Woolwich walking tour - Saturday 24 August 2024 2pm

Woolwich walking tour - Saturday 24 August 2024 2pm

Regular price £19.50
Tax included.


Join Open City and local resident Rosamund Lily West to explore the municipal architecture of this most distinct of London’s districts, Woolwich

Woolwich was a major manufacturing centre with factories, a dockyard and the Royal Arsenal situated on the banks of the Thames. Alongside a strong and independent civic identity, Woolwich also maintained a significant military presence: a legacy that lives on in pub names and street names such as General Gordon Square as well as the Royal Artillery barracks and the presence of the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. Recently, Woolwich has seen a period of great change. One of Historic England’s Heritage Action Zones, Powis Street has been declared a conservation area. 

The walk begins at the new Elizabeth Line station. Designed by Weston Williamson & Partners, it references the site’s armament manufacturing history and sits alongside listed buildings in Dial Arch Square, the home of the original Arsenal Football Club. The tour will visit key buildings around Woolwich’s main squares, Beresford Square and General Gordon Square. We will visit 20th century buildings showing the commercial history of Woolwich such as the former Woolwich covered market, completed in 1936, and Equitable House, headquarters of the Woolwich Equitable Building Society. 

The tour will head down Woolwich’s main shopping street, Powis Street, seeing evidence of Woolwich’s shopping past and home to department stores such as Cuffs, Garretts and the Royal Arsenal Cooperative Society (RACS). Two RACS buildings dominate the end of Powis Street showing the area’s importance as a shopping centre in the 20th century.

Rightly proud of its housing and wary of ‘barrack-like’ blocks of flats, Woolwich built the relatively low-rise St Mary’s estate. Within this estate we will visit Norman & Dawbarn’s Frances Street towers, elegantly positioned on Frances Street overlooking the Thames.

The final destination will be within Woolwich’s main municipal precinct where the town hall, public baths and the old library are all located. Here, we will visit Market Street Health Centre before finishing up back in Dial Arch Square by the new Elizabeth Line station alongside Woolwich’s newest homes where residents enjoy riverside living.

Key information

Meet & End: Dial Arch Square, London, SE18 6FL (outside Woolwich Elizabeth Line station)

Distance: 2.5 miles

Duration: 2 hours approx

Tickets are non refundable and go ahead rain or shine… Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries. 


Rosamund Lily West is a curator, writer and historian. Having previously worked as a curator at the Royal Society of Sculptors, Kingston Museum and London Transport Museum, she now works as Research Fellow at the Survey of London based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

She is interested in public and community engagement with heritage, public art and the built environment and has led architectural tours for the V&A, London Festival of Architecture and the Architecture Foundation. Rosamund is also writing up her part-time PhD, 'The 'concrete citizens' of the London County Council's housing schemes, 1943 to 1965' at Kingston University.

Rosamund joined the Open City tours team in November 2021.


Tickets are non-refundable and tours go ahead rain or shine.

* Please check for any planned transport engineering works, planned strike action or large scale events that may affect your journey before making your ticket purchase *

If you find you can no longer make the tour for any reason we are unable to transfer you to another date, but please feel free to pass your booked place onto a friend to go and enjoy the tour in your place. 

In the event your tour date is cancelled you will be issued with a credit note (with no expiry date) that you can use to 

- book onto a rescheduled date
- book onto any other tour from our programme 

or you can request a refund. 

All ticket purchases are in support of the work of our organisation including our pioneering education programmes. We really appreciate your support! 

Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries.

Please select solidarity pricing to help Open City offer the concessionary tickets rate for student and jobseekers.

Our concession pricing (£9.50 for walking tours / £19.50 for boat tours) is available for students and jobseekers only.