Focus On Charlton

Cross Blackheath from the top of Greenwich Park, and you’ll soon find yourself in leafy Charlton, and it’s not all about the Football Club!

In fact, one of the oldest settlements in London, with an Iron Age hill fort was excavated in Maryon Park, back in the 1920s and while on the subject of parks Charlton is home to several. Namely Maryon Park, Maryon Wilson Park, and Hornfair Park, which, all were once covered by the notorious Hanging Woods. The infamous and secret hideout for highwayman who operated (robbed) on Shooters Hill and Blackheath!


Take a look below at some more interesting Charlton facts and if you have something interesting you think we need to add, then do send it in!

Trains from Charlton to London Bridge take 22 minutes. Which means when they work, and we don’t have the wrong rain or leaves on the line this is quick!

Over the next 25 years up to 5,000 new homes, along with shops and restaurants, schools, a river bus stop and a “creative quarter”, are to be built on a 275-acre site of industrial land overlooking the Thames Barrier.

Charlton is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Cerletone

A church dedicated to St Luke is recorded in the village as early as 1077, although, sadly no trace of the medieval building survives

On the northern edge of Charlton House’s garden is a mulberry tree planted in 1608 by order of King James to cultivate silkworms.

The Horn Fair (or Charlton Fair) was held regularly on 18 October each year, and retained its reputation for lawlessness; in 1833 police arrested a swindler who had cheated several artillerymen. Then 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.” oh err.

In the early 18th century, Daniel Defoe described Charlton 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)

Adjoining Maryon Park is the Gilbert’s Pit Site of Special Scientific Interest, which was formerly a significant site of sand extraction. Formations date to around 55 million years ago. Some of the beds yield many fossils of plants, sponges, molluscs, fish and reptiles. The site has been studied for over 120 years and is the subject of substantial literature.

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