Green Lewisham is in the final stages before printing so I need a new challenge and I am going to explore Eltham! Gravel Pit Lane in Eltham is an old lane, probably hundreds of years old judging by the trees which line the path. Miraculously it has escaped the developers and so offers a magical little walk between two busy main roads.

How old is the lane?

The lane is marked on a map of 1801 by William Mudge 1 when it was a lane through farmland. And today it runs alongside the Warren Golf Course which was Eltham Park on the OS map of 1870. The OS map of 18982 shows the section of the golf course between today’s Eltham Park South and the Bexley Road was a gravel pit and on the opposite side of the lane was a sand pit. But the name ‘Gravel Pit Lane’ was used on the earlier map so perhaps it was simply less exact.

There are several very substantial oak trees in the lane which also point to the age of the path although none are listed in the Ancient Tree Inventory.

Two old oak trees in Gravel Pit Lane
Two very old oak trees in the lane

Warren Golf Club

The glimpses of the golf course through the railings show beautiful parkland – it would be wonderful for walking! I found a pond which appears on old maps and which apparently fed the conduit head taking water to Eltham Palace.

Warren Golf Course alongside Gravel Pit Lane
Warren Golf Course
The pond in the Warren Golf Course alongside Gravel Pit Lane
The pond which feeds Conduit Head?

A winter walk

On a sunny day Gravel Pit Lane is a beautiful short walk although slightly muddy in places.

Gravel Pit Lane heading to Riefield Road
The lane heading towards Riefield Road
Old oak trees in the lane
The lane in very early January with the Warren Golf Course on the right

I have lived in London for many years and it is always thrilling to find somewhere I haven’t been and which is also enchanting, and historic.