Wednesday, March 31, 2010
THE LOST RIVERS OF LONDON
10) Chelsea Creek
Counter's Creek used to flow south into the Thames at Battersea Reach, but construction of the Kensington Canal diverted its last few hundred yards eastward along an artificial tidal waterway known as Chelsea Creek. The water here was only deep enough to be navigable at high tide, and this impractical oversight is one of the main reasons why the canal failed to make any money.
As recently as the early 1990s it was still possible to trace the old canal back as far as the King's Road, but a council highways depot now covers this part of the filled-in channel. [photo]
The inland tip of Chelsea Creek now lies in a muddy tree-lined basin [photo], conveniently shielded out of sight from the luxury apartment complex at Chelsea Harbour. A steady stream of taxis crawls across the creek's only bridge, helping the isolated Thames-side residents to escape to somewhere more convenient.
The mouth of Chelsea Creek is best viewed from St Mary's Church on the Battersea shoreline, with the twin chimney stacks of the former Lots Road Power Station standing as an imposing backdrop. [photo] [photo]
Following Counter's Creek: The last few hundred yards of Chelsea Creek are accessible only by boat. Lots Road Power Station flanks one bank, currently with most of its roof off as the interior is rejigged for flats. On the opposite shore a former warehouse [before] has recently been reduced to a pile of rubble [after], opening up the view, and no doubt this site is destined for apartments too. The Chelsea Harbour development looks like it was attempting to be St Katherine's Dock but forgot to include a dash of character. The architecture's dated terribly in 20 years, and I can only assume the flats look somewhat more desirable on the inside. The site boasts a central marina where over-successful people moor their yachts [photo], and also a Design Centre which is the deadest shopping mall I've ever seen on a Saturday. Riverside living isn't all it's cut out to be.
...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan14 Feb14 Mar14 Apr14 May14 Jun14 Jul14
Jan13 Feb13 Mar13 Apr13 May13 Jun13 Jul13 Aug13 Sep13 Oct13 Nov13 Dec13
Jan12 Feb12 Mar12 Apr12 May12 Jun12 Jul12 Aug12 Sep12 Oct12 Nov12 Dec12
Jan11 Feb11 Mar11 Apr11 May11 Jun11 Jul11 Aug11 Sep11 Oct11 Nov11 Dec11
Jan10 Feb10 Mar10 Apr10 May10 Jun10 Jul10 Aug10 Sep10 Oct10 Nov10 Dec10
Jan09 Feb09 Mar09 Apr09 May09 Jun09 Jul09 Aug09 Sep09 Oct09 Nov09 Dec09
Jan08 Feb08 Mar08 Apr08 May08 Jun08 Jul08 Aug08 Sep08 Oct08 Nov08 Dec08
Jan07 Feb07 Mar07 Apr07 May07 Jun07 Jul07 Aug07 Sep07 Oct07 Nov07 Dec07
Jan06 Feb06 Mar06 Apr06 May06 Jun06 Jul06 Aug06 Sep06 Oct06 Nov06 Dec06
Jan05 Feb05 Mar05 Apr05 May05 Jun05 Jul05 Aug05 Sep05 Oct05 Nov05 Dec05
Jan04 Feb04 Mar04 Apr04 May04 Jun04 Jul04 Aug04 Sep04 Oct04 Nov04 Dec04
Jan03 Feb03 Mar03 Apr03 May03 Jun03 Jul03 Aug03 Sep03 Oct03 Nov03 Dec03
Jan02 Feb02 Mar02 Apr02 May02 Jun02 Jul02 Aug02 Sep02 Oct02 Nov02 Dec02