North Woolwich is a place in the London Borough of Newham. It is located north of Woolwich proper which is on the south bank of the River Thames. The two places are linked by the Woolwich Ferry and the Woolwich foot tunnel.
Historically North Woolwich consisted of two nearby tracts of land, totalling 412 acres (1.7 km2), situated on the north bank of the River Thames. The western detached part was surrounded on three sides by the parish of East Ham and the eastern portion bordered East Ham to the west and Barking Town to the north.1
The now disused North Woolwich railway station, which was closed in preparation for future transport developments which will use sections of the line, is situated adjacent to the ferry terminal. An extension of the Docklands Light Railway to the area opened in December 2005. Until 2009, this terminated at King George V; a further extension south of the river, to Woolwich Arsenal, opened in 2009. This situation means that North Woolwich now sports two old station buildings. The closed North London Line station is adjacent to an earlier station which closed in 1979; this has housed the Old Station Museum since 1984, which is devoted to the history of the Great Eastern and London and North Eastern railways.
Administratively, North Woolwich was part of Kent 2 at least since the Norman Conquest when one of William the Conqueror's lords, Hamo, was granted land on both sides of the Thames at this spot, probably to enable him to enjoy the taxes from cross-river traffic. It lay in the parish of Woolwich and later the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, but was absorbed into the London Borough of Newham in 1965 when Woolwich south of the Thames became part of what is now the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is unique in Outer London in being part of the County of London before 1965. The population peaked just before the First World War, and reduced substantially in the Second World War when it was heavily bombed.
The area was formerly the site of industries including the cable works of W T Henley (later AEI) and the Western Electric Co (later STC) on the river to the west of the ferry, and a large Harland & Wolff ship building and repair shop at Gallions Point to the south of the King George V Dock entrance lock (not to be confused with their works at the western end of the dock). Often on the day of launch of a new ship, the company would invite children from the local primary school (Storey Street; now closed) to witness the event.
North Woolwich is linked to Woolwich, to its South, by a free ferry and a free pedestrian tunnel
- 1871: 1,455
- 1881: 1,504
- 1891: 2,055
- 1901: 3,086
- 1911: 4,409
- 1921: 3,970
- 1931: 3,579
- For details of education in North Woolwich see the List of schools in the London Borough of Newham
- 'West Ham: Introduction', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 6 (1973) Date accessed: 27 July 2009
- "Hansard : Considerations". 18 June 1874. Retrieved 5 Oct 2011.