This Grade II-listed nineteenth-century London ballroom is getting some much-needed TLC

A 200-year-old Grade II-listed rotunda on Woolwich Common that is in need of ‘emergency’ work to avoid it crumbling into disrepair is finally being restored. Greenwich Council has revealed plans for a series of repairs intended to prevent the building’s collapse. 

The Woolwich Rotunda was built way back in 1814 to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon – an event so exciting that it was built an entire year before Le Petit Caporal was actually defeated. It was dismantled and re-erected on Woolwich Common, and from 1820 to 2001 it served as the home of an artillery museum.

Since then, Woolwich Rotunda has been empty and neglected. Historic England lists the condition of the ex-showroom as ‘very bad’, saying there is ‘immediate risk of further rapid deterioration’. The Rotunda has only undergone several small repairs since its closure at the turn of the millennium. 

Thankfully, the structure is now getting a bit of TLC. Planning documents from Crosby Granger Architects show that the refurb will target the roof and its canvas lining, as well as the Rotunda’s doors and windows. In fact, the only part that doesn’t need repairing is the car park outside. 

The plans by Crosby Granger urge Greenwich Council to act to preserve an important piece of national heritage. So, here’s to hoping they’ll be moved by its history! After all, there’s nothing British people love more than remembering all the times they beat the French.

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