About The Royal Arsenal
A large-scale, new community of homes, cafes, bars, shops and services built on the site of a 300-year-old munitions site. Boasting superb connections to all of London, the area is a vibrant neighbourhood with a mix of restored Georgian buildings and bold contemporary apartment blocks.
A short history
The Royal Arsenal was officially established in 1805 with the aim to make it the world’s foremost munitions works. By the start of the First World War, it covered 1,285 acres. Including its testing ranges, the site measured three miles by one mile and had three internal railway systems. At the height of its power, it employed over 70,000.
Following the end of the Second World War, and the subsequent decline in demand for weapons, the arsenal diversified into manufacturing products for civilian purposes including railway trucks and automated equipment for silk weaving. Military use of the Royal Arsenal stopped in 1994 and the buildings were taken over by a development company.
The area became derelict but following a £1.5billion mixed-use regeneration scheme, the former brownfield site has been transformed into a thriving community.
Green spaces and going out
Royal Arsenal Gardens is a riverfront park which stands on the site of the former Woolwich Power Station. It includes a skateboard park and playground. Meanwhile, the 150-acre Woolwich Common is a walk or short bus ride away. There is a large fitness complex based on the river which has group classes, a gym, 2 pools, squash and 5-a-side pitches.
Most facilities and shops are located around the station, but plans are underway to revamp the former covered market and turn it into a Picturehouse cinema, along with cafes, bars and restaurants.
From Woolwich Arsenal Crossrail trains will take 7 mins to Canary Wharf, 21 mins to Bond Street and 56 mins to Heathrow. On the DLR, London City Airport is 5 mins, Canary Wharf is 19 mins and Bank is 27 mins.
Did you know?
Workers at the Royal Arsenal set up a buyers’ co-op in 1868 and, a few years later, a football club-the latter moved to Highbury in 1913 and shortened its name to Arsenal.