Woolwich Common, Woolwich, Greater London: An Archaeological Survey of Woolwich Common and Its Environs

Author(s): Sarah Newsome, Andrew Williams

A rapid analytical earthwork survey ofWoolwich Common was undertaken in May 2008 by English Heritage's Archaeological Survey and Investigation team as part of the background research for the Survey of London's forthcoming volume on the parish of Woolwich. The research also involved examination of readily accessible documentary and cartographic sources, an examination of aerial photographs for the area and a rapid walk-over survey of other open spaces immediately adjacent to the common and the Royal Military Academy, including the site of the 19th-century practice battery located to the south of the academy. The research has revealed the extent to which the common and the surrounding open spaces played a major role in training, recreation and celebration, for both the military and the civilian inhabitants of Woolwich, and the sometimes conflicting nature of these activities. The common and the adjacent open spaces also assumed many practical functions in times of military conflict. The research has demonstrated that the long and complex history of the common's use has lessened the chance of evidence of early uses of the common of surviving in earthwork form, a large zigzag trench at the northern end of the common being the main exception, and that the presence of the Royal Artillery barracks, Royal Military Academy and Royal Horse Artillery adjacent to the common has had a fundamental impact on its character.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Modern Post Medieval Analytical Landscape Survey


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