The site

The site is situated in the heart of Woolwich town centre, next to Gordon Square, civic offices and a library. The site was historically used as a Polytechnic, first opened in the late 19th Century, It was the first of its kind in London after Quentin Hogg’s Regent Street Polytechnic. The Polytechnic started in a small, detached house in 1891 on Calderwood Street and gradually expanded. The Polytechnic provided wide ranging practical instruction for local children and adults specialising in engineering and science, a reflection of the area’s industrial needs, strengths and traditions.

1914 map

Here we can see a site map from 1914, new buildings were added in the 1930s and 1960s.

Within the courtyard of the Polytechnic are a series of workshops and chimneys ranging from 1898-1931. The image below shows one of the engineering workshops in 1916, at the height of WW1.

1916 workshop

The site is included within the Woolwich Conservation Area. In Spring 2019, after several years of consultation, Woolwich Conservation Area was formally designated as a heritage asset. The new conservation area surrounds much of Woolwich Town Centre as well as the former Polytechnic site. 

The site has good local transport links and has a PTAL rating of 6b. Woolwich Arsenal Rail & DLR and Woolwich Crossrail are just a few minutes away. Below we can see some images of the site, as it is today.

Wellington Street view
Wellington Street view 

Thomas Street view
Thomas Street view

Next tile: The proposals

Explore more   arrow-2.png