Sunday, November 09, 2008

Walking New Cross (11): New Cross Road (from start to Kender St/Avonley Rd)

Heading south-east, the A2 changes its name from the Old Kent Road to New Cross Road just after the junction with Ilderton Road. On the north side, the the change is marked by the entrance to Deptford Ambulance station (no.1 New Cross Road). This occupies part of the site of the old New Cross Hospital. It was opened by the Metropolitan Asylums Board as Deptford Hospital on 17 March 1877 for pauper patients with smallpox. By 1881, the epidemic was over, but it remained a fever hospital up until 1941. It was renamed the South Eastern Fever Hospital in 1885, New Cross General Hospital in 1949, and then New Cross Hospital from the mid-1960s. It closed in 1991, but as well as the ambulance station there are a number of NHS buildings still on site.

Grace Pailthorpe (1883-1971) worked at the hospital as a medical officer in 1917. She later became a psychoanalyst and a member of the British Surrealist Group with a particular interest in the unconscious and automatic writing. Her work in the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition in London was praised by Andre Breton; image below is entitled 'March 7 1937- 4 (Sandbumptious)'.

Next door to the ambulance station at no. 1a is a tattoo parlour – Tribalize – run by Andi Bone.

Then there are some quite fine Victorian terraced houses - numbers 3 to 41 were originally known as St James Place and like other lovely buildings on this road are somewhat overshadowed by the sheer weight of traffic passing by. St James Cottage at no.41 dates from 1827, these houses at the western end of this row(numbers 7 & 9) were built in 1842:

On the opposite side of the road, the petrol station is at the start of New Cross Road, followed by the magnificent Carlton Cottages:

These white painted houses date from 1829 and have classical columns with seashell detail - or to be precise they are decorated with an 'Ammonite order'. According to this site ‘The Ammonite Order was originated by George Dance, who used it first on Boydell's Gallery (Shakespeare's Gallery) in Pall Mall (1789). The Order comprises fluted pilasters, the volutes in the capitals of which are in the form of ammonites, geological fossils consisting of whorled chambered shells resembling the horn of Jupiter (Amon) in shape’.
Somebody who lived at no.8 a couple of years ago did a whole Carlton Cottages myspace site of photos of their life there – looked like they had quite a party!

Between these houses and the Kender Street junction, it is mostly Lewisham council blocks – Hutchinson House and Romney Close. Confusingly, Lewisham doesn't start at the beginning of New Cross Road, but at the Pomeroy Street junction, so numbers 1 to 15 New Cross Road are presumably in the London Borough of Southwark.


Janet Packer said...

Just tracing some family history and found my ancestor, Richard Freeman, a doctor, is living at no.27 St James Place, New Cross in cesuses of 1861 and 1871. I was delighted to see the type of house he lived in. Does no.27 still exist?
Thanks for sharing your photos & knowledge ...

Anonymous said...

I can't be 100% certain that the numbering for St James Place was the same as New Cross Road, but if you search on Google Map for 27 New Cross Road and then use streetview you can work out which house is number 27. The door number for 15 is clearly visible, counting down from there no.27 seems to be the second of the taller houses with a big tree in the front garden.

Anonymous said...

Grandmother was a servant at no. 14Avonley Road in 1909 but the building has long gone. Any Informationas to who owned or lived at this address in 1909? or ny Pictures, old maps?

Helen said...

HiJan just came across this post. I lived in 27 New Cross Road from 1947 to 1962 on the top floor. My dad's family rented the whole house from New cross hospital at the time. There wasn't a bathroom and the toilet was halfway down the back garden. Probably hadn't changed much from your ancestors time.