Severndroog Castle

Things to do Shooters Hill
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Severndroog Castle
© Ian Macaulay

Built by a grieving widow in a commanding position in a bluebell wood on Shooters Hill, this wonderfully Gothic 18th-century tower was designed by architect Richard Jupp in an unusual triangular shape. It also has an impressive viewing platform.

The widow was Anne, Lady James, whose husband Sir William died in 1783, and the castle commemorates her love for her husband and his greatest adventure: destroying a band of pirates in 1755 in their fortress - Severn Droog - off the west coast of Malabar.

The castle is both Grade II* listed and on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register, and the motivated volunteers who'll show you round ensure all your entry fee goes towards ongoing preservation work.

The tea room is open Wed-Sun in season (


Venue name: Severndroog Castle
Address: Castle Wood
Shooters Hill
SE18 3RT
Opening hours: Thur, Fri, Sun 12.30-4.30pm. Early Nov-early Mar Thur, Fri, Sun 11am-3pm
Transport: North Greenwich tube, then 486 bus, or Woolwich Arsenal DLR, then 244 bus
Price: £2.50, £2 child, £6 family (annual £20, £30 couple, £40 family
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Think you’ve done seen all the Towers in London? Think again for this hidden gem is one of London’s best kept secret.

Set in the forest of picture-pretty Oxleas Woods, this 232 year old gothic style Tower has 3 storeys to explore and once you reach the top, you are presented  with a quite breathtaking  panoramic view of London. It’s pretty up there, I assure you, and on a clear day you can see as much seven counties. SEVEN! You can also grab one of the binoculars provided and spy, from afar, London’s iconic landmarks including the London Eye, The Shard, the Gherkin, Wembley Stadium (yes, really) and more. Once, you’re done taking in all that lovely view, head back down to earth and refuel with cakes, teas and refreshments at the onsite cafe. Lovely especially on a spring or summer's day.

It’s small with only four small rooms to explore in the tower itself, but the view at the top makes the trip so worthwhile. Ensure you check opening times before you go as Severndroog is open on select days during the week.

It is a little tricky to get too and a bit of a trek - Oxleas Woods is on a hill it’s not within walking distance from a tube stop) but persevere with the buses and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views in one one of London’s best kept secret. Those with a sense for adventure will love this.