Charlton is a district of south east London, England, within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. To the west is the historical centre of Greenwich, famed for its Observatory, National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College. To the east is Woolwich with its historical military links being home to the wartime Royal Arsenal. To the north is the Greenwich Peninsula which became famous during 2000 as the site of the Millennium Dome. The Dome has morphed into the O2 Arena surrounded by a thriving arts and entertainment site which includes a cable car that crosses the Thames to the Excel Centre and a new ever-growing residential area.
Charlton is 7.2 miles (11.6 km) east-southeast of Charing Cross. ‘Charlton next as Woolwich’ was an ancient parish in the county of Kent, which became part of the metropolitan area of London in 1855. Whilst being sandwiched between these two historical areas, Charlton has its own unique identity.
The centre of Charlton is known as Charlton Village which is steeped in history. It contains St Luke’s Church, which is the burial site of Spencer Percival, the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated, and Charlton House, one of only a few surviving Jacobean mansions.
Its position along the Thames means Charlton has many maritime and river connections including the famous Thames Barrier, which protects London from flooding. Charlton Athletic Football Association’s home ground, The Valley, is a short walk from the river.
Charlton’s population of approximately 21,000 is diverse and culturally rich. Whilst Charlton Village retains a number of traditional businesses, the area has a number of large retail and industrial areas. Much of the heavy maritime industries (such as rope-making) have given way to a range of industrial business. The area contains three safeguarded wharves that handle aggregate imports, which are the lifeblood for London’s building industry.
Charlton’s rich and diverse architecture reflects its wide-ranging social demographics. Victorian terraces sit alongside 1960/70s council-led developments. Charlton’s buildings span centuries from its imposing Charlton House Jacobean mansion to modern blocks. Whilst moving with the times, local residents are keen to maintain the area’s cultural and environmental heritage and its reputation for strong community living.