Winn’s Common

Park in/near Plumstead, existing until now

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Park · Plumstead · SE18 ·

Winn’s Common is a public open space in Plumstead.

Winn’s Common is said to have been settled by ancient Britons. Several Bronze Age burial mounds were found in the area, as well as Roman relics. One mound remains on Winn’s Common, the Winn’s Common Tumulus.

During World War II a line of barrage balloons were sited on Winn’s Common to deter enemy aircraft from attacking the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. At the end of the war many prefabricated houses were placed on the common to try to alleviate the displaced from all over London. The prefabs came down in the early 1950s to be replaced by open ground and football pitches. An old hut at the North End of the common, adjacent to Kings Highway, served as the changing rooms with a tin trough and cold taps supplying the only washing facility.

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The eastern end of the site of the former Royal Arsenal forms Plumstead’s northern boundary.

It means ’place where the plum trees grew’ and was first recorded around 970 as ’Plumstede’.

For most of its history, the village was of little consequence.

Plumstead station opened in 1859. The Herbert estate was laid out north of Shooters Hill. To the south of the railway, Burrage Road was laid out and the first terraces of ’Burrage Town’ were built on Sandy Hill Road.

Plumstead expanded rapidly in the 1880s with housing developed for Arsenal workers, two-up two-down terraced housing was common in the area close to the river.

The downsizing of Woolwich Arsenal after the First World War brought a decline to Plumstead.

After the Second World War council projects transformed the western side of Plumstead. The largest of these was the Glyndon estate, with almost 2,000 dwellings, which was begun in 1959 and completed in 1981.
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