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Found within the Royal Borough of Greenwich, this historic south-east London district has contributed enormously to the industrial and military sectors. A community in Woolwich has existed since early medieval ages, dating back to the 1300’s and in 1512, Henry VIII opened the Royal Dockyard in order to build the ‘Great Harry’, the construction of which led to major naval expansion in the area. Various military establishments were built, such as The Royal Arsenal, The Royal Military Academy, The Royal Horse Artillery and The Woolwich Dockyard.

The Crossrail, a new railway service for London and the South East, is facilitating the regeneration of Woolwich. The new addition, which reaches from Reading in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, will decrease the time it takes to travel to central London from Woolwich as Greenwich council aims to have around 6 trains running an hour, with the journey from Woolwich to Tottenham Court Road will be 14 minutes. The new railway will no doubt benefit residents and commuters who travel daily to the area. The scheme is set for completion in 2018.

In 1886, a group of workers started a local football club in Dial Square in the arsenal and the club soon adopted the name Woolwich Arsenal. Even though it moved to Highbury in 1913 and dropped Woolwich from its name long ago, fans today still refer to Arsenal as the ‘Gunners’.

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Shopping and Culture

Woolwich town centre is largely dominated by budget stores, despite having a large Tesco in the popular new town square. There is a busy market and along the main shopping street, Powis Street, there are branches of TK Maxx and Primark, New Look as well as a good mix of independent shops. The high spot in Powis Street is artFix, which describes itself as a café, learning centre, a co-working space and an exhibition and performance venue.

Woolwich also has a range of quality eateries, including three gastropubs, The Guard House, Dial Arch and The Taproom. The Cornerstone café is an independent coffee shop and Con Gusto is a small Italian restaurant housed in a former guardhouse. There is also a twice-monthly farmers’ market.

Sport and Leisure

Woolwich common is a popular spot with dog walkers and joggers. On the Charlton side, Maryon Park, Gilberts Pit and Maryon Wilson Park are local nature reserves on the site of old sand pits. On the Plumstead side, Shrewsbury Park has views, a football pitch and an active friends group.

For those who are after a more cultural day out, there are two museums in the Woolwich Arsenal: Firepower the Museum of the Royal Artillery and the Greenwich Heritage Centre which is the local museum. There is also a visitors centre and café at the Thames Barrier and the nearest council-owned swimming pool is the Waterfront Leisure Centre in Woolwich High Street that has a 25 metre pool, leisure pool with slides and a wave machine, ideal place for a day out with the family. The Shooters Hill Golf Club is an 18-hole golf club with views over to Kent in Eaglesfield Road.

Primary and Secondary Education

1. Cardwell Primary School is a larger than average school located on Frances Street. The school has a diverse ethnic population and the proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported at school action is above average. The school also makes provisions for the Early Years Foundation Stage in a Nursey class and two Reception classes and there is an on-site children’s centre.

2. Bannockburn Primary School has approximately 816 mixed gender pupils aged 3 – 11 and has recently expanded to the provision is now across two sites. The school has been recognised by the Department of Education as being among the top 250 schools nationally in terms of the progress disadvantaged pupils make in Key Stage 2. I was also chosen to be part of the Mayor of London’s Gold Club and was awarded the Governor Mark in 2013.

3. Plumstead Manor is an all-girls comprehensive school for pupils aged 11-19 with a mixed sixth form. The school has an on-site resourced provision for pupils who have special educational needs or disability and those who have moderate learning difficulties and the school also uses two alternative providers for a small number of pupils who have complex needs, both of which are located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

4. Woolwich Polytechnic School is an all-boys secondary school with a co-educational sixth form for pupils aged 11 – 18. There is also plans to open a girls school, set to open in September 2019. In 2016, the school received Outstanding from OFSTED for behaviour and support over 20 other London schools through their work with the Partners in Excellence.


Woolwich is very well connected with access to the DLR from Woolwich Arsenal to Bank and Canary Wharf and with the arrival of the Crossrail in 2018, transport is about to get even better for the area. With the new rail addition, the journey time to Canary Wharf will be reduced to 8 minutes, 14 minutes to Liverpool Street and just 22 minutes to Bond Street.

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