|Down an alley from Woolwich High Street, 2013|
So with a little bit of imagination as dusk draws in it is just possible to sense something of what it might have been like to wander the area at the very beginning of the last century.
We are standing at the start of the alley that runs from Woolwich High Street alongside the Plaisted Wine Bar and in the distance is the green tiled wall of the Roses which fronts Hare Street.
Back in 1908 what is now Plaisted’s was the Cooper’s Arms while away down that alley The Roses was called the Prince Albert and both were owned by E.J. Rose and Co.
The Prince Albert began as a beer shop in 1840 next door to the brewery and was bought by E.J. Rose and Co who rebuilt it in 1928.*
|The square in 1908|
Now I have to confess I had never ventured down the alley and did not know of the existence of Mortgramit Square.
|The square in 1872|
It ran west and then took a right angle to turn south before heading off west again down an even narrower alley into the square.
Back then this southern route was flanked on both sides by buildings as was the square.
These look to be on up one down dwelling houses, and in the fullness of time I shall crawl over the census records to find out who was there .
Walk down from Hare Street today and it is possible to detect the old footprint of the buildings.
All of which I suppose pushes our imaginary trip back another 30 years, and makes me think here was a place mother would have warned me not to go.
Picture; from the collection of Colin Fitzpatrick, extract from the Post Office London County Suburbs Directory, 1908 Part 1, Street Commercial & Trade Directories and detail of Mortgramit Square and Hare Street from the OS amp of London, 1862-72, courtesy of Digital Archives Association, http://www.digitalarchives.co.uk/
*Draft Chapter Four Woolwich, Enhlish Heritage, 2012, http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/imported-docs/u-z/woolwich-chap4.pdf