"PLUMSTEAD, a parish in the hundred of Lessness, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, county Kent, 1 mile E. of Woolwich, its post town, and 10 S. by E. of London. It is a station on the North Kent railway. The parish to the northward is bounded by the river Thames, of which there is a view from the common. Plumstead was formerly a market town, and possessed a charter for holding fairs, now disused. It was given in 960 by King Edgar to Canterbury priory, and was also held by Tostan, son of Earl Godwin, and after the Norman conquest by Bishop Odo. Upon the dissolution of monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII. it came to the Boughtons, and afterwards to J. Michel, who gave it to Queen's College, Oxford, in 1736. During the period of Henry VIII.'s reign, a considerable portion of the Plumstead and Erith marshes were flooded, and so continued until James I.'s time. The village, which is an increasing suburb of the metropolis, is well paved, lighted with gas, and abundantly supplied with good water. It contains numerous shops, and the country in its vicinity is studded with villas. The land is in some parts of a hilly nature, and in others flat and marshy. There are brick and tile kilns, also sand and chalk pits, near the common. There are powder magazines in the marshes adjoining the Thames. Sugar moulds are also made. A considerable portion of the land is in market gardens. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of London, value £701. The parish church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is an ancient structure with a tower, and of late years has undergone considerable improvements. The church of St. Margaret is situated on Plumstead Common, and is of recent erection. There is a district church at Shooter's Hill. The parochial charities produce about £106 per annum, of which £46 goes to Cole's Sunday-school. There are National and infant schools, also places of worship for Dissenters. About 1½ mile E. of the parish church are the remains of Lessness Abbey, founded by Richard Lucy in 1178, who was buried here. The manor belongs to Christ's Hospital, London."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]