Originally Charlton Road from Shooters Hill to Vanbrugh Terrace to become Watling Street to Vanbrugh Park. The name was changed to avoid confusion with nearby roads of the same name. Charlton was first mentioned as Cerletun in the Domesday Book of 1086. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon words ceorl (pronounced churl) and tūn meaning the farmstead of the freeman or peasants. Caroline Taggart in The Book of London Place Names explains: “[They were] an independent peasant landowner. Not a rich man, but his own master.” They were freeman of the lowest rank who owned and cultivated a small farm. The village was variously recorded as Cherleton in 1275 and Cherlton in 1292.
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