Street Furniture (3) Bollards

Stephen’s provided the pics for today’s example of early recycling. Old cannon – I don’t know whether they were captured from enemies or just decommissioned Royal Navy ones – upended and used to stop carts going up lanes they weren’t allowed. Sometimes, as here, in St Alfege’s Passage, they’ve had a cannon ball stuffed into the end, for extra luxury.

Once you start looking for cannon bollards around town, they’re everywhere. Especially in The City – the aptly-named Artillery Lane has some splendid examples, if memory serves. Considering it was bombed as much as Greenwich, the City’s managed to hold onto a lot of its early street furniture. I guess cannons are hard to blow up.

According to David Ramzan in his latest book, Maritime Greenwich (review coming soon) Deptford, Greenwich and Woolwich had dozens of these cannon-bollards (figures, really) but this one is quite a rare bird round here nowadays.

Interestingly, people seem to have got so used to the way cannon bollards looked that modern bollards are often based on that design.

Here are some others that Stephen found, down between the Lewin Gates and Greenwich’s very-sad-looking-just-now pier:


We can’t decide whether or not they’re actually cannon-based. They have a sort of concrete coating – which would seem an odd thing to do (crunchy on the outside, but you’d break your teeth on the inside) so I’m guessing not – but am prepared to be told otherwise.

Does anyone know of any other genuine cannon bollards in Greenwich?

One Comment to “Street Furniture (3) Bollards”

  1. Not 100% sure neither if those bollards are from cannons, the concrete coating isn’t weathing of the bollards perhaps? Especially if on the pier. Might not be though.