Village London

  • BlackheathVillage hall

    Not really, but there is the Age Exchange centre on the High Street that acts as a sort of village hall for old people. The former parish hall is now the Mary Evans Picture Library. 4/10

    The Sun Inn

    Cricket pitch

    Blackheath CC plays a few miles down the road in Charlton. Locals brag that Blackheath is where golf was introduced to England, with the formation of the Royal Blackheath Golf Club in 1608. 1/10

    Village green

    The heath is far too large to be a proper communal space (although there is a bandstand). However, it was a rallying point for the Peasants’ Revolt (1381) and Jack Cade’s Rebellion (1450). 4/10

    Local pub

    Abutting the heath 100 yards out of town is the splendid Princess of Wales (1a Montpelier Row, SE3, 020 8297 5911). There are claims that the world’s first rugby union club was founded here in 1858. 8/10

    Post office

    A perfect example of the genre, located right opposite the village library, just as it should be. 10/10


    The imposing All Saints (1857-67) is the only building located on the heath itself. It stands on its own at the edge of the heath and makes no attempt to relate to nearby buildings. 9/10

    Local bobby

    We didn’t see one, but the Met tells us that the officer in charge of Blackheath is Sergeant James Yaxley, who operates out of Lewisham nick, where he is in rather greater demand. 5/10

    Annual fête

    Blackheath Fair was a biannual event that in 1837 featured an appearance by Spring Heeled Jack who tore the blouse off one Polly Adams. These days there’s less blouse-tearing when it takes place in May. 7/10

    Village idiot

    A chap stands at the crossing by the greengrocers every Saturday, holding a sign that says ‘Stop Killing the World’, which is good advice if annoyingly imprecise. 2/10

    Village people

    Blackheath is surely the only place in London where the tea hut on the station platform has pavement seating and plays classical music to customers. This is a place that works hard at being posh. 7/10

    Local's verdict

    ‘We have a butcher, a post office and a bakery, as well as curtain-twitchers. You suddenly feel compelled to talk to your neighbours or join the Neighbourhood Watch – things you’ve watched your mum do for years but never thought you’d emulate.’ Anna Vickerstaff, Blackheath resident Total 57/100

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