TQ4680 : Looking across the former moat to Tump 53. Thamesmead


A substantial amount of the land at Thamesmead once formed part of the Royal Arsenal where explosives and weapons were manufactured, tested and stored. About 30 moated magazines, known as tumps, were built around 1890 to direct any accidental explosion harmlessly upwards. Some of the tumps have been preserved within Thamesmead. The brick walls, banked with earth have been preserved but the special lightweight roofs have been removed. After the First World War the Arsenal declined because it lay too far from coal and steel sources and the site was vulnerable to air attacks. The GLC was able to purchase the land from the Ministry of Defence in 1965 to build Thamesmead on the site.

This is Tump 53 which is now a nature reserve. It is on the other side of the canal and the old walls are largely hidden by vegetation. See https://www.visitgreenwich.org.uk/thamesmead/ for more information and contact details.