Tidal Revelations

Stephen’s been puzzled by some strange things revealed at low tide on the foreshore at Greenwich Beach. They appear to be the remains of some kind of slipway, but he’s not aware of anything particular that used to be here.

I confess this really isn’t my area, but looking on old maps I’m not seeing anything there myself.

I guess this is one really for Greenwich Industrial History Society but I thought I’d ask you lot anyway, in case you have any great ideas.
When I saw the photo at the top of this post, I immediately thought of the old Greenwich pier, and remembered this Edwardian postcard, but looking at it again the perspective is deceiving.
This is Garden Stairs, and the building in the far right of the pic (which you can see about a millimetre of) is the old Victorian waiting room that was scandalously sold off a year or so ago. In fact the bit of beach that Stephen’s talking about is dropped down behind the fancy railings at the back of the picture, in between the lady in the red skirt & fetching hat and the ‘Way Out’ sign.
So really, there was no point in showing this postcard, at all, other than I really like it. We still don’t know what the giant link and bits of iron/rock are doing on Greenwich Beach.
Any ideas, guys?

7 Comments to “Tidal Revelations”

  1. David says:

    I've got no idea about the giant link or any of those things, but you have got me wondering about a beach at Greenwich: I know there used to be one, and I've often though how great it would be if we could have a beach for summer again, just like they do in Paris and Berlin.

    I could never work out where the beach used to be, or where you could put one now, but maybe if they ever cleared away all the panelling and junk around the (yes, scandalous is the word) now missing Victorian shelter they could either re-turf it or, even better, cover it in sand.

    What do you think, is it possible? Okay, let's leave aside the recalitrant council for the moment: does anyone else think it would be great to have a beach in Greenwich?

  2. Old China says:

    A beach would be nice David, although I rarely find riverside beaches so nice that I'd want to sit on them. And I'd never go paddling in the Thames. I actually quite like my riverside beaches like the one Greenwich already has – a bit stoney and shingly with interesting old objects looming out of the water at low tide… speaking of which, I also have no idea what the stones and chain are for. Nice photos though.

  3. Benedict says:

    I always thought it was ancient builders rubble from various refurb's of the college. I have seen some pieces of carved stone on "the beach" with similar mouldings to some of the columns and archtraves on the ORNC.
    Talking of beaches, it looks like there is just enough snow for me to go ski-ing on mine…

  4. Ghostwhisperer says:

    If this is near Cutty Sark and the foot tunnel might it have been where the DREADNOUGHT Hospital ship was moored?

    In Maze Hill Station ticket office, where the seats are there is (I assume its still there) a paddle ship model, the background is a view of Greenwich showing the Hospital Ship

    Will see if I can find anything else

    It may also be worth looking at Maritime Paintings or Prints/Drawings of Greenwich

  5. ksranji says:

    The position of it is directly in line with the pediment of the King Charles building.


  6. ptvdm@nmm says:

    The chain is a standard heavy-gauge piece of studded anchor cable, probably part of a very susbtantial buoy mooring of either late-19th or 20th-century date. The stud can just be seen in the right link (it divides the central hole into two and prevents kinking). If recovered – which is usually done nowadays by one of specialist PLA salvage and buoyage vessels – there might be a large anchor attached; probably a single-fluke/stockless of some type, or a mushroom shaped 'mud-anchor', assuming its not just a short length just dumped or accidentally lost.

  7. Ben Mann says:

    I maybe wrong but there is a chain running up the beach from greenwich pier direction that i assume is holding the pier in place in some way? Not sure if the chain link above is part of that?