The wonderful world of Deptford

Deptford Foundry
1 month ago

If you thought you knew Deptford, then think again! It turns out that this creative and cutting-edge neighbourhood hides an array of curious, quirky and incredible hidden history, some of which you can still see today.

So, get out and explore Deptford and discover these gems for yourself…#DiscoverDeptford

A Mulberry Tree, a 17th Century diarist and a Giant Russian Tsar!

A short walk from Anthology’s Deptford Foundry you’ll find Sayes Court Park, a small park in Deptford with an amazing history. It is home to a Mulberry Tree planted in the long-disappeared garden of what was once the home of 17th Century Diarist John Evelyn. A stone plaque tells the story that it was planted in 1698 by a Russian Tsar no less, Peter the Great. The Mulberry Tree is only part of the story. More than 300 years later we are still benefitting from the pioneering ideas such as planting trees to clean the air, establishing sustainable resources and access to nature which John Evelyn began in the garden of his house Sayes Court in 1652. You can see the Mulberry Tree today in Sayes Court Park. In fact, it’s not the only Mulberry Tree to be found in Deptford. Down the road, in the churchyard of St Nicholas’ church, is a lovely weeping dwarf white mulberry.

It’s that Giant Tsar again…

Deptford’s association with the Tsar continues and again, can be seen today. If you’ve found yourself on Glaisher Street you’ve probably seen the strange statue of Peter the Great, who was 6’7” and had a tiny head, standing next to his small friend. The sculpture designed by two Russian artists, Viacheslav Bukhaev and Mikhail Chemiakin, was installed to commemorate the three months he lived in Deptford, where he rented Sayes Court while he was studying ship building at the Royal Dockyard. Unfortunately, he probably wasn’t the best tenant ever, spending his time there getting extremely drunk and trashing the house and gardens! 50 chairs were destroyed, and he used the paintings for target practice! The sculpture was unveiled in June 2001 by Prince Michael of Kent and according to the inscription is near the Royal Shipyard where Peter studied.

Not a Tsar in sight this time…

We’re all familiar with upcycling but if you find yourself on Watergate Street or Brookmill Road you will see one of the quirkiest forms of upcycling at the Rowley Estate and Mereton Mansions. Stretcher railings!

During the Second World War London’s Air Raid Protection officers used their stretchers to rescue thousands of casualties from the air raids. The stretchers were made from steel. Over 600,000 were made with some of the steel poles used in many of the London’s post-war municipal house building projects to create railings, two examples of which proudly survive in Deptford. Once upon a time these railings could be seen everywhere but now, they are quite rare. The classic local pub The Dog and Bell is just around the corner from the railings so head there for a cosy pint and soak up a little bit more of Deptford’s fascinating and quirky past on the way.

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Interested in finding out more about Deptford or making it your next home then discover Anthology Deptford Foundry offering a selection of one, two and three bedroom apartments, with Help to Buy available.

Call today 020 7526 9229 or email deptfordfoundry@anthology.london