Is This London's Most Outdated Information Board?

By M@ Last edited 36 months ago
Is This London's Most Outdated Information Board?

Greenwich is famous, among many things, for its lofty views of the capital. But the popular observatory hill isn't the only peak in the area. Head south-west towards Blackheath Road and you'll find a viewpoint free from tourists and, probably, anyone else at all. This is Point Hill, a small park known mostly to locals.

Arrow shows location and approximate direction of views below.

You can tell it isn't used much by tourists as the information plaque hasn't been updated since 1984. Many of the features have changed names in the interim, and most of the soaring landmarks of the 21st century city are absent. Here's the western half:


Tate Modern is still called Bankside Power Station (and it had only closed as such three years previously). The BT Tower rejoices in the brand-free moniker of London Telecom Tower. The Shard appears only in a ghost-of-London-yet-to-come form, scratched into the surface by a previous visitor. Meanwhile, there's no hint of the SELCHP incinerator plant, so dominant on the skyline north of New Cross. Here's the eastern section:


Here we see Tower 42 standing proud and alone under its original name of the National Westminster Tower (confusingly not in Westminster, but named for the NatWest bank). The tower was only four years old and still enjoying its status as Britain's tallest building. Today, it merely scrapes into the top 10, and is almost entirely obscured by surrounding towers with silly names, such as the Cheesegrater, Gherkin, Walkie-Talkie and Heron. Finally, here's the introductory panel, showing the date of installation.


Even the Greater London Council is no more, abolished by Thatcher two years after this plaque was installed. It's intriguing to note that this is one of a series. Do plaques of similar vintage still exist elsewhere? We suspect not. Point Hill is unusual — a hill so close to central London, yet visited by so few. Elsewhere, we'd imagine the panels have been updated to satisfy the greater footfall, but do let us know if you're aware of others.

Finally, here's a comparison of the full panorama with a modern photograph. Click the image to see a clearer version.


With thanks to Andrew Stuck for pointing out this relic.

Last Updated 09 May 2015

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John Cooney

I'd be really interested to see an article (perhaps there's one out there already), which features the lesser-known panoramic viewpoints of London, such as Point Hill, Dartmouth Park et al...

Tony Sidaway

I've seen a few plaques similar to that, though not recently as I'm long settled and I no longer feel like a tourist. Here is a recent blog post featuring a similar plaque on Parliament Hill:

Colin Turnbull

Or keep it to show how the protected views policies in London's planning system have kept the best features of these views safe.


Its a great spot and one of the best views of London! The magic of the point is that its not well known to tourists. I hope it stays that way! Had often thought how outdated the plaque was. Fingers crossed the crowds keep flocking to Parliament Hill, Primrose Hill and the Observatory in Greenwich Park.

Francesca Fenn

Think of it not as 'outdated information' but as an historic witness as to how London was. It will become more and more interesting as London continues to change.


No wonder it's from "1984".

Colin Turnbull

I'd point out the inscription on the sign - this indicates the protected view. By definition if it's changed hugely since the 1980s then it can't have been well protected over the decades.

Elliot Sinclair

This info board looks very similar to the one in Parliament Hill (from
the 1970s!) - still got Bankside Power Station too + other then-famous
landmarks like the BT Tower/Crystal Palace. Crazy it hasnt been updated
considering the number of people who visit there!