Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
View full size imageThe Royal Observatory, Greenwich. © NMM

From this vantage point you can see many of the Port of London's connections with the transatlantic trade in enslaved people. The towers of the City lie to the east, many of which were built on the financial wealth of specialist bankers-to-the-slavers.

Also visible is Cabot Hall, named after Italian Giovanni Caboto who in 1497, under his anglicised name John Cabot, claimed the territory of North America for England, along with the right to explore and settle all parts of it that were not occupied by Christians. Elizabeth I used this claim 100 years later to encourage settlement in Virginia and the subsequent plantations.

The Thames disappears from view past the old Woolwich dockyards. This was the route taken by more than 3,000 slaving ships that left from London during the period of Britain’s involvement in the transatlantic trade.

 Find out more:
Stories'The Centre of Time and Space'
StoriesLondon and the transatlantic slave trade
TrailPrintable slavery trail