News Story

In 1825, the East Range of the building now known as the Fireworks Factory – where you’ll find our café bar on the ground floor – became part of the Royal Laboratory, which was first established on the Arsenal site under William III in 1696.

Look out the café windows, you can see ‘pepper pot’ guard houses flanking the pier, they were built in 1814-15 and were the main points of entry to the site from the river.

Important visitors came from all over the world, and many of them are logged in the Royal Ordnance Factories Visitors’ Book. We’ve taken some of the signatures from that book and recreated them in neon on the exposed brick walls of this amazing space. The signatures tell some of the stories of the people who came to Woolwich throughout its rich history.

This has always been a room in which people of different cultures and nationalities were proudly introduced to Woolwich.

Nearly 200 years later, we've brought it back to life as a busy, buzzing space that welcomes people from across the community and shows off some of the best of the borough to visitors from beyond.