Facts about Woolwich
It is generally believed that the name Woolwich derives from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “trading place for wool”. It is not clear whether Woolwich was a proper -wich town since there are no traces of extensive artisanal activity from the Early Middle Ages. However, in 2015 Oxford Archaeology discovered a Saxon burial site near the riverside with 76 skeletons from the late 7th or early 8th century.
From the 10th till the mid-12th century Woolwich was controlled by the abbots of St. Peter’s Abbey in Ghent. This may have been a result of a gift of 918 from Ælfthryth, daughter of King Alfred and Countess of Flanders, in that case, the first recorded grant of English lands to a foreign ecclesiastic institution.
Woolwich is a district in southeast London, England, within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The district’s location on the River Thames led to its status as an important naval, military and industrial area; a role that was maintained throughout the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and most of the 20th century. After several decades of economic hardship and social deprivation, the area is now subject to several large-scale urban renewal projects.
It had become apparent that local government in the parish of West Ham was not adequate to meet the needs of the area which was divided between the parish vestry, highway board, and the Havering and Dagenham Commissioners of Sewers. Problems centered on the provision of adequate paving, water supply, fire fighting, and control of development. In 1853 a group of ratepayers initiated moves to improve local administration.