The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 49 Greenwich and Woolwich


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Beyond Greenwich the railway passes through a tunnel, leaving the hospital on the left. - 6+ miles Maze Hill, for East Greenwich. 7miles Westcombe Park. 7+ miles Charlton. Spencer Perceval is buried in the parish church. 8+ miles Woolwich Dockyard, 9+ miles Woolwich Arsenal, stations for Woolwich (King's Arms), on the south bank of the Thames, 9 miles below London Bridge, the military arsenal of Great Britain and an important garrison town. In 1921 the population of the borough (which includes Plumstead and Eltham) was 140,403, i.e. very nearly double the pre-war (1911) figure. Woolwich Arsenal, to the north-east of the town, covers an area 3+ miles long by 2+ miles broad and is the largest establishment of the kind in the world. Every kind of munitions of war is produced here. Some 90,000 workers (17,000 women) were employed here during the War; in peace time the number sinks to 10,000. Visitors are admitted on Thursday (2-4.30 p.m.) by permits obtained from the War Office or from the Chief Superintendent of the Ordnance Factories at the Arsenal (foreigners through their ambassadors). Bombs were dropped within the Arsenal on October 13-14th, 1915. At the Royal Dockyard, to the west, dating from the early years of Henry VIII. many famous old wooden men-of-war were built; closed as a dockyard in 1869, it was afterwards used for military stores, and in 1926 it was offered for sale. On the river between these establishments are Woolwich Pier and the pier for the Free Ferry to North Woolwich, on the north bank of the Thames, to which also a Subway leads under the river.