Sitting in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, there has been a thriving community in Woolwich since medieval times. In 1512 the Royal Dockyard was opened by Henry VIII and tasked with building the ‘Great Harry’ warship, which kick-started naval expansion. This was swiftly followed with the establishment of the Royal Arsenal, the Royal Horse Artillery, the Woolwich Dockyard and the Royal Military Academy.
Continuing its military contribution, Woolwich has the rather grand claim to fame of having been the heart of the military-industrial complex of the British Empire whilst it was at its superpower heights. Evidence of Woolwich’s military past can still be seen in some of its buildings today, which are decorated with curlicues, huge porticos and Portland stone masonry. It hasn’t entirely lost its military affiliations, either, as the 2012 Olympic shooting events took place in Woolwich.
Whilst the arms manufacturers and dockers have all shipped out now – the MoD finally left the area in 1994 – new luxury apartments have been popping up all over Woolwich. The most notable of these is the Royal Arsenal development, which was bought and transformed into high-end residential apartments by Barratt Homes and Berkeley Homes.
Fulfilling your lifestyle dreams…
You might be surprised to learn that Woolwich was home to the very first UK branch of McDonalds which was opened in 1974… If your palate is a little more refined, the Dial Arch public house is a local favourite, serving a traditional and locally sourced British menu. For a snack on the go, or maybe to pick up some exotic supplies for your own kitchen, take a walk through Beresford Square Market, where you can find a range of foodie delights from all over the world.
If you have a bit of time to kill, you can catch a Thames Clipper into central London, giving you an excellent view of the Woolwich Dockyards along the way. For history buffs, the area’s military past means it is awash with museums and sites of historical interest – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Woolwich is due to welcome The Elizabeth Line (formerly Crossrail) in 2018, which will connect Woolwich to Heathrow and from there, the rest of the world. Woolwich Arsenal DLR station (Zone 4) connects Woolwich to the City, getting you to Bank in around 27 minutes and Canary Wharf in approx. 22 minutes. Buses serving Woolwich include the 51, 53, 244, 291 and 386.
Families will love
For history lovers, you can’t do better than a day out at Royal Woolwich Arsenal, which houses a collection of historic military buildings. Once you’ve had your fill of history, rumour has it that the Cornerstone Cafe at the Arsenal serves a delicious pulled pork bun. Kids will love the Wet n Wild attraction at the Waterfront Leisure Centre and the Firepower exhibition at the Royal Artillery Museum.
There are lots of primary schools in and around Woolwich including Christ Church C of E Primary School, Cardwell Primary School and Bannockburn Primary School. Plus the Greenwich Free School is a local secondary. To discover properties within the catchment area, contact Franklyn James, sales and letting agents Woolwich.