43: Unusual wall in Homerton.

Beautiful variety of granite setts, all shapes and sizes and a few pieces of limestone! ©GMH2022

Building London loves an old wall with re-used bricks and stones! 😀
See https://buildinglondon.blog/2021/08/19/10-mile-end-lock-wall/
And there are many old buildings in London, particularly mediaeval churches, that have re-used Roman bricks/tiles and various old stones from older buildings. The mediaeval parts of London Wall are a great example and see see photo here of a re-used stone on Guildhall. https://buildinglondon.blog/2022/04/01/36-the-simply-gorgeous-guildhall-crypts/

Long and square setts, reddish so from Aberdeenshire or Leicestershire and a large boulder surrounded by flint ©GMH2022

And the re-using of granite road setts for walls in 1960s re-developments is also not that un-usual but what’s exciting about this wall in Anderson Road on the Wyke Estate in Homerton in the London Borough of Hackney is that not only are the setts large and irregular, showing their age, – setts generally got smaller and neater and squarer as the 19thC progressed – see https://buildinglondon.blog/2021/12/30/22-granite-setts-at-the-middlesex-and-essex-filter-beds/ – this wall contains several boulders that are much less usual to see! In fact the use of boulders was key to the suggestion that Upper Watergate Street in Deptford is the oldest road surface in London. See https://buildinglondon.blog/2021/12/12/21-upper-watergate-street-the-oldest-street-surface-in-london/

Really wide variety of sizes and shapes ©GMH2022
©GMH2022

Where are they from though? It would make sense that these were setts and boulders that paved the streets that were laid out to the south of the railway that opened in 1847.

Irregular granite setts, and various large pebbles. ©GMH2022
©GMH2022

The area was mainly fields and some large houses before that but close by was the historic Berger paint works that opened in 1780. The streets I believe we laid out in the 1850s – they are on a map surveyed in 1863.

Beautiful flowing lines! ©GMH2022
Setts, pebble and flints ©GMH2022

But I wonder whether these setts and boulders were from an older courtyard at the Berger Factory instead? A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10, Hackney states the factory opened in 1780 and closed in 1960 so possibly at the same time as the Wyke Estate was being built. [1] [2] [3]

Red granite setts maybe from Aberdeenshire or Leicestershire and granite and limestone boulders ©GMH2022

Wick Road follows roughly the line of the Hackney Brook, and to this day a sewer carrying the Hackney Brook flows beneath it’s length .. you clearly walk down Anderson St into the river valley. The bottom of Anderson St and where this wall is situated would almost have been on the banks of the Hackney Brook and indeed acts a a retaining wall for the gardens in the street above.

Anderson Rd surveyed in 1863. National Library of Scotland. Note the boundary line followed the path of the old Hackney Brook, which now flows under Wick Road.
Re-use: CC-BY-NC-SA. https://maps.nls.uk/view/102342014
Site of Anderson Road in 1830. Compare to 1863 map and note bends on the Brook.
Harvard University, Harvard Map Collection, G5754_L7_1830_G7_Stitched
LICENSE: https://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.eother:idscopyright
ATTRIBUTION: Provided by Harvard University

References
[1] https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol10/pp51-59
[2] http://www.bjn-paint-reunion.co.uk/lewis%20berger.htm
[3] https://www.layersoflondon.org/map/records/bergers-paints-morning-lane


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