Monday, 2 June 2014

The Stories Behind the Street Names on the Progress Estate, Eltham

The Progress Estate was built to house the munitions workers at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich during the First World War.  Most of the street names have a connection with the Arsenal.


Admiral Seymour Road – Admiral Seymour, also known as Lord Seymour of Sudeley, was Lord High Admiral and Master of Ordnance (military equipment & weapons) at the Arsenal.  Died 1549.

Arsenal Road – Named after the historic Woolwich Arsenal itself.  Of course you do also have a premiership football club named after the original Woolwich Arsenal team too! 

Brome Road – General Joseph Brome.  Originally a drummer boy and later the Commandant at Woolwich and died in 1796.

Cobbett Road – William Cobbett born (1762 – 1835) was a multi-skilled essayist, politician and agriculturist (phew)!  He was associated with Woolwich during his service in the army. 

Congreve Road – Sir William Congreve (1772 – 1828) was the inventor of rockets no less and was associated with Woolwich Garrison.

Cornwallis Walk – Lord Cornwallis was the Master General of Ordnance from 1795 to 1801.

Dickson Road – Sir Alexander Dickson was Superintendent of the Royal Gun Factories at the Arsenal.

Downman Road – Lieutenant General Sir C Downman was the Director General of Artillery from 1843 to 1844.

Franklin Passage – Sir John Franklin was an explorer who set sail from Woolwich in 1845 to explore the Arctic.  He lived with his wife in a cottage in Charlton opposite the Swan Inn.

Granby Road – The Marquis of Granby (1721 – 1770) became the Master General of Ordnance in 1763.

Lovelace Green – Several generations of Lovelaces lived in Woolwich including Sir William Lovelace whose son Richard was a celebrated 17th century Kentish poet.

Martin Bowes Road – Sir Martin Bowes became Lord Mayor of London in 1545. He owned a mansion called Tower Place in Woolwich Warren, which was the earliest part of the Arsenal site.

Maudslay Road – Henry Maudslay, also known as “The Woolwich Powder Boy”, was an engineer and inventor.  He is buried in Woolwich Churchyard.

Moira Road – Francis Rawdon Hastings, 2nd Earl of Moira was Master General of Ordnance in 1806 – 1807.

Phineas Pett Road – Famous Woolwich shipwright.  He also built one of the first dry docks in England.  Pett Street SE18 is also named after him.

Prince Rupert Road – Cousin of Charles II and employed by the King to construct batteries at Woolwich to resist a threatened Dutch invasion.

Rochester Way – Part of the London to Kent A2.  Previously called Gilborne Way after 16th century Woolwich landowner Sir Nicholas Gilborne.

Ross Way –Sir Hew Dalrymple Ross was the first Royal Artillery Field Marshall and Lieutenant General of Ordnance from 1845 to 1855

Sandby Green – Paul Sandby (1730 – 1809) was the Chief Drawing Master at the Royal Military Academy from 1768 to 1797 and a founder member of the Royal Academy.  He lived most of his life in Woolwich.

Shrapnel Road – Lieutenant General Henry Shrapnel who invented the shrapnel shell which was first manufactured in 1803.

Well Hall Road – Formerly known as the Old Woolwich Road it became Well Hall Road in 1909, taking its name from the medieval estate of Well Hall.  Well Hall House was home to Edith Nesbit who wrote “The Railway Children”.

Whinyates Road – General Sir E C Whinyates was the Commandant at Woolwich Garrison from 1852 to 1856.

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