THEN AND NOW: PROSPECT ROW & GARDEN STREET
By Ben Levick
probably gets its name from the fact that there were once many fruit gardens
(orchards) between it and Wood Street, but these were gradually covered by
housing as Brompton grew.
Prospect Row got its name from the fine views it once had over the River Medway
and Dockyard across to Upnor, Frindsbury and Rochester.
The Cannon, Garden Street in c1920 and 2010
The Cannon pub probably
gets its name from the fact it was built next door to the Volunteer Artillery
Depot & Drill Hall. It was almost certainly the local for those volunteers after
their drill sessions. Records show the Landlord in 1920 was a Thomas Pilcher, and
it is presumably him and his family in the picture.
The Pub has changed greatly
since the 1920 photograph, most notably by the fact the upper story seems to have
been removed sometime between then and 1958. It is also now a Free House, not tied
to Truman's Brewery.
King George V & The Cannon, Garden Street, 1958 and 2010
Thank you to allhails for allowing me to use this picture.
The King George V Pub was built around 1690-1700 as two cottages which were
knocked into one to make the present building. The address is 1 Prospect Row but
the back bar, kitchen and toilets are what used to be 8 Garden Street. Documents
in the Medway archives show that in the 18th Century the property was known as
the Prince of Orange. Sometime at the end of that century or the beginning of the
next one it was changed to the King of Prussia which it remained until the start
of the First World War, when the name was changed to the more patriotic King
Beyond the King George V you can see The Cannon and the entrance to the (then
derelict) Holy Trinity Church grounds. Between the church entrance and the Cannon
Pub a small Drill Hall was built (the stone building with the sharply pointed
roof) for the local Volunteer Artillery hence the pub name. The red-brick buildings
on the corner of Garden Street and Mansion Row were the quarters for the unit
The view here has not
changed much until you go beyond the Cannon Public House. The cottages, drill
hall and churchyard seen in the 1958 photograph have been replaced by a
1990's housing development.
Rear of the King George V, Garden Street, 1958 and 2010
Thank you to allhails for allowing me to use this picture.
This picture shows the rear of the King George V pub in Garden Street. One of
the interesting features is the jumble of chimneys and rooves at the left of the
picture. A few (3 or 4) of the houses in Prospect Row still have cottages at the
end of the garden, but judging from this picture, in 1958 many more did, or they
may represent the backs of the small houses that ran south from Garden Street
along a small lane known as Queen's Court (sometimes known locally as Cannon
Alley I believe) between the Cannon Pub and the rear garden walls of Prospect
A view not much changed
since the 1958 photograph. The main change is obscured by trees, the loss of most
of the buildings whose chimneys could be seen in the left of the picture.
King of Prussia, Prospect Row/Garden Street, Brompton, 1872-1914 and 2010
As mentioned above the
King George V was originally named the Prince of Orange and later renamed the
King of Prussia (possibly spending a short time as the Prince of Prussia). Local
tradition says that at the outbreak of World War One the windows were smashed
because of the name so it was renamed to the much more patriotic King George V.
The picture is hard to date accurately, but in 1872 the pub moved into the hands
of Thomas Winch – part of the Maidstone Style and Winch brewing family. As the
Winch name is on the pub it must be after 1872, but the King of Prussia name
suggests no later than 1914. If anyone can date this photo more accurately please
let me know.
Although the name has changed,
there are not many changes since the time this was the King of Prussia.
1-3 Prospect Row, 1970, 1998 and 2010
Prospect Row is a row of 18th
century houses built from the North end between about 1700 and 1759, primarily as housing
for Naval and Army Officers. The oldest of the three is the King George V Pub. The
address is 1 Prospect Row but the back bar, kitchen and toilets are what used to be
cottages in Garden Street.
The front and upper story of No.2 were added to what was probably the pub stables, along
with a rear range in about 1709 as a Naval Officer's house, and at approximately the same
time No.3 was built.
The view in 2010 is little changed
from the earlier views. This is mainly due to the fact that all 20 of the houses on the
Eastern side of the Terrace are listed buildings.
Wesleyan Garrison Church, Prospect Row, c1900-20 and 2010
View looking south up Prospect Row.
In the foreground are the wall, railings and bank of Brompton Reservoir.
In the background is the Wesleyan Garrison Church. It opened in 1892, and in 1904 it came
under the control of the Chatham Mission under the direction of the Methodist Army and Navy
Board, and became the Garrison Church. It closed in the 1940's and was sold in 1952, then
later pulled down. (Not to be confused with the Garrison Church, Brompton, built at the top
of Military (Maxwell) Road in 1854 and still standing today.)
Beyond the church is the roof of the Royal Marines Drill Battery.
The modern view south up Prospect
Row. The wall, railings and bank seen in the earlier photo are all still there (I am not
sure if the railings are the original ones or post war replacements), but they are now the
boundary to a childrens' play park not a reservoir. The Church and buildings beyond are all
gone, replaced by a modern housing development.
RM Drill Battery & Wesleyan Garrison Church, Prospect Row, c1900-20 and 2010
The Royal Marines Drill Battery was
located between Brompton Hill and Prospect Road(now Row). It was used for training purposes
only, and was part of the RM Melville Barracks.
It allowed recruits to get the feel of both the 4" and 6" Ship board guns of the type that
they would later handle at sea. In the background is the Wesleyan Garrison Church.
The change from the earlier photo is
absolute. As far as I can see nothing from the original photograph remains!
At some point after 1922 the Royal Marines Drill Battery and the Wesleyan Garrison Church
were replaced with an Admiralty uniform cutting factory. By the early 1970s the area
occupied by the church and northern part of the battery were empty wasteland (I have
many childhood memories of hopping over the wall and playing there!)
The southern part (and much of the rest of the Marine Barracks) were turned into housing
(as seen here) in the late 20th Century. This photo was taken in Hawkins Close although
the houses in center shot are in Prospect Row