Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Walking New Cross (5): Hatcham Conservation Area South
The area bordered by New Cross Road, Brocklehurst Street, Sainsburys and Avonley Road is, like the Telegraph Hill Area on the other side of New Cross Road, a conservation area of Victorian housing developed under the auspices of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, who owned the land. The Hatcham Manor Estate (as it was originally known) was built between 1848 and 1894 on land that had formally been the grounds of Hatcham House, with most of the housing intended for working class people
The building of houses in Hatcham Park Road started in 1848, following the rebuilding of the Five Bells pub in 1840 (the present building, now grade II listed). There had been a pub on this site for many years before however, in fact before it was renamed in 1850, Hatcham Park Road was known as Five Bells Lane (as was Besson Street on the opposite side of New Cross Road). I believe that Gary Oldman's 1997 film Nil by Mouth was shot in the pub, he did after all grow up round the corner.
I'd never explored Hatcham Mews before this weekend - the sign saying 'private road - owned by GLE Properties Ltd' doesn't invite passers-by to stroll in.
I was surprized how much is up there - the back of the post office sorting office, some modern flats with interesting design and the Hatcham Mews Business Centre in converted Victorian builidings. A glance at the list of tenants outside Block A says a lot about the South London labour market - five of the nine firms listed are security guard companies.
Nettleton Road has been explored at Transpontine several times before with its housing co-ops and myriad musical/sub-cultural connections, so for now I will simply note the Rubbish Fairy magic caravan parked there, reading 'recycle or die', 'rubbish fairy' and Syph - the latter apparently decorated it for a trip to Glastonbury last year.
Not much to say about Hart's Lane other than it is dominated by the wall that separates it from the Sainsbury's car park, the wall predating the superstore so presumably being a relic from the railway yards that used to be there. Off Hart's Lane there is a small terrace, Brighton Grove, that was built in 1858 for the employees of the London & Brighton Railway.