Has been described as a Possible Artillery Fort, and also as a Possible Uncertain

There are no visible remains

Alternative NamesWulwich
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityLondon Borough of Greenwich
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishGreenwich

Leland includes Woolwich in a list of places in Kent with a castle.

Gatehouse Comments

Was there some sort of blockhouse here? There seems no particular reason to doubt Leland but nor is there any other evidence to support a fortification here other than the obvious military sense of a blockhouse here to protect the port of London. The Greater London HER records a gun emplacement at Woolwich of Spanish Armada date although this may be a revival of an early defence. Presumably somewhere under the extensive arsenal complex. The suggestively named Tower House, the property that was the heart of the later arsenal, is first recorded in 1545 and seems to have been used by the City of London as and gun manufacturing and proofing centre. Woolwich was also a synonym for Southwall at times. It is also possible that Leland was just referring to the royal docks and works already in existence here and at Deptford, or to the known blockhouses at Gray's etc. built to protect these docks. Given map reference approximate location of Tower House. Possibly depicted as the site of 8 pieces. It may be the map is a plan of proposed rather than actual structures although these royal dockworks should have had access to artillery pieces, gunpowder and gunners.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ438793
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Calculate Print


  • Adams, R., 1990, 'Thamesis Descriptio' in Barker, F. and Jackson, P., 1990, The History of London in Maps (Barrie and Jenkins)p. 16-17


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 250
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1909, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 4 p. 47 online copy

Primary Sources