What lies beneath? Authorities look into Great Hole of Charlton

Woodland Terrace sinkhole
The scene as captured by local police early this morning

As you’ve probably gathered from elsewhere, a sinkhole appeared in Woodland Terrace overnight, almost swallowing a car whole.

The hole appeared following a second night of heavy rain. Authorities are investigating, while the 380 bus is diverted away from the area.


It’s not known how the hole appeared, but it follows an incident last week where a sinkhole appeared near housing in Plumstead. If you’ve got a long memory, you’ll also remember the huge hole in Blackheath Hill, west Greenwich, that opened up at Easter 2002, caused by old chalk mining.

Charlton has its own share of underground mysteries – a few years back, it was claimed a cave posed a threat to the rail tunnels underneath Maryon Park, close to where this morning’s incident took place.

For now, though, it’s simply a relief that nobody was injured. If you’re near the scene and can tell us more about what’s happening, please let us know.

PS. Somebody passing by in a minicab reported the hole to the council via fault-reporting service FixMyStreet at 3.09am: “Road has collapsed. Car is on edge and ready to drop inside. It is not safe. My uber taxi could not see the collapsed road in dark. Avoided falling inside but he has two flat tyres now.” A moment when 999 might have been a better choice…

9.55am update: Thanks to Emma for this Facebook update: “I’ve just been past, the water and gas guys are there (plus TV cameras, police etc). They were talking about moving the car today but the vehicle needed to do it is 7.5 tons and they’re (understandably) concerned. It looks hollow underneath. Road closed to traffic between Heathwood Gardens and Maryon Road but pedestrian access is now open.”

6.55pm update: The car is now out of the hole, but the road will be closed for some time to come.