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Woolwich, 1824

Woolwich, 1824

Artist: Scharf, Elizabeth

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1824

Shelfmark: Additional MS 36489A

Item number: f35

Length: 15.5

Width: 24.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

This vigorous drawing depicts housing found at Woolwich in South London.

There is evidence that a community has existed at Woolwich since the Iron Age. In 1512 Henry VIII chose Woolwich as the centre of shipbuilding for the newly formed Royal Navy. The area that was later to become the Royal Arsenal was first used as a storage facility for ammunition. The extensive, marshy ground was found to be ideal for military exercises, as it helped deaden the sound of explosions. The Military Academy appeared in 1741 and was in much use over the next 200 years, particularly during the Crimean and First World Wars. In WWII the area became a popular target for the Luftwaffe and consequently suffered heavy bombing.

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