Blackheath Area Guide
Blackheath - Property For Sale and RentBlackheath has for many years been seen as one of the most desirable locations in south London. There are many reasons for this. It has plenty of fine architecture and in some cases it’s spectacular, such as the striking semi-circular classical 17th century terrace, The Paragon, tucked away in a corner of the heath.
And there’s so much open space - chiefly the heath itself, historic Greenwich Park, and nearby, ancient Oxleas Woods - meaning that with it being just 10 minutes by train to London Bridge, you can feel you’re living a real town and country life.
When you add the great choice of schools, restaurants, pubs and bars, the boutique shops and buoyant community feel (Blackheath Village really does feel like a village, augmented by its Sunday Farmers’ Market), it’s no surprise the large number of people who choose the area don’t want to leave for many years.
It also boasts a flourishing cultural life, promoted by the live events at venues like Blackheath Halls and Mycenae House, at music festival OnBlackheath, and the music, art and drama at the Blackheath Conservatoire.
At weekends the heath sees young children launching toy boats on one of the several ponds, kites are a regular fixture, while the bowling green and tennis courts cater for an older crowd. Circuses, fairs, the London Marathon and one of the UK’s biggest firework displays on Bonfire Night all ensure that Blackheath is well used throughout the year.
Blackheath has a rich history - its main road running across the heath was originally Roman, while Wat Tyler’s 100,000 anti-poll tax rebels (no, not the ones that protested during Thatcher’s tenure) assembled on the green expanse in 1381. The heath has been used to gather armies, including troops for the Napoleonic wars, and was also frequented by highwaymen, including Dick Turpin. Indeed, it’s seen even more drama than an average episode of Eastenders.
Less alarmingly, golf was introduced to England on Blackheath in 1608 while Blackheath Rugby Club, (founded 1858) and Blackheath Hockey Club (founded 1861), are the oldest rugby and hockey clubs in the world.
It has a rich history of past residents too. Actors Jude Law and Daniel Day-Lewis and comedians Simon Day and Arthur Smith grew up in the area, as did Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford and Jools Holland (who still has a recording studio near Westcombe Park station). Glenda Jackson has been a long-term resident, and ex-Prime Minister James Callaghan had a house built for him, concrete and contemporary in style, at 17 Montpelier Row.
There’s a wide range of properties available throughout Blackheath, from the elegant Georgian and Regency facades lining the common, the neat Victorian terraces, and contemporary architectural designs on Langton Way. Its most expensive properties can be found on the private Cator Estate - which also houses compact post-war in-demand ‘Span’ houses. The Westcombe Park neighbourhood near Blackheath Standard is another particularly sought-after area, with a large number of sprawling Victorian semis and spacious converted flats.
Many outstanding period buildings survive. Pagoda House in Pagoda Gardens was probably built as a garden house for the fourth Earl of Cardigan in around 1760, while much of Eliot Place and Grotes Buildings contain splendid large 18th century houses, while in the ‘village’ itself, Collins Square has some picturesque mid-18th century cottages. Nearby is the imposing All Saint’s Church in the south corner at the top of the village, built in rugged Kentish ragstone in 1859.
Blackheath enjoys great transport links, from its regular trains to central London taking just 10-20 minutes, and the Jubilee line and DLR nearby connecting to the rest of the underground network, as well as City Airport for those wishing to go further afield.
All in all: when you add up all Blackheath’s attractions, why would you want to live anywhere else?