Directional, leading to Blackheath. First mentioned in records as Blachehedfeld in 1166. It was Blakehetfled in 1226 and Blakeheth in 1275 and comes from the Old English words blæc and hǣth, literally dark-coloured heathland, with feld in the earlier forms, meaning open land. Samual Lewis, the 19thCentury publisher, suggested the name could say something about the heath’s bleak situation (ie Bleak Heath). Many believe it was called Blackheath on account that there was a mass grave to bury the dead during the Black Death of the Middle Ages. This is incorrect, as the name, pre-dates the bubonic plague by some 200 years. The road leading from the Royal Observatory to the heath appears on maps dating from 1895.
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