Letter: No plague

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The Independent Online
Blackheath can hardly have been named after the Black Death of 1340 when it appears in records of the 11th century, albeit in a variant spelling ("No skeletons in the cupboard", Travel and Money, 16 February). Besides, the name Black Death was coined only as recently as 1823. As for the disposal of victims, the survivors would not have chosen an open treeless plain made up of hard gravel and up a hill as a suitable burial place.

Blackheath is not and has never been a "common". It is manorial waste over which successive owners since earliest times have allowed people to walk freely. In 1871 the lords of the manor willingly transferred responsibility for the surface to the local authority for the benefit of Londoners in perpetuity.

Finally Sir Christopher Wren did not design Morden College in 1695 - another old chestnut which refuses to shrivel.

Neil Rhind

The Blackheath Society

London SE3