From Academic Kids
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Woolwich is a town in south-east London, England in the London Borough of Greenwich, on the south side of the River Thames, though the tiny exclave of North Woolwich (which is now part of the London Borough of Newham) is on the north side of the river. It was home to the United Kingdom's first McDonald's, in 1974.
It is notable as a river crossing point, having the Woolwich Ferry (and the lesser-known Woolwich foot tunnel), and as the one-time home of the Woolwich Building Society (now relocated in Bexleyheath and owned by Barclays Bank).
Its history is strongly associated with Britain's military past. It was home to the Woolwich Dockyard (founded in 1512), the Woolwich Arsenal (dating back to 1671), the Royal Military Academy (1741) and the Royal Horse Artillery (1793); it still retains an army base and the Royal Artillery Museum.
Football club Arsenal F.C. was founded in Woolwich in 1886 by workers at the Arsenal - the club was initially known as Dial Square then became Woolwich Arsenal, dropping the Woolwich prefix sometime after 1891. It moved to Highbury in north London in 1913.
Woolwich Polytechnic, founded in 1892, after merging with other colleges, became Thames Polytechnic in 1970. In 1992 it was granted university status as the University of Greenwich. In 2000, the university began a relocation to the Old Royal Naval College, several miles to the west in Greenwich town centre, leaving only an administrative presence in Woolwich.
- Hubert Bland, early socialist and co-founder of the Fabian Society, was born in Wood Street, now Wood Hill in 1855.
- Tom Cribb, English bare-knuckle boxing champion in the early 19th century, retired to, died, and was buried (1848) in Woolwich.
- General Charles George Gordon of Khartoum was born at 29 Woolwich Common and educated at the Royal Military Academy.
- Richard Lovelace, poet.
- Henry Maudslay, engineer and tool-maker, was born in Salutation Alley (now demolished) and buried in the parish churchyard.
- Diarist Samuel Pepys lodged in Woolwich during 1665 to escape the Great Plague.
- Oswald Hope Robertson, the medical pioneer who invented blood banks, was born in Woolwich in 1886.
- David Sheppard, former England cricket captain, was bishop of Woolwich from 1969 to 1975.
- Ian Wright, the Arsenal footballer and later a television personality, was born and raised in Woolwich.
Nearest tube stations:
Nearest railway stations:
- Charlton railway station
- North Woolwich railway station
- Plumstead railway station
- Silvertown railway station
- Woolwich Arsenal railway station
- Woolwich Dockyard railway station
The free Woolwich Ferry service operates across the River Thames to North Woolwich in the London Borough of Newham carrying trucks, cars, cyclists and pedestrians during the hours of daylight. Woolwich foot tunnel is also available for use by pedestrians at any time.