Crowley House, Greenwich, from the east

(Updated, March 2022) Crowley House was one of many fine 17th- and 18th-century Greenwich residences, begun in 1647 by the royalist London merchant Sir Andrew Cogan. It was sold in 1651 to the Regicide MP, Gregory Clement, who completed the house but was executed in 1660. George Bouwerman, who then occupied it to 1677, held a contract from Charles II to ballast Navy ships from Ballast Quay, to the east, and in 1704 his successor, Nicholas Cook, sold it to the Newcastle ironfounder, Sir Ambrose Crowley. His alterations added working buildings (see PAH0113), and Thomas Pennant later in the century reported the grounds scattered with Crowley company anchors and other ironware.

Owned by the Millington family from 1805, the House was demolished in May 1855 after failing to find a new buyer and Greenwich Power Station now stands on the site, of which the riverfront still has the name of Crowley's Wharf. Henry H. Drake redrew copies of this image, PAH3264 and PAH3266, as lithograph sketches in his 1886 edition of 'Hasted's History of Kent' (vol. 1), where this faces p. 77. His captions say that Stanfield drew the originals in 1859 for 'J. Livingston Jay Esq., Greenwich', whose initials as a knowledgeable informant frequently appear in Drake's footnotes. He was in fact the Assistant Secretary of Greenwich Hospital and wrote an account of it of which no copy is known. If 1859 is correct, Stanfield must have worked from earlier sketches. He had been Honorary Curator of the Naval Gallery at Greenwich Hospital from 1844 and could have made these on his own initiative before the house was demolished, even if Jay only asked him later for worked up versions. Another almost identical to this one appeared at auction in Exeter in 2013. The other two have more the impression of being studies made in the house.

Immediately beyond the House (west) is the tower of the Trinity Hospital almshouse, founded by Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, in 1613 and remodelled in 'gothick' style in 1812. In the centre, three posts mark the east end of Crane Street behind the riverside Crown and Sceptre tavern (replaced in the 1930s by Highbridge Wharf). The bow windows of the Trafalgar Tavern overlook the river further on. On the far right, beyond Greenwich Hospital, a small river steamer leaves Greenwich Pier, with the 'Dreadnought' merchant seamen's hospital ship moored a little further upstream. The figures on the riverwalk include Greenwich Pensioners in their blue uniforms.

Object Details

ID: PAH3265
Collection: Fine art
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Stanfield, Clarkson
Places: Greenwich
Date made: circa 1854-59
People: Stanfield, Clarkson
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 368 x 377 mm; Mount: 481 mm x 633 mm

Your Request

If an item is shown as “offsite”, please allow eight days for your order to be processed. For further information, please contact Archive staff:

Tel: (during Library opening hours)

Click “Continue” below to continue processing your order with the Library team.