Pictures of the Croydon Canal

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

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David Hurford
Posts: 1
Joined: 28 Jun 2009 14:15
Location: Penrith, Cumbria

Picture of Sydenham Bridge over the Croydon Canal

Post by David Hurford »

I used to live in Forest Hill but moved to Penrith Cumbria nearly 2 years ago. We have a local auction house, and imagine my surprise when a watercolour of Sydenham Bridge over the Croydon Canal dated 1836 turned up by artist Henry Gastineau (1791 - 1876). I have no idea how it found its way up here. It is now in my possession and will be donated to Lewisham Library when I have no further use for it.
I see from the images on this web site that there are some sketches based on this picture, but there is no information. Well, problem solved. I have sent a copy to Lewisham Library. I haven't yet looked it up, but I understand that there is a 500+ word entry on Henry Gastineau in the National Dictionary of Biography.
I would attach a copy for this web site, there is no obvious provision to attach a file or import an image into the text.
David Hurford

will greenwood
Posts: 352
Joined: 14 Jan 2008 23:45
Location: moorlinch

Post by will greenwood »

Hi David.
This is fascinating news.
Obviously Im sure we'd all like to see a copy of this.
If you upload your image to a site like flickr or similar, and then paste the link into your message, using the 'img' tab at the top of the window, it will be posted.
It is a wonderful coincidence that you would find such a picture so far away.
Obviously, you were meant to have it.

Steve Grindlay
Posts: 606
Joined: 4 Oct 2004 05:07
Location: Upper Sydenham

Post by Steve Grindlay »

This is David's painting (uploaded with permission):
The artist, Henry Gastineau, lived in Cold Harbour Lane, Camberwell from the early 1820s until his death in 1876 so knew the area well.

The date of the painting (1836) is significant. The trees suggest late spring or summer so it was painted only a month or two before the canal closed on 22 August 1836.

W Bareham
Posts: 1
Joined: 20 Jan 2010 17:41
Location: Croydon

Croydon Canal

Post by W Bareham »

I live in Davidson Road and the canal site ran literally at the bottom of my garden, just the other side of the fence. The railway marshalling yards covered all of the site,but some 20 years ago it was all swept away and the area sold for housing. When levelling the site prior to building, the contractors used students on work experience and they kept on bringing newts to me as I had a pond and they remarked that they were puzzled by the existence of such a damp section.I remarked that it could be the old canal bed still retaining moisture. Extensive piling was necessary before building.
When I moved into Davidson Rd in '58 one of the old timers told me that in his youth there was swampy area where Davidson Rd met Tennyson Rd, again on the site of the canal.

Posts: 113
Joined: 6 Feb 2008 21:42
Location: croydon uk

This is fascinating stuff!

Post by jackieboo »

I lived in Kneller Rd in Brockley in the 60's with the railway at the back and it's interesting to think the track was once the canal!

I remember the wooden station building at Brockley, and station master etc before it burned down. I can still remember the sound of people's footsteps on the wooden floor. We used to do "penny for the guy" on the footbridge too....when it was for 1d. :)

will greenwood
Posts: 352
Joined: 14 Jan 2008 23:45
Location: moorlinch

Post by will greenwood »

In response to some earlier posts, here are some maps that show the remnants of the canal around forest hill.
im sure there would have been damp areas for years afterwards
I also remember a 'pond' in what is now the garthorne rd reserve in the '60s, right on the bed of the what we now know was the canal, so it is likely elsewhere.
1843; ... directlink
1871; ... directlink

Posts: 1
Joined: 31 Aug 2010 07:44
Location: Market Harborough

Re: Pictures of the Croydon Canal

Post by BobexAnerley »

In 1945 we moved to 28 Anerley Stn Rd. This was pictured just before demolition about 1978. The cobblers next door had already gone. I think the name might have been Gaynor and the son wore a surgical boot. Go to navigate through Photo Gallery, Gallery 2, Anerley, photo 13 facing “The Railway” and photo 12 looking down the road. Shop number 28 is the first on the right just after the fencing. I left home in 1963, but the family stayed until the last member, mother, was re-housed to Elmers End.

Images of the canal at Betts Park are nos 29 to 33 inclusive in that same collection. Most of these you have on your website. Image 34 is important because the Railway ticket office cum waiting room visible at the bottom was elsewhere called Canal House, see Anerley 2 52. Other images of towpath in and of Betts Park see Anerley 2 24, 34, 54 and 58. For Sydenham see Gallery 4 Sydenham no 26.

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