Deptford

Deptford

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Deptford is a district of south London
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, located on the south bank of the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

. It is named after a ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

 of the River Ravensbourne
River Ravensbourne
The River Ravensbourne is a tributary of the River Thames in South London, England. It flows into the River Thames on the Tideway at Deptford, where its tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek.- Geography :...

, and from the mid 16th century to the late 19th was home to Deptford Dockyard, the first of the Royal Navy Dockyard
Royal Navy Dockyard
Royal Navy Dockyards are harbours where either commissioned ships are based, or where ships are overhauled and refitted. Historically, the Royal Navy maintained a string of dockyards around the world, although few are now operating today....

s.

Deptford and the docks are associated with the knighting of Sir Francis Drake by Queen Elizabeth I aboard the Golden Hind
Golden Hind
The Golden Hind was an English galleon best known for its circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake...

, the legend of Sir Walter Raleigh laying down his cape for Elizabeth, Captain James Cook's third voyage aboard Resolution, and the mysterious murder of Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

 in a house along Deptford Strand.

Though Deptford began as two small communities, one at the ford, and the other a fishing village on The Thames, Deptford's history and population has been mainly associated with the docks established by Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

.

The two communities grew together and flourished while the docks were the main administrative centre of the British Navy, and a few grand houses like Sayes Court
Sayes Court
Located in Deptford, in the London Borough of Lewisham and on the Thames Path, Sayes Court once attracted throngs to visit its celebrated garden created by the seventeenth century diarist John Evelyn...

, home to diarist John Evelyn
John Evelyn
John Evelyn was an English writer, gardener and diarist.Evelyn's diaries or Memoirs are largely contemporaneous with those of the other noted diarist of the time, Samuel Pepys, and cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time John Evelyn (31 October 1620 – 27 February...

, and Stone House
Stone House, Deptford
Stone House is one of the oldest and most distinctive buildings in the London Borough of Lewisham. It was built between 1771 and 1773 by George Gibson the younger, for himself.It is Grade II* Listed ....

 on Lewisham Way were erected. The area declined as first the Royal Navy moved out, and then the commercial docks themselves declined until the last dock, Convoys Wharf, closed in 2000.

A Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
The Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it became part of the London Borough of Lewisham along with the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham....

 was formed in 1900; then, in 1965, the area became part of the newly created London Borough of Lewisham
London Borough of Lewisham
The London Borough of Lewisham is a London borough in south-east London, England and forms part of Inner London. The principal settlement of the borough is Lewisham...

 to which it still belongs.

History


Deptford began life as a ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

 of the Ravensbourne
River Ravensbourne
The River Ravensbourne is a tributary of the River Thames in South London, England. It flows into the River Thames on the Tideway at Deptford, where its tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek.- Geography :...

 (near what is now Deptford Bridge station) along the route of the Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic ancient trackway
Ancient trackway
Ancient trackway can refer to any track or trail whose origin is lost in antiquity. Such paths existed from the earliest prehistoric times and in every inhabited part of the globe...

 which developed into the medieval Watling Street
Watling Street
Watling Street is the name given to an ancient trackway in England and Wales that was first used by the Britons mainly between the modern cities of Canterbury and St Albans. The Romans later paved the route, part of which is identified on the Antonine Itinerary as Iter III: "Item a Londinio ad...

; it was part of the pilgrimage route to Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

 from London used by the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and is mentioned in the Prologue to the "Reeve's Tale
The Reeve's Prologue and Tale
"The Reeve's Tale" is the third story told in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The reeve, named Oswald in the text, is the manager of a large estate who reaped incredible profits for his master and himself. He is described in the Tales as skinny and bad-tempered. The Reeve had once been...

". The ford developed into first a wooden, then a stone bridge, and in 1497 became the scene for the Battle of Deptford Bridge, in which rebels from Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, led by Michael An Gof
Michael An Gof
Michael Joseph and Thomas Flamank were the leaders of the Cornish Rebellion of 1497....

, marched on London protesting against punitive taxes, but were soundly beaten by the King's forces.
A second settlement developed as a modest fishing village on the Thames until Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 used that site for a royal dock repairing, building and supplying ships; after which it grew in size and importance — shipbuilding remaining in operation until March 1869. Trinity House
Trinity House
The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond is the official General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales and other British territorial waters...

, the organisation concerned with the safety of navigation around the British Isles, was formed in Deptford in 1514, with its first Master Thomas Spert
Thomas Spert
Sir Thomas Spert was the first Master of Trinity House. Born in the late 15th century , he died December 1541. He was in turn master of the Mary Rose and the Henri Grâce à Dieu, both ships being flagship to Henry VIII of England...

, captain of the Mary Rose
Mary Rose
The Mary Rose was a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. After serving for 33 years in several wars against France, Scotland, and Brittany and after being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she saw her last action on 1545. While leading the attack on the galleys of a...

; and remained until 1618, then moving to Stepney
Stepney
Stepney is a district of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in London's East End that grew out of a medieval village around St Dunstan's church and the 15th century ribbon development of Mile End Road...

. The name "Trinity House" derives from the church of Holy Trinity and St Clement, which adjoined the dockyard.

Originally separated by market gardens and fields, the two areas merged together over the years, with the docks becoming an important part of the Elizabethan exploration. Queen Elizabeth I visited the royal dockyard on 4 April 1581 to knight the adventurer Francis Drake
Francis Drake
Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral was an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era. Elizabeth I of England awarded Drake a knighthood in 1581. He was second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588. He also carried out the...

. As well as exploration, Deptford was important for trade - the Honourable East India Company set up their own yard in Deptford from 1607 until late in the 17th century. It was also connected with the slave trade, John Hawkins
John Hawkins
Admiral Sir John Hawkins was an English shipbuilder, naval administrator and commander, merchant, navigator, and slave trader. As treasurer and controller of the Royal Navy, he rebuilt older ships and helped design the faster ships that withstood the Spanish Armada in 1588...

 using it as a base for his operations, and Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano also known as Gustavus Vassa, was a prominent African involved in the British movement towards the abolition of the slave trade. His autobiography depicted the horrors of slavery and helped influence British lawmakers to abolish the slave trade through the Slave Trade Act of 1807...

, the slave who would later became an important part of the abolition of the slave trade, was sold from one ship's captain to another in Deptford around 1760.

Diarist John Evelyn
John Evelyn
John Evelyn was an English writer, gardener and diarist.Evelyn's diaries or Memoirs are largely contemporaneous with those of the other noted diarist of the time, Samuel Pepys, and cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time John Evelyn (31 October 1620 – 27 February...

 lived in Deptford at Sayes Court from 1652. Evelyn inherited the house when he married the daughter of Sir Richard Browne
Sir Richard Browne, 1st Baronet, of Deptford
Sir Richard Browne, 1st Baronet of Deptford was English ambassador to the court of France at Paris from 1641 to 1660....

 in 1652. On his return to England at the Restoration, Evelyn had laid out meticulously planned gardens in the French style of hedges and parterre
Parterre
A parterre is a formal garden construction on a level surface consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging, and gravel paths arranged to form a pleasing, usually symmetrical pattern. Parterres need not have any flowers at all...

s. In its grounds was a cottage at one time rented by master wood carver Grinling Gibbons
Grinling Gibbons
Grinling Gibbons was an English sculptor and wood carver known for his work in England, including St Paul's Cathedral, Blenheim Palace and Hampton Court Palace. He was born and educated in Holland where his father was a merchant...

. After Evelyn had moved to Surrey in 1694, Russian Tsar
Tsar
Tsar is a title used to designate certain European Slavic monarchs or supreme rulers. As a system of government in the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire, it is known as Tsarist autocracy, or Tsarism...

 Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 studied shipbuilding for three months in 1698. He and some of his fellow Russians stayed at Sayes Court, the manor house of Deptford. Evelyn was angered at the antics of the Tsar, who got drunk with his friends and, using a wheelbarrow with Peter in it succeeded in ramming their way through a fine holly
Holly
Ilex) is a genus of 400 to 600 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. The species are evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, and climbers from tropics to temperate zones world wide....

 hedge. Sayes Court was demolished in 1728-9 and a workhouse
Workhouse
In England and Wales a workhouse, colloquially known as a spike, was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment...

 built on its site. Part of the estates around Sayes Court were purchased in 1742 for the building of the Admiralty Victualling Yard, renamed in 1858 after a visit by Queen Victoria as the Royal Victoria Yard. This massive facility included warehouses, a bakery, a cattleyard/abattoir and sugar stores, and closed in 1960. All that remains is the name in a public park called Sayes Court Park, accessed from Sayes Court Street off Evelyn Street, not far from Deptford High Street. Today, the Pepys Estate, opened on 13 July 1966, stands on the former grounds of the Royal Victoria Dockyard.
The Docks had been gradually declining from the 18th century; the larger ships being built found The Thames difficult to navigate, and Deptford was under competition from the new docks at Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

, Portsmouth
Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

 and Chatham
Chatham Dockyard
Chatham Dockyard, located on the River Medway and of which two-thirds is in Gillingham and one third in Chatham, Kent, England, came into existence at the time when, following the Reformation, relations with the Catholic countries of Europe had worsened, leading to a requirement for additional...

. When the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 ended in 1815 the need for a Docks to build and repair warships
Ship of the line
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through the mid-19th century to take part in the naval tactic known as the line of battle, in which two columns of opposing warships would manoeuvre to bring the greatest weight of broadside guns to bear...

 declined; the Docks shifted from shipbuilding to concentrate more on victualling at the Royal Victoria Victualling Yard, and the Royal Dock finally closed in 1869. From 1871 until the First World War the shipyard site was the City of London Corporation's Foreign Cattle Market, in which girls and women butchered
Animal slaughter
Slaughter is the term used to describe the killing and butchering of animals, usually for food. Commonly it refers to killing and butchering of domestic livestock ....

 sheep and cattle until the early part of the 20th century.These "gutting sheds" were the subject of the play "The Gut Girls" by Sarah Daniels
Sarah Daniels
Sarah Daniels is a British dramatist. She has been a prolific writer since her first performed play was given a production at the Royal Court in 1981. Her plays have appeared at other venues including the National Theatre, the Battersea Arts Centre, the Crucible, Sheffield and Chicken Shed...

At its peak, around 1907, over 234,000 animals were imported annually through the market, but by 1912 these figures had declined to less than 40,000 a year. The yard was taken over by the War Office
War Office
The War Office was a department of the British Government, responsible for the administration of the British Army between the 17th century and 1964, when its functions were transferred to the Ministry of Defence...

 in 1914, and served as an Army Supply Reserve Depot in the First
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and Second World Wars
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The site lay unused until being purchased by Convoys (newsprint importers) in 1984, and eventually came into the ownership of News International. In the mid 1990s, although significant investment was made on the site, it became uneconomic to continue using the site as a freight wharf. In 2008 Hutchison Whampoa bought the 16ha
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

 site from News International with plans for a £700m 3,500-home development scheme. The Grade II listed Olympia Warehouse will refurbished as part of the redevelopment of the site.

Deptford experienced economic decline in the 20th century with the closing of the docks, and the damage caused by the bombing
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 during the Second World War - one V-2 rocket
V-2 rocket
The V-2 rocket , technical name Aggregat-4 , was a ballistic missile that was developed at the beginning of the Second World War in Germany, specifically targeted at London and later Antwerp. The liquid-propellant rocket was the world's first long-range combat-ballistic missile and first known...

 alone destroyed a Woolworths
Woolworths Group
Woolworths Group plc was a listed British company that owned the high-street retail chain, Woolworths, as well as other brands such as the entertainment distributor Entertainment UK and book and resource distributor Bertram Books...

 store outside Deptford Town Hall, killing 160 people. High unemployment caused some of the population to move away as the riverside industries closed down in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The local council have developed plans with private companies to regenerate the riverside area, and the town centre.

Governance



The Manor of Deptford or West Greenwich was bestowed by William the Conqueror upon Gilbert de Magminot
Gilbert de Magminot
William the Conqueror granted the Manor of Deptford or West Greenwich to Gilbert de Magminot or Maminot, bishop of Lisieux, one of the eight barons associated with John de Fiennes for the defence of Dover Castle. These eight barons had to provide between them 112 soldiers, 25 of whom were always to...

 or Maminot, bishop of Lisieux
Roman Catholic Diocese of Lisieux
The Diocese of Lisieux was a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in France, centered on Lisieux, in Calvados.The bishop of Lisieux was the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lisieux. The first known Bishop of Lisieux is one Theodibandes, mentioned in connexion with a council held in...

, one of the eight barons associated with John de Fiennes for the defense of Dover Castle
Dover Castle
Dover Castle is a medieval castle in the town of the same name in the English county of Kent. It was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history...

. Maminot held the head of his barony at Deptford and according to John Lyon writing in 1814, he built himself a castle, or castellated mansion at Deptford, of which all traces had by then long since been buried in their ruins, but from the remains of some ancient foundations which had been discovered the site was probably on the brow of Broomfield, near the Mast Dock and adjacent to Sayes Court
Sayes Court
Located in Deptford, in the London Borough of Lewisham and on the Thames Path, Sayes Court once attracted throngs to visit its celebrated garden created by the seventeenth century diarist John Evelyn...

.

Originally under the governance of the ancient parishes of St Paul and St Nicholas, in 1900, a Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was formed out of the southern parish of St Paul, with St Nicholas and the area around the Royal Dockyard coming under the governance of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich
Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich
The Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965. Within the area of the borough were the Royal Naval College , the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park. It bordered the boroughs of Woolwich, Deptford, Lewisham...

. Under the London Government Act 1963
London Government Act 1963
The London Government Act 1963 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which recognised officially the conurbation known as Greater London and created a new local government structure for the capital. The Act significantly reduced the number of local government districts in the area,...

, the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was absorbed in 1965 into the newly created London Borough of Lewisham, with the area around the Royal Dockyard being transferred to Lewisham in a 1994 boundary adjustment of about 40 hectares (98.8 acre). The electoral wards consist of Evelyn
Evelyn, London
Evelyn is an electoral ward in the northern most part of the London Borough of Lewisham. It is located in the Deptford area on the south bank of the River Thames, and is the only Lewisham ward that borders the Thames....

 in the north and part of New Cross
New Cross
New Cross is a district and ward of the London Borough of Lewisham, England. It is situated 4 miles south-east of Charing Cross. The ward covered by London post town and the SE 14 postcode district. New Cross is near St Johns, Telegraph Hill, Nunhead, Peckham, Brockley, Deptford and Greenwich...

 to the south.

Geography


Deptford borders the areas of Brockley
Brockley
Brockley is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross.It is covered by the London postcode districts SE4 and SE14.-History:...

 and Lewisham
Lewisham
Lewisham is a district in South London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.-History:...

 to the south, New Cross
New Cross
New Cross is a district and ward of the London Borough of Lewisham, England. It is situated 4 miles south-east of Charing Cross. The ward covered by London post town and the SE 14 postcode district. New Cross is near St Johns, Telegraph Hill, Nunhead, Peckham, Brockley, Deptford and Greenwich...

 to the west and Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe is a residential district in inner southeast London, England and part of the London Borough of Southwark. It is located on a peninsula on the south bank of the Thames, facing Wapping and the Isle of Dogs on the north bank, and is a part of the Docklands area...

 to the north west; Deptford Creek divides it from Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

 to the east, and the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 separates the area from the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
The Isle of Dogs is a former island in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.-Etymology:...

 to the north east; it is contained within the London SE8
SE postcode area
The SE postcode area, also known as the London SE postcode area, is the part of the London post town covering part of south east London, England...

 post code area.

The name Deptford — anciently written Depeford meaning "deep ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

" — is derived from the place where the road from London to Dover
Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

, the ancient Watling Street
Watling Street
Watling Street is the name given to an ancient trackway in England and Wales that was first used by the Britons mainly between the modern cities of Canterbury and St Albans. The Romans later paved the route, part of which is identified on the Antonine Itinerary as Iter III: "Item a Londinio ad...

 (now the A2), crosses the River Ravensbourne
River Ravensbourne
The River Ravensbourne is a tributary of the River Thames in South London, England. It flows into the River Thames on the Tideway at Deptford, where its tidal reach is known as Deptford Creek.- Geography :...

 at the site of what became Deptford Bridge at Deptford Broadway. The Ravensbourne crosses under the A2 at roughly the same spot as the DLR
Docklands Light Railway
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro or light rail system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London...

 crosses over; and at the point where it becomes tidal, just after Lewisham College
Lewisham College
Lewisham College is a further education college in Lewisham, south-east London.Lewisham College is located in the London Borough of Lewisham in south-east London. The college comprise campuses in Lewisham Way, New Cross and at Deptford Church Street...

, it is known as Deptford Creek, and flows into the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 at Greenwich Reach.

Deptford was mostly located in the Blackheath Hundred of the county of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, with the Hatcham
Hatcham
Hatcham was a manor and later chapelry in what is now London, England. It corresponds to the area around New Cross Gate station in the London Borough of Lewisham....

 part in Surrey
Surrey
Surrey is a county in the South East of England and is one of the Home Counties. The county borders Greater London, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire. The historic county town is Guildford. Surrey County Council sits at Kingston upon Thames, although this has been part of...

. It was regarded as two parts and in 1730 was divided into the two parishes of St Nicholas in the north and St Paul in the south. The southern part by the ford was known as Deptford and the northern, riverside area was known as Deptford Strand. It was also referred to as West Greenwich, with the modern town of Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

 being referred to as East Greenwich until this use declined in the 19th century. The whole of Deptford came within the Metropolitan Police District
Metropolitan Police District
The Metropolitan Police District is the police area which is policed by London's Metropolitan Police Service. It currently consists of Greater London, excluding the City of London.-History:...

 in 1830 and was included in the area of responsibility of the Metropolitan Board of Works
Metropolitan Board of Works
The Metropolitan Board of Works was the principal instrument of London-wide government from 1855 until the establishment of the London County Council in 1889. Its principal responsibility was to provide infrastructure to cope with London's rapid growth, which it successfully accomplished. The MBW...

 in 1855. It was transferred to the County of London
County of London
The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of...

 in 1889 and became part of Greater London
Greater London
Greater London is the top-level administrative division of England covering London. It was created in 1965 and spans the City of London, including Middle Temple and Inner Temple, and the 32 London boroughs. This territory is coterminate with the London Government Office Region and the London...

 in 1965.

The area was split in 1900: the southern part, the parish of St Paul Deptford, became the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
The Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it became part of the London Borough of Lewisham along with the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham....

; while the northern part, the parish of St Nicholas Deptford, became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich
Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich
The Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965. Within the area of the borough were the Royal Naval College , the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park. It bordered the boroughs of Woolwich, Deptford, Lewisham...

. In 1965 the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was absorbed into the London Borough of Lewisham, then in 1994 the bulk of the northern part, including the former Royal Dockyard area, was transferred to Lewisham Borough from Greenwich Borough, leaving only the north eastern area, around St Nicholas's church, in Greenwich.

Demography



Deptford's population has been mainly associated with the docks since the establishment of the Royal Docks by Henry VIII, though there has also been some market gardening and potteries. When the docks were thriving as the main administrative centre of the British Navy, so the area prospered, and fine houses were built for the administrative staff and the skilled shipbuilders, and a few grand houses like Sayes Court
Sayes Court
Located in Deptford, in the London Borough of Lewisham and on the Thames Path, Sayes Court once attracted throngs to visit its celebrated garden created by the seventeenth century diarist John Evelyn...

 and Stone House
Stone House, Deptford
Stone House is one of the oldest and most distinctive buildings in the London Borough of Lewisham. It was built between 1771 and 1773 by George Gibson the younger, for himself.It is Grade II* Listed ....

 on Lewisham Way were erected. There was a start of a demographic shift downwards when the Royal Navy pulled out of Deptford, and the docks moved into storage and freight. The downward shift continued into the 20th century as the local population's dependency on the docks continued: as the docks themselves declined, so did the economic fortune of the inhabitants until the last dock, Convoys Wharf, closed in 2000.

Deptford's northern section nearest the old docks contains areas of desolate council housing and deprivation typical of inner city poverty, though the area, along with neighbouring New Cross
New Cross
New Cross is a district and ward of the London Borough of Lewisham, England. It is situated 4 miles south-east of Charing Cross. The ward covered by London post town and the SE 14 postcode district. New Cross is near St Johns, Telegraph Hill, Nunhead, Peckham, Brockley, Deptford and Greenwich...

, has been touted as "the new Shoreditch
Shoreditch
Shoreditch is an area of London within the London Borough of Hackney in England. It is a built-up part of the inner city immediately to the north of the City of London, located east-northeast of Charing Cross.-Etymology:...

" by some journalists and estate agents paying attention to a trendy arts and music scene that is popular with students and artists. To the south where Deptford rolls into the suburban spread of Brockley
Brockley
Brockley is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is situated south-east of Charing Cross.It is covered by the London postcode districts SE4 and SE14.-History:...

, the previously multi-occupancy Victorian houses are being gentrified by young city workers and urban professionals.

Deptford contains a number of student populations, including those of Goldsmiths College
Goldsmiths College
Goldsmiths, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom which specialises in the arts, humanities and social sciences, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It was founded in 1891 as Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute...

, the University of Greenwich
University of Greenwich
The University of Greenwich is a British university located in the London Borough of Greenwich, London, England. The main campus is located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, a central location within the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage Site.-History:The history of the...

 and Laban Dance Centre
Laban Dance Centre
Laban in Deptford, south-east London, is a conservatoire and centre for contemporary dance, and includes 13 dance studios, a 300-seat theatre, dance health suite, Pilates studio, library and café...

. Goldsmiths College's hall of residence, Rachel McMillan, in Creek Road was sold in 2001 for £79 million, and was subsequently demolished and replaced with the McMillan Student Village which opened in 2003 and provides accommodation for approximately 970 students of the University of Greenwich, Trinity Laban and Bellerbys colleges.

Economy



Deptford's economic history has been strongly connected to the Dockyard - when the Dockyard was thriving, so Deptford thrived; with the docks now all closed, Deptford has declined economically. However, areas of Deptford are being gradually re-developed and gentrified - and the local council has plans to regenerate the riverside and the town centre. A large former industrial site by the Thames called Convoys Wharf is scheduled for redeveloping into mixed use buildings. This will involve the construction of around 3,500 new homes and an extension of the town centre northwards towards the river.

Much of the area along Creek Road, close to Greenwich, has also been redeveloped, with the demolition of the old Deptford Power Station and Rose Bruford College
Rose Bruford College
Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance is a British drama school, offering university-level and professional vocational training for theatre and performance and the BA and MA degrees, based in Sidcup, Southeast London.-History:Founded in 1950, Rose Bruford "pioneered the first acting degree...

 buildings. Aragon Tower
Aragon Tower
Aragon Tower on the Pepys Estate in Deptford, is one of London's tallest, privately-owned residential towers at 92 metres with 29 floors. It contains 158 residential apartments ranging from 2 to 3 bedrooms.-History:...

 on the Pepys Estate was sold by Lewisham Borough to fund regeneration plans for the estate; the award winning refurbishment into privately owned accommodation was featured in the BBC1 documentary, "The Tower".

Deptford Market
Deptford Market
Deptford Market is a fruit & vegetable and antiques and bric-a-brac market located in Deptford, near Greenwich,south east London.-History:One of south London's busiest, the Deptford market has been in Deptford High Street for centuries. London's first railway, from London to Greenwich was built...

, a street market in Deptford High Street sells a range of goods, and is considered one of London's liveliest street markets. In February 2005, the High Street was described as “the capital's most diverse and vibrant high street” by Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages refers to a telephone directory of businesses, organized by category, rather than alphabetically by business name and in which advertising is sold. As the name suggests, such directories were originally printed on yellow paper, as opposed to white pages for non-commercial listings...

 business directory, using a unique mathematical formula.

Culture



The Albany Theatre, a community arts centre with a tradition of "radical community arts and music" including holding 15 "Rock Against Racism
Rock Against Racism
Rock Against Racism was a campaign set up in the United Kingdom in 1976 as a response to an increase in racial conflict and the growth of white nationalist groups such as the National Front. The campaign involved pop, rock and reggae musicians staging concerts with an anti-racist theme, in order...

" concerts, has its roots in a charity established in 1894 to improve the social life of Deptford's deprived community. The original building, the Albany Institute, was opened in 1899 on Creek Road, changing its name in the 1960s to the Albany Empire. It was burnt down in 1978, but rebuilt on Douglas Way, with Prince Charles laying the foundation stone, and Diana, Princess of Wales opening it in 1982. Creekside, a regeneration area beside Deptford Creek, is used for educational and artistic purposes, such as the Laban Dance Centre
Laban Dance Centre
Laban in Deptford, south-east London, is a conservatoire and centre for contemporary dance, and includes 13 dance studios, a 300-seat theatre, dance health suite, Pilates studio, library and café...

, which was designed by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog
Herzog & de Meuron
Herzog & de Meuron Architekten, BSA/SIA/ETH is a Swiss architecture firm, founded and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland in 1978. The careers of founders and senior partners Jacques Herzog , and Pierre de Meuron , closely paralleled one another, with both attending the Swiss Federal Institute of...

 and Pierre de Meuron
Herzog & de Meuron
Herzog & de Meuron Architekten, BSA/SIA/ETH is a Swiss architecture firm, founded and headquartered in Basel, Switzerland in 1978. The careers of founders and senior partners Jacques Herzog , and Pierre de Meuron , closely paralleled one another, with both attending the Swiss Federal Institute of...

, and opened in February 2003; and the Art in Perpetuity Trust
Art in Perpetuity Trust
Art in Perpetuity Trust, also known as APT, is a London-based charity focusing on developing visual arts. It comprises 37 studios for visual artists and a gallery in Deptford.-History:APT was founded in 1995, at Harold Works, Creekside, Deptford...

 (APT) gallery and studio space. A record label, Deptford Fun City Records was set up by Miles Copeland III
Miles Copeland III
Miles Axe Copeland III is an American entertainment executive, best known for founding I.R.S. Records. His brother, Stewart Copeland, was part of the pop-rock trio The Police, which Miles managed...

, brother of Stewart Copeland
Stewart Copeland
Stewart Armstrong Copeland is an American musician, best known as the drummer for the band The Police. During the group's extended hiatus from the mid-1980s to 2007, he played in other bands and composed soundtracks...

, in the late 1970s as an outlet for Deptford bands such as Alternative TV
Alternative TV
Alternative TV were an English rock band, formed in London in 1976. Their punk rock and post-punk sound was influential for several musical artists.-History:...

 and Squeeze.

The area has several pubs, including the Dog & Bell which has a reputation for serving a range of cask ale
Cask ale
Cask ale or cask-conditioned beer is the term for unfiltered and unpasteurised beer which is conditioned and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure...

s; and The Bird's Nest which has live music, film and art performances from local bands and artists. The Town Hall of the former Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
The Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it became part of the London Borough of Lewisham along with the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham....

, built in 1905 with decorative sculpture by Henry Poole RA
Henry Poole (sculptor)
Henry Poole RA was a British architectural sculptor.He studied at the Lambeth School of Art in 1888; and from 26 January 1892 under Harry Bates ARA and George Frederic Watts RA at the Royal Academy Schools. Poole was elected ARA 22 April 1920 and became a full RA in 1927, shortly before his death...

, lies just outside Deptford, on the New Cross Road in New Cross
New Cross
New Cross is a district and ward of the London Borough of Lewisham, England. It is situated 4 miles south-east of Charing Cross. The ward covered by London post town and the SE 14 postcode district. New Cross is near St Johns, Telegraph Hill, Nunhead, Peckham, Brockley, Deptford and Greenwich...

. It was purchased by Goldsmiths College
Goldsmiths College
Goldsmiths, University of London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom which specialises in the arts, humanities and social sciences, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. It was founded in 1891 as Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute...

 in 2000.

There are several green spaces in the area, the largest being Brookmill Park, Deptford Park, Ferranti Park, Pepys Park and Sayes Court Park
Sayes Court
Located in Deptford, in the London Borough of Lewisham and on the Thames Path, Sayes Court once attracted throngs to visit its celebrated garden created by the seventeenth century diarist John Evelyn...

. In 1884 W.J. Evelyn
William John Evelyn
Commonly known as William John Evelyn , a descendant of the diarist and polymath John Evelyn, eldest son of George Evelyn and Mary Jane Massy Dawson...

, a descendant of John Evelyn
John Evelyn
John Evelyn was an English writer, gardener and diarist.Evelyn's diaries or Memoirs are largely contemporaneous with those of the other noted diarist of the time, Samuel Pepys, and cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time John Evelyn (31 October 1620 – 27 February...

, sold ground then being used as market gardens
Market gardening
A market garden is the relatively small-scale production of fruits, vegetables and flowers as cash crops, frequently sold directly to consumers and restaurants. It is distinguishable from other types of farming by the diversity of crops grown on a small area of land, typically, from under one acre ...

 in Deptford, to the London County Council
London County Council
London County Council was the principal local government body for the County of London, throughout its 1889–1965 existence, and the first London-wide general municipal authority to be directly elected. It covered the area today known as Inner London and was replaced by the Greater London Council...

 for less than its market value, as well as paying toward the cost of its purchase. It was officially opened to the public as Deptford Park on 7 June 1897. In 1886 he dedicated an acre and a half of the Sayes Court recreation ground in perpetuity to the public and a permanent provision was made for the Evelyn estate to cover the expense of maintenance and caretaking, this was opened on the 20 July 1886.

Landmarks


Deptford railway station
Deptford railway station
Deptford is a suburban railway station in the UK capital city of London. It is located in Deptford, London Borough of Lewisham, on the North Kent Line, about three miles from London Bridge station...

 is one of the oldest suburban stations in the world, being built (c.1836-38) as part of the first suburban service (the London and Greenwich Railway
London and Greenwich Railway
The London and Greenwich Railway was opened in London between 1836 and 1838. It was the first steam railway to have a terminus in the capital, the first of any to be built specifically for passenger service, and the first example of an elevated railway....

), between London Bridge and Greenwich
Greenwich station
Greenwich railway station is about 400 m southwest of the town centre of Greenwich, London, England. It is an interchange between National Rail trains between central London and Dartford , and the Docklands Light Railway between Lewisham to the south and the Docklands area and the City of London...

. Close to Deptford Creek is a Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 pumping station built in 1864, part of the massive London sewerage system
London sewerage system
The London sewerage system is part of the water infrastructure serving London. The modern system was developed during the late 19th century, and as London has grown the system has been expanded.-History:...

 designed by civil engineer
Civil engineer
A civil engineer is a person who practices civil engineering; the application of planning, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating infrastructures while protecting the public and environmental health, as well as improving existing infrastructures that have been neglected.Originally, a...

 Sir Joseph Bazalgette
Joseph Bazalgette
Sir Joseph William Bazalgette, CB was an English civil engineer of the 19th century. As chief engineer of London's Metropolitan Board of Works his major achievement was the creation of a sewer network for central London which was instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, while...

. The former Deptford Power Station
Deptford Power Station
Deptford Power Station was a coal-fired power station on the south bank of the River Thames at Deptford, south east London.-Deptford East:The first station was designed in 1887 by Sebastian de Ferranti for the London Electric Supply Corporation. It was located at the Stowage, a site to the west of...

, in use from 1891 to 1983, originated as a pioneering plant designed by Sebastian de Ferranti
Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti
Sebastian Pietro Innocenzo Adhemar Ziani de Ferranti was an electrical engineer and inventor.-Personal life:...

, which when built was the largest station in the world.
Lewisham Council recently granted permission for the last remnants of the Deptford Ragged School
Ragged school
Ragged Schools were charitable schools dedicated to the free education of destitute children in 19th century England. The schools were developed in working class districts of the rapidly expanding industrial towns...

 known as The Princess Louise Institute to be demolished and replaced by flats.
Albury Street (previously Union Street) contains a fine row of early urban houses largely dating from 1705-1717 which were once popular with naval captains and shipwrights.
Tanners Hill in the St John's or New Deptford area to the south of New Cross Road, is part of an Area of Archaeological Priority due to the longevity of settlement and early industry, and contains a set of commercial buildings from numbers 21 to 31 which are survivors from a row of 31 which were built in the 1750s on the site of cottages dating from the 17th century. These timber-frame buildings have a Grade II listing from English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

 and are home to established businesses such as bicycle maker Witcomb Cycles
Witcomb Cycles
Witcomb Cycles, formerly known as Witcomb Lightweight Cycles, is the trading name of the Witcomb Trading Company. It was a British company based in Deptford, south London specialising in custom handmade steel bicycle frames. The company was founded in 1949 by Ernie Witcomb and his wife Lily. The...

. Of Deptford's two important houses, Sayes Court
Sayes Court
Located in Deptford, in the London Borough of Lewisham and on the Thames Path, Sayes Court once attracted throngs to visit its celebrated garden created by the seventeenth century diarist John Evelyn...

 no longer exists, but the Stone House
Stone House, Deptford
Stone House is one of the oldest and most distinctive buildings in the London Borough of Lewisham. It was built between 1771 and 1773 by George Gibson the younger, for himself.It is Grade II* Listed ....

 in St Johns, built around 1772 by the architect George Gibson the Younger, and described by Pevsner
Nikolaus Pevsner
Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner, CBE, FBA was a German-born British scholar of history of art and, especially, of history of architecture...

 as "the one individual house of interest in this area", still stands by Lewisham Way.

Deptford Dockyard




Deptford Dockyard was established in 1513 by Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 as the first Royal Dockyard, building vessels for the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, and was at one time known as the King's Yard. It was shut down from 1830 to 1844 before being closed as a dockyard in 1869, and is currently known as Convoys Wharf. From 1871 until the First World War it was the City of London Corporation's Foreign Cattle Market. In 1912 The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 reported that over 4 million head of live cattle, and sheep, had been landed.

From 1932 until 2008 the site was owned by News International
News International
News International Ltd is the United Kingdom newspaper publishing division of News Corporation. Until June 2002, it was called News International plc....

, which used it to import newsprint
Newsprint
Newsprint is a low-cost, non-archival paper most commonly used to print newspapers, and other publications and advertising material. It usually has an off-white cast and distinctive feel. It is designed for use in printing presses that employ a long web of paper rather than individual sheets of...

 and other paper products from Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 until early 2000. It is now owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited
Hutchison Whampoa
Hutchison Whampoa Limited or HWL of Hong Kong is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. HWL is an international corporation with a diverse array of holdings which includes the world's biggest port and telecommunication operations in 14...

 and is subject to a planning application to convert it into residential units, though it has safeguarded wharf
Safeguarded wharf
Safeguarded wharves are those wharves in London which have been given special status by the Mayor of London and the Port of London Authority which ensures they are retained as working wharves and are protected from redevelopment into non-port use....

 status.

Other notable shipyards in Deptford were, Charles Lungley's and the General Steam Navigation Company's yards at Deptford Green and Dudman's Dock, also sometimes referred to as Deadmans Dock at Deptford Wharf.

Churches



St Nicholas' Church, the original parish church, dates back to the 14th century but the current building is 17th century. The entrance to the churchyard features a set of skull-and-bones on top of the posts. A plaque on the north wall commemorates playwright Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

, who was murdered in a nearby house, and buried in an unmarked grave in the churchyard on 1 June 1593.

There is also St. Luke's, another historic circular church, dating from 1870. It is the daughter church of the parish of St Nicholas'.

In the 18th century St. Paul's, Deptford
St. Paul's, Deptford
St Paul's, Deptford is one of London's finest Baroque parish churches. It was designed by architect Thomas Archer and built between 1712 and 1730 in Deptford, which was then in Kent but is now part of South East London...

 (1712–1730) was built, acclaimed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England
Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England
The Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England was the body formerly responsible for documenting the records of English historical monuments. It was merged with English Heritage on 1 April 1999....

 as one of the finest Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 churches in the country. John Betjeman
John Betjeman
Sir John Betjeman, CBE was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack".He was a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture...

 is attributed as referring to the church as "a pearl at the heart of Deptford". It was designed by the architect Thomas Archer
Thomas Archer
Thomas Archer was an English Baroque architect, whose work is somewhat overshadowed by that of his contemporaries Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor. Archer was born at Umberslade Hall in Tanworth-in-Arden in Warwickshire, the youngest son of Thomas Archer, a country gentleman, Parliamentary...

, who was a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren, as part of the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches
Commission for Building Fifty New Churches
The Commission for Building Fifty New Churches was an organisation set up by Act of Parliament in England in 1711, with the purpose of building fifty new churches for the rapidly growing conurbation of London...

 with the intention of instilling pride in Britain, and encouraging people to stay in London rather than emmigrate to the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

.

Adjacent to the church yard is Albury Street, which contains some fine 18th century houses which were popular with sea captains and shipbuilders.

Murder of Christopher Marlowe



The Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

 was killed during an alleged drunken brawl in Eleanor Bull
Eleanor Bull
Eleanor Bull was an English woman who is known for owning the establishment in which Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan playwright and poet, was killed in 1593.-Life:...

's house in Deptford Strand in May of 1593. Various versions of Marlowe's death were current at the time. Francis Meres
Francis Meres
Francis Meres was an English churchman and author.He was born at Kirton in the Holland division of Lincolnshire in 1565. He was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he received a B.A. in 1587 and an M.A. in 1591. Two years later he was incorporated an M.A. of Oxford...

 says Marlowe was "stabbed to death by a bawdy serving-man, a rival of his in his lewd love" as punishment for his "epicurism and atheism". In 1917, in the Dictionary of National Biography
Dictionary of National Biography
The Dictionary of National Biography is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, published from 1885...

, Sir Sidney Lee
Sidney Lee
Sir Sidney Lee was an English biographer and critic.He was born Solomon Lazarus Lee at 12 Keppel Street, Bloomsbury, London and educated at the City of London School and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated in modern history in 1882. In the next year he became assistant-editor of the...

 wrote that Marlowe was killed in a drunken fight. Modern theories are that he was assassinated. It is commonly assumed that the fight took place in a Deptford tavern.

The scholar Leslie Hotson discovered in 1925 the coroner
Coroner
A coroner is a government official who* Investigates human deaths* Determines cause of death* Issues death certificates* Maintains death records* Responds to deaths in mass disasters* Identifies unknown dead* Other functions depending on local laws...

's report on Marlowe's death in the Public Record Office
Public Record Office
The Public Record Office of the United Kingdom is one of the three organisations that make up the National Archives...

 which gave fuller details. Marlowe had spent all day in a house owned by the widow Eleanor Bull
Eleanor Bull
Eleanor Bull was an English woman who is known for owning the establishment in which Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan playwright and poet, was killed in 1593.-Life:...

, along with three men, Ingram Frizer
Ingram Frizer
Ingram Frizer, died August 1627, was an English gentleman and businessman of the late 16th and early 17th centuries who is notable for killing playwright Christopher Marlowe in the home of Eleanor Bull on 30 May 1593...

, Nicholas Skeres and Robert Poley. Witnesses testified that Frizer and Marlowe had earlier argued over the bill, exchanging "divers malicious words." Later, while Frizer was sitting at a table between the other two and Marlowe was lying behind him on a couch, Marlowe snatched Frizer's dagger and began attacking him. In the ensuing struggle, according to the coroner's report, Marlowe was accidentally stabbed above the right eye, killing him instantly. The jury concluded that Frizer acted in self-defence, and within a month he was pardoned. Marlowe was buried in an unmarked grave in the churchyard of St Nicholas, Deptford, on 1 June 1593.

Transport


Deptford is served by National Rail
National Rail
National Rail is a title used by the Association of Train Operating Companies as a generic term to define the passenger rail services operated in Great Britain...

 and Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway
The Docklands Light Railway is an automated light metro or light rail system opened on 31 August 1987 to serve the redeveloped Docklands area of London...

 services. The National Rail service is operated by Southeastern
Southeastern (train operating company)
London & South Eastern Railway Limited, trading as Southeastern is a train operating company in south-east England. On 1 April 2006 it became the franchisee for the new Integrated Kent Franchise , replacing the publicly owned South Eastern Trains on the former South East Franchise...

 on the suburban Greenwich Line
Greenwich Line
The Greenwich Line is a short railway line in South London that follows the route of the London and Greenwich Railway, which was the first railway line in London....

 at Deptford railway station
Deptford railway station
Deptford is a suburban railway station in the UK capital city of London. It is located in Deptford, London Borough of Lewisham, on the North Kent Line, about three miles from London Bridge station...

, the oldest passenger only railway station in London, and St Johns
St Johns railway station
St Johns railway station is in the London Borough of Lewisham, in southeast London.-History:The station was opened in 1849 by the South Eastern Railway...

, as well as nearby New Cross. The DLR stations are at Deptford Bridge
Deptford Bridge DLR station
Deptford Bridge DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway in Deptford, south-east London. The station is elevated above both local roads and Deptford Creek, and is adjacent to Lewisham College and Deptford market....

 and Elverson Road
Elverson Road DLR station
Elverson Road DLR station is a station on the Docklands Light Railway in south-east London, and situated in a residential district.The station is located between Deptford Bridge and Lewisham stations, and is on the boundary of Travelcard Zone 2 and Zone 3....

. Deptford station has been approved for redevelopment. Building work will start in 2010, with a planned finish date in late 2011. Since May 2010, New Cross station has also been served by London Overground
London Overground
London Overground is a suburban rail network in London and Hertfordshire. It has been operated by London Overground Rail Operations since 2007 as part of the National Rail network, under the franchise control and branding of Transport for London...

 services to Dalston Junction
Dalston Junction railway station
Dalston Junction railway station is in the Dalston area of the London Borough of Hackney at the crossroad of Dalston Lane, Kingsland Road and Balls Pond Road...

, after the East London Line
East London Line
The East London Line is a London Overground line which runs north to south through the East End, Docklands and South areas of London.Built in 1869 by the East London Railway Company, which reused the Thames Tunnel, originally intended for horse-drawn carriages, the line became part of the London...

 reopened as part of the National Rail network. Nearby New Cross Gate railway station is also served by London Overground trains northbound to Highbury and Islington
Highbury & Islington station
Highbury & Islington station is a London Underground and National Rail station in the London Borough of Islington in north London. It is served by the Victoria line, London Overground's East and North London Lines and First Capital Connect's Northern City Line....

, and southbound to Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace railway station
Crystal Palace railway station is in the London Borough of Bromley in south London. It is located in the Anerley area between the town centres of Crystal Palace and Penge...

 and West Croydon
West Croydon station
West Croydon station is a transport interchange for National Rail and Tramlink services, as well as London Buses. It is in the London Borough of Croydon and Travelcard Zone 5...

.

The two main road routes through Deptford are the A200
A200 road
The A200 is an A road in London running from London Bridge to Greenwich. It runs south-east from the A3 road along Duke Street Hill, then Tooley Street and Jamaica Road, following the River Thames until the junction with Rotherhithe Tunnel when it turns south down Lower Road. It follows the Thames...

 which runs along Evelyn Street and Creek Road, and the A2 which runs along New Cross Road. The A20 marks the southern boundary of the area, along Lewisham Way and Loampit Vale.

Education


There are several primary schools scattered around the area, and one secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

, Deptford Green
Deptford Green School
Deptford Green School is a comprehensive mixed state secondary school in Deptford in the London Borough of Lewisham with approximately 1100 pupils. Recently, Deptford Green has become a specialist school in Humanities, with English, Citizenship and Drama being their flagship subjects...

, which has capacity for 1,100 students; the school is regarded by Ofsted
Ofsted
The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England ....

 as "good overall", and academically is in the top 2% nationally. A branch of the further education
Further education
Further education is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post-compulsory education , that is distinct from the education offered in universities...

 college, Lewisham College
Lewisham College
Lewisham College is a further education college in Lewisham, south-east London.Lewisham College is located in the London Borough of Lewisham in south-east London. The college comprise campuses in Lewisham Way, New Cross and at Deptford Church Street...

, is located on Deptford Church Street; the college was regarded as outstanding in the 2006 Ofsted inspection.

Notable people


Among people associated with Deptford are Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

, who was murdered at Deptford Strand; diarist John Evelyn
John Evelyn
John Evelyn was an English writer, gardener and diarist.Evelyn's diaries or Memoirs are largely contemporaneous with those of the other noted diarist of the time, Samuel Pepys, and cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time John Evelyn (31 October 1620 – 27 February...

 (1620–1706) who lived at Sayes Court
Sayes Court
Located in Deptford, in the London Borough of Lewisham and on the Thames Path, Sayes Court once attracted throngs to visit its celebrated garden created by the seventeenth century diarist John Evelyn...

, and had Peter the Great (1672–1725) as a guest for about three months in 1698; and Sir Francis Drake who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I aboard the Golden Hind
Golden Hind
The Golden Hind was an English galleon best known for its circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake...

 in Deptford Docks.

Other people who have lived in Deptford, range from the First Governor of the Honourable East India Company, and Ambassador to the court of Russia, Sir Thomas Smith, whose magnificent house was destroyed by fire in 1618; to early members of the Chartist movement, John Gast
John Gast
John Gast was a shipwright by trade who worked in the Deptford shipyards in south-east London , and an early trade unionist....

 and George Julian Harney
George Julian Harney
George Julian Harney was a British political activist, journalist, and Chartist leader. He was also associated with Marxism, socialism, and universal suffrage.-Early life:...

; and the Cleveleys, John Cleveley the Elder
John Cleveley the Elder
John Cleveley the Elder was an English marine artist. Not from an artistic background, Cleveley's father intended him to follow the family trade of joinery, and so he set up as a carpenter or shipwright in around 1742 at the Deptford Dockyard...

 and his sons John
John Cleveley the Younger
John Cleveley the Younger was the son of John Cleveley the Elder. He and his twin brother Robert were both, like their father, marine painters...

 and Robert
Robert Cleveley
Robert Cleveley was an English maritime painter.His father and twin brother were also artists, with John the Younger gaining some training in watercolours from Paul Sandby, previously a teacher at the Royal...

, a family of marine artists who also worked as tradesmen in the Dockyard. Another artist born in Deptford is Henry Courtney Selous
Henry Courtney Selous
Henry Courtney Selous , was an English painter, illustrator and lithographer. He was the son of Gideon "George" Slous , a Flemish portrait and miniature painter, and a pupil of John Martin who was an important and influential English painter of the 19th century...

, who is known for The Opening of The Great Exhibition, painted in 1851.

Members of rock groups Squeeze and Dire Straits
Dire Straits
Dire Straits were a British rock band active from 1977 to 1995, composed of Mark Knopfler , his younger brother David Knopfler , John Illsley , and Pick Withers .Dire Straits' sound drew from a variety of musical influences, including jazz, folk, blues, and came closest...

 lived on the Crossfield Estate in Deptford in the late 1970s, along with Mark Perry
Mark Perry (musician)
Mark Perry, also known as Mark P, was a British fanzine publisher and is a writer and musician.Perry was a bank clerk when, inspired by The Ramones, he founded the punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue in 1976...

, founder of the punk fanzine Sniffin Glue and punk rock band Alternative TV
Alternative TV
Alternative TV were an English rock band, formed in London in 1976. Their punk rock and post-punk sound was influential for several musical artists.-History:...

. The DJ and music journalist Danny Baker
Danny Baker
Danny Baker is an English comedy writer, journalist, radio DJ and screenwriter. Since the late 1970s, he has worked for a wide range of publications and broadcasters including NME, LWT, the BBC, and Talk Radio....

 also lived near the Crossfield Estate, where he was born and brought up. Leading British jazz and session guitarist Denny Wright
Denny Wright
Denny Wright was a jazz and skiffle guitarist, who performed with Stephane Grappelli, Lonnie Donegan, Johnny Duncan , Digby Fairweather, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Fapy Lafertin and many other musicians, including young rising stars such as Bireli Lagrene and Nigel Kennedy...

 was born in Deptford in 1924.

Politician Bob Mellish was born at 63 Giffin Street (now demolished).

Star of the children's TV programme 'Horrible Histories', Ben Willbond
Ben Willbond
Ben Willbond is an English comedian and actor with credits on television, radio and film, including from 2005-2007 Deep Trouble on BBC Radio 4 with actor and writer Jim Field Smith. He was formerly part of the comedy duo "Ben & Arn", who won "Best Newcomer" at the Perrier Award in 1999...

, lives in Deptford.

External links




History