Severndroog Castle is near to the top of Shooters Hill, and the site is 132 metres (432 feet) above sea level. Seven counties may be seen from the top.
The main Roman road from London to Dover went over Shooters Hill. It was a remote and dangerous place with few houses, and highwaymen often robbed unlucky travellers. The name, first recorded in 1226 as ‘the hill of the shooter, or archer’, may be associated with these criminal activities.
Development of the area began in the 18th century. Fine houses were built for rich owners who wanted to live in the country, but close to London. By the 20th century housing covered much of the farmland at the bottom of Shooters Hill.
Between 1922 and 1934, the London County Council, with the help of public donations, bought large parts of the woodland of open space for people to enjoy. The woodland was threatened in 1986 by the East London Crossing road scheme. There were strong local protests and the plan was abandoned in 1993.
Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary for 11th April 1661 that he ‘...rode under the man that hangs on Shooters Hill, and a filthy sight it was to see how his flesh is shrunk to his bones.’