Open House Weekend 2018: What can we visit in Charlton and nearby?

Charlton House’s Summer House, currently undergoing restoration works, will be open to visitors as part of this year’s Open House Weekend.

Many thanks to Charlton Champion contributor LARA RUFFLE COLES for this round-up of the properties in Charlton and nearby that are taking part in this year’s Open House Weekend.

Open House is a tricky beast… there is always so much to see over the two days, and as the event increases in popularity each year, balancing visiting many buildings versus visiting the popular ones gets harder and harder – let alone navigating your way round London.

So, how about you just stick to the Royal Borough of Greenwich this year? It is definitely worth focusing on a smaller area and is something the other half and I did one year – and we’ve been ‘Open House-ing’ since 2009.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd of September, and Greenwich borough alone has 23 buildings to visit and 3 tours to consider. As it can all be a bit overwhelming, here is a Top Five ‘must have’ list, plus a few more if time allows.

Top Five

Charlton House, Charlton Road SE7 8RE

An obvious but excellent choice. Our local community centre is London’s only surviving Jacobean mansion, and a superb venue to get married in. Visit rooms that are usually off limits during regular opening hours, and gaze lovingly at our local park through the upstairs windows. This year you’ll be able to take a look around the Summer House, currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment.

129 Maze Hill, SE3 7UB

I’ve not been to this location but having visited other homes in Greenwich and further afield, a good nosy round someone else’s house is well worth your time (and it is the only house listed for Greenwich borough this year). This 1960s building is also the architect’s home so you can ask all the questions you like – whether your interest is the building itself or its interior design.

Greenwich Reach Swing Bridge, Glaisher Street SE8 3ER

This graceful foot and cycle bridge between Deptford and Greenwich was opened in 2015 and spans over Deptford Creek. Visiting at low or high tide is an exciting prospect, and if you are really lucky you might see it open and close – please note we have no information on when this might happen!

Severndroog Castle, Castle Wood SE18 3RT

A hidden gem at the top of Shooters Hill, this tiny 18th century tower reopened to the public a few years ago. The views from the roof are magnificent and you can also hire the castle for various events including weddings.

Woolwich Town Hall, Wellington Street SE18 6PW

Built in 1903, our borough’s Edwardian town hall has an absolutely stunning main hall with bifurcated stairs. The entrance itself, the clockhouse and the exterior are also worth a good look at. And you can definitely get married here – as I did in 2014!

A few more

Greenwich Yacht Club, Peartree Way SE10 0BW

I’ve not been inside the yacht club, but viewing the building, the walkway to it and the surrounding Thames views make the trip there worthwhile. The area itself is also part of the Thames Path.

St George’s Garrison Church, Grand Depot Road SE18 6XJ

Across from Woolwich Barracks, the bombed-out St George’s Garrison Church is well worth a pootle about. Lovely brickwork, mosaics that have been recently restored, and a new arched roof to protect the ruins from further damage.

Thames Barrier View Café and Information Centre, Unity Way SE18 5NJ

The Sunday of Open House Weekend would be a good time to visit this entry as the Environment Agency will be carrying out the Barrier’s annual full tidal closure test, with “various fun and educational activities for children, talks, demonstrations, information and display stands”. There’s a permanent playground here with a big slide for the child in all of us – and the slide itself is built on top of the levee that protects the surrounding area from flooding.


Don’t forget to order your guide to plan the weekend in advance. You can use the Open House site to read up on every listing, but having the actual book to carry about is essential. Order ASAP as delivery will be a few days.

If you aren’t keen on carrying an A5 book about, you can download the Apple and Google apps, but please do buy the guide for £10 and help support this amazing event.

Did you know that Open House takes places in other cities? 42 participants as of this year, read more at Open House Worldwide.

Have you got an Open House Weekend recommendation? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 thoughts on “Open House Weekend 2018: What can we visit in Charlton and nearby?

  1. John September 17, 2018 / 04:30

    “there is no Android version so I have no idea if it is any good”

    Eh? If there’s no Android version then I’m not quite sure what’s installed on my phone and has just updated itself from last year …

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