Blessington Road, SE13
Road in/near Blackheath, existing between the 1850s and now
Print-friendly version of this page Blackheath is divided between the London Borough of Lewisham and the London Borough of Greenwich with the borough boundary running across the middle of the heath.
Blessington Road dates from the mid-Victorian period.
The railway arrived in Lewisham in 1849 and by the 1850s, the first houses were appearing on the new Blessington Road.
Constructed as single middle class family houses complete with accommodation for servants, by the Second World War most houses in the street had been subdivided into flats.
Blessington Road suffered during the Second World War with a deadly bombing taking place on 29 June 1944 destroying houses and lives.
The Mercator Estate is a mixture of a terraces of houses facing onto Belmont Park
and another eight houses north of Saxton Close
. There are a series of blocks: Chesney House, Ericson House and Clavering House, on Mercator Road
and Blessington Road; along with the Rawlinson House tower block.
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Blackheath Village, south of the heath, lies in Lewisham. The Blackheath Standard area and Westcombe Park lie on the north-east side in Greenwich. The name ’Blackheath’ derives from the dark colour of the soil in the area.
It was known to the Romans as a stopping point on Watling Street. Blackheath was a rallying point for the uprisings - Wat Tyler’s Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, and Jack Cade’s Kentish rebellion in 1450. After pitching camp on Blackheath, Cornish rebels were defeated in the Battle of Deptford Bridge to the west on 17 June 1497. Blackheath was a notorious haunt of highwaymen during the 17th century.
During the seventeenth century Blackheath was a common assembly point for English Armies. In 1673 the Blackheath Army was assembled under Marshal Schomberg to serve in the Third Anglo-Dutch War.
The main area of the village lies to the north side of Blackheath railway station (opened on 30 July 1849), between the south side of the heath and the railway line. All Saints’ parish church is the only building on the heath itself.
In 1608, according to tradition, Blackheath was the place where golf was introduced to England at the Royal Blackheath Golf Club, established in 1766.
Blackheath is well-known as the starting point of the London Marathon. This maintains a connection with athletics dating back to the establishment of the Blackheath Harriers in 1878.