Charlton Area Guide
Charlton - Property For Sale and RentMany people initially attracted to Blackheath and Greenwich end up setting their sights on Charlton when they realise how much it has to offer, both in the amount of affordable square footage when buying or renting property, and also the rich range of amenities provided by this vibrant area that’s steeped in history.
Charlton has grown from a tiny Tudor village surrounding the manor house - the outstanding Jacobean Charlton House - into a thriving neighbourhood. The Victorian terraced streets around Sundorne and Swallowfield Road are especially popular with families and are particularly neighbourly. Charlton Village has recently had a facelift, with new businesses injecting new life into the area, and older ones getting refurbished. It is increasingly becoming the place for a night out, with both the White Swan and Bugle Horn pubs having been recently revamped, the latter improved to the tune of a cool £305,000.
The family-friendly White Swan was under threat of closure until being taken over by Geoff Keen of Greenwich’s ever-popular Pelton Arms, and has introduced popular live music nights and a good supply of beers, some locally brewed. “The pubs are thriving,” says Charlton resident Dennis Greaves, frontman of legendary blues band Nine Below Zero, which is touring later this year with another local band Squeeze - whose singer, Glenn Tilbrook, also lives in Charlton. “We moved to Charlton 21 years ago and have just watched the area grow,” says Dennis, who is a great fan of key local landmark The Valley, Charlton Athletic FC’s ground. “I adore having football on my doorstep, I like that social thing,’ he says.
Another welcomed addition to the Village is plush new Indian restaurant Kasturi, which decamped from its old home in the heart of the City of London where it enjoyed accolades from top reviewers from publications including The Observer, Time Out, Evening Standard and the Financial Times, no less.
Elegantly decorated, it specialises in the cuisine of what was the north-west frontier provinces of India. Its dishes really stand out from the norm, with authentic recipes made with fresh daily-ground spices and meats marinated the same day, resulting in robust aromas, and vivid tastes and textures.
There’s an excellent choice of parks in Charlton: Charlton Park, Maryon Wilson Park, Maryon Park and Hornfair Park are all situated by or near the Village.
Charlton Park is situated behind Charlton House and has a young children’s play area and an outdoor gym. The addition of a new skate park was agreed late last year by Greenwich Council’s planning board, although there has been local opposition as well as support. Majestic Charlton House is London’s only surviving Jacobean mansion, built in 1607-12 by Sir Adam Newton. Illustrating a period in the development of the English country house, it merges the sprawling Tudor style with the compact geometrical character connected with Inigo Jones. The striking red-brick building with white stone dressings has a beautifully proportioned hall as well as a tea room, library and toy library. Maryon Wilson Park contains both informal open grassland and woodlands, all in a valley setting. It is home to horses, deer, pigs, sheep, ducks and more, while Maryon Park has tennis courts and a community garden.
Nestling in the landscaped gardens of Hornfair Park is Charlton Lido. This was extensively refurbished and reopened in 2013 and as well as retaining its historic origins, a gym, cafe and heated water for year-round swimming were added.
Charlton is also graced with an historic church, St Luke’s, the burial place of the only British prime minister to be assassinated, Spencer Percival. A church in Charlton has been mentioned as far back as 1077 and the medieval parish church of St Luke, built of chalk and flint, was demolished and largely rebuilt in the 1630s. It has some very attractive decorative features and the churchyard has gravestones set amongst grass and trees including yew, a number of shrubs and a flagstone path from the small entrance gate to the church.