Oxleas Wood is one of the few remaining areas of ancient deciduousforest in the Royal Borough of Greenwich (with a small amount passing over the boundary into the London Borough of Bexley), in southeast London. Some parts date back over 8,000 years to the last Ice Age, the Younger Dryas. It is part of a larger continuous area of woodland and parkland on the south side of Shooter's Hill: other parts are Jack Wood, Castle Wood, Oxleas Meadows, Falconwood Field, Eltham Common and Eltham Park North (the latter being divided by the A2 main road from its southern section). Eltham Park North includes the ancient Shepherdleas Wood.
In 1311, the Royal manor of Eltham was established and this included the woods. The woods were leased to Sir John Shaw, 2nd Baronet, from crown occupation in 1679. His family managed them until 1811, when they were taken over by the War Department. The woods were then acquired by the London County Council for the use of public recreation in 1930, and then opened to the public in 1934. Ownership then passed from the Greater London Council to the Borough of Greenwich on abolition of the GLC in 1986.
There is an underground water reservoir in the grassed area called Oxleas Meadow. This serves the local area with water. This is associated with 'the hut' which is a building containing the equipment that Thames Water uses to control the reservoir.
Within Oxleas Meadow is a cafe. The café building is of brick construction and is owned by the Borough of Greenwich. Public male and female toilets are also located in this building and are available for use during the café opening hours. The café part of the building is leased to the café operator.
There have been plans to build roads through Oxleas leading to a Thames Gateway Bridge over the River Thames as part of the Thames Gateway redevelopment plans. These plans were abandoned in 1993 after strong local protests. The proposals for the Thames Gateway bridge have recently been revived and there is concern that, if built, this would lead to pressure to link it to the A2, crossing Oxleas.