Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Plumstead

Updated: Sinkhole on Plumstead street appears to be expanding

UPDATED – A sinkhole that opened last night on Rockmount Road in Plumstead appears to be expanding as workmen attempt to fix the problem.

The road surface is collapsing further down the hill. Rockmount Road is a residential street close to a number of former chalk tunnels and mines further south.

First stage of the sinkhole last night

In 2016 residents had to leave newly built homes off Kings Highway after a hole opened directly in front of a door.

2016 land collapse

The development was named Brickfields which should have been a clue as to what formerly happened below ground. At least three substantial mines existed in the area.

Many mines fanned out around the area of Wickham Lane and Kings Highway around the area which is now Wickes.

A large sinkhole opened in Rockcliffe Gardens in 1937 measuring 80ft x 60ft and 30ft deep. Two years later a Woolwich borough council workman died when the sinkhole saw a sudden further collapse.

The mine workings were filled during the 1950s by the London County Council but voids have remained, with land occasionally sinking into mine shafts and passages up to 60 feet below ground.

This site is a fair distance from that area though records of the mines were poor. Workers themselves would become lost at some of the extremities. Then again, this collapse could simply be a sewer or due to heavy rain. We’ll find out soon.

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