Greenwich Heritage Centre

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Coordinates: 51°28′42″N 0°3′44″E / 51.47833°N 0.06222°E / 51.47833; 0.06222

Greenwich Heritage Centre in Woolwich: entrance in Artillery Square

Greenwich Heritage Centre is a museum and local history resource centre in Woolwich, south-east London, established by the London Borough of Greenwich and run since 2014 by the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust. It is based in Artillery Square, in the old Royal Arsenal complex.


The Centre was established in October 2003, combining materials from the Greenwich Borough Museum and the local history library (previously at Woodlands House in Westcombe Park).[1] Among other exhibits there is a gallery which tells the history of the Royal Arsenal and of the nearby Woolwich Royal Dockyard.[2]

In 2014 a new charity, the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust, was formed to manage the museum and archives (as well as Charlton House and certain other heritage assets in the Borough).


The east range of New Laboratory Square; barrels would leave the first-floor cooperage by way of the round hole, left of centre.

The Heritage Centre is located among the historic buildings of the Royal Arsenal, established in the 17th century as a repository and manufactory of heavy guns, ammunition and other military ware. It is housed in a former storehouse designed by James Wyatt, dating from 1783-5, which now forms the western arm of a quadrangle of buildings known as New Laboratory Square. The storehouse was built by the Board of Ordnance as a "sea storehouse" (a repository for naval ordnance supplies); further storehouses were added to form the north and east sides of the square in 1808-10. By 1860 the whole complex had been taken over by the Royal Laboratory department and converted into a factory to make boxes and barrels for the storage and carriage of ammunition, powder, cartridges, fuses and other items; the west range contained the wood store, the east range had a sawmill with a cooperage above it, the north range contained a steam engine, which powered the machinery by way of line shafting.

The Heritage Centre is entered by way of the south wing of the quadrangle, a former carpenters' workshop of 1877-8 where boxes and barrels were machine-assembled. By the time of the First World War this space had been given over to the manufacture of ammunition for small arms.[3]


  1. ^ Combined Services, 30 July 2003. This is Local London. Accessed: 23 August 2015
  2. ^ Greenwich Heritage Centre website
  3. ^ Saint, Andrew; Guillery, Peter (2012). "Chapter 3: The Royal Arsenal". Woolwich. Survey of London. Volume 48. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300187229. 

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