Coleraine Rd, SE3
Thought it would be fun to start reviewing roads as well. I missed my profession – should have got a job with A-Z…
Of course, Coleraine Road isn’t really technically in Greenwich at all, having an SE3 postcode. Leafy Westcombe Park sits between the two towns, but since it’s ‘our’ side of the heath, I’ve always considered it to be ‘one of our own.’
Running up the hill towards the heath, it more or less runs North to South-West and is one of the gentler slopes in the area. Most of the buildings are very late-Victorian and rather large – three and even four stories. They are quite grand, on the whole, some with gothic-style details like arched windows and fancy coving. Not much chance of nosying through to the back gardens, as the people who live here are, on the whole, the private sort iwth high side fences and things “in the way…” Even many of the front gardens tend to be hidden behind thick, high privet hedges. I can only hope that the gardens are long enough to ensure that the homes behind them aren’t like the Black Hole of Calcutta. The houses with even numbers would get the best view across London.
They often have lots of original features – at least on the outside – classic front doors and those wonderful encaustic-tiled paths – one or two coloured, more small black and white diamonds. Some aren’t in great condition – something the owners should do something about quick – have they seen the price of encaustic tiled paths – but several are in great condition (they might also have lovely encaustic tiled halls – but since I don’t know anyone in any of them I don’t know.) My absolute favourite is the one still shared (no nasty walls) between numbers 45/47 – a fabulous complete path of black and white diamonds, simple iron bars dividing the boundaries, not the path itself. Utterly stunning. Next door, 49/51 isn’t quite so good – but still quite an eyeful. Towards to the top of the road some lovely cast (or wrought – difficult to tell) iron verandas adorn the top few houses giving them a charming, villa-esque appeal.
Not all the houses are Victorian. There are some nice Edwardian examples – and I’ll put money on No 121 being an Arts& Crafts original – probably incredible inside if it’s not been altered too much. The early 20th Century houses filling in the gaps have also mellowed pretty well.
My favourite house is the glorious, double-fronted “Lydney” which, with its garage (a rarity) and adjoining extension/granny flat, “Lydneyette,” must also command quite a view from the back.
The whole of Greenwich is blighted with hideous modern flats – mainly because of spot-bombing during WWII, which took out individual properties rather than flattening the entire area. Coleraine Road has not escaped (the cu-de-sac Webb Rd is pretty unexciting too) but there are enough of the original houses to still keep some continuity. The flats are not attractive – late 60s, early 70s I’d say, but that was how they did things then. What I find harder to forgive is the large house nearer the top of the hill which has lost its entire garden in the past couple of years as some ghastly developer has crammed as many “luxury” flats into a Gated Horror behind it. It is utterly appalling and shouldn’t have been allowed.
Coleraine Road currently enjoys free street parking. How long that will last will presumably depend on what happens as the parking spaces at the Dome dwindle.
Does anyone live in or know anyone who lives in Coleraine Road? Do add some gossip here about what it’s like…