Royal Borough of Greenwich

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Template:Infobox London Borough The Royal Borough of Greenwich (UK /[invalid input: 'icon']ɡrɪnɪ/ GRIN-ij;[1][2][3] US /ɡrɛnɪ/ (About this soundlisten) GREN-ich or /ɡrɛnɪ/ GREN-ij)[4][5][6] is an Inner London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the London Borough of Greenwich was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich to the east. The local authority is Greenwich Borough Council.

Greenwich is world famous as the traditional location of the Prime Meridian, on which all Coordinated Universal Time is based. The Prime Meridian running through Greenwich and the Greenwich Observatory is where the designation Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT began, and on which all world times are based. In 2012, Greenwich was listed as a top ten global destination by Frommer's – the only UK destination to be listed.

Greenwich was one of six host boroughs for the 2012 London Olympics and events were held at the Royal Artillery Barracks (Shooting), Greenwich Park (Equestrianism) and The O2-former Millennium Dome (Gymnastics; Basketball).

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Greenwich became a Royal Borough on 3 February 2012, due in part to its historic links with the Royal Family, and to its UNESCO World Heritage Site status as home of the Prime Meridian.[7][8][9]


It was formed in 1965 by merging the former areas of the metropolitan boroughs of Greenwich and most of Woolwich (with the exception of North Woolwich, north of the river, which became part of the London Borough of Newham).

The name 'Charlton' was briefly considered for the borough.[10] Greenwich once applied for city status, but was turned down. If the application had been accepted the borough would have been known as the City of Greenwich, similarly to the City of Westminster.

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, on 3 February 2012 Greenwich became the fourth Royal Borough, an honour additional to its historic links with the Royal Family, and its status as home of the Prime Meridian and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The borough lies along the south bank of the River Thames between Deptford and Thamesmead. It has an area of 5,044 hectares. Because of the bends of the river, its waterfront is as long as 8.5 miles. Travelling south away from the waterfront, the ground rises: Shooters Hill in the east and the high ground of Blackheath in the west bookend the borough, Eltham to the south of these hills falls away slightly.

Greenwich is bounded by the London Boroughs of Bexley to the east, Bromley to the south, Lewisham to the west and across the River Thames to the north lie Tower Hamlets, Newham and Barking and Dagenham.


The borough's population in 2010 was 238,096.[11] At this time, 67% of the population was ethnically white, 19.2% was black or black British, 6.7% was Asian or Asian British, 2.7% was mixed and 4.7% was Chinese or from another ethnic group.[11]


Greenwich and Observatory

Central Greenwich Town contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site centred on Christopher Wren's Royal Naval College and the Old Royal Observatory.

Civic affairs


The 2011/12 Mayor is Cllr Jim Gillman.

Shaped like an astrolabe, the 18ct gold badge on the Mayor's chain embodies the ‘time-ball’ on the principal building of the old Greenwich Royal Observatory, the meridian line and lines of latitude and longitude. The ‘time-ball’ is set with small rubies.


The Executive is composed of ten Labour members, led by Cllr Chris Roberts (Glyndon ward) who has been Leader of the Council since 2001.

Coat of arms

Arms used from 1965 to February 2012

Arms were originally granted to the London Borough by letters patent dated 1 October 1965.[12] The hour glass and radiated stars were taken from the arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich and symbolise the position of the borough as the place from which the standard of time is taken. The three cannon barrels, taken from the arms of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, signify the association of that borough with the Royal Arsenal.[13] Although much of the 1965 design has been retained, the arms have been altered by the addition of a representation of the Thames. In addition a crest and supporters were added to the arms: the crest comprises a Tudor Rose and a fouled anchor for royal and maritime connections. The supporters are two Roman gods: Jupiter and Neptune. The supporters wear a mural crown and a naval crown respectively to represent the borough's historic associations with the British Army and Royal Navy.[14]


The Royal Borough of Greenwich is twinned with:


Greenwich London Borough Council

Map showing the borders of London Borough of Greenwich and its 17 wards

Greenwich London Borough Council comprises 51 councillors. The Labour Party currently has an overall majority on the council, holding 40 seats, with the Conservatives holding 11. Labour has had a majority on the council since 1971.

Westminster Parliament

The borough contains the constituencies of:

As of the 2010 General Election, all three are represented by Labour MPs.



Further education

Greenwich Community College is the main publicly funded provider of further education in the borough offering a range of academic and vocational courses and qualifications. Anglian College London is a private college offering further and higher education courses to students from around London and overseas.


The University of Greenwich main campus is located in the distinctive buildings of the former Royal Naval College. There is a further campus of the university at Avery Hill in Eltham, and also, outside the borough, in Medway. The Faculty of Music of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, (formerly known as Trinity College of Music) is also housed in the buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital.

Sport within the borough

Greenwich has many sports centres and these are run by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL). The largest football club in the borough is Charlton Athletic F.C. a professional football club playing in the Football League Championship. There are two Non-League football clubs Bridon Ropes F.C. and Meridian F.C. who both play in Woolwich at Meridian Sports & Social Club. There are also several Swimming clubs and Rugby clubs. The Council owns and runs one outdoor swimming pool, the Charlton Lido, which is currently closed to the public.

Greenwich was one of the five host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics and hosted 34 events in nine sports at three venues across the borough.[15] Greenwich Park hosted equestrian events and modern pentathlon, the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich hosted shooting events, and The O2 arena hosted gymnastics and basketball finals.


River crossings

There are foot tunnels under the River Thames between Greenwich and Island Gardens in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and between Woolwich and North Woolwich in the London Borough of Newham. The Woolwich Ferry takes vehicle traffic and links the North Circular Road to the South Circular Road which runs through the borough. A new cable car linking Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks opened 28 June 2012.[16]

River transport

The Thames Clipper commuter ferry service runs from Woolwich to Canary Wharf and the City.

Railway stations

All stations are served by Southeastern.

A Crossrail station is currently under construction at Woolwich Arsenal.

Tube/DLR stations


Parks and open spaces

The borough contains the Greenwich Royal Park. A small part of the Metropolitan Green Belt is within the borough.


The Greenwich borough is predominantly Christian (2001 Census). The Christian Church is represented by various denominations, among which are Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical, Brethren, Pentecostal, Quakers, etc. Non-Trinitarian groups also exist. Besides these there are various other religious minorities including Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Jews.

In the 2001 Census, 29% of Greenwich described themselves as non-religious, or did not state their faith.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Wells, John C. (2000). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (2nd edition ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education Limited. ISBN 0-582-36467-1.CS1 maint: Extra text (link)
  2. ^ Jones, Daniel (1997). English Pronouncing Dictionary (15th edition ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-45903-6.CS1 maint: Extra text (link)
  3. ^ Collins English Dictionary (3rd updated edition ed.). HarperCollins. 1994. ISBN 0-00-470678-1.CS1 maint: Extra text (link)
  4. ^ "Greenwich Mean Time". American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Houghton Mifflin. 2001. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Greenwich" in Merriam–Webster
  6. ^ "Greenwich" in Webster's New World Dictionary
  7. ^ "Greenwich to become Royal Borough". Greenwich London Borough Council. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Greenwich to become Royal Borough on 3 February". Greenwich Council. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  9. ^ Letters Patent dated 3 February 2012 "No. 60205". The London Gazette. 11 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Names for Nine New Boroughs of London" The Times, 14 September 1963
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ Briggs, Geoffrey (1971). Civic and Corporate Heraldry: A Dictionary of Impersonal Arms of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. London: Heraldry Today. pp. 184–185. ISBN 0-900455-21-7.
  13. ^ [Briggs, Geoffrey (1971). Civic and Corporate Heraldry: A Dictionary of Impersonal Arms of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. London: Heraldry Today. ISBN 0-900455-21-7. "Greater London"] Check |url= value (help). Civic Heraldry of England and Wales. Retrieved 16 January 2012. templatestyles stripmarker in |url= at position 719 (help)
  14. ^ "The borough's coat of arms and crest". Greenwich Council. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Thames cable car in London opens for passengers". Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  17. ^

External links

Coordinates: 51°27′N 0°03′E / 51.450°N 0.050°E / 51.450; 0.050