Elverson Road, Lewisham
A residential street in St Johns, north Lewisham, and a station on the borough’s border with Greenwich
By 1371 this locality was the site of a watermill that produced steel for armour and other military equipment. In 1530 Henry VIII acquired the mill and the manorial land on which it stood, and it became part of the Royal Armoury at Greenwich. Much later, barrels were made here for muskets that were used in the Napoleonic Wars. When the demand for armaments declined the watermill switched to silk throwing. During Victoria’s reign gold and silver thread were made at Lewisham Silk Mills for officers’ uniforms.
The diminutive Elverson Road was laid out north-west of the watermill in the late 19th century.
Reduced to making wire in its final days, the old mill closed in 1937. The buildings were demolished and Conington Road industrial estate later took its place.
Elverson Road station is only 500 yards from the DLR branch terminus at Lewisham. The station opened ahead of schedule in November 1999, at a time when most stops along the route were already seeing significant commercial, cultural or residential developments in their vicinity. Here, however, it was several years before much happened, other than the creation of Elverson Mews, which consists of a handful of two-storey terraced houses.
The largest subsequent construction projects were the Silkworks and Silvermill apartment complexes on Conington Road – both built by St James Homes, a subsidiary of the Berkeley Group. The two schemes (and of course the Silk Mills Path, which runs between them) take their name from historic incarnations of the former watermill – as does Armoury Road, on the other side of the river, where there has also been intensive residential development, though on a more human scale.
The nearest school is Morden Mount primary, which seems to be successfully emerging from a period of underperformance.
Brookmill Park (known as Ravensbourne Park from 1951 to 1965) was relandscaped when the railway line was brought through and the River Ravensbourne was rerouted along the park’s eastern edge, with a slight meander for aesthetic effect. The DLR used the old course of the river.
Postal district: SE8
Station: Docklands Light Railway, Lewisham branch (zones 2 and 3)