I visited Greenwich Heritage Centre on my tube jaunt down to Greenwich. The Centre, which is free to visit, is located in Artillery Square in the Royal Arsenal, a short walk from Woolwich Arsenal station.
The small museum is about the development of Greenwich from the earliest times to the present day. It contains a wealth of artefacts including tools that were used in the Royal Arsenal, an Egyptian mummified cat, nineteenth and twentieth-century artworks and material from the Roman temple in Greenwich Park.
The museum takes its unusual logo from an artefact called the Bellarmine Jug. This was excavated in the 1970s from the old Woolwich Dockyard and was made in a large kiln there in the 17th century.
The Main Gallery houses the exhibition Inside the Arsenal, which examines the story of the Royal Arsenal and the Royal Woolwich Dockyard from the time of Henry VIII to the present. The role of the Arsenal during the war years is examined, and there is a piece on the Arsenal football team, who later moved to north London, where they are still.
Alongside the main part of the museum is an exhibition called The Millennium Embroideries, showcasing the incredible talents of local women who have created embroidered panels covering the borough’s history over the past thousand years. When I visited, there was also an exhibition in the Temporary Gallery concerning Asian culture in Greenwich, which was very interesting.
The Greenwich Heritage Centre is a small but free interesting museum, and if you’re passing through the borough on your way to the more famous heritage attractions, it’s worth popping in here to get a sense of the borough’s history.
Address: Artillery Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich SE18 4DX
Opening Hours: Tues-Sat 9am-5pm