Blackwall Tunnel

Tunnel in/near North Greenwich, existing between 1897 and now

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Tunnel · North Greenwich · SE10 · Contributed by The Underground Map
JANUARY
6
2018
Northern entrance to the tunnel in 1899
Credit: Unknown

The Blackwall Tunnel is a pair of road tunnels underneath the River Thames.

The tunnel links the London Borough of Tower Hamlets with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and forms part of the A102 road.

A tunnel in the Blackwall area was originally proposed in the 1880s. According to Robert Webster, then MP for St Pancras East, a tunnel would "be very useful to the East End of London, a district representing in trade and commerce a population greater than the combined populations of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham." By this time, all road bridges in London east of the ferry at Chiswick were toll-free, but these were of little use to the two fifths of London’s population that lived to the east of London Bridge. The Thames Tunnel (Blackwall) Act was created in August 1887, which provided the legal framework necessary to construct the tunnel. The initial proposal, made by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, called for three parallel tunnels, two for vehicular traffic and one for foot, with an expected completion date of works within seven years. It was originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Board of Works but, just before the contract was due to start, responsibility passed to the London County Council (LCC) when the former body was abolished in 1889 and Bazalgette’s work on the tunnel ended.

The original tunnel as built was designed by Sir Alexander Binnie and built by S. Pearson & Sons, between 1892 and 1897, for whom Ernest William Moir was the lead engineer. It was constructed using tunnelling shield and compressed air techniques and a Greathead shield (named after its inventor, James Henry Greathead). It was lit by three rows of incandescent street lights. To clear the site in Greenwich, more than 600 people had to be rehoused, and a house reputedly once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh had to be demolished. The work force was largely drawn from immigrants; the tunnel lining was manufactured in Glasgow, while the manual labour came from provincial England, particularly Yorkshire.

The southern entrance gateway to the tunnel, also known as Southern Tunnel House, was designed by LCC architect Thomas Blashill and was built just before the tunnel was completed. It comprises two floors with an attic.

The tunnel was officially opened by the Prince of Wales on 22 May 1897. The total cost of the tunnel was £1.4 M and 800 men were employed in its construction, during which seven deaths were recorded.

The tunnel has several sharp bends, in order that the tunnel could align with Northumberland Wharf to the north and Ordnance Wharf to the south, and avoid a sewer underneath Bedford Street.

Horse-drawn traffic was partially banned from the tunnel during peak hours in July 1939 and completely banned in August 1947. Pedestrians have been banned from using the Blackwall Tunnels since May 1969.

Due to the increase in motor traffic in the early 20th century, the capacity of the original tunnel was soon perceived as inadequate. In 1930, John Mills, MP for Dartford, remarked that HGVs delivering from Essex to Kent could not practically use any crossing of the Thames downstream of the tunnel. The LCC obtained an act to construct a new tunnel in 1938, but work did not start due to the outbreak of World War II. Construction eventually started in 1958 with preliminary work on the northern approach road.

It was opened on 2 August 1967 by Desmond Plummer, Leader of the Greater London Council.

Source: Wikipedia



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P Merry
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Added: 29 Apr 2018 22:00 GMT   
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Post by P Merry: Westgrove Lane, SE10

At the back of 10 West Grove Lane on the staircase leading to what was Grove House (now Hamilton House) is a large bath stone slab with an steel circular ring set into the flagstone. This stone can be lifted and underneath is a partially excavated tunnel. The cavity was never excavated when I lived here bit there was an ongoing story of smugglers tunnels and potential links to the Blackheath Caverns. Or perhaps it was just a massive coal shute.

Brian Bigwood
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Added: 27 Mar 2018 14:53 GMT   
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Post by Brian Bigwood: Odessa Street, SE16

My mother Doris Bigwood and her family lived in Odessa Street until they were bombed out and moved to Sidcup. My grandfather worked as lighterman in the local docks and was named Walter Edward Bigwood. I believe there were 13 children and their motherâ??s surname was Hunt.
I would love to know if anyone is related or even knew the family. If so, please get in touch.

Sandy Tarrant
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Added: 16 Nov 2017 06:03 GMT   
IP: 60.225.230.107
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Post by Sandy Tarrant: Monier Road, E3

My grandparents, James Isaac and Mary Ann Johnson ran a grocer’s shop at 122 Monier Road, Bow from the early 1900s to about 1935 or so.

Dawn Greene
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Added: 24 Aug 2017 13:08 GMT   
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Post by Dawn Greene : Emily Street (1925)

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VIEW THE NORTH GREENWICH AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH GREENWICH AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH GREENWICH AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH GREENWICH AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH GREENWICH AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

 
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North Greenwich

North Greenwich is a station on London Underground's Jubilee Line which opened on 14 May 1999.

North Greenwich is one of the largest stations on the Jubilee Line, capable of handling around 20 000 passengers an hour, having been designed to cope with the large number of visitors expected at the Millennium Dome (now The O2).

The striking blue-tiled and glazed interior, with raking concrete columns rearing up inside the huge underground space, was designed by the architectural practice Alsop, Lyall and Störmer.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Emirates Air Line:   The Emirates Air Line is a cable car link across the River Thames, built by Doppelmayr with sponsorship from the airline Emirates.
Greenwich Peninsula:   The Greenwich Peninsula is bounded on three sides by a loop of the Thames, between the Isle of Dogs to the west and Silvertown to the east.
North Greenwich:   North Greenwich is a station on London Underground's Jubilee Line which opened on 14 May 1999.
North Greenwich Pier:   North Greenwich Pier is a pier on the River Thames.
O2 Arena:   The O2 is a large entertainment district on the Greenwich peninsula in South East London, England, including an indoor arena, a music club, a cinema, an exhibition space, piazzas, bars and restaurants.
Ravensbourne College:   Ravensbourne college - formerly Bromley Technical College - was formed in the amalgamation of the Bromley School of Art and the Department of Furniture Design of the Beckenham School of Art.


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Blackwall Tunnel, SE10 · Edmund Halley Way, E14 · Edmund Halley Way, SE10 · Millennium Drive, SE10 · Millennium Way, SE10 · Mitre Passage, SE10 · North Greenwich Station, E14 · North Greenwich Station, SE10 · Peninsula Square, SE10 · Penrose Way, E14 · Penrose Way, SE10 · Pier Walk, SE10 · Up At The 02, E14 · Up At The 02, SE10 ·

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