armoury road history

Records show that the site which the current development is built upon was the home for an armoury mill as early as 1371. This mill became crown property under Henry VIII in 1530 but had fallen into disrepair by 1637.

After being restored by potters to grind colours for their earthenware, it passed to the Office of Ordnance and was a working armoury mill by 1695.

Contracted to independent armourers until 1805 it was then converted into what became known as The Royal Armoury Mills.

By 1810 there were 156 men working in the mill producing parts for over 50,000 'Brown Bess' muskets a year: much needed arms at the height of the Napoleonic Wars for Britain's allies in Europe and her Peninsular Army in Portugal and Spain. This output was increased the following year when the Tower of London facility was moved here.

Demand for arms reduced dramatically with the end of the Napoleonic Wars and two-thirds of the workforce were discharged in 1816. Downgraded to a repair depot, the Board of Ordnance sold the site in 1819.

With the change of hands came a change of use and the complex became known as The Silk Mills, producing gold cloth, brocades and gold and silver lace for Officers' uniforms.

The ensuing years saw many changes and, even though the old mill buildings ceased to be used, the production of textiles continued until the whole area was flattened by bombs during the Second World War.

A historical Deptford Walk (including the High Street)

7 images of the Deptford area from 1982

Deptford Creek (at bottom of page)

Demolition of the Deptford Power Station in 1992