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The Metropolitan Borough of Deptford was a Metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965, when it became part of the London Borough of Lewishammarker along with the Metropolitan Borough of Lewishammarker.

Deptford Town Hall was built between 1903 and 1905 on New Cross Road. The building is in a grand baroque style, featuring carvings of triton and admirals to emphasise Deptford's maritime heritage. It is now used by Goldsmiths College.

History

The borough covered the same area of the parish of St Paul Deptford, which had been separated from the neighbouring parish of St Nicholas Deptford to its north in 1730. The rateable values of the two parishes had been roughly equal when they were separated, but St Paul contained all the farmland to the south, the majority of which was built on over the next 170 years.

When the Metropolitan Borough was created, consideration was given to reuniting the two parishes, but a closer equalisation of rateable value was served by uniting St Nicholas with Greenwichmarker to the east.

The growth of the Londonmarker conurbation had reached Deptford by the end of the eighteenth century but it had been a large industrial town well before this time: the Royal Docks and the Victualling Yard, which provisioned the Navy, and the various private dockyards, meant it was a prosperous and cosmopolitan town.

Geography

The borough bordered Bermondseymarker, Greenwichmarker, Lewishammarker and Camberwellmarker.

The borough covered an area of and included the localities of St Paul Deptfordmarker, Brockleymarker, New Crossmarker, and St John'smarker.

Area and population

The area of the borough was . The population from each census was:

Civil Parish of St Paul Deptford, 1801-1899
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Population 11,349 12,748 14,481 15,314 18,664 24,899 37,834 53,714 76,752 101,286
Metropolitan Borough 1900-1961
Year 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961
Population 110,398 109,496 112,534 106,891 75,495 68,829


Coat of arms

The borough did not have an officially granted coat of arms, instead using a device of their own design.

The three choughs in the first quarter represent the county of Surreymarker. They were taken from the arms of Onslow family, one-time lords of the manor of Guildfordmarker. The fourth quarter showed a white horse on red, representative of the county of Kentmarker. Before 1889 the area of the borough was divided between the two counties. The second quarter showed a quarter ship on the stocks, for the naval dockyard. The remaining quarter of the shield was a portrait of Peter the Great of Russia, who learnt the art of naval architecture in Deptford.

Above the shield was a mural crown, representing municipal government. On either side was an heraldic dolphin entwining a trident.

References


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