Greenwich went through two stages of administration during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Greenwich District (Metropolis) (1855-1900)
Greenwich was a local government district within the metropolitan area of London, England from 1855 to 1900. It was formed by the Metropolis Management Act 1855 and was governed by the Greenwich District Board of Works, which consisted of elected vestrymen.
Until 1889 the district was partly in the counties of Kent and Surrey, but included in the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works. In 1889 the area of the MBW was constituted the County of London, and the district board became a local authority under the London County Council.
The district comprised the following civil parishes:
The district was abolished in 1900 and split as follows:
Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich
The Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich was a metropolitan borough in the County of London between 1900 and 1965. Within the area of the borough were the Royal Naval College (now the National Maritime Museum), the Royal Observatory and Greenwich Park. It bordered the boroughs of Woolwich, Deptford, and Lewisham. In 1965 it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich to form the then London Borough of Greenwich, now the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The borough was formed from four civil parishes: Charlton-next-Woolwich, Deptford St Nicholas, Greenwich and Kidbrooke. In 1901 Charlton-next-Woolwich and Kidbrooke were merged to form Charlton and Kidbrooke. In 1930 the remaining three civil parishes were combined into a single civil parish called Borough of Greenwich, which was conterminous with the metropolitan borough.
Previous to the borough's formation it had been administered by two separate local bodies: Greenwich District Board of Works and Lee District Board of Works.
Greenwich, the parish and community
Greenwich has been since 1965 a district of southeast Greater London, England, located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and situated 5.5 miles (8.9 km) east south-east of Charing Cross (a point considered to be the centre of London from which distances are measured). Greenwich formed part of the county of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created.
Greenwich is notable for its links to maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. The town became the site of a royal palace, called the Palace of Placentia from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many Tudors, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998 when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms within these buildings remain open to the public.
The town became a popular resort in the 18th century and many grand houses were built there, such as Vanbrugh Castle (1717) established on Maze Hill, next to the park. From the Georgian period estates of houses were constructed above the town centre. The maritime connections of Greenwich were celebrated in the 20th century, with the siting of the Cutty Sark and Gipsy Moth IV next to the river front, and the National Maritime Museum in the former buildings of the Royal Hospital School in 1934.