Where was the nearest Tannery?

The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!

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Falkor
Posts: 1371
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 17:45
Location: Surrey Quays

Where was the nearest Tannery?

Post by Falkor »

Did Lewisham or any surrounding parishes have one in historical times? How common were they? When did most die out - 18th, 19th or 20th centuries?
Lois
Posts: 90
Joined: 29 Sep 2007 03:27
Location: Westwood Hill SE26 6PE

Re: Where was the nearest Tannery?

Post by Lois »

They are mentioned here at APA8 Deptford Creek
Not sure if that's of any use to you
http://www2.lewisham.gov.uk/lbl/plannin ... dule3.html

But I think that Bermondsey is the place for tanneries.

Also the simple search "Tanneries" on the British Newspaper Archive site with no filters comes up with the following list of articles by date:

1700-1749 (4)

1750-1799 (261)

1800-1849 (2,320)

1850-1899 (24,480)

1900-1949 (19,348)

1950-1999 (609)
RobC
Posts: 19
Joined: 1 Jul 2009 21:49
Location: Sydenham

Re: Where was the nearest Tannery?

Post by RobC »

Tanneries were quite common even until recent times. I remember one being surveyed by GLIAS in a back street in Walworth in the early eighties.

There was one at Deptford Bridge up to the 1850s, with a wind-powered bark mill attached; there was also one at Crayford, water-powered, demolished in the 50s. I think the problem with them in city areas is that the drying sheds took up so much space, in a time where space was increasingly charged at a premium.
Mal Mitchell
Posts: 2
Joined: 6 Jul 2020 10:43

Re: Where was the nearest Tannery?

Post by Mal Mitchell »

Well into the 20th Century there were several tanneries in Southwark and Bermondsey, (Tanners Street area) and a leather market which i believe the building is still there on or near Tower Bridge Road. Some local census records can reveal occupations of tanners but earlier records also may give clues. I seem to recall seeing a tanner listed in a Lewisham parish record and he wouldn't have been the only one. Probably small tanning operations were carried out locally in association with local butchers and farms. As livestock was driven into large towns and cities it would be logical for tanneries to spring up near slaughterhouses.
I still remember the stink that came from the establishments in bermondsey ie stacks of hides pickling in the tanning solution sometimes carried out in arches under the railway.
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