The route to Peckham was added as an afterthought, and was the last bit of the Surrey Canal ever to be built.
Its probably the most delightful part of the Grand Surrey’s remnants. The branch is virtually complete and has bridges and retaining walls. The only things missing are the towpath (which ran on the west side) and the actual canal terminus.
In the 1960’s Peckham and Camberwell were occasionally a destination for extended full day tours from Little Venice operated by either the London waterbuses or Jasons Trip!
Hill Street Bridge is the first of the two bridges on the Peckham branch.
Foundation stone for Hill St Bridge, quite vandalised obviously.
A rarity – a GSC milestone at Hill St bridge. Its 3 & half miles to the Thames.
Another Hill St bridge plaque – the date of build.
The Peckham bridges were of elaborate style. This is the second one, known as Commercial Way bridge.
A view southwards to the site of the canal terminus at Canal Head in Peckham.
Canal Head. Its now the location of the new library. There used to be a bit of a road called Canal Head but it no longer exists. The Nat West tower (or Tower 42) can be seen. The only building left that is linked with the canal is the one on the right. This used to be a timber warehouse.
Waterways World published an article a few years ago showing a couple of pictures of a narrow boat cruise from the Regents Canal to the Grand Surrey in the 1960’s. The article claimed the Peckham branch was the remaining bit left of the old route to Croydon. It was a great shock to see such an error written into the magazine on page 99. This erroneous information is quite appalling, having come from such a prestigious magazine whose claim to accuracy has often been unrivalled.
Wharves along the Surrey Canal
Despite the closure of the canal, there are many places along the route that still retain their canal related names, clearly showing an excellent relationship between canal and commercial operators. The Grand Surrey canal’s main trade was in timber and most of its wharves dealt in timber. Virtually none of the wharves trade in timber now, having gone over to other things, usually in the way of car scrapyards and motor repairs.
Victoria Wharf, Deptford.
Victoria Wharf, Deptford.
The name is in the brick wall! Victoria Wharf just off Evelyn Road, Deptford.
Parkers Timber Wharf and its elaborate low relief mural.
Bridge Wharf seen in 1984 – this and Victoria/Parkers stood on opposite sides of the canal. Picture by author.
Ocean Wharf on Canal Approach.
Canada Wharf in New Cross.
The British Wharf estate – which is just off the Surrey Canal Road.
Crown Wharf, near Ilderton Road.
Not really an original wharf, but the name is there! Surrey Wharf @ Old Kent Road. The canal passed in front.
Grand Surrey Canal pages:
Intro – A canal route from London to Portsmouth!
Old Surrey Docks route – The old canal route through the Surrey Docks
Greenland Dock – Plough Lane – The canal’s route to Plough Lane
Plough Lane – Evelyn Street – The canal’s route southward to Evelyn Street
Evelyn Street – Surrey Canal Road – The canal’s route west to Surrey Canal Road
Ilderton Road – Camberwell – The canal’s route to the terminus at Camberwell
Canal junctions & place names – Junctions and places named after the canal
Bridges & buildings – The canal’s structures
Peckham branch & canal wharves – The delightful branch and wharves of the canal