Woolwich (Wool'litch), a parish in Kent (county of London), and part of Eltham royal manor, on the Thames, 9 miles below London Bridge, was in 1885 constituted a parliamentary borough returning one member. It includes the three parishes of Woolwich, Plumstead, and Eltham, and is now one of the municipal boroughs of the county of London. Pop. (1901) 117,178. The chief part of the town lies south of the river, but North Woolwich is in Essex. The Royal Arsenal (employing over 14,000 men) dates from 1585, when Queen Elizabeth had a store of arms and armour at the Tower House, a mansion in Woolwich Warren adjoining the then boggy and unhealthy marshes of Plumstead. Prince Rupert protected the King's Warren with batteries in Charles II. 's reign, and other fortifications were added by James II. In 1716 the proof of ordnance was transferred from Moorfields to Woolwich, guns began to be cast there, carriages constructed, and powder stored. From these works grew the three great departments of the Royal Arsenal - the Royal Gun Factories, Royal Carriage Department, and Royal Laboratory. After 1805 the ground covered by these works quickly extended to some 300 acres. Guns of all sizes, every form of military wagon, shot, shell, torpedoes, cartridges, bullets, rockets, tubes, and fuses, have since always been produced there, small-arms being made at Birmingham and Enfield, and powder, gun-cotton, and other explosives at Waltham. The barracks are very imposing buildings. The Herbert Hospital, built soon after the Crimean war at the south end of Woolwich Common, is one of the largest military hospitals in Britain. The common itself, nearly half a square mile in extent, forms an excellent drill-ground. At its south-west corner there is a hut camp for two field batteries, and opposite to it the handsome buildings of the Royal Military Academy. This, the oldest military school in the kingdom, dates from 1741. The Royal Military Academy was built in 1801. In 1869 the Royal Dockyard at Woolwich, long the chief one in the kingdom, was closed; but it continues to be used as a military store depot. The Great Harry was built there in 1562, the Royal George in 1751, the Galatea in 1859, and more than 200 other ships. At the north-west end of the common are the Repository and the Rotunda Museum of military antiquities. St George's Garrison Church (1863) is one of the few conspicuous buildings in the town. Woolwich, among whose sons have been Lovelace and General Gordon, has gradually become a suburb of London. Plumstead on the east and Charlton on the west merge into Woolwich. Like it they are densely populated.