Tag Archives: BPTW Architects

The Great Flood…and other Rochester Riverside stories (1 of 3)

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

“A creek separates the marsh here from Cory’s Wharf – apparently into which the watermill discharged…” “The marsh was full of logs (a huge stack of wooden piles from Rochester Old Bridge) and was home to many rabbits – wild rabbits, grey, brown and black…” ‘It was said that the Foord Family stocked the marsh, with animals from their farm at Darland’.  Stephen Hannington – Bygone Kent MagazineRochester’s Long Lost Common Part Two –

‘Floods of 1897 and 1928 inundated this area – the flooding in1897 was called The Great Flood and attributed to a record high tide on 29th November’. The image below shows the Homeward Bound Public House inundated by the flood waters. The Gas Holders of the Gasworks, can be seen in the background. The Gasworks, on Gas House Way was one of the earliest built in the UK in 1818. The area was known as Gas House Marshes. Image by kind permission of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre.

The Homeward Bound Public House at Gas House Point inundated by the great flood of 1837. Image: By kind permission of MALSC

 

I thought I might post the artwork for all of the proposed granite and cast iron paving slab units. I can then add any historic anecdotes, images or information, which have caught my attention and may be of further interest. I’ll cover all these in this and the next two posts. 1 of 3

 

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

CAST IRON UNIT ‘BRICKIES‘ STACKIES STUMPIES’. You can also add MUDDIES to this list as well!  All colloquial names for the trades associated with Medway Barges built in and operating out of the Rochester Riverside site. Brickies carried up to 40,000 bricks on the up river journey to London and came back laden with London’s rubbish. Stackies were piled high with Hay and Straw. Stumpies could take cement, lime, timber, clay, coal, bricks, hops and other commodities. Muddies are self explanatory…the carried clay and mud dug from the banks of the Medway Estuary and destined for local brickworks.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

CAST IRON UNIT ‘GOLDEN SAMPHIRE’. To the northwest the Medway Estuary consists of an extensive area of marshland, comprising of salt marsh and intertidal mudflats. The River remains tidal at this point and estuarine conditions would have dominated most of the site’s past.’  Ref: KCC HER 012. 2014 -371. Golden Samphire  grows on estuary mudflats and salt march. It is rare and I have used it as it represents the efforts being made by the client team to build upon the heritage and legacy of the natural environment with it’s diverse flora and fauna.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT  ‘BLUE BOAR CREEK’. “Blue Boar Wharf was our playground”. Edwin Harris

Blue Boar Creek is the one of the more distinctively named and well remembered places on our site. It also gave name to Blue Boar Lane, Blue Boar Hard, Blue Boar Lower Yard, Blue Boar Upper Yard, Blue Boar Lane Foundry and Blue Boar Pier. ‘Blue Boar Hard Pier: November 26th 1886′ as seen at the Medway Archives is set of beautiful, hand painted drawings of plans for a new Pier by draughtsman William Hoelking. Some details are referred to as ‘DOLPHINS’ & ‘DUMMY’. MALSC Ref: Plan 1 of 4 (002) MP/B/30/1 (1 of 4).

Blue Boar Hard Pier: November 26th 1886. Image: By kind permission of MALSC. Ref: Plan 1 of 4 (002) MP/B/30/1 (1 of 4).

Blue Boar Hard Pier: November 26th 1886. Image: By kind permission of MALSC. Ref: Plan 1 of 4 (002) MP/B/30/1 (1 of 4).

William Banks City Surveyor has also signed this document. William was born in about 1850 at Edmonton. He married Anne Mary Everett in June 1876 at Islington. In 1891, he and his family were living at at 10 Albany Road, Rochester, William was by then aged 40 and a surveyor for the city of Rochester.

‘What is now left of Blue Boar Creek and the river beyond at Limehouse Reach, lies deathly silent. Coal is not longer unloaded from colliers at Cory’s Wharf. So too is the Pier, once festooned with skiffs and rowing boats, where formerly small boys with rod and line and a jar of worms could fish away the school holidays’. John K. Austin from his publication ‘Yesterday’s Medway’. Johns has been involved with this project from the outset, having been consulted by the project Architects BPTW on his local knowledge as a historian, author, teacher and artist.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT ‘THE FIVE BROTHERS’  William Higham had a Barge Building business on Blue Boar Hard. He was born in 1838 in Lewes Sussex. On 27th October 1864 he married Fanny Elizabeth Blake in Strood. By 1881 they had 9 children and lived in a private house on Victoria Street, Rochester. William employed 11 men and 7 boys. THE FIVE BROTHERS was the last barge built at this yard alongside DOROTHY in 1901.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT ‘PERENNIAL GLASSWORT’.  ‘The Medway Estuary is believed to be the most important area in North kent for wintering wildfowl in numbers of international significance. The saltmarsh serves as a roosting area for waders at high tide. Several scarce plant species include: golden samphire, perennial glasswort and one-flowered glasswort. The estuary is one of the best places in Britain for the study of glassworts. The grazing marsh has breeding and wintering birds of interest; the former include lapwing, redshank, pochard, mallard and gadwall, while in winter large flocks of may wildfowl and wader species are present.’ Ref: Environmental Stresses and Resource Use in Coastal Urban and Peri Urban Regions. DPSIR Approach to SECOA’s 17 Case Studies.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT ‘COAL: METER HEAVER WHIPPER’. Colloquial names for trades employed in the Coal business.Frederick Furrell was born in 1807 and died in 1877. Frederick Furrell & Son were Coal Merchants based at Furrell’s Wharf, a  He was also an Alderman & Shipowner. He had ten children with his wife Katherine who he had married on February 25th 1832 at St Margaret’s Church in Rochester. Fred was Mayor of Rochester in 1855. Furrell’s Wharf was a 30m length of post and plank revetment of Oak and Elm Posts, most likely made from re-used ships timbers was in use in 1865 making it one of the oldest sites for industry on Rochester Riverside. It was accessed via Furrell’s Road.

His name also lived on as ‘Furrells Pond’“where children swam and skated in Icy weather – The site flooded during exceptionally high tides” . Edwin Harris

 Furrells Wharf was also the destination of many travelling shows, menageries and circuses – such as Wombwells Wild Beasts & Edmonds Menagerie – George Sangers Circus, Pinder’s Circus, Middletons’ Marionettes. 

Coal was a major industry at Rochester, with several businesses engaged, most notable William Cory & Son of Fenchurch Street London were registered in 1896 after taking over he business of coal factors, merchants and Lightermen of William Cory & Son of Rochester at Rochester Coal Wharf.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

GRANITE UNIT ‘MARSH COWS GRAZING’ 

 

Brickies, Stackies and Stumpies

Brickies, Stackies and Stumpies refer to Thames Sailing Barges (aka Medway Barges or Rochester Sailing Barges or Spritsail Barges), which were built at Rochester and more specifically to the the trades they carried out. Brickies carried up to 40,000 bricks on the up river journey to London and came back laden with London’s rubbish. Huge mounds of glass bottles recorded on the Rochester Riverside site, north of Blue Boar Creek, are a result of this domestic waste being brought up the Medway from the capital. Stackies were piled high with Hay and Straw. Stumpies could take cement, lime, timber, clay, coal, bricks, hops and other commodities.

“Russet Brown & Ochre Sails with Various devices Emblazoned” Edgar J Marsh. ‘Spritsail Barges of the Thames and Medway’. 1948

Draft design for a granite paving slab. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample granite paving slab with water jet cut granite inlay and sandblasted text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The granite units will be manufactured in collaboration with Hardscape. 

Granite square tile with a sandblasted letter B. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample coloured granite squares with sandblasted letters. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Sample coloured granite squares with sandblasted letters. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Detail of sample granite paving slab with water jet cut granite inlay and sandblasted text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

I am proposing to make 24 artwork units in either cast iron or granite, with inlaid & sandblasted detail. The units will be embedded into paving within or adjacent to the threshold entrances to all Apartment blocks and to the footpaths of all the central and riverside designated housing. I want these works with their accompanying text and drawings to be seen each day as people cross the thresholds between the public realm and the private home. This site was an industrious place for hundreds of years, providing and creating the wealth upon which Rochester grew into a powerful and beautiful cathedral city. It’s wealth however, is not only in the grand and the elevated. The everyday, the matter of fact, the local and colloquial have all contributed over time to this place leaving a rich social and community-led legacy through the people whose livelihoods were centred on this fascinating site next to the River Medway. Shipbuilding, Sailmaking, Gasworks, Railways, Livestock Market, Transport, Fishing, Metal and Aggregate Trades and Market Gardening have all at various times left an indelible and tangible mark on this place, as have the domestic residences, pubs, shops and small businesses such as:

Henry Allen – Dealer in Building Materials

Jane Weaver – Milliner

Joseph Anderson – Clay Pipe Maker

George Millar – Wheelwright and Coach Builder

Ebenezer Baird – Tailor

…all of Rochester Common.

Detail of cast iron paving slab with low relief pattern and text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The images above shows a single panel manufactured by Hargreaves Foundry immediately after casting, when the surface is a gun-metal colour and then after a couple of weeks outside, where the colour is more akin to Corten steel.

The actual finish will be almost black, as the cast iron will eventually be treated with nitric acid to prevent further weathering.

There was an Iron Foundry on the site up to the 19th Century. HALLS IRON FOUNDRY was founded in 1785 and worked form premises adjacent to Cory’s Creek on Blue Boar Lane.  In the 1918 Directory of Manufacturers in England, James Hall & Son Ltd are listed as trading as T/A Hall’s Foundry. Tel. Chatham 169.

Cast Iron items such a pavement drains can still be see bearing the makers name in the streets surrounding the site.

James Hall & Son Cast Ltd. Rochester. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft design for a cast iron paving slab. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

BELVEDERE was the name of a Locomotive (a sentinel geared vertical boilered tank engine) that worked at William Cory’s Coal Yard and Cory’s Wharf. She was built by Sentinel (Shrewsbury) in 1945 & worked at Cory’s Wharf from 1950 to 1957 & is now at the Northampton Ironstone Museum. Belvedere was one of four Locomotives working in the yard – Thalia, Telemon and Greenwich being the others.

Detail of cnc milled model board for cast iron slab showing low relief pattern and text. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The original models for the cast iron units are being manufactured by Arthur Jackson & Co Ltd in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Plan of Rochester Riverside Phases 1 & 2, showing proposed sites for artwork as red or blue dots. Image: Christopher Tipping

I had researched the whole Rochester Riverside site and so have an enormous resource of material to draw upon. For the first two Phases of delivery however, we are focussing on site specific references relevant to the locality.

The following images show some of the draft artwork we may have to work with for the delivery of future Phases.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

The Ross family were Shipbuilders working out of Acorn Yard on Rochester Riverside. Following the death of her husband Charles Ross in 1808 leaving her a widow with seven children, Mary Ross  took on the running of the yard. This was highly unusual for a woman at this time.

These are the ships built by Mary Ross following the death of her husband Charles.

Vigo: 1810 / 74 Guns / Broken up 1867

Goodwill:

Stirling Castle: 1811 / 74 Guns / Hulk in 1839

Thistle: 1812 / Gun Brig / 12 guns / broken up 1832

Epervier: 1812 / 18 Guns

Eridanus: 1813 / 36 Guns

Confiance: 1813 / Cruizer Class / broken up 1832

Tanais: 1813 / 38 Guns / built of Fir / broken up 1819

HMS Fury: 1814 / Bomb Vessel / Lost 1825

HMS Fury was launched in 1814 and was one of Captain Parry’s two ‘Discovery Ships surveying for the Hudson Bay Company. Fury was converted to an Arctic exploration ship. Commander William Edward Parry commissioned her in December 1820 She then made two journeys to the Arctic, both in company with her sister ship, Hecla. Her second Arctic voyage ended in disaster. She was damaged by ice while overwintering and was abandoned on 25 August 1825, at what has since been called Fury Beach on Somerset Island on the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

William Higham had a Barge Building business on Blue Boar Hard. He was born in 1838 in Lewes Sussex. On 27th October 1864 he married Fanny Elizabeth Blake in Strood, nr, Rochester. By 1881 they had 9 children and they lived in a private house on Victoria Street, Rochester. William employed 11 men and 7 boys. THE FIVE BROTHERS was the last Barge built at this yard alongside DOROTHY in 1901.

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Frederick Furrell was born in 1807 and died in 1877. Frederick Furrell & Son were Coal Merchants. He was also an Alderman & Shipowner. He had ten children with his wife Katherine who he had married on February 25th 1832 at St Margaret’s Church in Rochester. Fred was Mayor of Rochester in 1855. Furrell’s Wharf – a 30m length of post and plank revetment of Oak and Elm Posts, most likely made from re-used ships timbers was in use in 1865 making it one of the oldest sites for industry on Rochester Riverside. It was accessed via Furrell’s Road.

His name also lived on as ‘Furrells Pond’, “where children swam and skated in Icy weather – The site flooded during exceptionally high tides” . Edwin Harris

 Furrells Wharf was also the destination of many travelling shows, menageries and circuses – such as Wombwells Wild Beasts & Edmonds Menagerie – George Sangers Circus, Pinder’s Circus, Middletons’ Marionettes. 

 

 

 

 

Draft designs for granite or cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft designs for cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

Draft designs for cast iron paving slabs. Rochester Riverside. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

 

 

All the RRR’s…

ROCHESTER RIVERSIDE

RESEARCH – REGENERATION – RECLAMATION – RECYCLE – REMINISCENCE – REVEAL – REPLACE – RESONATE

RE-USE

The Rochester Riverside development aims to deliver 489 homes in Phases 1, 2 & 3. The first show homes are scheduled to be ready by September 2018. I have been researching and developing ideas to embed some of the social & industrial legacy from this site into the new build homes and apartments & not forgetting a new community which is being delivered. The site has a treasure trove of layered history to uncover fed by its unique position between Rochester and  River Medway.

Intertidal Salt Marsh

Tithe Lands

St Nicholas Parish Rochester 

Livestock Grazing

Clay & Mud

Market Gardens

Oyster Fishery

Gas Works

Ship & Barge Building

Iron Foundry

Coal Factors

Coal Depot

Railway Goods Yard

Scrap Metal Merchants

Wharfs

Cranes

Locomotives

Aggregates

Cement

By 2006 almost all the site had been cleared for re-development.

I have to find a way to be creative with the public art budget and to produce high quality, robust interventions, capable of withstanding the wear and tear of a contemporary urban space. My approach to this project has been to work with a series of 2.4m high brick walls, which form the entrances to parking courts on the Central Streets of Phase 1 & 2. I am also embedding work into the threshold entrances of six apartment blocks and numerous private houses throughout the site. Materials being investigated at this stage include granite, cast concrete, cast iron, architectural ceramic & brick. The concept drawings shown below are all subject to change, revision, omission – all the usual ups and downs of project development.

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

These early concept drawings explore the various combinations of narrative elements which could be developed further. They are rather overstuffed with ideas at this stage – far too many to deliver – but are beginning to explore the legacy of the site via stories created by combining strands of research. Visiting menageries share space with Iron Foundry production and mud and clay trades carried out on the site. The elephant would be sandblasted into the brick surface, whilst adjacent panels of cast iron with relief detail and glazed brick units and polished granite are embedded into the brick structure.

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for brick walls. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Cast Iron Units to footpaths. Artwork Draft Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Cast Iron proposals are being developed in collaboration with Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax.

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Cast Iron Unit to brick walls. Artwork Draft Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside. Artist Concept. Draft cast iron units to brick walls and paving. Artwork Drafts Only Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite paving units with inset text. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite paving units with inset text. Image: Christopher Tipping

The proposals for granite paving units with inset granite text are being explored in collaboration with Hardscape. 

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for architectural ceramic units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

 

Architectural Ceramic proposals are being developed in collaboration with Darwen Terracotta & Faience

 

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite & cast iron paving units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for granite & cast iron paving units with low relief text & pattern. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke balcony balustrade detail with pattern inspired by the Gas Works. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke balcony balustrade detail with pattern inspired by the Gas Works. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke Front Door & Garage Doors treatment. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside Artist Concept Draft proposals for bespoke Front Door & Garage Doors treatment. Image: Christopher Tipping

Rochester Riverside

I have been recently commissioned by Francis Knight Arts Consultancy, Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd and The Hyde Group, to make work for Phases 1 & 2 of the Rochester Riverside Development

I am working on this exciting architectural collaboration with the wider project team and more directly with BPTW Architects & Francis Knight.

I have completed a research and development phase and presented the outcome to the client team along with proposals for engaging with the site via artwork in cast iron and granite, embedded into footpaths to houses and threshold strips to apartment blocks. The draft presentation can be seen here: 180215 TIPPING RR PROPOSALS SM

My research has focussed primarily on the rich industrial heritage & legacy of the Rochester Riverside site. Much of this information was found within the archives and collections of Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre at Strood.

I have also consulted with other notable local agencies and organisations, such as Rochester Cathedral Library, the Guildhall Museum and John K Austin, a local Artist, writer and historian.