Maze Hill 1906

I had planned to do something else today – but after the discussion about street by street history in Greenwich the other day, when Jim was asking about Woodlands Grove, Neil Rhind has sent me the most extraordinary picture which I just had to share with you.

It’s from 1906 and given the angle and height, I’m guessing it was taken from the scaffolding around the chimneys on the power station which was being built at the time.

It shows the area around Trafalgar Road, Maze Hill station and, in the background, Vanbrugh Hill. I had to reduce the quality to make it fit online but if you click on it you should still get a decent sized image.

What surprises me is how much I just don’t recognise. I guess two world wars and the 1960s have been and gone but even so I’d have expected more landmarks from somewhere that I hadn’t thought of of as having had that much development.

The best way to orient yourself is to find the railway track and Maze Hill sation which, of course, was a much bigger deal back then. From there you can shift down the image to the area north of that towards Trafalgar Road (the pub no longer exists of course, and it looks as though Hardy’s used to be the Bricklayer’s Arms) or allow your eye to travel left along the track past the not-there-yet nurses’ home to find Vanbrugh Hill, with Dinsdale and Humber Roads clear to view.

The Westcombe Woodlands is quite clear in this picture, though you can’t see Vanbrugh Castle. I particularly like the Indian teepee in the back garden of the house down the bottom right, presmumably not being played in by the little girls dotted around the roads in spotless white dresses.

I have no idea whether this image actually belongs to anyone else but I owe Neil a huge ‘thank you.’ It’s one of the most fascinating photographs I’ve ever seen of the area.

the attachments to this post:

Van Hill 1906  very low
Van Hill 1906 very low

25 Comments to “Maze Hill 1906”

  1. Stephen says:

    Could the spire top right be St.John the Evangelist in St. John’s Park?

    A good way to try and position yourself is to look at Google earth with the power station at the bottom.

  2. Funny – I’d thought of it being up near Vanbrugh Castle, being top right-hand corner but yeah, I guess you could have a point there, Stephen. And the googlearth thing sounds like a good idea.

  3. Malcolm says:

    I have just moved out of Woodlands Park Road. This is a most extraordinary photo indeed showing if I am correct a rather splendid looking Tuskar Street and thriving Trafagar Road. Would the pub be on the corner be at Woodlands Crescent where now retail unit of the current builfing has remained empty since the new building was built there a number of years ago?

  4. Tina Lewis says:

    Thanks for this, very interesting. I’ll try the google earth thing later.

    There seems to be more houses near the bottom of Vanbrugh hill than I thought there’d be. Did the work-house (or whatever used to be there) occupy a smaller area than the old hospital?

  5. Fatty Fatty BumBum says:

    Amazing picture. Tusker Rd and Woodlands Park Road seem perfectly preserved. The Trafalgar Rd however is almost completely different. Very interesting!

  6. Miffee says:

    How thick am I? I can clearly see Vanbrugh Hill, although the workhouse would not be in this picture, but where oh where is Maze Hill and the station? I thought the railway went under Maze Hill! Help!!!

  7. Miffee – see that long, dark set of lines across the right side of the picture – they’re the railway tracks. Maze HIll signal box is there a little way in and on the far right is the edge of the station.

  8. Barbara says:

    A fascinating picture – thank you to Neil Rhind for sharing it with us. I thought I’d try and fill in a bit of detail from the Post Office 1906 Trade Directory about the shops that can be seen in Trafalgar Road.

    At no.92 is the Bricklayers’ Arms, run by Albert Cohen, and to the west at 88 is the Imperial Laundry Co. Running eastward the shops are:

    94 Richard Morley, fruiterer
    96 Johnson & Cole, tripe dressers
    98 Joseph Rayner, coffee rooms
    100 Mrs. Sarah Arnold, tobacconist
    102 Mrs. Edith McQueen, confectioner
    104 Roberts & Co., watchmakers
    106 Percival George Turner, confectioner
    108 S. Aaron & sons, boot and shoedealers
    110 William Bassingwhite Whiterod, butcher
    112 Mrs. Lydia Millward, provisions dealer
    - here is Woodland place –
    114 William Rowland Kelly, beer retailer (The Victoria P.H.)
    118 Daniel Morgan, provisions dealer
    120 Henry Pritchard, fried fish dealer
    122 Miss Eva Neighbour, florist
    124 William Davey, fruiterer
    - here is Ibsen place –
    126 Albert Nustedt, tobacconist
    128 Henry Binhammer, pork butcher
    130 & 132 Home & Colonial Stores Ltd.
    - here is Fenton street
    134 Coleman & Co., butchers
    136 Mrs. Minnie Elizabeth Merriman, confectioner
    138 Thomas Banister, ham & beef warehouse
    138A Amies Ltd., boot makers
    138B G. E. Bloxham, hosier

  9. Miffee says:

    Got it! Many thanks. I was looking for Maze Hill itself, which of course is not in the picture. All under control now!

  10. Alastair says:

    Great picture. As a Woodlands Park Rd resident this is especially interesting as I thought our houses dated from 1908. I was also interested to notice an apparant lack of trees and pavement in WPRd. Another great detail are the low walls with railings in the front of the houses, none of which survive today

  11. Oh, Barbara – would that we had that array of shops today. Yes, even the tripe dresser…

  12. Mike M says:

    Fabulous picture.

    I was wondering about the church… not sure that it is St John’s Church, as the spire looks the wrong shape.

    It may be the (now demolished) church which was on the corner of Vanbrugh Park and Mycenae Road (where Blackheath High School is now).

    A painting of it is here:

  13. Old China says:

    Great photo and an amazing line up of shops! I’d love to go to a fruiterer and a dealer in fried fish.

  14. Daveh48 says:

    Great photo.

    Thanks Barbara for the list of shops, would love to see the full list for Trafalgar Road.

    The pub on the corner, The Victoria, had a nick name “The Wooden House”. I believe this was because it used to sell beer and cider direct from wooden casks.

  15. Stephen says:

    I think you have it Mike. I did think the spire was a bit dodgy, and my geography isn’t that great. I found this link.

    I must have passed the church many times because our doctor and dentist were in Mycenae Road and I went to Roan school. Don’t remember the church at all

  16. Barbara says:

    Hi Daveh48,

    You can find the directory on this amazingly useful site –

  17. Gavin says:

    I may be being thick, but I can’t spot the Pleasaunce – all the parkland in the photo seems to be south of the railway. However, it’s quite possible that I’m a bit groggy in this heat.

  18. Stephanie says:

    I think that the Plesance and the old hospital/workhouse are out of shot on the top lhs – you can clearly see calvert road which backs onto the site. The parkland? At the back of annadale road is the humber road allotments – I think.

    But what is the large churchy building half way along humber road at the bottom of foyle road or possibly where peacham road now is.

    Plus what is the giant castle like building in the woods itself?

  19. Lara Ruffle says:

    Amazing work Phantom and Neil! The other half and I live on Tuskar Street and we can see out living room windows on this photos. :-) .

    Yay for the Reddit post by Jim/Balinx too.

    Also, can anyone spot Orlop Street in the bottom left? You can see where Little Pilates Studio and Bianco 43 Takeaway are now. :-) .

  20. Daveh48 says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Many thanks for the link – great stuff.


  21. Tom says:

    Amazing, any way I can get the full size version?

    Alastair – i also live on Woodlands Park Road, I believe the houses were built about 1860. I have an ancestry account and have looked up details of street residents from the 1911 census. Some interest characters.

  22. Lara Ruffle says:

    The top part of Tuskar Street and Frobisher Street were built in 1876, there is a date stone at the bottom of Frobisher. :-) .

  23. Alastair says:

    Thanks Tom & Lara, have you ever seen how the houses were when they were built ? Judging from bricked up doors at the back,our house would appear to have started life as two flats.


  24. Lara Ruffle says:

    Hi Alistair, our three story house is two flats now and the wall next to the stairs would have been the way into the back of the ground floor. We live on the 1st floor and our neighbours live on the lower ground floor and have the garden.

    Also, our stonemason friend worked out that the front bay windows were removed on a lot of the houses on our side of Tuskar Street, the same side as the post box, so that access to the downstairs flats was possible. You can see where the bay windows were by the contrast in brick colouring. :-) .