Dartmouth House, Dartmouth Row, Blackheath, c. 1900


One of the trivial myths of Blackheath's history is that it is common land.

In fact the heath is manorial waste, mostly of the Earl of Dartmouth's Manor of Lewisham and also the Royal Manor of Greenwich. The freeholders gave free use to Londoners in 1871.

The heath's chief natural resource is gravel, and the freeholders retained rights over its extraction.

This view shows the Blackheath house of the Earl of Dartmouth and family members. They lived on this site from 1690 and in this house from c.1750. The house was extended in 1907. The house was used by the Diocese of Southwark initially as a palace for its first bishop and later as the College of Greyladies.

See historic maps of Blackheath