Trust Thamesmead

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History & Heritage

Bronze Age settlers, Romans, Normans, monks, kings, soldiers, sailors and convicts - have all played their part in the history of Thamesmead.

But it wasn't until the early 1960s that Thamesmead as we now know it first began to take shape. That was when the-then London County Council first published its plans to build 25,000 homes on the area that for centuries had been known as Erith & Plumstead marshes.


Where Thamesmead is today was for many thousands of years, marshland, left behind when the waters of the Ice Age receded.

At first it was thought that the Romans may have been the first to try to reclaim the land but the more recent archaeological works at what is now Slocum Close and the Thamesmead-Erith spine road suggest that the marshes may indeed have been inhabited by settlers during the prehistoric period.

These are exciting discoveries because they prove that the area wasn't just wasteland but has an ancient history, and highlight how humans were influencing and exploiting the resources of the land thousands and thousands of years ago.

Trust Thamesmead commissioned Valerie Wigfall to write a book about the history of Thamesmead, titled, Thamesmead A Social History. This book can be bought for £15 from Trust Thamesmead's office.

Lesnes Abbey
The Royal Arsenal
Crossness Engines
The Princess Alice
On Screen
T'riffic Thamesmead; a schools project (2008) regarding the history of Thamesmead