A variety of tents began to spring up on Dartmouth Field in Blackheath, the area where Wat Tyler camped his army of poll tax protesters in 1381.
As dark clouds gathered above, protesters quickly erected banners and fences.
Some people simply brought a tent and sleeping bag, but others transported a few home comforts.
The wellness centre would consist of "comfort, tea and mattresses", one organiser said.
Legal observers were on hand to offer assistance to those attending the climate camp and handed out leaflets offering advice should anyone be arrested.
The skyscrapers of Canary Wharf could be seen from the site.
Mobile sound systems helped the climate camp organisers get their messages across to the crowd.
People perched on tripods designed to prevent the police using vehicles to enter the area. Organisers said the camp perimeter would be guarded round the clock. Photos: Emma Lynch/BBC
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