from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51 ° 30 '  N , 0 ° 4'  E

Map: Greater London

Woolwich [ wʊlɪtʃ ] is a district in the Docklands in south-east London and is part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich . It is mostly located south of the Thames , with the exception of a small exclave that is north of the Thames. Both parts are connected by the Woolwich ferry and the Woolwich pedestrian tunnel .


The original entrance to the Royal Arsenal (February 2007)
Berlin Buddy Bear sculpture in General Gordon Square Woolwich

Woolwich's history is very closely linked to the UK's military past . It was home to the Woolwich Dockyard , founded in 1512 , the Royal Arsenal , the Royal Military Academy Woolwich (1741) and finally the Royal Horse Artillery .

Woolwich still has barracks , the Royal Artillery Barracks , and the Royal Artillery Museum . Another nearby museum has exhibits related to the Royal Arsenal . During the Second World War Woolwich was heavily damaged.

Since the middle of the 19th century, shipyards and factories have also sprung up in Woolwich as part of industrialization . For a long time, the population structure of the district was as heterogeneous as that of the city of London: a numerically small bourgeoisie faced the middle class of technicians in the docks and arsenals and a broad working class; Parts of Woolwich were considered to be the worst slums in town.

The Arsenal was originally in 1886 in Woolwich by workers of the Royal Arsenal founded. However, in 1913 the football club moved to Highbury Stadium in the borough of the same name in north London. This is one of the rare examples of football clubs that have left their home area.

In the 1950s, factory closings and the subsequent structural change began a gradual economic decline in the district; Department stores and shops have closed and replaced with charities and animal shelters. The high crime rate also became a problem in the district.

The UK 's first McDonald’s branch opened here in 1972 and is also the three thousandth in the world. Woolwich was chosen because it was considered a representative English city despite its decline.

The Woolwich Polytechnic , founded in 1892, merged in 1970 with other local universities to Thames Polytechnic . This received the status of a university in 1992 and has been the University of Greenwich ever since . In 2000 the university established itself a few kilometers west in the Royal Naval College and left only part of the administration in Woolwich.

Woolwich Town Hall (2007) was built when Woolwich was still an independent town.

In the last decade there have been increasing signs of positive development. The renovation of the former Royal Arsenal has been completed, various retail chains have opened branches in the center of Woolwich, and stores that have long been vacant have been renovated. An expansion of the Docklands Light Railway was completed in 2009. Woolwich was also a meeting place for the 2012 Summer Olympics . This ongoing gentrification and optimistic planning to redesign Woolwich have resulted in a huge surge in property prices in the district.


Woolwich was the location for the 2006 film Children of Men .

In a murder attempt on May 22, 2013 , a British soldier was hit and beheaded by two men in the street. The perpetrators are said to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the crime and shortly afterwards confessed to the murder in a video. The police then shot and arrested both men.


Daughters and sons of the city

Known residents

  • Arthur Cecil Alport (1880–1959), South African tropical medicine specialist at the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich
  • Andy Fordham (* 1962), English dart player and winner of the 2004 BDO World Professional Darts Championship

Web links

Commons : Woolwich  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Interview with the manager of McDonalds UK in the Evening Standard on December 16, 1991 . (Accessed: January 4, 2008)
  2. Reuters / AP / dpa / sara: Murdered with a machete: Fatal attack in London was apparently a terrorist act. In: welt.de . May 22, 2013, accessed October 7, 2018 .
  3. Terror in London: The murderer who let himself be filmed