A Deptford & Millwall Walk

Route & what to see


The significant thing about this route is that you get two views of the same things (at close quarters and viewed across the river) by walking both sides of a stretch of the Thames. There is some overlap with the Deptford and Isle of Dogs walks. Riverside London has undergone a great deal of change as industrial activities have been replaced by smart new developments. However historic features have been retained and new riverwalks have been provided from which to view them.

The Deptford section is about 3 miles beginning at Surrey Quays Station (London Overground) and finishing at Greenwich. The Millwall section is about 3 miles beginning at Island Gardens and finishing at Heron Quays DLR Station. You will need to cross the river between sections either by DLR (Cutty Sark to Island Gardens) or walking through the foot tunnel. Greenwich is a convenient stopping place for refreshments.

Details of the features in UPPER CASE can be found on the additional information page

Section 1
Exit station on the retail centre side and walk to the right. Cross at the lights to a Wetherspoons pub and go alongside this towards a large red Bascule Bridge.
This allowed ships access to Surrey Commercial Dock from Greenland Dock. On the right is a former Docker's Shelter decorated with a mural.

At the bridge go down the steps to GREENLAND DOCK and walk along the south side (to right)
Originally the Howland Great Wet Dock of 1696 this became a centre for the whaling trade until 1809 when it became an import dock. It was enlarged to 22 acres in 1894-1904 and now serves as a water sports centre. At the slipway the GRAND SURREY CANAL entered the dock.

Continue around the south side of SOUTH DOCK
This was used for the construction of Mulberry Harbours in WWII. It now serves as a marina used by a variety of craft.

Right along Thames Path
This passes a parish boundary marker. The sculpture 'Circumsphere' on a dolphin in the river depicts Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the globe.

Continue through the site of the ROYAL VICTORIA VICTUALLING YARD to Drake's Steps by the gap between the 2 blocks of the former Rum Warehouses
There are explanatory plaques for these.

Return and turn left at the tall block of flats.
This passes the Terrace of the 1780's and further along the Colonnade of 1788.

Exit gates
There is a turnpike property marker just outside.

Go left along Grove Road
Oxestalls Road was a crossing over the Grand Surrey Canal. From Barnes Terrace there is a view of the covered slips (Olympia) within the former ROYAL DOCKYARD.

Go into SAYES COURT Park to the left
This is all that remains of John Evelyn's once magnificent garden (trashed by Peter the Great!)

Exit into Sayes Court Street and go left along Prince Street
The Dog & Bell pub is at the end.

Left into Watergate Street
The wall of the former dockyard runs alongside this. At the river end the Master Shipwright's House of 1708 is visible. On the opposite corner is Twinkle Park laid out as a community project in 1999. The large building on the riverfront was Payne's Wharf (Penn's boiler shop). The neighbouring Borthwick Wharf (cold store) has been demolished for the construction of apartments. This occupied the site of Humphrey & Tennant's engineering works.

Go along Borthwick Street and right along Deptford Green.
St Nicholas House was built in 1926 to house workers at the Deptford power station.

Before viewing the church cross to McMillan Street.
The McMillan sisters Margaret and Rachel did much for the health and education of Deptford people. The nursery school they set up remains but the adjacent college building has been replaced with student accommodation. There is a herb garden on the opposite corner.

This is the original parish church of Deptford restored in 1958 after bomb damage. There are memorials to John Addey and Christopher Marlowe.

Exit at the east gateway and walk through the housing to the riverfront
The Fairview development occupies the site of FERRANTI'S Power Station of 1889. Prior to this the site had been used by Trinity House, the East India Company and the General Steam Navigation Company. There is a waterfront statue to Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia who came to Deptford to learn about shipbuilding in 1698.

Follow the riverfront path into Creek Road and walk left
This crosses Deptford Creek by means of a lifting bridge. Prior Aggregates operates just upstream. Further along 'Up The Creek' occupies a former school building.

Go right into Bardsley Lane
To the left are some former buildings of the Weights & Measures Office and Coroner's Court now converted to houses.

From the lane go into the churchyard and across to the the right. Exit into Roan Street and go left
A plaque records Roan School

Go through the churchyard to ST ALFEGE'S CHURCH
This was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor (with a later tower by John James) to replace an earlier church.

Cutty Sark Station and the foot tunnel are reached via Greenwich Church Street.

Section 2
From Island Gardens follow the signed Thames Path westwards
The Ferry Inn records the existance of a ferry at this point

Continue through Lockes Wharf (River walk IS accessable)
Burrell's Wharf was a shipyard until 1888 when it was adapted to produce dyes and paints. It is now a residential and business development of new-build and conversions including the former Plate House, Gantry House and Mast House.Further along are the remains of the slipway from which Brunel's Great Eastern (constructed 1853-8) was launched.

Where the riverside path ends go right (signposted) then left along Westferry Road
The Space arts centre is housed in the former Presbyterian chapel of St Paul's. This was designed by Thomas Knightley in 1859 to serve the Scottish workers in Scott Russell's shipyard.

Opposite Dockers Tanner Road go through the housing estate to the left then along the riverfront to the former entrance to Millwall Dock.
Although filled in there are some remnants.

Walk alongside this back to Westferry Road and continue to the left.
On the corner of Teller Street is a garden dedicated to the people who have lived and worked on the Isle of Dogs. Opposite are the riverside McDougall Gardens (optional circuit)

Continue along Westferry Road
This passes former Seacon premises and new riverside developments. On the right is the new Millwall Fire Station. Old pubs remain on the corners of Manilla and Cuba Streets. The Rogue Trader was formerly the Blacksmith's Arms.

Go right along Cuba Street and up the steps at the end. Cross and go left into Marsh Wall. Right along Heron Quay
Heron Quays DLR Station is on the right

london-footprints.co.uk 2018

[additional information]