Knoyle Street is the eastern extension of Cold Blow Lane
beyond the East London Railway.
The line of Knoyle Street dates back to the early 1800s as simply a muddy footpath extending Cold Blow Lane
The street has a confusing history of layouts. Originally it ran east-west but in the 1960s it was shortened and most of the street was newer, running in a quarter-circle north from the shortened section. Part of the Woodpecker Estate was built here.
When completed, the Woodpecker Estate consisted of eight tower blocks. In the centre of the estate was the main local shopping centre and a pub named The Spanish Steps. The estate became synonymous with gang culture in Lewisham and in 1992, an Estate Action Plan was drawn up for the regeneration of the estate. This resulted in all but one of its tower blocks being demolished and replaced with three storey blocks of flats.
Knoyle Street looking from the Cold Blow Lane end towards Chubworthy Street, Woodpecker Road and Milton Court Road (1953). This view dates from a period before demolition took place and only the houses pictured front right remained.
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is a district on the north tip of the London Borough of Lewisham. New Cross
is covered by London postal district SE14.
It is home to Goldsmiths College, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College, Addey and Stanhope School and Millwall F.C..
The area is served by two stations, New Cross
station and New Cross
Gate station. Both are on the East London Line of the London Underground network as well as being suburban railway stations.
is near St John’s, Nu
, Brockley, Deptford and Greenwich. Its proximity to the latter two, both of which have strong maritime connections, led to the establishment of the Royal Naval School in New Cross
in 1843 to house "the sons of impecunious naval officers". The school relocated further south-east to Mottingham in 1889, and the former school building subsequently (from 1891) housed Goldsmiths College.
On 25 November 1944, a V2 rocket exploded at the Woolworth?s store in New Cross
Road, on the site later occupied by the Iceland store. 168 people were killed, ranging in age from Michael Glover, aged 1 month, to William Frank, aged 80.
In January 1981, 13 young black people were killed in the New Cross
Fire at a party at 439 New Cross
Road. Suspicions that the fire was caused by a racist attack, and official indifference to the death, led to the largest ever political mobilisation of black people seen in Britain.
Recently the area has become something of a property hot-spot on account of the so-called arts boom in neighbouring Deptford and the New Cross
scene that has benefited local nightlife.
Poet Robert Browning lived in Telegraph Cottage near New Cross
Road during the 1840s
Political activist Jim Connell wrote the anthem The Red Flag en route to his home in New Cross
in December 1889
Music hall star Marie Lloyd lived in Lewisham Way
from 1887 to 1893
Sir Barnes Wallis (blue plaque on building on corner of New Cross
Road and Nettleton Road
1970s glam rocker Steve Harley grew up in Fairlawn Mansions, New Cross
, going to Edmund Waller and Haberdashers’ Aske’s schools.
Actor Gary Oldman was born and raised in New Cross
. His film ’Nil By Mouth’ is loosely based on his life growing up in South East London.
Carter USM wrote a song called The Only Living Boy in New Cross
(1992) (the title being a play on that of Simon and Garfunkel’s song The only living boy in New York).
Gordon-Orr, Neil (2004). Deptford Fun City: a ramble through the history and music of New Cross
and Deptford. London: Past Tense Publications.