Charlton is a district of south east London, England, within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is located east of Greenwich and west of Woolwich. It is 7.2 miles (11.6 km) east-southeast of Charing Cross. 'Charlton next Woolwich' was an ancient parish in the county of Kent, which became part of the metropolitan area of London in 1855. It is home to Charlton Athletic F.C. and to Charlton House.
|Population||14,385 (2011 census for Charlton ward)|
|OS grid reference|
|• Charing Cross||7.2 mi (11.6 km) WNW|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Charlton is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Cerletone. It is formed from Old English 'ceorl' and 'tūn' and means 'farmstead of the freemen or peasants'. It is a common English placename and the parish was also known as Charlton next Woolwich to distinguish it from Charlton by Dover. During the 19th century the riverside portion of the area became known as New Charlton.
Charlton is assessed in the Domesday Book of 1086 at one "sulung", which is commonly held to have been the equivalent of two hides. In 1086 it was in the fee of Gundulf, bishop of Rochester, but in 1066 it had been held from the king as two estates, by two brothers, named Godwine and Alweard. Though assessed at only one sulung, it had a slightly higher value than might be expected, at £7, both in 1066 and in 1086. A church dedicated to St Luke is recorded in the village as early as 1077, although no trace of the medieval building survives.
In 1093, the manor of Charlton was given to Bermondsey Abbey by Bishop Robert Bloet of Lincoln. In 1268, the Abbey was granted a Monday market at Charlton, as well as an annual fair of three days, centred on Trinity Sunday, the eighth Sunday after Easter.
Between 1607 and 1612, Sir Adam Newton, tutor to Prince Henry, eldest son of James I, had a new manor house, Charlton House, built in the village. The Jacobean mansion by architect John Thorpe was never used by the prince, who died in 1612. On the northern edge of the house's garden is a mulberry tree planted in 1608 by order of King James in an effort to cultivate silkworms. On the death of Sir Adam, his executors Peter Newton and David Cunningham, 1st Baronet of Auchinhervie were charged to rebuild St Luke's Church.
The manor was subsequently acquired by the colonial administrator Sir William Langhorne, 1st Baronet, who is buried in the parish church. Upon his death without issue in 1715, his possessions in Charlton and Hampstead passed to the Conyers baronets, and subsequently to the Maryon-Wilson baronets.
In the early 18th century, Charlton was described by Daniel Defoe as:
a village famous, or rather infamous for the yearly collected rabble of mad-people, at Horn-Fair; the rudeness of which I cannot but think, is such as ought to be suppressed, and indeed in a civiliz'd well govern'd nation, it may well be said to be unsufferable. The mob indeed at that time take all kinds of liberties, and the women are especially impudent for that day; as if it was a day that justify'd the giving themselves a loose to all manner of indecency and immodesty, without any reproach, or without suffering the censure which such behaviour would deserve at another time. (from A Tour through Great Britain)
The Horn Fair (or Charlton Fair) was held regularly on 18 October each year, and retained its reputation for lawlessness; in 1833, for example, police arrested a swindler who had cheated several artillerymen. In 1857, following the abolition of nearby Greenwich Fair, Charlton Fair was described in the Morning Chronicle as "more like a carnival of the very worst and most vulgar class than any fair in the country." The Horn Fair was abolished, along with the livestock fairs of nearby Blackheath, by order of Henry Austin Bruce, the reforming Home Secretary.
In the early nineteenth century, Spencer Perceval, the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated, was buried at St Luke's church; Perceval's wife having been a member of the Maryon-Wilson family. In 1843, Charlton was the site of the death and burial of murdered civil servant Edward Drummond, whose assassination led to the establishment of the M'Naghten Rules for legal insanity.
The flat land adjoining the Thames at Charlton Riverside has been a significant industrial area since Victorian times. The establishment of heavy industry centred on Charlton Pier, and led to a number of serious fires in the area in the mid 19th century. A notable establishment was the Siemens Brothers Telegraph Works (although largely in the parish of Woolwich) opened in 1863, which manufactured two new transatlantic cables in the 1880s, and contributed to PLUTO in World War 2. It was in this industrialised area that Charlton Athletic F.C. was established in 1905, before moving a short distance to The Valley in 1919.
From 1903 to 1913, the Italian writer Italo Svevo lived in a house on Charlton Church Lane which now bears a blue plaque in his honour. He had arrived there in his capacity as a director in a Trieste firm selling high-quality underwater paint for ships, on whose behalf he established a factory in Charlton's Anchor and Hope Lane, fulfilling a big contract with the British Royal Navy.
The non-ferrous foundry of J. Stone & Co moved to Charlton from Deptford in 1917, and produced 22,000 propellers for the Royal Navy during World War II (its products being fitted to battleships, aircraft carriers, cruisers and numerous smaller vessels), plus propellers and water-tight doors for RMS Queen Mary, RMS Queen Elizabeth and Royal Yacht Britannia. In 1963 Stone's marine propeller business merged with Manganese Bronze (also originally founded in Deptford, in 1882, before relocating to Millwall and then Birkenhead in 1941) and manufacture moved to Birkenhead. Stone Foundries still operates at Charlton, in a plant established in 1939 to produce aluminium and magnesium light alloy castings mainly for the aircraft industry, and production of nails and rivets continues at nearby Stone Fasteners.
The estates surrounding Charlton House were gradually broken up, and once the Maryon-Wilson family died out in 1925, the surviving open spaces were converted into public parks, two of which bear the family name. The house itself became the property of the local authority (currently the Royal Borough of Greenwich) and is used as a library and community centre. Maryon Park was used as the filming location for the pivotal murder scene in Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up (1966).
Charlton has formed part of the London Borough of Greenwich (now the Royal Borough of Greenwich) since its formation in 1965. Prior to that it was the easternmost part of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich, which succeeded the Lee, formerly Plumstead, District in 1900. Before the passage of the Metropolis Management Act 1855, Charlton was a civil parish in its own right.
Within the borough, Charlton is mainly covered by the ward of the same name. Charlton's riverside areas are part of the Woolwich Riverside ward, which also includes Woolwich Dockyard and Arsenal. Charlton has had only Labour councillors since 1971, while Woolwich Riverside has been Labour-controlled since its creation in 2002.
In the Westminster parliament, Charlton is covered by the Greenwich and Woolwich constituency, which has been represented by Matthew Pennycook since 2015. In the London Assembly, Charlton falls within the Greenwich and Lewisham constituency, which has been represented by Labour's Len Duvall since its creation in 2000.
The centre of Charlton, known as Charlton Village, lies on the edge of high ground about 7 miles east-south-east of central London, on the B210. West of the village the main road is called Charlton Road, and to the east, Charlton Park Road; the road itself is called 'The Village' in the village centre. A preserved model K2 red telephone box stands on Charlton Road. A minor road called Charlton Church Lane leads north down the hill from St Luke's Church to the station and the A206. Beyond the railway line lies the more heavily industrial riverside area referred to as New Charlton or Charlton Riverside.
Charlton is also home to several parks of varying features, namely Maryon Park, Maryon Wilson Park, Hornfair Park, named in reference to the old Horn Fair, and Charlton Park, which is largely made up of sports pitches or playing fields. Adjoining Maryon Park is the Gilbert's Pit Site of Special Scientific Interest, which was formerly a major site of sand extraction. Most of the parks lie in the area once covered by Hanging Wood.
The architecture of Charlton is diverse, offering an insight into how different parts of the area were built up, as it evolved from a Thames-side village into the London suburb that it is today. Charlton gave its name to Charlton House, and has links with the classic architect Inigo Jones, a street being named after him. Other streets in Charlton named after prominent figures or places include Montcalm, Henry, Prince of Wales, Canberra, and Kashmir. There are four main pubs within the vicinity of Charlton Village, including The Bugle Horn, a late 17th-century coaching inn. A major landmark on the north side of the village is The Valley stadium, home to Charlton Athletic F.C. since 1919.
New Charlton is the site of the southern end of the Thames Barrier, including the Barrier's main operational area and visitor centre. In 2013, a university technical college named Royal Greenwich UTC opened its campus nearby, under the auspices of the University of Greenwich.
According to the 2011 UK census, the population of the Charlton ward was 14,385. 52.4% of the population was White and from a mainland British or Northern Irish background; the next largest ethnic groups were Black African (10.6%) and White (Other) (9.3%). The population included people of every British and Irish national identity except Cornish. 81.8% of residents spoke English as a first language; of the remainder, the greatest proportion spoke Nepalese. 47.2% of the population were Christians and 29.1% had no religion; 8.4% stated no religion, and the next largest religious group was Muslims with 6.8% of the population.
Of 5,739 households in the ward, 1,796 (31.3%) contained no adults in employment. Out of an active workforce of 6,698 people, 11.8% worked in wholesale, retail or auto repair; 11.4% in education, and 11.4% in health and social care. 22.8% of those employed worked in professional occupations 42.95 of people in the ward were aged 20–44.
Charlton Village retains a number of traditional businesses including an ironmonger. However, a much larger shopping area is located in New Charlton, to the north, including the Greenwich Shopping Park, the Peninsula Retail Park and Stone Lake Retail Park. A new Sainsbury's superstore opened in 2015 between Woolwich Road and Bugsby's Way. This new store replaced the Greenwich Peninsula branch, itself less than 15 years old and hailed at the time of its opening as a 'supermarket of the future'. Sainsbury's also has a large distribution centre in New Charlton; it was rebuilt and expanded in 2012 and re-opened by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in 2013.
New Charlton is also home to the area's surviving heavy industry. In the 19th century the area was dominated by a large ropewalk and other maritime businesses. In recent years marine aggregates have predominated, including the major facility at Angerstein Wharf which incorporates the former Christie's Wharf site.
Until the 19th century, mineral extraction was a major local industry. The Valley stadium stands on the site of a large chalk pit, while Gilbert's Pit once supplied central London with most of its sand for domestic use. Gilbert's Pit is the only remnant of this industry which has not been built over.
The first recorded place of worship in Charlton is St Luke's Church, originally a chalk and flint building known to have existed in the 11th century. Rebuilt in the Jacobean style in 1630, it is now the parish church of a Church of England parish in the Modern Catholic tradition. The building was expanded with a new organ chamber and chancel in 1840, and new vestries in 1956. The church is listed as grade 2*, indicating a structure of 'more than special interest'. It is the burial place of several generations of the lords of the manor of Charlton, and of murdered British prime minister Spencer Perceval.
A second Anglican church, dedicated to St Thomas, and known as St Thomas Old Charlton, was built in 1848-50. Designed in the Romanesque style by architect Joseph Gwilt and his son John Sebastian Gwilt, it was consecrated on 31 July 1850. It is currently shared between the Anglican parish based at St Lukes and the British Orthodox Church congregation of St Thomas the Apostle; the building is grade II listed. A third Anglican church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was built in New Charlton in 1894, designed by John Rowland. It was listed in 1973, but was declared redundant in 1974 and demolished in 1975 to be replaced by a block of flats.
The Roman Catholic church of Our Lady of Grace was established by the Assumptionists Order. They settled in Charlton in 1903 after being expelled from France in 1900 due to suppression of Holy Orders. The first nuns moved into Highcombe and set up a mission in Charlton. The current church was built in 1905 and celebrated its centenary on 17 September 2005 with a concelebrated ecumenical mass, led by Archbishop Kevin McDonald and parish priest, Fr. Michael Leach. The church has strong historic links with the Irish community in south east London which are evident in the statue of Saint Patrick on display inside. The current presbytery was once the home of William Henry Barlow (1812–1902), the eminent 19th century engineer, who designed St. Pancras Railway Station and for whom English Heritage have erected a blue plaque in recognition; it is also grade II listed.
Other churches in the area include Charlton Tabernacle of the New Testament Church of God on Charlton Church Lane; the Anglican church of St Richard; a United Reformed Church on Wyndcliff Road; and several evangelical free churches in and around New Charlton. Charlton also has a small mosque providing services for men and women in the Bareilvi Sufi tradition.
Charlton is located between the A206 to the north and the A207 to the south. The southern approach of the Blackwall Tunnel crossing of the River Thames is located to the west, while the South Circular Road lies some way to the east.
A Metropolitan Police car pound is located in west Charlton, off Eastcombe Avenue.
Andy "The Viking" Fordham (born 2 February 1962) is an English darts player. He plays for the British Darts Organisation, and won the 2004 BDO World Darts Championship and the 1999 Winmau World Masters.Bill Whittaker (footballer)
William Paul Whittaker (20 December 1922 – 30 August 1977) was an English professional football wing half, who played in the Football League for Charlton Athletic, Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace. He guested for eight additional clubs during the Second World War. Whittaker later played for and managed Eastern Counties League club Cambridge United.Charlton House
Charlton House is a Jacobean building in Charlton, today part of south-east London, but until 1889 in the county of Kent. Originally a residence for a nobleman associated with the Stuart royal family, it later served as a wartime hospital, then a museum and library, and is now a community centre.Charlton Park, Greenwich
Charlton Park is a public park in Charlton, in south-east London, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is situated east of Charlton village and Charlton House, and south of Charlton Park Road (the B210, linking Woolwich and Blackheath).
The park has a floodlit all-weather sports pitch, and several grass pitches for football and rugby. It also features an 'adiZone' outdoor gym (provided by Adidas to host boroughs of the 2012 Summer Olympics), and a playground with integrated access for wheelchair users. A Japanese-style herb garden and a pond garden have also been provided for visitors with visual or physical disabilities. South-east of Charlton House are two walled gardens, one of which was opened in July 2006 as a Peace Garden, in conjunction with Amnesty International.The adjacent Charlton Park Academy (a special school for students aged 11–19, with low incidence special educational needs) takes its name from the Park.Charlton Riverside
Charlton Riverside, previously known as New Charlton, is the area along the south bank of the river Thames at Charlton, London, which forms part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It was formerly a primarily industrial zone, known for the glass and rope making industries, but is now an area of regeneration.Charlton Stadium
Charlton Stadium was a greyhound racing stadium in Charlton, London.Charlton railway station
Charlton railway station is a railway station in Charlton, Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is 7 miles 44 chains (12.2 km) measured from London Charing Cross. The station is operated by Southeastern. Trains serving the station are operated by Southeastern and Thameslink. It is in Travelcard Zone 3.
Charlton station is within walking distance of The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic F.C. It was first opened in 1849 by the South Eastern Railway on the North Kent Line and is close to the junction where the routes via Greenwich and Lewisham converge (the link from Greenwich and Maze Hill being completed in 1878).Dave Berry (presenter)
David Robert "Dave" Berry (born 14 September 1978 in Lewisham, London) is a British TV and radio presenter. Berry presented The Capital Breakfast Show alongside George Shelley and Lilah Parsons. It was announced in February 2017 that he would be joining Absolute Radio from 2 October 2017 to host a new weekday show.Flinders Petrie
Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, FRS, FBA (3 June 1853 – 28 July 1942), commonly known as Flinders Petrie, was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and preservation of artefacts. He held the first chair of Egyptology in the United Kingdom, and excavated many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt in conjunction with his wife, Hilda Petrie. Some consider his most famous discovery to be that of the Merneptah Stele, an opinion with which Petrie himself concurred.Petrie developed the system of dating layers based on pottery and ceramic findings.Gilbert's Pit
Gilbert's Pit is a 5.2-hectare (13-acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Charlton in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It was notified in 1985 and was formerly known as Charlton Sand Pit. It is a Geological Conservation Review site. It is also part of the Maryon Wilson Park and Gilbert's Pit Local Nature Reserve. It adjoins Maryon Park and is close to Maryon Wilson Park.Jane Kelly (artist)
Jane Kelly (born 7 May 1956) is a journalist and artist, affiliated with the Stuckist art group. She was dismissed from the Daily Mail after exhibiting a painting of serial killer Myra Hindley.Maryon Park
Maryon Park is an urban public park located in Charlton in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is situated on the A206 south of the Thames Barrier. There is access from Woolwich Road, Charlton Lane and Thorntree Road. It is part of the Maryon Wilson Park and Gilbert's Pit Local Nature Reserve.Maryon Wilson Park
Maryon Wilson Park is a public park on Thorntree Road, Charlton, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Together with the neighbouring Maryon Park and Gilbert's Pit, it is a Local Nature Reserve.The park is known for its animal park where tours are conducted (although not required); tours typically take two hours and give children the opportunity to feed, pet and interact with the animals. Free public tours are led by the Park Ranger Service every Wednesday starting at 1.30 pm. The tours are strictly limited to the first 50 people on the day. Tours begin at the deer pen.
The park is referenced in the Squeeze song "Patchouli" from the album The Knowledge.Ralph Lilley Turner
Sir Ralph Lilley Turner MC (5 October 1888 – 22 April 1983) was an English Indian languages philologist and university administrator. He is notable for composing an Indo-Aryan comparative dictionary. He is also the author of some publications concerning the Romani language.Royal Greenwich Trust School
Royal Greenwich Trust School is a free school created out of a former University Technical College which opened in the Charlton Riverside area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London, England in September 2013. The campus is located along the A206 near the banks of the River Thames, close to the Thames Barrier. It is adjacent to Windrush Primary School.Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier prevents the floodplain of most of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea. It has been operational since 1982. When needed, it is closed (raised) during high tide; at low tide it can be opened to restore the river's flow towards the sea. Built approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) due east of the Isle of Dogs, its northern bank is in Silvertown in the London Borough of Newham and its southern bank is in the New Charlton area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.The Valley (London)
The Valley is a 27,111 capacity sports stadium located in Charlton, London, England and has been the home of Charlton Athletic Football Club since 1992. It is served by Charlton railway station, which is less than a five-minute walk away from the stadium. Alternatively, you can use the Jubilee line, exiting at North Greenwich, where you can change for route 161, 472 and 486 buses, which stop outside the stadium.William Henry Barlow
William Henry Barlow FRS FRSE FICE MIMechE (10 May 1812 – 12 November 1902) was an English civil engineer of the 19th century, particularly associated with railway engineering projects. Barlow was involved in many engineering enterprises. He was engineer for the Midland Railway on its London extension and designed the company's London terminus at St Pancras.
With John Hawkshaw, he completed Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge. Following the Tay Bridge disaster he sat on the commission which investigated the causes and designed the replacement Tay Bridge. Barlow was also an inventor and experimenter, patenting a design for a rail and carrying out investigations on the use and design of steel structures.William MacBean George Colebrooke
Sir William MacBean George Colebrooke, (9 November 1787 – 6 February 1870) was an English career soldier and colonial administrator who became lieutenant governor of New Brunswick in 1841.
Places adjacent to Charlton, London
|Parks and open spaces|
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