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Sport on Blackheath

Blackheath has a rich sporting history and to this day is home to a wide range of sports.

History of sport on Blackheath 

Blackheath has an honourable place in the histories of many sports. England's oldest golf, rugby and hockey clubs were founded here.

Golfing history

According to legend, Blackheath Golf Club was established by James I in 1608, although the first evidence of what was then known as the Society of Goffers dates from the mid-18th century.

The Royal Blackheath Golf Club played on Blackheath until 1923, when it moved to its present home in Eltham.

Golf is now banned on the heath, but the association with the game is commemorated in the name of Goffers Road.


Most of the sports played today require very short turf on which to play, therefore for many years the grass has remain close-mown.

The exception to this occurred when the Second World War saw parts of the heath ploughed to produce food. It was also occupied by army Nissan huts. 

In 1953 the last of the Nissan huts were finally removed and the heath was levelled and re-seeded.

Sport on the heath today

Sports currently played on the heath include:

  • hockey

  • rugby

  • football

  • cricket

  • lacrosse

  • athletics

  • baseball

  • American football.

The heath is also well known as the starting point for the London Marathon.