“From my terrace I have a perfect view on “Neptune House” (now a alternative medicine center) which is a very big big house (70 Royal Hill best seen from google map). I would be curious to read anything about it (what is linked to the old railway that run at the back of it? Was it a private house?)”
The Phantom replies:
I’m convinced that it is to do with the old Greenwich to Nunhead railway line – though I have no proof save the tell-tale Victorian ‘railway building’ architecture and the fact that it’s actually on the old line - that particular part of it is now, after a gallant war against the developers, Prior Street Allotments (the post also has a good picture of Neptune House from another angle).
The idea of a railway line between Nunhead and Greenwich may seem a bit odd at first – not unlike, say, a cable car between Greenwich Peninsula and Albert Dock, but it was the born of the same gleam in a transport owner’s eye – the hope of bringing attractions to the masses – or maybe the masses to attractions. Nunhead wasn’t a million miles away from Crystal Palace, and there were handy ways to get there from Nunhead, and, IMHO, slightly more importantly, it provided a way for the infamously death-obsessed Victorians to get to their own local Magnificent Seven cemetery (you haven’t been yet? Shame on you. It’s fabulous. Get there pronto – I bet it looks brilliant in the snow…)
I don’t really want to get into the history of the Greenwich to Nunhead branchline today – if I’m honest I’m a bit scared of all the railway historians who will jump all over me if I get a rivet of it wrong – but there’s a brief history of it here.
I don’t know what the building in Royal Hill is. It certainly wasn’t a station – there wasn’t one between Greenwich Park Station (which stood where the Ibis Hotel and its accompanying car park are now) and Blackheath Hill (there are some good but sad photos of that here) so I’m wondering if it was offices – or even the private residence of the owner – I’m guessing that even the station master wouldn’t have been able to afford to live somewhere as smart as that.
It’s all guesses though. If this was SE3 I would have just been able to consult my copy of Rhind. Sadly this is SE10 and to my knowledge no one has done such a thorough study of Greenwich. None of the railway sites I’ve been looking at mentions the building at all.
Of course it’s possible it’s nothing to do with the rail, but I’m doubting that. Any more info will not only be gratefully received by Nicholas but me too.
STOP PRESS: I am receiving information that it’s NOT a railway building but something else entirely. Watch this space.
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