North Woolwich has been since 1965 a place in the London Borough of Newham. It is located north of Woolwich proper which is situated on the south bank of the River Thames. The two places are linked by the Woolwich Ferry and the Woolwich foot tunnel.
Historically North Woolwich consisted of two nearby tracts of land, totalling 412 acres (1.7 km2), situated on the north bank of the River Thames. The western detached part was surrounded on three sides by the parish of East Ham and the eastern portion bordered East Ham to the west and Barking Town to the north.
Administratively, North Woolwich was part of Kent since, at least, the Norman Conquest when one of William the Conqueror's lords, Hamo, was granted land on both sides of the Thames at this spot, probably to enable him to enjoy the taxes from cross-river traffic. It lay in the parish of Woolwich and later the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich, but was absorbed into the London Borough of Newham in 1965 when Woolwich south of the Thames became part of what is now the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is unique in Outer London in being part of the County of London before 1965. The population peaked just before the First World War, and reduced substantially in the Second World War when it was heavily bombed.
The area was formerly the site of industries including the cable works of W T Henley (later AEI) and the Western Electric Co (later STC) on the river to the west of the ferry, and a large Harland & Wolff ship building and repair shop at Gallions Point to the south of the King George V Dock entrance lock.