Martin House stands on the site of Blackheath Literary Institute, just by the side of the Railway station.
The Blackheath Literary Institution was built by public subscription in 1845, behind Nos 3-9 Tranquil Vale. Despite the enthusiasm for the venture, it was very small as an auditorium and failed within 20 years.
By 1958 the building had been bought, probably by Whittaker at No 5-7 Tranquil Vale. The rooms were kept as a newpspaper reading room and lecture hall until the mid 1860s. Although much altered over the years, it remained part of the workshop premises of No 5 & 7 Tranquil Vale until the mid 1940 when it was damaged by a bomb blast.
The shell of the building was bought by the Blackheath Preservation Trust in 1952 and eventually was rebuilt in 1975, retaining some of the original walls and shape.
The current building is named after AR Martin, who died in 1974 but who contributed so much to Blackheath life, being a founder member of the Blackheath Society and the Blackheath Preservation Trust.
Upon his death, he bequeathed his personal archive - a huge collection - to the Greenwich Heritage Centre.
Category:Architecture and Structures
Keywords:1 Tranquil Vale, AR, Greenwich Heritage Centre, Hinds, Martin, Martin, Martin House, No 1 Tranquil Vale