Interior of the telegraph on Plow-Garlic Hill near New Cross, Deptford
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
View of the interior of the telegraph station established by the government on Plow Garlic Hill, today's Telegraph Hill, in 1795. The station formed the Admiralty's semaphore telegraph linking London to Deal, Dover and the Continent.
The area of New Cross lies on the main route from London to Dover and the South East. The Domesday Book notes that it was a hamlet that had nine villagers, two smallholders and three pigs. Records indicate that the locality developed very little during the medieval period, remaining heavily wooded until the 17th century. The district was originally known as Hatcham, an Anglo-Saxon term meaning "Haecci's estate". This title was eventually to be replaced by "New Cross", on account of the very popular New Cross Inn. Many travellers passed through the neighbourhood on their journeys to the capital, and a toll gate was introduced, operating from 1718 to1865. The Royal Naval School was founded here in 1843, providing support for the families of impoverished officers who served in nearby Deptford. In 1869 an underground rail link was made to New Cross and the south east of London using the world's oldest river tunnel.