some Christmas cheer.

25th November – First meeting, Friends of Charlton Lido: You’ll know that Charlton Lido is very dear to the Champion’s heart, and that this blog has previously suggested that a Friends group should be set up to represent users’ interests and support our local pool. The first informal meeting of the Friends group will be held at 6:30pm in Brew and Choo. There’s more information on the new Friends of Charlton Lido site, and the group also has a Twitter account: @FoCLSE7.

28th November – The Charlton Champion’s Winter Social:  The Charlton Champion’s Summer Social was such a success that we thought we’d do it all over again, but in winter. If you’d like to meet the people behind the site, suggest stories, pass on gossip, meet other Charlton residents, or if you just fancy an excuse to get out of the house and have a pint, why not join us? We’ll be meeting at 8pm at the Rose of Denmark. It’d be really great if you could leave us a comment if you’re planning to come along so we have an idea of how many to expect.