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Tide Mill, Deptford, Kent

Tide Mill, Deptford, Kent

Artist: Unknown

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1841

Shelfmark: Add. MS 16945 f.56

Length: 14.8

Width: 18.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

The Domesday Book of 1086 records 11 mills on the Ravensbourne and Roque’s map of 1745 shows 5 between Lewisham and Deptford. The old tide mills were replaced by Robinson’s steam powered flour mill in the 1820s which was finally demolished in the 1970s.

Deptford became an important suburb of London in the 16th century, when it was one of England's main shipbuilding sites. The Royal Dockyard and The East India Company's yard were established here during the reign of Henry VIII.

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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