It may be hard to imagine it now, but Charlton was once a little village, and not really a part of London at all. Indeed, it still retains some of its village charm, especially around Charlton House. The name, Charlton, is Anglo-Saxon for 'farmstead of the freemen or peasants'.

Iron Age fort

The earliest traces of a community at Charlton were found in what is now Maryon Park, where an Iron Age hill fort was excavated in the 1920s. Within the hill fort was found evidence of earlier stone age people.

Charlton House and Charlton Park

Charlton is perched on high ground overlooking the Thames. At the heart of the community is Charlton House, its former manor house. Built from 1607 to 1612 by Adam Newton (who died in 1630), this Jacobean mansion is unique in London.

Adjacent to the house are the near-contemporary parish church, the original stables, a very fine summer house, and Charlton Park, the surviving part of the original grounds.

Poplar Cottage

In Charlton Road, Poplar Cottage is a weather-boarded 17th century cottage which remains as a reminder of Charlton's rural past.