Deptford - Encyclopedia

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DEPTFORD, a south-eastern metropolitan borough of London, England, bounded N. by Bermondsey, E. by the river Thames and Greenwich, S. by Lewisham and W. by Camberwell. Pop. (1901) 110,398. The name is connected with a ford over the Ravensbourne, a stream entering the Thames through Deptford Creek. The borough comprises only the parish of Deptford St Paul, that of Deptford St Nicholas being included in the borough of Greenwich. Deptford is a district of poor streets, inhabited by a large industrial population, employed in engineering and other riverside works. On the river front, extending into the borough of Greenwich, are the royal victualling yard and the site of the old Deptford dockyard. The first supplies the navy with provisions, medicines, furniture, &c., manufactured or stored in the large warehouses here. The dockyard ceased to be used in 1869, and was filled up and converted into a foreign cattle market by the City Corporation. Of public buildings the most noteworthy are St Paul's church (1730), of classic design; the municipal buildings; and the hospital for master mariners, maintained by the corporation of the Trinity House, which was founded at Deptford, the old hall being pulled down in 1787. Other institutions are the Goldsmiths' Polytechnic Institute, New Cross; and the South-eastern fever hospital. A mansion known as Sayes Court, taken down in 1729, was the residence of the duke of Sussex in the reign of Elizabeth; it was occupied in the following century by John Evelyn, author of Sylva, and by Peter the Great during his residence in England in 1698. The site of its gardens is occupied by Deptford Park of II acres. Another open space is Telegraph Hill (91acres). The parliamentary borough of Deptford returns one member. The borough council consists of a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 36 councillors. Area, 1562.7 acres.

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