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Regenerating Deptford through shipbuilding history


Future Cities Forum has been visiting the Master Shipwright's House - part of this weekend's Open House event - which sits in the area of Deptford's old royal dockyards founded by Henry VIII in 1513.

According to Lewisham Council, the house in Watergate Street was built in 1708 for master shipwiright Joseph Allin who persuaded the Navy Board to pay for its construction. However allegedly through wheeler dealing involving some corruption, Allin overspent on the house and was dismissed from his job in 1715.

After the dockyards closed in 1869, the house was used by the superintendent of the Foreign Cattle Market for a time and from 1950 as offices and accomodation for Palmer's Wharf.

The house has been carefully restored involving some painstaking research. This has uncovered the history of the adjoining office building which was refashioned in 1805 by the naval architect Sir Samuel Bentham after his time working in Russia at the court of Catherine the Great.

The adjacent area known as Convoys Wharf is owned by developer Hutchinson Whampoa and a masterplan has been drawn up by Sir Terry Farrell for new housing.

Now The Lenox Project hopes to build a replica of the first naval ship to be constructed in the grand shipbuilding programme begun by King Charles II in1677 and managed by the diarist and secretary to the Admiralty, Samuel Pepys.

The Lenox Project would become a centrepiece for Convoys Wharf and there are plans to also build a Deptford Dockyard Museum. Building the ship would create jobs and apprenticeships with modern transferable skills as well as attract tourism and economic benefits to the area. Volunteers are wanted so please enter the link

Future Cities Fprum picture of the plaster and lathe interior of the house is below.

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