NUNHEAD - GREENWICH PARK

(1871 - 1917)

The LCD opened this line in 1871 with stations at Nunhead, Brockley Lane, Lewisham Road, and Blackheath Hill.
Greenwich Park wasn't actually reached until 1888.

Declining passenger numbers caused its closure in 1917 although the section from Nunhead to a point just east of Lewisham Road station was reopened to provide the SE with an alternative route into central London. To facilitate that, a connection was made with the SE railway north of their station at Lewisham.

For a 1930s map still showing the line and its stations (Lewisham Road station is visible but not named), click here.

The route of the railway is very difficult to pick out on modern maps, however the National Library of Scotland have provided an excellent facility for comparing old maps with modern maps (and including an aerial view). Click here for the railway detailed below, starting at Lewisham Road station.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

It would perhaps have been a bit foolish to expected to find tangible remains of a line that had closed so long ago. Astonishingly though, at the time of this visit (86 years after closure), there were two small sections of embankment remaining where the line crossed over Brookmill Road. This photo was taken looking back in the Nunhead direction.

(photo: Jan 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

The remains of the embankment in Brookmill Park, running from left to right.

From here, the line continued on viaduct over the Ravensbourne river and Coldbath Street, then in cutting under Morden St and Lewisham Road to reach Blackheath Hill station.

(photo: Aug 2013)

 

 

 

 

The location of the Blackheath Hill station building. The front of the station building was level with the wall seen in the photo. The imprint of the side of the station building can be seen on the wall of the block of flats on the right. Note however that the station building was rebuilt after closure, although some parts of the old station building were incorporated into the rebuilt version.
The entire site was cleared in 1987 for the construction of the building seen here.

The line itself ran perpendicular to the road in a short tunnel.

For further reading, see Disused-Stations.

(photo: Jun 2012)

 

 

 

 

 

One of the rare remnants: a retaining wall just north of the Blackheath Hill station site at Lindsell St. This railway is the complete antithesis of a railway like the Northern Heights, which is still clearly a disused railway with most of its track bed and some of its platforms and station buildings still intact. This line provides a very different experience in that astute detective work is needed to find any of it at all.

(photo: Jan 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back toward the Lewisham direction, this is Blissett Street. The line passed under this road in a diagonal tunnel from far left to near right. The new looking housing block on the right is built on the course of the line where it emerged from the tunnel.

(photo courtesy of Google Maps)

 

 

 

 

 

There are so few clues to indicate the existence of the line at street level but one of the subtle pointers are the gaps in the rows of old houses, now filled with more modern developments. Or, as in this case, the railway cutting was filled in and replaced by a line of allotments.
Looking north-west from Prior Street.

 (photo: Jan 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

Virtually identical view of the Prior Street allotments as above but showing the railway wall on the left.

(photo: Aug 2013)

 

 

 

Circus Street looking back toward the Blackheath/Lewisham direction. The building directly in front comprises of two houses that on first inspection look as if they were built at the same time as the houses on the rest of the street. However, they are much newer and were built on the route of the filled-in line. The line used to pass underneath the street.

(photo: Aug 2013)

 

 

 

Facing the other way at an original railway wall on Circus Street. The wall shows evidence of rebuilding to allow the provision of a gate in the centre, yet some of the original bricks still survive.

(photo: Aug 2013)

 

 

 

Looking over the wall reveals a further in-filled part of the line. This small section continues up to Royal Hill.

(photo: Aug 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

View from the other end looking back in the Lewisham direction.

 (photo: Jan 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just shy of the Greenwich Park station site, this is Burney St and the junction with Royal Hill. The line passed diagonally under the road from the remains of the parapet on the right to the corner of the office block on the left hand side of Burney St. The track bed was quite wide here - the parapet on the right has been truncated on its right hand side.
The Greenwich Park station site is to the right and the rear of this viewpoint.

(photo courtesy of Google Maps)

 

 

 

 

 

For what it's worth: the site of the Greenwich Park terminus (in more of a prime location than the existing Greenwich station). The station building was at the front end of the platform area - the site is now occupied by an Ibis Hotel.

(photo: Jan 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

The Ibis Hotel on the site of the original station building.

(photo: Apr 2006)

 


 

West London Line