Oxestall Road bridge. The last bridge ever to be built over the Grand Surrey Canal. The bridge and surrounding estate were built in the 1960’s, when the canal was still working. Being just down the canal from its entrance lock, the bridge had the honour of seeing the last boats on the canal in 1970.
Blackhorse Bridge. This side is green and the other is, well a sort of blue! The architecture is typical of the Grand Surrey’s more elaborate crossings.
The towpath tunnel through Blackhorse Bridge. The Grand Surrey had several of these separate towpath arches. These did not affect traffic as the main propulsion method on the canal was either sail or motor.
Another towpath tunnel, this time under the London and Greenwich arches near Trundleys Road, New Cross.
A another view of the London and Greenwich crossing. The canal ran through the wider section on the left.
Behind the fencing the original London and Greenwich Railway’s canal arch can still be seen.
My photograph of the London-Croydon railway bridge – just after the Surrey Canal Road was built. This bridge and its railway lines replaced the Croydon Canal in the 1830’s.
The same bridge today. This is the location at which the Croydon Canal started off on its journey southwards.
The other railway bridge on Surrey Canal Road by Ilderton Road. This carries the lines to Queens Road Peckham.
The Old Kent Road bridge in 1985 – note the ‘underpass.’ Picture by author.
After the canal closed the bridge was used as a subway. Steps were constructed either side leading down to towpath level to allow pedestrians to pass under Old Kent Road. Note the mooring ring in the foreground – several of these some with chains, existed at this location years after the canal had closed. Many of the Grand Surrey bridges were built in a simlar style to this one. The lamps on the bridge are said to have been lit by gas, and were some of the earliest in London to be lit. As far as I remember, the lamps were either broken or the columns were missing.
This is a substantial construction as far as the canal was concerned. Its a modern folly inadvertently ‘constructed’ by the Port of London Authority through its short-sighted closure of the canal. The ‘bridge to nowhere’ always gives a delight when one walks across it!
Another view of the bridge to nowhere.
One more view of the bridge to nowhere!
Buildings of the Surrey Canal
Quite a number of buildings from Grand Surrey days remain at most wharves, but those that were actually canal operational structures are few. Here’s a look at those.
The Canal Office, as it was known, was of course used for the administration of the canal and doubled as a lock keeper’s house for the operation of the adjacent lock through which boats locked DOWN from Greenland Dock into the Grand Surrey Canal.
The Canal Office in 1984 just after the new Plough Way had been constructed. 14 years had passed since the last boat ventured onto the canal. Picture by author.
The Canal Office in 1984. Picture by author.
The Canal Office in its last years, before being demolished to make way for an extension to the adjacent watersports centre. Picture by author.
A short distance away from the Canal Office, stood the The Yard Office. Although not technically a part of the Grand Surrey, it belonged to the same company, the Surrey Commercial Docks Company. It was built in the same style as the Canal Office. I like the way the plaque says that no one is sure what it was used for, since they do call it an office!
Yard Office Plaque.
The Yard Office.
Yard Office – date of construction.
Next: Peckham branch & canal wharves
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