Shooter's Hill

From Academic Kids

Shooter's Hill
County:Greater London
Region:Greater London
Ceremonial County:Greater London
Traditional County:Kent
Postal County:London

Shooter's Hill is a place in the London Borough of Greenwich in south-east London. It lies east of Blackheath and west of Welling, south of Woolwich and north of Eltham.



It reputedly takes its name from the practice of archery there during the Middle Ages. As the name also implies, the district is centred upon a hill - the highest point in south London (432ft) - offering good views over the River Thames to the north, with central London clearly visible to the west. Oxleas Woods remains a public open space close to the top of the hill; there is also a golf-course and one of the last remaining areas of farmland in inner London, Woodlands Farm (now an educational charity).

Shooter's Hill Road stretches eastwards from the heath at Blackheath up and over the hill, as part of the A2 road. The road follows the route of Watling Street, a Roman Road linking London with Roman settlements in north Kent. This was used as a route for horse-drawn mail-coaches linking London with Dover.

Literary associations

Charles Dickens mentions such carriages "lumbering" up Shooter's Hill in A Tale of Two Cities, and refers to a public house there in Pickwick Papers. The district is also mentioned in Bram Stoker's Dracula, in H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds and by Thomas Carlyle. On 11 April 1661, diarist Samuel Pepys mentions passing under "the man that hangs upon Shooter's Hill" (probably a highwayman hanged and left to rot as a warning to other criminals - at 'Gibbet Field', now part of the local golf-course).


Missing image
The watertower on Shooter's Hill is a local landmark

The distinctive Victorian gothic watertower at the top of Shooters hill is a landmark that can be seen from far around. Other local landmarks include Severndroog Castle, a folly designed by architect Richard Jupp in 1784 and built to commemorate Commodore Sir William James who, on 2 April 1755, attacked and destroyed a pirate fortress at Severndroog along the western coast of India.

In 1749, 'The Bull' public house opened just west of the summit of the hill, and was used as a refreshment stop by the Royal Mail coaches.

Famous former residents

English engineer Samuel Brown developed an internal combustion engine that used hydrogen as a fuel and tested it to propel a vehicle (arguably one of the earliest automobiles) up Shooter's Hill in 1824.

Nearest places

Nearest stations


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