Lies east of Woolwich on the eastern boundary of the London Borough of Greenwich. Modern Abbey Wood was originally part of the extensive marshes of Plumstead and Lesnes (later Erith) manors which were enclosed in the early 13th century by the monks of the 12th-century Lesnes Abbey.
The abbey was closed before the Dissolution, and from the 18th century the marshes were used by the Woolwich Arsenal. During the 19th century weapons were tested there and some of the Arsenal’s moated enclosures still survive north of Thamesmead.
By the end of the century Abbey Wood Station had been built on the North Kent Line, taking its name from the surviving woods south of the Lesnes Abbey remains, and giving it to the area that subsequently developed.
During 1900–14 over 1,500 homes were built on the Bostall Estate, and in the 1950s the London County Council developed the Abbey Wood Estate. The parish church of St Michael dates from 1908 (Sir Arthur Blomfield and Sons).
Excerpted from The London Encyclopaedia by kind permission of the Publishers, Pan MacMillan.
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