East Greenwich History Map

It’s not often a new map of Greenwich comes along. In fact the guys over at  Londonist were so desperate for a hand-drawn map of Greenwich that they asked me (don’t hold your breath – I’ve got as far as buying a big bit of paper and a couple of felt-tipped pens…) The last ’officially art’ map, by a real artist,  that I know of is the sort-of-fun-but-utterly-baffling Emotion Map  which I dutifully bought, only to find out that apparently where I live is ‘low-to-medium arousal.’ Pah.

So I was rather excited to see that Rich Sylvester’s project to create a map of East Greenwich and the peninsula, charting historical stuff that went on there at various times has finally been published.

I like the way that old layouts are overlaid with modern versions, and the way that what could be a jumble of periods is dealt with clearly and concisely. It’s well-signed with symbols that tell you why each bit is interesting – from where V1 and V2 rockets fell, through curious people who have lived/still live there to present and previous buildings and wildlife to look out for.

For me, it opens up a whole new series of questions – on the back there are some basic facts about the things mentioned – but this is much more a stimulus than a destination. Names, both evocative and intriguingly mundane, act as catalysts to get out the history books, nip to the library or even pay a visit to the Heritage Centre. There’s a great timeline down the side, too, that follows East Greenwich’s noble history for just over a millennium.

This is a fantastic addition to local history – an absolute must for every Phantom Reader – and the best bit of all is that it’s free, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. But be quick – if memory serves there were only 2,000 printed so they’ll be at a premium (and are probably offered for sale on ebay already, from greedy, bad people.) Perhaps there will be a second edition if they ‘sell’ out – but don’t count on it; get your copy now.

Pick up a copy at:

  • Greenwich Heritage Centre, Building 41, Royal  Arsenal, SE18 6SP
  • Blackheath Library, Old Dover Rd, SE3 (closed Weds,)
  • East Greenwich Library (closed Weds, Mon/Fri a.m.)
  • West Greenwich Library (closed Weds, Mon/Fri a.m.)
  • Greenwich Communications Centre 164 Trafalgar Road, SE10
  • Warwick Leadlay Gallery, Nelson Arcade , Greenwich Market
  • Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, Thames Path, John Harrison Way SE10 0QZ  (NOTE: Closed Mon/Tues)
  • Greenwich Peninsula Business Centre

I should probably also mention that there are two related History Walks, led by Rich Sylvester, whose baby the project is.The first one is on 23rd July at 7.30pm (Peninsula); the second, 25 July at 10.30am (East Greenwich). Booking is essential.


the attachments to this post:

history map
history map


3 Comments to “East Greenwich History Map”

  1. OldChina says:

    I’m addicted to maps. I must visit Google maps several times a day. A map of Greenwich places of interest sounds like a must buy…

  2. OldChina says:

    Btw, if you haven’t been in to the map shop in the market then I’d highly recommend it. It’s fascinating and the owner’s really friendly and often ready to chat away.

  3. methers says:

    Picked up mine from East Greenwich Library today. Ashamed to say it’s the first time I’d entered the building, although I intend to visit again soon.