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  • Writer's pictureGregg Maflin

HIDDEN LONDON [4] Georgian Deptford & Albury Street.

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

There are many elegant Georgian buildings north of the river, but in South London close to the Thames few survived the horrors of the incendiary bombs dropping from the skies during the Blitz on the Docks in September 1940.

Deptford, with its ancient history, is often overlooked by visitors in favour of its more glamorous neighbour Greenwich, but this is the site one of the important Naval dockyards in English history.

Built in 1513 by Henry VIII, it is where Elizabeth I knighted Sir Francis Drake and in the late C17th Russia’s Peter the Great came to study and learn from it's master shipwrights.

Closer in, away from the now abandoned and neglected dock areas is Albury Street

[originally called Union St named to celebrate the Act of Union in 1707.]

These well to do houses were built and leased by Thomas Lucas who also had a hand in building the imposing Baroque church of St Pauls Deptford, with its elegant spire and interior carvings nearby. Albury Street was built for officers , well to do seamen and their families who would work and sail worldwide from the nearby docks. The street certainly has some style, with elegant Georgian facades three and four stories high. But what stands out are the carved brackets that support the door canopies that tell a story of nautical life: Mermen, Compasses and many other nautical instruments may be found and though some pieces were re carved by the master sculptor Charles Oldham in the 1980’s, it’s hard to tell the old from the new.

Here you can step back in time with a meander down Albury street and have a moment to examine its history without being harried by the crowds found in nearby Greenwich.

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