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.

 


 

 

 

Aerial view from 1949, used with permission from the Britain From Above website.

Dead centre of this image is the bridge carrying the Greenwich Park line over Brookmill Road (still in situ twenty years after the official abandonment of the line).
The trackbed going toward the top left is heading in the Nunhead direction. The tracks at the top left are the mainline ones from London Bridge down to Lewisham. The platform ends are those of St.John's station. There was a bridge over the tracks at this point carrying the Greenwich Park line.

The trackbed heading from the bridge in the centre to the bottom right is heading toward the terminus at Greenwich Park.

Both sections of the trackbed seen here still exist to a large extent.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking in a northward direction along Brookmill Road. The bridge carrying the line over the top was here.

(photo: May 2022)

 

 

 

 

 

It would perhaps have been a bit foolish to have 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 these two small sections of embankment remaining where the line crossed over Brookmill Road, as detailed above. This photo was taken looking back in the Nunhead direction.

The trackbed on the other side of the road is now the Brookmill Nature Reserve, while the trackbed on which the photographer is standing is part of Brookmill Park.

(photo: Jan 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

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

(photo: Aug 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

Aerial view from 1949, used with permission from the Britain From Above website.

(1) The bridge over Brookmill Road, as detailed above.
(2) The bridge over the Ravensbourne River. There is no evidence of this bridge today.
(3) These houses no longer exist and Everson Road station on the DLR is there now.
(4) The trackbed heading up to Greenwich Park station. The viaduct that was here looks like it is in the process of being demolished.

From here, the line continued in cutting under Morden St and Lewisham Road to reach Blackheath Hill station.

 

 

 

 

 

The viaduct that crossed Ravensbourne river, continued in a left to right direction here. The block of flats in the centre of the photo is built exactly where the viaduct was.

Everson Road station, on the Docklands Light Railway, is behind and to the left of the photographer's position.

(photo: May 2022)

 

 

 

 

 

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 starting approximately where the flats are on the left of the road in the distance. The new looking housing block on the right is built on the course of the line where it emerged from the tunnel.

(photo: May 2022)

 


 

Part 3