Plumstead is a district of south
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...

London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich
London Borough of Greenwich
The London Borough of Greenwich is an Inner London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the present borough was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan...

. Plumstead is a multi cultural area with large Asian and Afro-Caribbean communities, in similarity to local areas such as Woolwich and Thamesmead. Plumstead is the location for a large bus garage built in 1981 on former industrial land and a more recent landmark is the Greenwich Islamic Centre, located on Plumstead Road which has been extant for about 20 years and is currently undergoing a major enlargement.

10th and 11th century

Much of the early history
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 of Plumstead can be found in Edward Hasted
Edward Hasted
Edward Hasted was the author of a major county history, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent .-Life:...

's extensive history of Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

. In 960 King Edgar gave four plough lands, collectively called Plumstead, to a monastery - St Augustine's Abbey
St Augustine's Abbey
St Augustine's Abbey was a Benedictine abbey in Canterbury, Kent, England.-Early history:In 597 Saint Augustine arrived in England, having been sent by Pope Gregory I, on what might nowadays be called a revival mission. The King of Kent at this time was Æthelberht, who happened to be married to a...

 near Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

, Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

. These were subsequently taken from the monastery by Earl Godwin
Earl Godwin
Earl Godwin is the name of:* Earl Godwin , American radio newsman, commentator, and announcer* Godwin, Earl of Wessex , one of the most powerful lords in England under the Danish king Cnut the Great and his successors...

 for his fourth son, Tostig
Tostig Godwinson
Tostig Godwinson was an Anglo-Saxon Earl of Northumbria and brother of King Harold Godwinson, the last crowned english King of England.-Early life:...


King Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

 restored them again to the monastery on taking power, however Tostig saw the opportunity to take possession of them once again after Edward's death in 1066 when King Harold
Harold Godwinson
Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon King of England.It could be argued that Edgar the Atheling, who was proclaimed as king by the witan but never crowned, was really the last Anglo-Saxon king...

 seized his brother's estates.

After the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II...

 in 1066, William the Conqueror gifted Plumstead to his half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux whom he also titled Earl of Kent
Earl of Kent
The peerage title Earl of Kent has been created eight times in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom.See also Kingdom of Kent, Duke of Kent.-Earls of Kent, first creation :*Godwin, Earl of Wessex...

. The Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 Lanfranc of Pavia and the Norman
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 abbot of St Austin's successfully interceded to reclaim a portion of the land on behalf of the monastery. In 1074 Odo then granted by deed the remainder of the parish and also the right of the abbot to be "Chief Lord of the Fee".

Domesday book

However, the Domesday book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 of 1080 holds the details of Plumstead as two separate entries. Under the title of the land of the church of St. Augustine
Augustine of Canterbury
Augustine of Canterbury was a Benedictine monk who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 597...

 it reads

"In Litelai hundred. The abbot of St. Augustine has 1 manor, named Plumstede, which was taxed at 2 sulings and 1 yoke. The arable lands is ... In demesne there is 1 carucate and 17 villeins, with 6 cottagers, having 6 carucates, there is wood for the pannage of 5 hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor, and afterwards it was worth 10 pounds, now 12 pounds, and yet it pays 14 pounds and 8 shillings and 3 pence."

while under the general title of the Bishop of Baieux's lands

"The abbot of St. Augustine holds of the bishop of Baieux, Plumsted. It was taxed at 2 sulings and 1 yoke. The arable land is 5 carucates. In demesne there is 1 carucate and 17 villeins, with 3 boarderers, having 4 carucates. There is wood for the pannage of 5 hogs. In the time of king Edward the Confessor it was worth 10 pounds, when he received it 8 pounds, and now as much, and yet he who holds it pays 12 pounds. Brixi Cilt held it of king Edward."

Around this time Reginald, son of Gervase de Cornhill, released to the abbot and convent all claims in this manor from David and Robert de Cornhill who had rented it from them.

13th century

By 1273 Nicholas de Spina was elected abbot of the monastery and by the following year he was receiving eleven pounds from Plumstead residents.

Lora de Ros, lady of Horton, gave her right to two carucates of land and 50 acres (202,343 m²) of woods in Plumstead to the abbot, Thomas, in return for the rights of her and her heirs to partake of prayers performed in the church during 1287. It appears that Robert, the last abbot but one, had recovered a share of this land from her ancestor, Richard de Ros. It was found by a jury of grand assizes that his ancestors held this land in tenancy from the abbot and convent at a rent of twelve pound per annum.

14th century

In 1314, during the reign of Edward II of England
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

, the abbot was summoned before Hervey de Stanton
Hervey de Stanton
Hervey de Stanton was an English judge and Chancellor of the Exchequer.-Origins and early career:...

, the Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

. He was asked to show by what right he claimed sundry liberties and free warren on the manor of Plumstead amongst others. Other questions included the right for a weekly market in Plumstead on a Wednesday and a fair yearly for three days "on the Eve day, and morrow of St. Nicholas".

For reasons that remain unclear, King Edward III exempted the men and tenants of the manor of Plumstead from providing four men from the borough for the sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

 as was the requirement elsewhere. A writ to Roger de Reynham, Sheriff of Kent in 1332 directed and commanded him that the residents of Plumstead should be allowed to send one man only. By 1363 Edward also decreed to the monastery in his charter of infpeximus that he released all manors and possessions given to it by former kings, including William the Conqueror. He also confirmed all the grants of liberties previously bestowed on the abbot and monastery.

By the time of Richard II of England
Richard II of England
Richard II was King of England, a member of the House of Plantagenet and the last of its main-line kings. He ruled from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard was a son of Edward, the Black Prince, and was born during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III...

 the taxes from Plumstead were valued at 69 pounds, 10 shillings and sixpence, and Henry VI of England
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

 reconfirmed the liberties and rights of the monastery.

16th century

Plumstead manor, together with the church of Plumstead and the chapel of Wickham annexed to it remained part of the possessions of the monastery until its final dissolution in 1539, the 30th year of the reign of Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

, when the abbey and all its revenues were surrendered into the King's hands by the then abbot, John Essex and its thirty members.

19th century

Plumstead expanded rapidly in the 1880s with housing developed for workers at the Royal Arsenal
Royal Arsenal
The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, originally known as the Woolwich Warren, carried out armaments manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research for the British armed forces. It was sited on the south bank of the River Thames in Woolwich in south-east London, England.-Early history:The Warren...

; two-up two-down terraced housing was common in the area close to the river and the Arsenal, whereas larger and smarter properties were developed uphill from the Thames, around Plumstead Common.

Plumstead was also the home of the Peculiar People
Peculiar People
For the book by Rodney Clapp see: A Peculiar People."The Peculiar People", is also a Quaker novel by Jan de Hartog.The Peculiar People were originally an offshoot of the Wesleyan denomination, founded in 1838 in Rochford, Essex, by John Banyard, a farm worker's son born in 1800...

 and a fascinating account of this Protestant sect is recorded in 'Unorthodox London' by the journalist Dr Davis. Being near to the military town of Woolwich there have never been any Quaker meeting houses but the Plymouth Brethren
Plymouth Brethren
The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative, Evangelical Christian movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s. Although the group is notable for not taking any official "church name" to itself, and not having an official clergy or liturgy, the title "The Brethren," is...

 have had numerous meeting rooms in the area since about 1845. The present Brethren meeting places are at Plum Lane (1865), Willenhall Road (ca 1910) and Brewery Road (Richmond Gospel Hall).


Arsenal Football Club
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 (then known as Royal Arsenal or Woolwich Arsenal) played in Plumstead between 1886 and 1913, at various grounds in the Plumstead area, but mainly at the Manor Ground
Manor Ground, Plumstead
The Manor Ground in Plumstead, south east London was a football stadium which, between 1888 & 1890, and 1893 & 1913, was the home of the football club formerly known as Royal Arsenal, renamed Woolwich Arsenal in 1893, and later simply Arsenal F.C...

, on the north side of Plumstead High Street and the Invicta Ground
Invicta Ground
The Invicta Ground was a football stadium in Plumstead, south-east London, that was the home of Royal Arsenal between 1890 and 1893....

, where the Royal Ordnance Factories F.C.
Royal Ordnance Factories F.C.
Royal Ordnance Factories Football Club were a football club from south east London, England,that existed in the late 19th century.In 1893, the former workers' team at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, Woolwich Arsenal FC, was by now a professional side and had joined the Football League...

 also played.


The nearest railway station is Plumstead railway station
Plumstead railway station
Plumstead railway station serves the suburb of Plumstead, in the London Borough of Greenwich, east of Woolwich Arsenal. It is served by Southeastern....

, located in the north-west corner of the town. It is on the North Kent line
North Kent Line
The North Kent Line is a railway line which connects central and south east London with Dartford and Medway.-Construction:The North Kent Line was the means by which the South Eastern Railway were able to connect its system to London at London Bridge...

, and was opened in 1849.

When Crossrail
Crossrail is a project to build a major new railway link under central London. The name refers to the first of two routes which are the responsibility of Crossrail Ltd. It is based on an entirely new east-west tunnel with a central section from to Liverpool Street station...

 is built the rail line will drop below the surface and continue north and west under Woolwich to begin its journey under the river Thames in a way that serves the Isle of Dogs and the ExCeL exhibition centre, then the railway's tracks are likely to emerge from a tunnel beneath the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 at Plumstead sidings. This would permit a choice of an eastern terminus at Abbey Wood Station.

Notable people

Notable people from Plumstead include:
  • John Carnell
    John Carnell
    Edward John Carnell , known to his friends as either Ted or John, was a British science fiction editor known for editing New Worlds in 1946 then from 1949 to 1963. He also edited Science Fantasy from the 1950s...

     science fiction magazine editor.
  • Charlie Collier
    Charlie Collier
    Charles R. Collier Plumstead, London a British motorcycle racer famous for winning the Isle of Man TT races 2 times in his career. Along with his brother Harry Collier he raced Matchless motor-cycles manufactured by his father's company H.Collier & Sons...

    , motorcycle racer
  • Tinie Tempah
    Tinie Tempah
    Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu , better known by his stage name Tinie Tempah, is a British rapper. He made his first mixtape in 2007 with 28 songs, freestyles and remixes, the album features Mz Bratt, Chipmunk and G-Unit...

    , rapper
  • Marvin Humes
    Marvin Humes
    Marvin Richard James Humes is an English singer and actor. Humes is currently a member of the boyband JLS. JLS were the runners up to Alexandra Burke in the fifth series of The X Factor in 2008...

    , member of X-Factor finalist boy band, JLS
  • Shampoo
    Shampoo (band)
    Shampoo were a British all-girl band in the 1990s, formed by Jacqui Blake and Caroline "Carrie" Askew. They were most famous for their hit song, "Trouble".-History:...

    , female pop duo responsible for early 1990s single "Trouble"
  • Lee Ryan
    Lee Ryan
    Lee Ryan is an English singer-songwriter, actor and member of the British boy band Blue.-Early life:...

    , formerly of boy band Blue
    Blue (boy band)
    Blue are an English pop vocal group, whose members are Simon Webbe, Lee Ryan, Duncan James and Antony Costa. Blue originally formed in 2001 before splitting in 2005. In 2009, it was confirmed that the band would reform. In April 2009, the group reunited and a Best of Blue Tour was announced...

  • Steve Davis
    Steve Davis
    Steve Davis, OBE is an English professional snooker player. He has won more professional titles in the sport than any other player, including six World Championships during the 1980s, when he was the world number one for seven years and became the sport's first millionaire...

    , snooker player
  • Paul Walsh
    Paul Walsh
    Paul Anthony Walsh is a retired English footballer.Walsh was a diminutive and pacy centre forward who shot to fame in the 1980s during spells with Charlton, Luton, Liverpool and Tottenham.-Charlton Athletic:...

    , footballer
  • Kevin Horlock
    Kevin Horlock
    Kevin Horlock is an English born Northern Irish football player, currently player/assistant manager of Needham Market. Horlock is a former Northern Ireland international and is most associated with Manchester City, for whom he played in three different divisions including the Premier League...

    , footballer
  • Bill Whitehouse
    Bill Whitehouse
    Bill Whitehouse was a British racing driver from England.Bill started racing in a Cooper 500 in 1949 in 500 cc Car Club National races . Several wins and top placings followed and through this he became friends with fellow car dealer Bernie Ecclestone...

    , Formula 1 racing driver
  • Charlie Buchan
    Charlie Buchan
    Charles Murray Buchan was an English football player and writer.-Early career:Born in Plumstead, London, Buchan first played as an amateur for local club Woolwich Arsenal, joining the club in December 1909...

    , footballer and writer
  • Michael Bradshaw
    Michael Bradshaw
    Michael Bradshaw was an English/Canadian actor.- Early life in England :Born in Plumstead, London, he grew up Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire to the north west of London...

    , actor
  • Dave Courtney
    Dave Courtney
    Dave Courtney is a self-proclaimed British former gangster who has become both an author and celebrity-gangster figure...

    , Actor and self styled celebrity gangster, lives in "Camelot Castle", an elaborately styled Victorian semi in Chestnut Rise
  • Chris Dickson
    Chris Dickson (footballer)
    Christopher Alexander "Chris" Dickson is an English-born Ghanaian international footballer, of Ghanaian and Jamaican descent, who played as a striker for Nea Salamis Famagusta in the Cypriot First Division....

    , footballer
  • Malvin Kamara
    Malvin Kamara
    Malvin Ginah Kamara is an English-born Sierra Leonean international football midfielder who plays for Lewes in the Isthmian League....

    , footballer
  • William Bennet (bishop)
    William Bennet (bishop)
    William Bennet was Bishop of Cloyne, Ireland, and an antiquary. He was born in the Tower of London and educated at Harrow School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was senior tutor for many years...

    , buried here

Nearest places

  • Woolwich
    Woolwich is a district in south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.Woolwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created...

  • Welling
    Welling is a district in the London Borough of Bexley, South East London. It is a suburban development situated between Shooter's Hill and Bexleyheath north of the A2 road and 10.5 miles east south-east of Charing Cross.-History:...

  • Thamesmead
    Thamesmead is a district of south-east London, England, located in the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bexley. It is situated east of Charing Cross....

  • Abbey Wood
    Abbey Wood
    Abbey Wood is a district of South-East London, England, located mostly in the London Borough of Greenwich, and partly within the London Borough of Bexley. It is situated east of Charing Cross.-Development:...

  • Kidbrooke
    Kidbrooke is a district of South East London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.The district takes its name from the Kyd Brook, a watercourse which runs from Orpington to Lewisham, by which point it is part of the River Quaggy...

  • Eltham, London
    Eltham, London
    -Parks and open spaces:There is a large variety of open green space in Eltham, in the form of parkland, fields and woodland.*Avery Hill Park is large, open parkland, situated to the east of Eltham. It is most notable for its Winter Garden, a hothouse containing tropical trees and plants from around...

  • Falconwood
    -Southeastern Train Services:Nearest Train Stations* Falconwood railway station, Lingfield Crescent, Eltham, London, SE9 2RN.* Eltham railway station, Well Hall Road, Eltham, London, SE9 6SL....

  • Sidcup
    Sidcup is a district in South East London in the London Borough of Bexley and small parts of the district in the London Borough of Greenwich.Located south east of Charing Cross, Sidcup is bordered by the London Boroughs of Greenwich and Bromley and Kent County Council, and whilst now part of...

Government and politics

Local bloggers

  • Greenwich Phantom - This Greenwich blogger has lots of local info on the Greenwich area
  • Plumsteadshire - Visit this informative blog for lively local chat and info about Plumstead Common and the local area.
  • Sibonetic - Visit this site for a view into life in Plumstead Common, from a blogger who's lived in the area for over 20 years.
  • Plumstead Zone 4 Community Life - A blog by Dr Marta Rabikowska detailing her thoughts and activities in the local area.

Local community groups

  • Plumstead Common Environment Group - A group of local Plumstead Common residents who are concerned about the natural environment of Plumstead Common and its environs, and do a range of work to improve and preserve the area's beauty, local character and history.
  • Plumstead Make Merry - A community initiative which runs an annual festival on the Plumstead Common
    Plumstead Common
    Plumstead Common is a common in Plumstead, in the London Borough of Greenwich, south-east London. It is bound to the north by Old Mill Road and to the south by Plumstead Common Road. To the east lies Winn or Winn's Common...

  • Plumstead Integration Project - A group dedicated to integration through creativity.
  • One Day Cafe - A local group campaigning for a first community cafe and arts venue for Plumstead Common. The group put on music events in the Common's rugby pavilion and have an online petition for those who want to support the cause.


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