Blackheath takes its name from the colour of the soil. The heath was the site of many historical events.

The official welcome for Henry V returning after his victory at the Battle of Agincourt was held there. Henry VIII welcomed Ann of Cleves as his new wife with an elaborate display on the heath. Charles II was welcomed at Blackheath when he returned from exile. Shooters Hill Road commemorates the fact that the heath was particularly renowned for its highwayman in the 18th century. Some exclusive houses were instructed in the 19th century round the heath. Middle-class housing followed the opening of the railway line in the 1850s.

Blackheath is separated from Greenwich by Shooters Hill. It runs down as far as the High Road. Dartmouth Row, near Blackheath Hill and west of the heath, contains Georgian houses. South of the heath there are streets such as The Pagoda, Eliot Hill and South Row containing large Victorian houses with a view of the heath. There is a sought-after council estate in Fulthorpe Road. North of the heath, the streets of Vanbrugh Park and St John’s Park are actually on the north side of Shooters Hill but regarded as part of Blackheath. These also contain desirable Victorian houses.

East of Lee Road is Blackheath Park and the Cator Estate. This was an estate laid out by John Cator in Georgian times. The estate has its own entrances so it was an original gated community. The estate takes in the roads from Blackheath Park down to Manor Way. There are now a huge variety of houses from Victorian through to 1960s houses. It is regarded as a very desirable area. On the other side of Lee road there are attractive Georgian and Victorian houses in the streets round Belmont Park and Dacre Park.