Unit History: Royal Arsenal Woolwich
The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, originally known as the Woolwich Warren, carried out armaments manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research for British armed forces. It was sited on the south bank of the River Thames in Woolwich in south-east London, England. It was formally established as an Ordnance Storage Depot in 1671 on a 31 acre (125,000 m?) site, the Warren in Tower Place. An ammunition laboratory (the Royal Laboratory) was added in 1695, and a gun foundry (the Royal Brass Foundry) was established in 1717. By 1777 it had expanded to 104 acres (0.4 km?). Shortly afterwards, convict labour was used to construct an, approximately, 2.5 mile long brick boundary wall, generally eight-foot high. In 1804 this wall was raised to 20 foot near the Plumstead road, and to 15 foot in other parts. In 1814-16, convict labour was also used to dig a canal (the Ordnance Canal), which formed the eastern boundary.