Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
Deptford within the County of London
|• 1911||1,563 acres (6.33 km2)|
|• 1931/1961||1,564 acres (6.33 km2)|
|• Origin||St Paul Deptford parish|
|• Succeeded by||London Borough of Lewisham|
|Government||Deptford Borough Council|
|• HQ||New Cross Road|
Coat of arms adopted by the borough council
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 Lewisham along with the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham.
Deptford Town Hall was built between 1903 and 1905 on New Cross Road. The building is in a grand baroque style, featuring carvings of tritons and admirals to emphasise Deptford's maritime heritage. It is now used by Goldsmiths College.
The borough covered the same area of the parish of Deptford St Paul, which had been separated from the neighbouring parish of Deptford St Nicholas 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 Greenwich to the east.
The growth of the London 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.
Population and area
The area of the borough was 1,563 acres (6.3 km2). The population from each census was:
St Paul Deptford Civil Parish 1801-1899
Metropolitan Borough 1900-1961
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 Surrey. They were taken from the arms of Onslow family, one-time lords of the manor of Guildford. The fourth quarter showed a white horse on red, representative of the county of Kent. 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.
Under the Metropolis Management Act 1855 any parish that exceeded 2,000 ratepayers was to be divided into wards; as such the parish of St Paul Deptford was divided into four wards (electing vestrymen): No. 1 or North (15), No. 2 or South (21), No. 3 or East (18) and No. 4 or West (18).
For elections to Parliament, the borough was represented by one constituency:
- Statistical Abstract for London, 1901 (Vol. IV); Census tables for Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
- Deptford MetB: Census Tables - Vision of Britain accessed 16 Jun 2007
- The census was suspended for World War II
- The London Gazette Issue: 21802. 20 October 1855. pp. 3902–3903. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
- Post Office London County Suburbs Directory, 1919. 1919. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Ordnance Survey 'County Series 3rd Edition' Map of London (1912-14) at 1:2500 scale. Accessed at https://www.old-maps.co.uk/
- Robert Donald, ed. (1907). "London: Deptford". Municipal Year Book of the United Kingdom for 1907. London: Edward Lloyd.