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Geology and Prehistory

Greenwich Park stretches from the level plateau of gravel and sands of Blackheath in the south, then drops some 30 metres (nearly 100 feet) before levelling out on the north side towards the Thames. The gravelly soils of the higher area give way to sands and loam with seams of clay, creating perfect conditions for natural springs.

This configuration of high and low ground with a good water supply has had a strong influence on the Park’s history.

Stone implements and flint chippings have been found on the Crooms Hill (west) side, showing early human habitation on the high ground above the river.

The Romans

The remains of what is thought to be a Roman temple in use from AD 100 to AD 400 have been excavated on the Maze Hill (east) side of the Park. The location of some of the remains is marked by a fenced off area. It was re-excavated in 1999 by Channel 4’s Time Team.

The Anglo-Saxons

There are the remains of some 30 barrows, shallow burial mounds, in the Park. A number can be seen as slightly raised roughly circular areas about 0.5m (2ft 3in) high on the plateau to the west of Blackheath Avenue.