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Top of High Street, Deptford Broadway

Top of High Street, Deptford Broadway

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1841

Shelfmark: Additional MS 16945

Item number: f. 6

Length: 18

Width: 24.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

View of Deptford High Street at the junction with the Broadway. The picture shows the wealth of businesses found here, such as the shoemaker W. Cook, coal and corn merchant George Shone, dyer James Noble and plumber Ann Bayley & Sons.

Deptford flourished during the 17th century, when its wooden cottages were home to the shipwrights, sailors and craftsmen who worked for the Royal Navy. Sea captains, foremen and officials occupied the brick built houses that lined the main streets such as the Broadway. Despite the town's reputation as a major industrial centre in the 18th and 19th centuries, the large majority of its resident families were poor. Most of the men were unskilled labourers doing seasonal work at the dockyards. Many unsavoury "fragrances" lurked in the air, as the locality was home to glue works, gasworks, tar distilleries, breweries and manufacturers of artificial manure!

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