Open House Festival

The Royal Arsenal - Then, Now and Into the Future


Woolwich station of Elizabeth line, Dial Arch Square

The Royal Arsenal was pivotal in every major conflict for over 400 years. After years of being off-limits, many buildings have been re-purposed as performing arts spaces, restaurants, bars and most recently a huge residential complex.

Getting there


Woolwich Arsenal, Woolwich


122, 386, 472, 51, 53, 54, 96

Additional travel info

*Elizabeth line's Woolwich station - Outside the station is the meeting point for the tour.



The Meeting Point

Outside the Elizabeth line's Woolwich station, Dial Arch Square, Major Draper Street,
Woolwich, SE18 6GD

The Tour - The Royal Arsenal - Then, Now and Into the Future

First established by Henry VIII, the Royal Arsenal has a long and distinguished history that climaxed during WWI when it employed approximately 80,000 people. The surrounding area's rise and fall mirrored that of the Arsenal itself, which finally closed completely in the 1994. For years, Arsenal was off-limits to public, but recent developments and investments including the opening of the Woolwich station of Elizabeth line have made it desirable again to live, work, and play.

Today the Royal Arsenal serves as an anchor for the renewal and revitalisation of Woolwich. Many original buildings built over the centuries have been re-purposed as restaurants, bars, performing arts venues as well as a huge new residential complex that mixes the old and new. This tour looks at what the Royal Arsenal has become and reveals hints of its vast history as well as contemplates its future and that of Woolwich.

The Guide - Lisa Lu of Eclectic Tours -

Eclectic Tours is led by Lisa Lu. Holder of a Golden Key Badge as a trained tour guide from Open City/Open House London, Lisa is an American who has lived in London for almost 15 years. She holds a MA in Shakespeare Studies from King's College London and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in New York and Chicago and has a background in theatre and film. Her interests are varied – even eclectic – as reflected in the range of tours. For information on more tours, please go to:

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