Honey Bees, Mulberry Trees…and job opportunities: latest news from Charlton House

Bee Hives On Charlton House Roof
Bee hives amongst the chimneys on the roof of Charlton House.

News in from Charlton House of two events happening next week – one celebrating the honey bee on Thursday August 24th (did you know there are thriving beehives on the roof of Charlton House?), including talks from a beekeeper, kids’ activities, and a chance to see the beehives. 

On Tuesday 22nd August ‘Morus Londinium’ looks at the heritage of London’s mulberry trees, including Charlton’s own. The latter is a Friends of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust exclusive event – find out more about the Friends here.

Plus, Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust – keepers of Charlton House – have two job vacancies open at the moment. Find out about the roles – they’re looking for a Business Development Executive and a Community Outreach Officer – here.


Unseen for 20 years: Inside Charlton’s Summer House

Thanks to Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust for letting us have a look inside the Summer House at Charlton this morning.

As revealed on the Charlton Champion earlier this month, work is now underway to restore the 17th century Summer House – believed to have been designed by Inigo Jones.

Asbestos has been removed and the interior cleaned up, revealing the public toilets last used in the early 1990s. The next phase of work will see these removed, interior partitions taken down, the windows replaced, then the space made available for temporary (dare we say pop-up?) uses.

We understand that the building will be lit from the inside at night, which should improve that particular corner of Charlton Village after dark.

Charlton House: Summer House restoration begins


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Work has begun to restore Charlton House’s Summer House, thanks to a donation from the World Monuments Fund.

The Grade I listed Summer House, attributed to Inigo Jones, once gave panoramic views back along the River Thames to The City of London and has stood empty and unused since the public toilets within it were closed in the early nineties. It has been included in Historic England’s ‘Register of Heritage at Risk’ for many years. Work has now begun to remove asbestos and to clear the building of the modern toilet fittings and masonry partitions to leave it open and available for a wide variety of temporary uses.

Will this old Borough of Greenwich sign go into the Trust’s historic collection?

Tracy Stringfellow, Chief Executive of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust, said, “Charlton House is one of London’s unsung architectural gems and this work is the first step of a process to re-imagine the house and its grounds to provide enhanced facilities for visitors that befit this historically significant site. It will give the estate a ‘front-door’ where small exhibitions and other temporary events can be staged and the Trust looks forward to working with local stakeholders to begin this journey.”

Architect Charlie MacKeith, overseeing the initial project, says “it is a great privilege to be working with the Trust at the start of Charlton House’s revival. This fascinating little building, currently hidden and locked, has started revealing tantalising fragments of its history even before we’ve started to remove pre-war additions. The reopened pavilion will have a dramatic impact on the park and village”.

The Charlton Champion understands that following the first stage of restoration, RGHT will be looking for ideas for temporary uses of the space – time to start thinking about what you’d like to see in the Summer House!




Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust launches ‘Friends’ scheme

RGHT Friends

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust – the body responsible for Charlton House and Charlton Assembly Room amongst other heritage assets across the borough – have launched a new Friends of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust scheme. They say:

We want to start a conversation about our heritage and we want you to be a part of it. Through events, exhibitions and activities, our aim is to not only share our beautiful buildings and museum collections but play a more dynamic role in the lives of our local community.

As a Friend of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust you can enjoy:

• exclusive Friends events

• 10% discount in Charlton Tea Rooms

• 10% discount in our Museum Shop

• subscription to a regular Trust newsletter

• advance information for Trust events and exhibitions

Your donation will support the work of the Trust and ensure we can make the absolute most of the assets we have. We want to share them with you and there’s no better way for you to get involved than to become a Friend.

Membership costs £15 per annum. You can download their brochure here, and  join the Friends of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust here.

What’s happening at Charlton House? An update from Cllr Gary Parker

Charlton House

Here’s the latest on Charlton House and the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust (the body that runs it) from Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker…

This is a summary of the work I have been involved in with Board members, staff, volunteers and the public with regard to the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust/ Charlton House.
Councillor Gary Parker

Charlton House

Donald Insall Associates, who completed the Condition Survey for Charlton House, hosted a seminar about Jacobean architecture with speakers including Professor Malcolm Airs of the University of Oxford, who returned a key to the Charlton House team, gifted to him 50 years previously by a former caretaker!

Charlton House key

Making Woolwich

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is delighted to announce the opening of the new permanent exhibition Making Woolwich – The Royal Regiment of Artillery in Woolwich 1716-2016 at Greenwich Heritage Centre, on the historic Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.

Developed in collaboration with the people of Woolwich and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The museum team talked to over 300 residents to discover their stories and histories of military life in Woolwich.

Opening addresses were given by Len Duvall OBE, Chair of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust; Major General Nick Eeles, Royal Artillery; and Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of Greenwich Council.

The gallery was formally opened by the daughters of Woolwich men who served in the First World War, and whose stories are shared in Making Woolwich. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Royal Regiment of Artillery, Royal Artillery Museums Ltd, Friends of the Royal Artillery Collections and the Royal Artillery Historical Trust.

41 Pattison Road

Focusing on one Plumstead home, this new exhibition at the Heritage Centre explores the lives of the residents of 41 Pattison Road, through the museum & archive of Royal Greenwich. The story – spans one hundred years including two World Wars – and tells the story of the day-to-day life of the Downar family and features items including motor car ration books, national identity cards and aircraft damage insurance details.

Horn Fair

Moved back to the original date in autumn to coincide with the Feast of St Luke, Horn Fair took place on 16 October 2016. In its second year the event was a great success with craft demonstrations including stone masonry, stone carving, decorative plasterwork, and a Delft tile design workshop. Traditional music was again provided by Trustee Malcolm Woods and friends. A marketplace featured stalls from local businesses including Roger Wharf, Charlton House beekeeper who did a roaring trade in sales of our very own honey!

We will begin planning for Horn Fair 2017 in the new year, with a proposed date of 22 October 2017.

Charlton noticeboard

The Trust have recently refurbished a community notice board at Charlton Assembly Rooms. Requests for items to be posted should be made to the Trust at office[at]rght.org.uk.