Blackheath — legend vs. reality
Picking up the right place to move in London is often a quite tiresome and taunting job. The problem is that in case you are not limited by your place of work, e.g. having to choose your home in an area that enables your hassle-free and quick travel to the office, there is a pretty good chance you will be overwhelmed by the variety of options, all of which seem to be at least as good as the next.
Truth is that there are many well established communities all over metropolitan London, in all four main subdivisions — East, West, North and South London respectively. Those are places with good transport connections, great infrastructure, a wealth of amenities and layers of culture and history that make them truly attractive. So, how is one supposed to make the right choice? By extensive research and many viewings of course.
Here, we will try to convince you that Blackheath, a small comfortable district in Greenwich, is a location worth considering. But before you purchase one of the many old and comfortable houses and check out who the local removal experts in Blackheath are, take your time and read a bit about the area. There are many interesting things to find out about it that is guaranteed.
Starting from the name Blackheath, rather odd and somewhat grim, would be a good thing. There is a really popular urban legend that goes in the sense that Blackheath was tightly related either to the Black Death of the middle of the 14th century or the big 1665 Plague. Now, there is some historical evidence to suggest that Blackheath was indeed the place where in the Middle Ages the disposal of the bodies of those who have fallen victims to the Black Death was carried out. Then again, it takes just a bit of research to show that literally every single part of London has a sort of a local legend about plague pits being located on its territory. Usually the story points out to a certain school or shops that is the location of those macabre pits, but usually there is little truth to the rumors. Serious historians has debunked the myth of the origin of Blackheath as a plague ground on a number of occasions. What we can get from historical record are a number of facts. A form of the name Blackheath is to be found in documents dating to 1166. Blachehedfeld means literally dark coloured heartland. There is enough evidence to suggest that the area was the place where the hundred of Blackheath, a sort of a local tribe council, gathered. It was not until the 19th century, when Victorian London expanded considerably, when a process of urbanization began here and the place become a proper district of the capital.
Reading all those things can potentially build a pretty grim picture of Blackheath in your head, even before you have had the chance to pay the area a visit. On the plain where legend meets reality however, as it often happens, things look pretty different.
One of the most important things that you should know about Blackheath when you consider moving in here is the simple fact that the district is part of the London Borough of Greenwich. This alone should show that it is a truly nice place to settle down in. After all, Greenwich is renowned for being welcoming to newcomers and providing residents, old and new, with some of the best living conditions the capital has to offer. There are of course all the general amenities, cultural and educational bodies and administrative institutions of all sorts. Greenwich lends its name to the Prime Meridian and as such it is known throughout the world. It is also the greenest area in London, with the highest concentration of some of the finest and best maintained open green spaces that the city has to offer at the present moment.
All those favorable features transfer completely to Blackheath too.
Actually, the area is leader in many respects when compared to other districts in East London. For example, it is home to the largest common grounds in Greater London, which count at 211.5 acres. Both Lewisham and Greenwich councils look after the heath. Greenwich Natural History Society recorded a wide list of animal species, including natterjack toads, hares, common lizards, bats, quail, ring ouzel and nightingale living here, and Karl Linnaeus, the father of modern botany and biology for that matter, worked here with great delight.
The residential quarters of Blackheath are centered around the eponymous train station. It is not something uncommon for London. The arrival of the railway in certain compounds around the capital announced the period of urbanization of the capital, so it is only logical that the majority of amenities, including stores, pubs and restaurants, as well as the oldest administrative and residential developments here are near the train station.
If you are interested in popular culture you will be pleased to learn that the local community is pretty active in that respect. 2014 saw the first On Blackheath Music Festival, which is to become a regular event for the area. The lineup was particularly impressive — Massive Attack, Frank Turner, Grace Jones, Aloe Blacc and Imelda May. This year (2015) the festival was frontlined by Elbow, Madness, Manic Street Preachers, Laura Mvula and Kelis.
On Guy Fawkes Night annual fireworks are hosted in the heath, which is another popular event frequented by the majority of the local population.
These are only a few of the things that make Blackheath, well… not so black. It is a great area to live in, either renting or buying a place, no matter whether you are a young professional working in the City or you are looking for the peace of modern suburbia for yourself and your family. Do not hesitate to look at properties here, because you are guaranteed to find one up to your liking nearly with a hundred percent certainty.