Woolwich SE18

Progress: Past and Present

Woolwich is an amazing cultural melting pot with transition and change the order of the day. As well as a new cultural district emerging at the Royal Arsenal, new housing and development is on the up.

Greenwich Heritage Centre
History of Greenwich

Greenwich Heritage Centre on Artillery Square is the ideal hub of information on all things in the Borough, charting the areas history as well as family connections. You can discover more about your family background using the facilities provided and by asking the approachable and knowledgable members of staff.

Greenwich Heritage Centre is a part of the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust.

The galleries are available for hire for conference meetings and other events, with excellent views of the River Thames and beyond. Find the perfect present from the gifts on sale.


Royal Arsenal
Royal Arsenal

First established in the 1600’s, the Royal Arsenal Woolwich has changed a bit over the years.

In May 1716 the first two permanent artillery companies were formed by Royal Warrant. Tower Place became the headquarters with the military acamdemy established in 1720, obtaining its warrant in 1741. Now known as the Old Royal Military Academy.

By the time of the Crimean War, activity in the weapons foundry excelled and more developments were made in solidifying the grounds as a hive of military precision. It was one of three munitions factories in the UK, and expanded its territory out to Plumstead Marshes.

During The First World War, 80,000 workers were employed in the manufacture of ammunitions and weaponry.

In 1947, William G. Penney used the base to start the UK”s Atomic Bomb Project.

In 2001, Royal Arsenal West opened up ‘The Firepower’ Artillery exhibit, dissecting the role of the gunner in Britain’s history.

Thames Barrier Information Centre
Thames Barrier information centre

The Thames barrier spans 520 metres across the Thames at Woolwich Reach with the 10 steel gates raised monthly for testing.

There is an exhibition with a 10 minute video and a working scale model. Also riverside walkways, children’s play area and Thames Barrier Cafe.

The £500 million Thames Barrier was inaugurated by HM The Queen in 1984. The Environment Agency maintains and operates the Barrier as well as the capital’s other flood defences. These defences include floodgates like the Barking Barrier, and raised river banks.

The idea for a barrier started as early as 1953, after a great flood that drowned over 300 people. Tides rushing in from the sea used to be the main cause of flooding in London.
Work on the barrier started in 1974 and took ten years to complete. To discover more please follow the link.