Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for BLACKHEATH

BLACKHEATH, a hamlet, five chapelries, and a hundred in Kent. The hamlet is in the parishes of Greenwich, Lewisham, Lee, and Charlton; lies on Watling-street and on the North Kent railway, adjacent to Greenwich Park, 6 miles ESE of London Bridge; and has a station on the railway, and a post office‡ under Greenwich, London, SE. The village is a polling-place; and has a public library, public rooms, and an excellent bath. The rural tract is elevated plain, and commands very fine views. Many barrows, seemingly of the British-Roman period, have been opened on it along the line of Watling-street; and a cavern, called the Point, about 150 feet long, with four irregular chambers, supposed to have been artificially formed as a retreat during the struggles between the Saxons and the Danes, occurs on the ascent above Greenwich Park. The vicinity of the tract to London occasioned it to be the scene of some memorable transactions; and its freedom from damp and smoke has long made it a favourite retreat of London citizens. The Danes encamped here in 1011. Wat Tyler, at the head of 100,000 followers, encamped here in 1381. Henry IV. met the Emperor Palæologus here in 1400. Henry V. was welcomed here, with great pomp, by the London magistrates and chief citizens, in 1415, on his return from Agincourt. The Emperor Sigismund was received here by Henry, in 1416, and conducted hence in state to Lambeth. Jack Cade raised his banner here, on one of the old barrows, in 1450. Henry VI. encamped here in 1452, to oppose the Duke of York. Edward IV. was received here by the London citizens, in 1474, on his coming from France. Lord Andley, with his Cornish troops, took post here in 1497, and was beaten by the Earl of Oxford. Cardinal Campejo, the papal legate, was met here, in 1519, by the Duke of Norfolk. And Henry VIII. met here Anne of Cleves, in 1539, and conducted her hence to Greenwich Palace. Two other famous scenes here are depicted by Shakspeare and Sir Walter Scott. Montague House, the residence of Queen Caroline, stood here, but has been demolished. Brunswick House, the "Babiole" of Lord Chesterfield, afterwards occupied by the Duchess of Brunswick, and Lord Lyttleton's Villa, the residence of General Wolfe, are adjacent to Greenwich Park. Two houses, called the Bastile and the Minced-Pie-House, built by Sir John Vanbrugh, are on Maze hill. Morden college, founded in 1695 by Sir John Morden, for decayed merchants, a brick quadrangle amid considerable grounds, and now supporting upwards of 70 inmates, is on the S side. A grammar school, founded and endowed in 1652 by the Rev. Abraham Colfe, is within Lewisham. Park Lodge was once the residence of the Princess Sophia of Gloucester, and is now occupied by Prince Arthur.-The chapelries are St. John, All Saints, Blackheath-Park, St. Germans, and Dartmouth; the last annexed to Lewisham vicarage, the others, separate charges. Value of All Saints, £300; of the others, not reported. Patron of St. John, W. Angerstein, Esq.; of All Saints, the Vicar of Lewisham; of Blackheath-Park, J. Cator, Esq. There are chapels for Independents and Wesleyans, a large proprietory school, and a natural history society.-The hundred is in the lathe of Sutton-at-Hone; and contains the parishes of Lee, Lewisham, Charlton, and Eltham. Acres, 18,206. Pop. in 1851, 121,753; in 1861, 187,696. Houses, 26,559.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a hamlet, five chapelries, and a hundred"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Kent AncC
Place: Blackheath

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