Goodbye Thamesmead: The future becomes the past

Demolition work is underway on some of the Thamesmead’s most well known and iconic areas as Peabody finally begin building long-promised new housing.

I’ve been hearing reports of ongoing demolition in recent days and so had to go down to see the latest state of play. Considering it’s one of London’s most famous post-war estates, or even the entire country, reports of this latest demolition have been limited in the press.

On a stunning summers day I took a walk around a large part of Thamesmead Phase 1. This was the first to be built, the most complex in form and an area where expenditure went overbudget and resulted in the simplified series of buildings that followed.

These blocks are being retained. Lakeside walkway sits above garages.

The Lakeside centre is currently being refurbished. It was formerly a bar and will become an arts space, nursery and cafe.

Former bar

I had a few pints of Fosters there in my younger days. They were never too strict on checking ages.

Future plans

Further towards Abbey Wood station lies Corraline Walk. The Barge Pole pub is long gone.

Fenced off and empty

What followed in Thamesmead after these stages were built is pretty well known. The promised town centre and marina by the Thames never happened, and neither did the Jubilee Line extension which ended up in Stratford. Only areas nearest Abbey Wood station were built out as planned in the 1960s.

Some buildings in Phase 1 have been down for years, some are meeting the wrecking ball now and others lie vacant and empty.

The area currently being taken down is Binsey Walk. Homes here offered great views over Southmere Lake.

Upon completion these buildings had 10,000 visitors arrive in just one year from 30 countries to take a look around at the future.

In place of these long blighted homes will be Peabody’s new blocks. I covered that development here, with 525 homes coming alongside a new library and shops on what was Tavy Bridge.

Current housing blocks over Yarnton Way on Wolvercote Road are also seeing replacement windows installed.

Some blocks in the area will stay for good. Some just for the short term as progress has been so slow with new builds that urgent interim work is now needed.

Coming soon

Follow-up posts will offer a look at progress, as well as upgrading roads in the area such as Harrow Manorway which is seeing £10million spent.

I ended up taking over 100 photos around the area and there’s much to look at. I will also upload hem to my Flickr photo account.


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Many thanks

J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    8 thoughts on “Goodbye Thamesmead: The future becomes the past

      • I lived in thamesmead from 1977-1998 was a great place to live .loads of parks for kids and clean. Now knocking it down re building thamesmead will make no difference at all its the people now that will make it a crap hole. Where are parks we once used play on gone. Money money money all these delevopers care now. Bye bye thamesmead

    • My aunt lived on Binsey Walk when they were built and really liked it. It was only in later years that the problems arose the same as with the Old Ferrier Estate in Kidbrooke which is now the new Kidbrooke Village development.

      It is good to see Peabody have now started work on the re-development of new homes with demolition work in progress of the older properties.

      I am looking forward to seeing the development progress over the next couple of years.

    • I lived in two different blocks on Hartslock Drive from 1992-2006 .. it was good when I first moved there as was run by a private company who insisted on interviews and credit checks before accepting anyone as a tenant, but went rapidly downhill once it was turned into a housing association,

    • Are the flats in the area where the Gangels lived in the film `Beautiful Thing’ still there and what was the address? If anyone can help it would be appreciated.

    • Pingback: Further Thamesmead towers blocks rise alongside new library | Murky Depths

    • Pingback: Further Thamesmead tower blocks rise alongside new library | Murky Depths

    • I helped to build Phase 1 southern side and showed visitors around the first flats built and opened to the public.
      Many happy memories.
      Ian Thomson


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