Greenwich Foot Tunnel was built to replace a ferry service that allowed workers who lived south of the Thames to reach the docks on the Isle of Dogs. Built by London County Council, it opened in August 1902. Rather grand glass-domed buildings sit atop the entrance shafts. Spiral staircases wind around lifts that were first installed shortly after opening in 1904. The engineer was Sir Alexander Binnie, also the designer of the nearby Blackwall Tunnel of 1897.
The tunnel is 1,215 feet long and 50 feet deep. Lined with cast iron rings, there is a concrete coating and then a surface covering of around 200,000 white tiles. The internal diameter is around nine feet, apart from a section on the northern side which was damaged by bombs in WWII and strengthened with an inner concrete and iron lining.
An upgrade programme funded by Greenwich Council started in 2010 to install better lifts, cctv coverage and signage. The programme over-ran substantially but has now been completed and some of the last lifts in London with an in-car operator passed into history. A local group called FOGWOFT (Friends Of Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels) was set up in 2013 to represent all users of the tunnel and promote their maintenance and continued safe usage. A plaque was installed in 2016 to explain and celebrate the tunnel.