Providence Place

Allison asks:

“My great grandmother x4 lived and died in Providence Place, Woolwich Road, Greenwich in 1843. Try as I may, I cannot determine where this Providence Place address is/was and would be very grateful if you were able to pinpoint it for me on today’s ‘ landscape.”

The Phantom replies:

I have no idea why Providence Place was so named – it sounds rather biblically based, but for your great, great great great grandma (is that enough greats?) to have died there it would have been created before the utterly mammoth surge in piousness.  I can show you exactly where it was, though, courtesy of the exceptional project Ideal Homes – Suburbia In Focus which, if ever you’re having a dull moment, is worth perusing for the maps and photos alone.

This is a detail from the map of East Greenwich c.1870 - Providence Place runs parallel to Woolwich Road, about half way up the map, opposite what was then the Union Workhouse (it became Greenwich District Hospital, before becoming what it is today – a giant hole in the ground, sapping the area of energy and heart.) I’ve marked Providence Place in a rather fetching pale blue, but since it falls off the edge of the page, I don’t know how long it was.

I also don’t know when it died. I had assumed that it was bombed to buggery in the War, but a map of 1938, made before the War, seems to have the estate already superimposed over the road.

I find myself wondering what the street would have looked like. I mean – all the streets around there now are late Victorian/Edwardian or younger; we don’t have anything at all that was older than that. Was it cottages? Presumably so – though I can’t imagine they were particularly bucolic, given they were in East Greenwich rather than West. I don’t even tend to think there was much at all there – it was the time of Westcombe Farm, further down towards Woolwich, and in my mind this was all fields, though looking at the map there’s a fair old web of streets even then. I assume they were servicing the various wharves.

But back to your original question. You asked where it would be on a modern map. I’m reckoning that it runs somewhere between what’s left of Hatcliffe Street and Mr Fast Fry, the other side of Glenister Green:

And that’s all I know/can surmise about Providence Place. Perhaps someone else can add some info for you.


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8 Comments to “Providence Place”

  1. Mary says:

    These really are just random thoughts on what looks like an interesting little passage way. I think the site was owned by the Hatcliffe Charity – which still owns most of the shops in the parade opposite the old GDH site. On older maps it might have been owned by Morden College – you need more resources to check this out than I have (on this laptop anyway). There was a Providence Wharf in the late 19th century – at the eastern end of Banning Street, some of the buildings are probably just about still there. It was used by Tilbury Contracting and Dredging, one of his owners lived at 1 Glenister Road. There might be some sort of connection there. Otherwise in the 19th century the whole of the area to the north was Robson’s Firework Factory with the Manager’s house where the chip shop is now. But as I said, these are just random thoughts. Booth might have something interesting to say about it.

  2. I’ve just checked the 1936 A-Z and no sign of it in there either, so no clues from me this time I’m afraid.

  3. Kelly says:

    Really interesting, thanks! Any idea what the teraace is called on pelton road opposite the Pelton Arms. I can’t quite make it out!

  4. Allison says:

    Many thanks for the reply and the additional comments – much appreciated. If there is more, keep it coming!

  5. TPlautus says:

    Kelly, if you mean opposite the Royal Standard, it’s Lambton Terrace. A photo of it featured here very recently.

  6. Ebspig says:

    For Kelly. Yes, the Phantom wrote about Pelton Road on 27th May, and there were 18 comments.

  7. Nick Martin says:

    Re the origin of the name – there’s lots of places named Providence going back 100′s of years, all possibly celebrating the formation of one of America’s oldest colonies – Providence, Rhode Island.

  8. Ann McGrath says:

    Providence Place is shown on some old photos in Heritage Museum, I believe it was demolished circe 1910/11 to make way for the Trenchard estate.