Monday, 18 May 2015
The riverside area on this square is complex. Some sites have had multiple works and areas have changed. Some have frontages both to the river and the street. On many there is real difference between the riverside working wharf and the block of modern flats now in the premises. An attempt has been made at cross referencing – but it is far from ok. Contributions and corrections welcomed. Edith would like to congratulate the heroes at the Survey of London which covers the eastern part of this square – and is grateful and impressed by the amount of detail.
The posting only covers sites on the north bank of the river.
Post to the west Ratcliffe and Shadwell
The site of this development of offices is now under Canary Riverside.
1a John Scurr Community Centre.
The road is named after a James Bowley who had a shipyard in Emmett Street. Most of the area was taken up with housing built by the London County Council. In 1931 the south side of the road was cleared by Poplar Borough Council. The road itself has now disappeared under West Ferry Circus and Canary Riverside.
Bridge Road Iron Works. The site had been the Baker and May felt depot in 1870. From 1886 to around 1909 Robinson & Dodd, used the site as boat builders. Later J. Kimpton & Sons used it as an iron and brass foundry and whose manhole covers can be found around the area.
Elliott's Metal Company. This engineering firm was in the corner with Bridge Road from the late 1870s
Alfred Masson, seed and cereal warehouse from 1869. The business was removed in 1946 for an electricity sub station.
Thomas Stickells. Brass foundry from 1880.
This is now part of the approach road to the Rotherhithe Tunnel. It was once called Horseferry Branch Road. There had been a ferry across the Thames at Limehouse for centuries, To give access to this ferry, the Commercial Road Company intended to build a road which would have passed right through the middle of the present Limehouse Basin. The Commercial Road Company moved their road to the ferry so it lay west of the dock. It is then connected by a west to east road to Horseferry Road which runs parallel to it to the former ferry terminal.
9 Finnish Seamen’s Mission. Now converted to housing having been rebuilt behind its façade
Two telephone boxes. This is of the sort designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1927 in cast iron – K2 square kiosks.
Stepney Borough Coroner's Court. This was set up in 1898 plus a building for a steam disinfecting apparatus, a mortuary, and a disinfecting station. There was also a temporary shelter to provide Accommodation for the use of families during disinfection and a flat for a caretaker. These have since been demolished.
Courtyard at the junction with Narrow Street. There is a fountain with mosaic surround plus two mosaic covered seats.
London Street. Before Branch Road was built London Street ran through this area with reference to London Field. In 1380 John Philpot, Lord Mayor of London, proposed to build a tower on each side of the Thames, and stretch a chain between them as a defensive measure. He had however already bought the land at Ratcliff which he then gave to the City Corporation. This land was called London Field and roughly lay between Stepney Station and the river
Bridge Street was an earlier name for the stretch of West Ferry Road which is on this square. It was an initiative of the Emmet family and the West India Docks co who in 1807 had the road built. The work was undertaken by Thomas Morris, the company's engineer
Colonial Produce Company, bass and fibre dressing works for this fruit importer from the 1890s-1930. The site had previously been a mast, anchor, rope- and sail makers
Hoare, Marr & Company, hemp merchants warehouse 1890s to 20. They were sailcloth, bunting and flag manufacturers based in the City but originating in Dundee in the 1870s. They later moved to Deptford although Walter Marr had retired in 1915.
Midland Railway Company. They had a goods depot here in the early 1860s. This replaced a warehouse owned by ships’ chandlers Robley, Tennant & Company.
Office building for Fletcher Son & Fearnall built in the late 19th by Andrews & Peascod as architects.
Fletcher Villas. Built for shipuilders' workers, demolished in 1988,
Faraday House. This is a refurbished tenement, built by B.J. Belsher for Stepney Borough Council in 1931 as part of the Limehouse Fields clearance scheme. Modernistic with curved a stair tower
Brightlingsea Building. Built by the London County Council in 1904 demolished in 1982
Housing by Proctor Matthews 1992 on the site of Stepney Power Station.(see Narrow Street)
This development area on the west side of Canary Wharf and West Ferry Road covers the sites of Emmett Street, Thames Place, Bowley Street, Aberdeen Square and North Garden. It is on the site of what was Union Docks – (under Riverside and West Ferry Circus below).
The Canary Riverside development was a joint project between Canary Wharf Group plc, Pidemco Land Limited and Hotel Properties Limited. Since 2000 the site has been owned by Canary Wharf Group. It is a private, gated complex. It has a communal garden and manned security is present on site.
Four Seasons Hotel “a low rise ten storey building” and Philippe Starck-designed. Selling ‘luxury’ and ‘privacy’. Corporate palatial.
Virgin Active –‘health’ club and gym.
Circus Apartments. Said to be the only residential accommodation at Canary Wharf. Security watches all the time and ‘luxury’ everywhere.
Canary Wharf Pier. Owned by the Canary Wharf Management Group it is used by commuter river services
Dundee Wharf. This is on is on the riverside on the south side of what was Limekiln dock and on the northern side of the old Poplar Borough Boundary. There are modern residential buildings now on the site of Limekiln Dockyard. In the 17th and early 18th there were many different small works here –Joseph Dent, a shipwright, Edward Terrett, a joiner, Michael Upston, a blockmaker, Hudson's Bay Company warehouses, boat builders and mast maker.
Dundee wharf was used by the Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Company to operate a twice-weekly service between Leith and London. The area was known as The Dunbar Wharves. - Dundee, Aberdeen, Caledonia and Dunbar. Their office building is by the entrance in Three Colt Street. In 1835 their paddle steamers SS London and SS Perth operated a twice weekly passenger service to Dundee. In 1909 it was said to handle Carcasses of beef, and potatoes. A wharf with electric cranes was opened here in the 1930s. The wharf was destroyed during the blitz, rebuilt in the 1950s when it was a “fortress like warehouse” trading in general goods. It closed in 1969. It was demolished to allow construction of the Limehouse Link before the current housing was built.
The Dundee, Perth and London Shipping Company was founded in 1826 to carry passengers and cargo. They operated passenger steamer services to London until the outbreak of the Second World War and also maintained cargo shipping routes to St Petersburg and the Mediterranean until 1962. As the DP&L Group they have been connected to the Chalmers family for 80 years and bought put by them in 1993. In 2014 they were sold to Alick Bisset
Dundee Wharf is a group of buildings built in 1997 by Ballymore Properties to designs by the architect Piers Gough, a partner at Campbell Zogolvich Wilkinson and Gough (CZWG).
River Plate Wharf. This was part of Dundee Wharf and between 1912 and 1929 used by the London Trading Company for wrapping Oxo cubes.
This is now covered by Canary Riverside. It once ran from Westferry Road to meet Three Colt Street. This was a road which led from Limehouse to the riverfront to the south. It was called Emmett Street from about 1830 – named after a family who had owned land here in the 18th. Some of the area which it ran through and served was traditionally known as Limehouse Hole. Many of the sites alongside the street were river trades with river frontages and they are below under Riverside.
Providence Cottages. Found to be unhealthy by the London County Council and so demolished by the Borough in 1931
Providence House – this was a block of flats built by Poplar Borough Council in 1932 to replace the cottages and designed by the Borough Engineer and Surveyor, Harley Heckford. It was had a line of concrete balconies and jazzy decorations. Some flats were damaged in the Second World War. It was demolished by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 1981.
12 United Brothers' beerhouse. This was opened in the late 19th and closed in 1935.
The Royal Oak public house. This was to the east of the distillery
The Antigallican public house. This was here until the 1850s.
Gut House. In the early 1730s William Waterbury, a butcher, built a public house. It was displaced by the West India Export Dock in 1806.
Shipwrights Arms. This pub was built originally in 1788 by Thomas Wright near the entrance to Hill and Mellish's dockyard. It was compulsorily purchased in 1800 for the building of the West India Docks.
Arnold's Buildings, a six-storey block of artisans' dwellings, was put up in 1884–5 by E. Nathan, with a frontage to Emmett Street, opposite Aberdeen Wharf, In 1902 Limehouse & Poplar Workmen's Homes Ltd was set up to convert Arnold's Buildings into a hostel but the site was cleared instead.
29 Lord Nelson. Pub. Closed and gone
109 Royal Sovereign Pub. Closed and long gone
20 Duke of Cornwall Pub. Closed and gone
38 Carpenters Arms. Pub, Closed and gone
This appears to have previously been Medland Road. However it is cut off at the west end because of the insertion of the Limehouse link. Thus the biscuit works and the brewery would not have been in Horseferry Road.
Phoenix Biscuit Works - dog and ships biscuit works owned by Walker and Harrison. They made Phoenix" (carbonated) meat biscuit for dogs. They were on site in the 1880s and remained there until at least the late 1930s.
Brewery. The Brewery in Medland Street was apparently known in the early 19th as the Ratcliffe Cross Brewery – but may have been older. It seems to have been owned or managed by a George Richmond and by the 1830s by Strong and Larchin as ale and porter brewers – it is mentioned as a ‘famous old porter brewery’. In the 19th it appears as The Queens Head Brewery and by 1842 a Peter Armstrong and George Taylor were involved. By 1900 it is said it had been owned ‘over a long period of time’ by Francis and Charles Alexander, and called the London and Burton Brewery. However it does not appear to have had a connection with a brewery of that name in based Burton which was sold to Charringtons in 1871. The Ratcliffe Brewery site was later taken over by Witney, Combe, Reid and Co. Ltd. and eventually closed.
61 White Hart Pub. Long gone
Medland Hall. This shelter provided meals and night shelter to 100s of destitute people. It was opened in 1893 in a hall owned by the London Congregational Union. Originally, it opened at 11 p.m. and inmates —were allowed to stay until 6 a.m. the next morning. By the early 1900s, it was offering accommodation for a week at a time. by mid-afternoon a long queue would form. By 7 o'clock, its 450 bunks would have been allocated.
This road went to the Island Lead Works which was on a piece of land between what was originally two docks – the Regents’ Canal Basin, at the end of the Regent’s Canal and the Limehouse Basin, at the end of the Limehouse Cut.
Island Lead Works. The works dated from at least 1817 when it have belonged to a Thomas Preston described as a lead merchant with a works in Tooley Street. The Horwood Plan of 1799 shows a substantial building on the site. George Key is listed here in 1830 and By 1834 Thomas Key who ran it until 1851. It was then passed to Edward and Alfred Pitchford. The works produced blue lead products and also lead shot, white lead, and the described themselves as lead ash smelters and metal refiners. In 1874 it was advertised for sale and was purchased by the Farmiloes. From the 1880s George Farmiloe & Sons Ltd and T & W Farmiloe Ltd had interests here. Tea-chest lead was made there and other products which were related to the building trade. About 100 people were employed there in the 19th but by 1951 there were only 50 employees. The buildings have since been demolished and the site has vanished following the redevelopment of the Regent's Canal Dock and building of the Limehouse Link Road.
Limehouse Causeway is an ancient pathway, and very very narrow. Cantonese people lived there – and it has been described as the ‘original Chinatown’ - but Stepney Borough Council 'slum cleared' the area and realigned the road in 1904.
Saunders Close was originally called Potter Dwellings. The block was built by Stepney Borough Council - three-stories block in yellow and red brick. It was apparently named after Henry Potter, once mayor of Stepney. It was later renamed “Saunders Close’ which may have been for a Mr. Saunders, because of his role during the Blitz.
Cyril Jackson School. This primary school seems to be on the site of Gill Street School which was a London School Board School dating from the 1880s. It appears to have been rebuilt in 1991 by Robert Byron Architect, possibly with London Docklands Development Corporation support. Cyril Jackson was a British educationist, who lives and worked in the east end and was inspector-general of schools in Western Australia in 1896 Northey Street School was renamed The Cyril Jackson Primary School in recognition of his work and dedication to public service.
Limehouse Youth Centre. The original Limehouse youth club was demolished for the building of the Limehouse Link Road. It was rebuilt here by the Squires Practice for the London Docklands Development Corporation. It is designed round a central hall and is a large and prominent building said to give substance to the idea of “community architecture”.
16 Royal Oak Pub. Gone and demolished
Limehouse Basin - Regents Canal Dock.
Limehouse Basin is a body of water built as a dock which stood between the River and the Regents’ Canal which it was there to serve. Its real name is the Regent’s Canal Dock. It was built to provide an entrance to the Regent's Canal – as it still does - and thus prove access to the whole of the national canal network. It now also functions as a marina surrounded by housing of the 1980s and later. In recent years the dock has seen many alterations, a new entrance lock and the building of the Limehouse Link Road beneath it. The Regent's Canal Dock was never part of the Port of London Authority but remained in the control of its parent canal and eventually the British Waterways Board. In 1835 three-quarters of the Regent Canal's traffic came through the dock from the Thames. The canal was completed in 1820. The entrance lock was built to the west of the ferry road – now known as Branch Road - built by the Commercial Road Company.. Where a canal joins a tidal river a small basin would be built so that craft could await the right state of the tide before using the locks. At the Regent Dock it was felt necessary to admit sea going vessels and plans were upgraded to allow for a laager basin. James Morgan, the canal engineer, had planned two basins, a ship dock, and a barge basin. The plan was rejected in favour of a single basin and a slope to the quays. The Regent's Canal Dock was the first, and for many years the only dock to allow in colliers from north-east England. Coal was be transhipped into lighters in the dock for shipping to the new gas works being built alongside the canal. As competition from railways began so the dock was enlarged and projecting timber jetties with hydraulic cranes were added. A granary and warehouses were built to attract new custom to the dock ad there were four jetties at which colliers could unload. Coal traffic fell off in the years before the Great War and and a new larger concrete jetty equipped with six high capacity electric grab cranes was built out from the north-east quay. The Dock closed, in 1969 but in in 1968 the Limehouse Cut was diverted into the dock and lighters continued to use until the 1980s. The Basin was ‘redeveloped’ from 1983 by the London Docklands Development Corporation's including the construction of the Limehouse Link tunnel under the north side of the basin in the early 1990s. Housing around the Basin was built partly by Bellway Homes in various phases of development. The Cruising Association has a purpose-built headquarters here and the dock is now usually described as a ‘marina’.
Medland Wharf was to the south west. It was equipped with electric luffing cranes to handle fruit cargoes from Spain.
Old Ship Lock. This was the original lock which could handle big sailing ships. This was partly in-filled to provide when the new lock was built to provide a new riverside quay called Chinnock's Wharf. A pumping station was built over the old ship lock by Sir John Wolfe-Barry as part of the improvements to Dock and Canal authorized by Parliament under an Act of 1895. ,
The New Ship Lock was built in 1868 so that steam colliers could enter the dock. W G Armstrong & Co. built a swing bridge to carry Narrow Street over the New Ship Lock entrance to the Dock. The Present Lock was built in 1988-9 is within the former ship lock of 1869. Across the dock entrance is a Swing Bridge of steel box-girder construction, by Husband &' Company, built in 1962.
Barge Lock. In the 184Os an entrance lock for barges from the River was built to the east of the Old Ship Lock west end of the South Quay. This was kept as a water-saving device -Water shortage was a perennial problem with the Regent's Canal in the 19th. It was infilled in stages after 1919. The entrance is now covered over and used as a car park for office workers. .
Commemoration Stone by the steps on the South East Quay – this commemorated Sir John Wolfe Barry's improvements of 1898-99 "This stone was set 20th June 1899 James Staats Forbes Chairman". Have no reason to believe this is still there.
Harbour Master's Station. This is a timber and brick pagoda of 1989 by Peter White and Jayne Holland of the British Waterways Board. Near it a bronze relief map of the basin, from 1986, commemorates this first phase of redevelopment.
South Quay and land west of the dock entrance was developed to encourage general trade to the dock. Part was used from 1870 for the London and Liverpool Steamship Co.
The Limehouse Cut is a canal which comes into this area from the north east and which once ended in a canal basin and then went into the Thames but which now enters the dock which is now known as Limehouse Basin. It was built 1767-70 by Yeoman upon the recommendations of John Smeaton. In 1854, the Regents Canal Company took control of Limehouse Cut and built a connecting link into the Regents Canal Dock although this was closed soon after. The lock that connected the cut to the Thames was rebuilt in 1865, after the closing of the link to the Regents Canal Dock, and the design had included massive timber ties over the top to prevent bulging of the walls. These were eventually replaced with a steel cage, which served the same purpose. The gates were operated by winches and chains. In 1965 this needed replacement but commercial activity would have been severely disrupted by the construction of a new lock. So the link to the Regents Canal Dock was reconsidered and a new length of canal was built and opened in 1968. The old lock was then filled in but one of the winches was saved and was put on display at Hampstead.
Remains of the entrance lock. There is a disused bell-mouthed entrance to the entrance lock visible from in Narrow Street. Part of the lock is also preserved on the side of Narrow Street as a shallow water feature, lined by a late 19th row of cottages
Bridge - The Cut’s opening into Regent’s Dock was crossed by a wrought-iron girder bridge of 1865.
Island Lead Mills (see above) on the north side of the Cut
Norway Yard. The site was that of T. & W. Forrest Lifeboat builders, who were originally established in 1788 to build ships, boats and yachts. During the 19th century, nearly 90% of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution fleet was built by yards on the Thames. Forrest & Son of Limehouse built more than 115 lifeboats at their yard after 1864. They moved to Wivenhoe in 1911.
Lea Wharf. William Gibbs 1911
Albion Wharf. This wharf was probably owned by a chemical company in the 19th, making dyes or paint.
Finland Wharf. This was a timber wharf, owned by the Chalk family in the early 20th.
The Limehouse Link is a long tunnel which links the Highway running eastwards from Tower Bridge with a series of road heading into Essex. It was built between 1989 and 1993 by the London Docklands Development Corporation and was the most expensive road scheme in Britain per mile, it is also the second largest road tunnel in the UK. The designers were Sir Alexander Gibb & Partners and the design of the tunnel approaches and portal buildings was by Anthony Mears and Rooney O'Carroll Architects. At the time it was the second biggest engineering project in Europe. It consists is twin parallel tunnels built under waterways so it was built bottom-up behind temporary cofferdam walls. On the western portal is Zadok Ben-David's circle of silhouettes, Restless Dream, and the eastern portal has an untitled abstract by Nigel Hall.
Limekiln Dock (for details of buildings see Dundee Wharf, Narrow Street and Three Colt Lane)
This is a small tidal inlet. It is sometimes thought to be the outfall of the Black Ditch – a stream which is said to have run through Whitechapel and Stepney from Holywell Row in Norton Folgate. It is an 18th dock which now has mainly, brick walls on the north side, and concrete facing on south side. There are some wooden buttresses.
Lime. Recorded as ‘The Lymhostes’ in 1367 that is "the lime oasts or kilns' and limeburners are mentioned in this area from the late 14th. Lime was made from chalk or limestone heating it kilns and was used in a number of other local industries
Footbridge designed by YRM/Anthony Hunt Associates for the LDDC in 1996. It takes the Thames path across the mouth of Limekiln Dock and is stayed by a single mast. Said to be designed by Piers Gough.
Graves Ship Yard. Graves built warships for the navy in the 17th and 18th here and in Deptford. This site became part of Dundee Wharf. (See Dundee above)
Narrow Street. The road follows the river for nearly half a mile. The eastern section was once called Fore Street
22-28 these blocks were among the first warehouses converted for residential use in Docklands. This was done by designer Roe Hoffenberg with architects Berman & Guedes. Here industrial zoning had to be overturned to permit change of use. (See Riverside)
24 This is another early conversion, completed in 1980. It is now known as Roneo Wharf –Roneo were the copying apparatus makers. They are also listed as having both inland and riverside property here. (See Riverside)
St George’s Square. This appears to be on the sites of the Ratcliffe Brewery and the Phoenix Biscuit works described under Medland Street above.
28 London Wharf. John Cooper, wharfinger (see Riverside) converted to housing in the 1980s.
29 G.Moore & Sons Ltd, glass bottle manufacturers. Moore’s made glass bottles, possibly for medicines, at their works at Blyth on the Tyne, from where they were shipped to London. They had another works at Wombwell in Yorkshire.
30 Sun Wharf. This is a conversion by Scott, Brownrigg & Turner done in 1983, originally for the filmmaker David Lean, who eventually died here. It is said to have the same approach to derelict industrial building popular in Europe. It took four 19th warehouses, two of which were burnt-out and created a house and garden. 30 was also known Crown Mill wharf which was also used by John Cooper (see Riverside) it was once another flour mill
32-40 Wharves converted to housing. (See Riverside)
Goodhart Place. Speculative housing by Richard Seifert & Partners, part of a never-completed scheme for offices and houses by that architect, 1985-6.
Regents Canal Dock. This is the main entrance from river. W G Armstrong & Co, built swing bridge which carried Narrow Street over the New Ship Lock, new bridge by Husband & Company, 1962. (See Limehouse basin)42 Chinnocks Wharf. Redevelopment into housing by Michael Squires Assoc in 1997. (See Riverside)
44 The Narrow. Restaurant with a TV chef. The building dates from 1905-1910 by the Regents Canal Company as a purpose-built Customs/Dock Master’s house serving the Regents Dock. It is by the south entrance lock and is a red brick building. It became a pub in 1989 and was at first called The Barleymow for the local Barley Mow brewery where Taylor Walker first started brewing in.1730. There are some decorative capstans
Regents Canal Wharf - Borough of Stepney Stone yard, North of Narrow Street the ship lock was kept in water to provide a quay serving a timber yard which was called Regent’s Canal Wharf. In time this became the Council stone yard and later a general a Council depot. (See Riverside)
46 Victoria Wharves. This wharf is built on land between the present Limehouse Basin entrance lock and the entrance to the Limehouse Cut. It was acquired by the Regents Dock Company as part of improvements in 1869 and was a speculative development by them. Now converted to housing. (See Riverside)
Entrance from the river to the Limehouse Cut and now disused. (See Limehouse Cut)
18th house by the entrance to the tidal lock to the Limehouse Cut
Kidney Stairs. These were once called White’s Stairs and dated from before 1635. (See Riverside)
65 Bricklayers Arms. Pub, long closed and demolished
Papermill Wharf. This was the wharf for the Limehouse paper board mills. Hough;s wharf. It has a simplified Italianate tower as a reconstruction of Hough's Wharf. Hough’s incorporated some of the outer walls of the 19th Dover Wharf. Site occupied earlier by Curling's Shipyard – who are also said to have been at Duke Shore.
Bridge Dry dock. In 1892 this was Dawson & Son. (See Riverside)
67 Limehouse Paperboard Mills Ltd. Robert Hough Ltd was established in 1860 as a paper merchant. The Limehouse Mill opened in 1912 recycling waste paper and board to manufacture grey board. It was the first mill in England to make paperboard from waste paper. Waste paper was beaten with warm water into a pulp which was sent to a machine to make a wet board. This was dried, then, calendared and reeled. The site included two steam engines, both there till the end. They closed in 1986 due to the pressures of the Docklands redevelopments – basically because the site wasn’t pretty or tidy. The original plan was to convert it into ‘luxury’ flats, but it was demolished for new flats. Houghs originally moved to Bermondsey but are now at Witham in Essex with a different name. It was built on the site of a derelict late 16th century dry dock, the remains of which were noted in the cellars of the paper mill and Hough's wharf.
Dover Wharf had been the site of Pintsch Patent Lighting works in the early 20th. They made lamps and lighting systems for Pullman Railway cars, lighthouses etc using compressed oil or other gas.
Curling Shipyard. The Curling family built ships on various sites in this area. They built East and West Indiamen and, from the late 1830s, large merchant steamships, all of them of timber.
Borough of Stepney Electricity Station. Stepney Borough Council built this at Blyth Wharf in 1907 to supply power to station Stepney and Bethnal Green. A single tall brick chimney was constructed in 1937 which dominated the area. The station continued until the early 1970s and has since been demolished.
Blyth’s Wharf. John and Alfred Blyth had a steam engine and steam ship works from the early 19th. This appears to have remained until acquired for the local authority power station.
The Watergarden. This was previously called Roy Square. It is built on the site of the Stepney Power Station by Ian Ritchie Architects in 1988. It is a long, courtyard of flats, with the car park below. The entrance leads to steps which `lead onto a garden, with a canal. Opens out into open space done by the LDDC in 1994, with Indian bean trees and seats.
70 Sunshine Custard Co. This was a custard powder manufacturer.
76 The Grapes pub. This claims to be pub ‘Jolly Fellowship Porters’ as described by Charles Dickens. It is also said to be where the Gang of Four planned their exit from the Labour Party. The current building dates from the 1720s and is on the site of a pub built in 1583. In the 1930s it sold beer from the nearby Taylor Walker brewery. Dickens is said to have sat here and there is a complete set of Dickens in the back parlour. On the wall is an oil painting, Limehouse Barge Builders, by Napier Hemy and also watercolours of Limehouse Reach by Louise Hardy; and Dickens at The Grapes by Nick Cuthell
78-90 a ten-bay, row of four early 18th houses, apparently built by Thomas Wakelin of Ratcliffe.
92 The Waterman’s Arms, later called Booty’s Bar. It is now closed as a pub. In the 18th this was an engineering shop for the barge builders, Sparkes. By the 1870s it had become a pub owned by Taylor Walker. It later became used by the Woodward Fisher, a lighterage firm which was latterly managed by Dorothea Fisher.
106 Duke Shore Wharf. Flats by Barnard Urquhart Jarvis 1985-8.
110 -112 Essex Wharf. Hay & Co Ltd, caramel and filter pump makers
114 & 116 Anchor Wharf. British & Foreign Bottle Co Ltd Makers and distributors of bottles and jars with a works in Queenborough, Sheppey.
121 Rowan A & Brother Ltd, disinfectant manufacturers
133 Barley Mow Pub. Long gone.
136-40 Dunbar Wharf. Converted to flats. These early 19th warehouses belonged to Duncan Dunbar & Sons, who ran a fleet of fast sailing ships to India, Australia and North America. The wharf backed on the Limekiln Dock. Dunbar, who settled here in 1780, built ships in Calcutta.. He lived in 138. 1796 The business was developed by his son into a leading shipping company serving, primarily, the Indian and Australian routes. It later became Dunbar Wharf Holdings Ltd. which worked in freight forwarding, warehousing through E.W.Taylor & Co. They had been Established in 1857 as a lighterage company, and used Dunbar Wharf for the larger cargos. It functioned as a working wharf until the rise of containerisation in the 1970’s.
142 St Dunstan's Wharf. Built in 1878 at with a decorative moulded brick front where St.Dunstan grabs the devils nose with pincers. The rest has been rebuilt; Juniper berries used for the manufacture of London gin were stored here. It was also used by Gardner & Gardner, hay & straw salesmen
143 In the 1920s works for Sterry Dunnell, aerated water manufacturer. In 1943 this was Alfred Harris, Plastic waste, Ebonite Celluloid Vulcanite Cellulose Acetate Wax, and Rosin
Herring Gull. Sculpture of acreaming gull in copper on a coil of rope by J Jane Ackroyd, 1994. This is in a wedge of open space, part of Ropemakers Fields.
148-50 Limehouse Wharf. Another warehouse conversion
This was once Church Row
25-27 offices for Tower Hamlets Community Transport. The building was originally an engineering works
Sunday School. This was presumably connected to the Brunswick Chapel which stood to its rear in Three Colt Lane.
Barley Mow Brewery. This was Taylor Walker's Barley Mow Brewery, which stood nearby which produced a dark ale known as 'Main Line'. The brewery apparently dated from at least the 1730s and the original instigators were members of the Hare and Salmon families – both with brewery interests elsewhere. The brewery then fronted on to Fore Street – now part of Narrow Street. In the late 18th Quakers Taylor and Harford became involved and by the early 19th the Walker family were also present. The brewery may have been rebuilt in the 1820s and a new complex was erected in 1889 designed by the brewery architects Inskipp & Mackenzie. This building fronted onto the road now called Newell Street and was known as the Barleymow Brewery. The firm they began a programme of take overs of smaller breweries throughout the early 20th. It was heavily bombed in the Second World War. The brewery closed following a merger in with Ind Coope 1959 and was later demolished.
Quayside. Big blocks of flats by John Thompson & Partners.
1 CA House. Cruising Association Offices. Built 1997. The Association has a membership of cruising sailors. Founded in 1908 they provide information, help and advice
Bridge. This lies over the now defunct lock area of the Limehouse Cut where some water remains for decorative purposes. There are the preserved parapets of the bridge of 1865 which took the road across the north end of the lock
30 Northey Arms. Pub. Long gone and demolished
Northey Street School. This was a London School Board school which may have opened around 1886. An infants' school was opened in 1896. The school was renamed Cyril Jackson School in 1930 because of the work done locally towards education by Jackson. The school appears to have moved to its current site, of Gill Street School, in the 1950s.
Northey Street Boys Club. This was run by Cyril Jackson and opened in 1875
Malting House. Local authority built 15 storey block.
Risby House. This was a 15 storey block demolished in 1988 because it was thought to be in danger of collapse
Risby’s Rope Walk. Was parallel to and in the area of what is now Oak Street. In 1782 a street here was called Risby's Rope Ground. Captain Henry Risby had a house and property locally. He was an Elder Brethren of Trinity House and connections with the East India Company.
North Country Pink. Pub extant in the area in the 19th
School. Extension to Northey Street School built in the 1880s
Oak Lane Foundry. 1843 belonged to Samuel Hodge where they made steam engine boilers, trunks and pans. Hodge was in West Ferry Road by the 1890s and remains now based in Sheffield as the Samuel Hodge Group.
Oak Lane Chemical Works. Hope Hartop & Co. The works was here in the early 20th and the company was also based in Leicester. They made carbolic acids, fluids, & creosotes
Finland Wharf. This wharf fronted onto the Limehouse Cut (above)
Albion Wharf. This wharf fronted onto the Limehouse Cut (above)
14 Lord Hood Pub. Long closed and gone
Ratcliffe Cross Wharf. In 1909 said to handle flour, potatoes, anchovies and lemons.
Ratcliffe Cross Stairs. These run from the west end of Narrow Street. Stone slipway to River Thames – the name reflecting a lost riverside hamlet.
Phoenix Wharf. The works relates to the inland biscuit works where ‘Phoenix’ dog biscuits were made. In the early 20th it was partly occupied by G.Crump, sailmaker. Another part of the wharf was occupied by Luralda, tea chest makers, who were importing plywood.(See Narrow Street)
Trinity Ballast Wharf. This is among a block of early warehouse conversions in Narrow Street. The Corporation of Trinity House had premises here from 1618. The Ballast office was to administer a tax on ballast. In the 1930s D. T. Miller and Sons, ship repairers had an engineering and barge repair here.
Marriage's Wharf. Jacob Marriage and Co Ltd, were flour merchants. In the 19th, this wharf and its neighbour were Ratcliffe Cross Flour Mill and alongside it the Globe Flour Mill. Later taken over by Marriage. They survived the changes in milling technology by specialising in animal feeds, and by taking advantage of the move back to stone-ground flour. Marriages also had a wharf in West Ham where they were know for their opium clippers.
Roneo Wharf. This was operated in the 1920s by the copying apparatus makers. Earlier it had been part of Ratcliffe Cross Flour Mill and Globe Flour Mill
London Wharf. Used by John Cooper John, wharfinger – Cooper handled mainly canned goods, and was active on several other wharves on this stretch. In 1909 it was said that two-thirds of the canned goods landed on this wharf belong to the Government and are inspected by the Government Officials only. It has now been converted to flats.(See Narrow Street)
28 Sewer outfall below Mean High Water - large circular outfall of an early 19th sewer by 28 Narrow Street
Crown Mill Wharf. Also used by John Cooper. (See Narrow Street)
Eagle Wharf. In 1909 said to handle flour, beef and pork in casks
New Sufferance Wharf. In 1909 said to handle fresh cabbages, fruit pulps and vegetables in brine for pickle making.
New Sun Wharf. In the mid 19th this was a factory for Brian Cocoran, makers of machine wires, driving bands, dandy rolls, etc. At some time in the 19th a twice weekly hoy service ran between here and Sheerness. In the 1920s this was part of the Free Trade Wharf Co Ltd, wharfingers. It was badly damaged on the first night of the blitz. In 1909 it was said that the general trade of the wharf was to take fruit out of tins and to put it into bottles.
Godwell Stairs. Shown on 18th maps.
Oporto Wharf. This wharf was used by Cooper’s, wharfingers handling, in 1909, all classes of canned goods, flour and dried milk. In the 1950s it was occupied by Stepney Cleansing Department and rubbish was taken from here to a tip at Pitsea. (See Narrow Street)
Old Sun Wharf. This was also used by Stepney Cleansing Department in the 1950s (See Narrow Street)
Regents Canal Wharf. Used by the Metropolitan Borough of Stepney Cleansing Dept (See Narrow Street)
Chinnock's Wharf. Chinnock was an importer of china clay (See Narrow Street)
Regents Canal Dock Entrance. (See Limehouse Basin above)
Victoria Wharf. In 1909 the wharf is said to have handled onions, potatoes, flour and pork.
Limehouse Cut Entrance (see Limehouse Cut)
Hough’s Wharf (see Narrow Street)
Dover Wharf (see Narrow Street above)
Kidney Stairs, There was a small dock here or access way which was infilled by 1635 and replaced with a stair — White’s Stairs, later Kidney Stairs—leading onto the foreshore.
Jetty - Stepney Borough council. Limehouse Generating Station jetty built in 1923 remains as a decorative feature.
Broadway Wharf. This is at the rear of the Grapes Public House. There are statues by Anthony Gormley off the wharf in the river.
Sparks Wharf. Early 19th barge-building works in use until the early 1950s. A timber-mould loft used to straddle the yard on the riverside. This was owned by William Sparks.
Duke Shore Stairs was the lowest point on this side of the river for passenger embarkation. Pepys came here in 1660 to be ferried upriver to the Tower of London.
Duke Shore Porcelain factory. This was owned by Joseph Wilson and Co. from 1745. In the 18th they sold Limehouse Ware - sauce-boats, tea-pots etc. It had closed by 1748. The site's location has since been confirmed by archaeology.
Duke Shore Wharf. Borough of Stepney. This was another wharf used for rubbish removal by the borough of Stepney. It is also said to have been a ship yard and this was another site said to have been used by the Curling family.
Limekiln Dock (see Limekiln above)
Dundee Wharf (see Dundee above)
Limehouse Hole – this is the area south of Dundee Wharf up to Westferry Circus. It was a plying place for watermen from the 17th, In 1843 watermen erected a floating pier at Limehouse Hole Stairs. In 1860, the Thames Conservancy built new stairs projecting on to the foreshore.
Limehouse Pier. This was erected by the Thames Conservancy in 1870 and was a walkway on three pontoons, designed by Stephen William Leach, the Board's engineer. It was removed in 1901 for the building of Dundee Wharf. In 1905–6 the London County Council built a pier as a lattice-girder walkway to a pontoon the 'Penny Steamer' service. It was removed by them in 1948.
Margetts's Ropeyard Site. In 1650 the northern part of what became Dundee Wharf was George Margett's rope yard. In 1664 Samuel Pepys arranged for them supply Deptford Dockyard with rope. By the late 18th there was also a sail maker there. In the meantime the site had been used by a number of others a block maker, a shipwright and the Hudson Bay Company, among others. John Burford - in 1694 had a warehouse to store fruit for cider-making. This was on part of the Margett’s site where the ropeyards itself continued with a number of different operators. In the 1860s it became a wire works and closed in the 1880s.
Poplar Commissioners of Sewers. In 1664 they had a depot here for workers maintaining the river wall. This was on part of the Margett’s site.
Pier Wharf. This was south of the ropeyard and was developed in 1875–6, by Tomkins, Courage & Cracknell, malt factors who had a granary here.
River Plate Wharf. This is now part of Dundee Wharf
Staples Distillery. This was a malt distillery built in 1692 below Limehouse Hole Stairs and subsequently expanded with a number of owners. It was rebuilt by new lessees Lefevre and Ayre around 1775–6. Joseph Bramah rented warehouses around 1799 and used them for hay-pressing. Around 1800 Garford took on part of the site for a seed pressing business.
Garford Wharf. The distillery was later taken by Thomas Bowman and John Garford, and it which became a seed-crushing mill and oilcake and seed-cake warehouse. Until 1877 the Graford family produced oilcake. A. E. Burrell & Son had a paint factory here from 1874. This was on the distillery site
Taylor Wharf. The main buildings of the distillery were used by William Taylor as a paint factory. This was on the distillery site
Limehouse wharf. R.J.Hanbury used the distillery warehouse for storing rice, wheat, tapioca and hops.
Buchanan’s Wharf. P. R. Buchanan & Company, tea merchants, acquired Venesta Wharf in 1921. They built new warehouses designed by Charles Dunch & Son. The wharf was badly bombed in the Second World War. It was rebuilt I in 1950–2 by A. J. Thomas and G. Hartley Goldsmith in reinforced-concrete. Buchanan's Wharf was cleared in 1990 for the Limehouse Link road. This was on the distillery site
Venesta Wharf. Venesta had the wharf 1900 - 1921 and much of the distillery area was recombined. They were packing-case makers. This was on the distillery site
The Aberdeen Wharf Site. This was part of Gray's and Heydon's Dockyard. Edward Gray, a mast maker leased the site in 1678, as a mast- and timber-yard. He added a dry dock and a house also a mast- and timber wharf. Heydon, a shipwright, took some of Gray's site and built another dry dock in 1686. By 1742 there was a single and a double dock where warships were built, Haydon made a slipway in 1694. He was succeeded at the yard by George Fowler 1696–1711 and the dockyard and house were also briefly in the hands of William Johnson and others before passing to William Hoskins
Batson's Yard. T. Robert Carter took the yard in 1737 and he was building ships for the Royal Navy in the 1740s. He was succeeded by his nephews, John and Robert Batson. Baltic timber, imported for the building of warships and East Indiamen From c1770 Robert Batson new smiths' shop and, in 1778. This is the Aberdeen Wharf site
Curling, Young & Company (Limehouse Dockyard). In 1800 Batson's yard was transferred to Cox, Curling & Company, shipbuilders, enlarged the dry docks and demolished the house. From 1820 the firm was known as Curling, Young & Company. They built East and West Indiamen and, later large merchant steamships, all in timber. The yard became Limehouse Dockyard. The managers from 1855 were Young, Son & Magnay and The firm continued to build large timber ships. This is the Aberdeen Wharf site
Limehouse Dockyard was bought by the newly formed London Quays & Warehouses Company, to provide wharfage and warehouses around a new dock. Sidney Young & Company operated the lower section of the dockyard until 1874. William Walker & Company, shipbuilders, in 1869. As Limehouse Dry Dock it was occupied by James Turner and others until 1901. This is the Aberdeen Wharf site
Aberdeen Wharf. The Aberdeen Steam Navigation Company, acquired part of Limehouse Dockyard in 1874, and filled in the dry dock. They built a brick-lined tidal dock and warehousing designed by George Judge. The wharf was used for the storage of goods from Scotland, notably tinned salmon. The engineer was J. J. Robson and the builders were George Monday & Son. The warehouses, had Columbia fire-proof flooring
J. Spurling Ltd. in 1912 Spurling took the three 1870s warehouses to store strawboard and paper. The area was renamed Spurling's Lower Wharf, or Lower Aberdeen Wharf. The wharf was badly damaged in the Blitz; the remains of the riverside warehouses were cleared in 1948–9, and the Emmett Street house and offices in 1956. A transit shed was built in 1950 and a brick Customs Office also. In 1956 the firm took over the whole wharf. This is the Aberdeen Wharf site
P. Bork & Company Ltd (later P. Bork Shipping Ltd), timber agents, acquired the wharf in 1962, for the storage of veneers. Aberdeen Wharf was cleared in the late 1980s for use by contractors working on West ferry Circus and other parts of the Canary Wharf site. This is the Aberdeen Wharf site
Union Wharf site. (See Westferry Circus below)
The Breach, Poplar Gut and the Gut House. The medieval river wall below Limehouse was breached in 1660. The Poplar Commissioners of Sewers repaired the damage and rebuilt other sections of defective wall. The new section of wall was back from the river leaving a stretch of unprotected foreland called The Breach. This came to be called the Great Gut, or Poplar Gut. Union Wharf site. (See Westferry Circus for the riverside in this area)
The Breach Dockyard, 1707–1818. The foreland formed by the breach of 1660 was used for storing timber but was leased in 1707 by John Winter, a London shipwright. He built two dry docks. In 1715 William Hoare, became manager and then took it over himself... in 1740 it was let to Thomas Snellgrove, who built ships for the Royal Navy. In 1753 the yard was sold to John Smart, a malt distiller who had built a distillery, and served by the two windmills also pigsties and a bacon house. But by 1774 Smart leased to James Menetone, a shipwright, who used it as a dockyard. The yard was then let to Almon Hill and Robert Mellish, and they built warships and East Indiamen. The West India Dock Company bought the dockyard in 1818, to enlarge the Limehouse Basin. Union Wharf site.
Ropeyard - John Lyney constructed a ropeyard in 1788–91, with a warehouse and an open ropewalk. This was taken over in 1800 for the building of the West India Docks. Union Wharf site.
Limehouse Entrance. The West India Docks' Limehouse entrance lock became unusable when the Limehouse Basin was infilled in 1927–8
Open space named for the several ropewalks that were once in the area. It was laid out for the London Docklands Development Corporation on derelict land plus land above the Limehouse Link Tunnel by landscape architects Churchman Associates. There are rope moulded railings. There are rope designs on railings and bollards with a rope motif. The landscape includes grass and trees including Indian bean trees, with paths. Bandstand which incorporates cast-iron columns saved from one of the former warehouses at St Katharine Docks
27 The House They Left Behind. Now a restaurant called The House ex 19th pub
Roy Square (see Narrow Street above)
This led to Limehouse Pier (see Riverside above)
This short road was cleared of buildings on the north side in 1950 Dundee Wharf was built. It has now completely disappeared under Canary Riverside
Horns and Chequers Pub. There from before 1810 to the 1920s. Near the stairs there was a public house, perhaps known as the White Lion in the late 17th , later called the Chequers, and then the Horns and Chequers.
Three Colt Street
One of the original streets of Limehouse – the Lime House was at its southern end.
Mitre Buildings. Residential. Some sort of meeting place attached to Brunswick chapel.
Limehouse Station. This opened in 1840 on the London and Blackwall Railway and was closed in 1926. It is the only remaining original station building still extant from the London and Blackwall. It is on the north side of the viaduct side although remains are evident to the south and there is a name plate to it. The platforms and their associated structures were largely built of wood and were apparently removed about 1929.
Brunswick Methodist Chapel. The trustees of the chapel dated back to at least 1831 and there were associated Mitre Schools from 1847 and Mitre buildings.. There was also the Limehouse Wesleyan Sunday School of the Seamen's Mission. There was a burial ground at the back of the chapel, popular with dissenters in the area. by 1895 The Seamen's Mission took over the premises and a sailors' bible class was started, There was a flourishing Sunday school, a children’s meeting on Thursday night, often attended by over 1,000 children, a 'cripples' parlour'. a factory girls' bible class and a social club. In 1931 Dr Harold Oatley from the London Hospital set up a Sunday school for Chinese children. In 1937 the Chapel was condemned as unsafe, and in 1939, the Shaftesbury Society was told that the Limehouse Ragged School here was closed. The building was sold to the London County Council in 1965.
20 Tower Hamlets Housing Office
51 Cyril Jackson School. Three Colt Lane site.
Barleymow Estate. This was built in the 1960s on the site of Taylor Walker's Barley Mow Brewery by the Greater London Council. There was an energy-efficient refurbishment by BCD Architects for the LDDC and Tower Hamlets in 1989-93.
80 Kings Head. Pub dating from at least 1839. Also known as the Old Kings Head. Current building is 1850 and built as a public house. Has an angel over the door. Now housing.
94 Limekiln Wharf. The wharf is now a group of warehouses, overlooking the dock. It is now flats, houses and some offices
Door in the boundary wall of Limekiln Dock. This is a replica of the doorway from the Lime House, built in 1705 and demolished in 1935 with the last remaining limekiln which was adjacent. The original door was salvaged and taken to the Ragged School Museum,
110 Dundee Wharf. A late 19th office building, in red and yellow brick, for the Dundee, Perth, and London Shipping Co. There is a Galleon in the pediment. It is extended behind with a sheet steel clad box on stilts and alongside the entrance to the housing development called Dundee Wharf (See Dundee Wharf)
115 Around Poplar Children’s Centre
145 Enterprise pub. Closed and was latterly Entice, an Indian restaurant. This is now an estate agent
The railway crossing here was on the original London and Blackwall Railway 1840. Here dwellings were built into the railway arches by the Company.
This square covers only a small portion of the western side of the circus. It consists of two roundabouts one above the other to provide access to different levels of Canary Wharf. the upper roundabout is in the open air, the lower roundabout is in a tunnel. It was built from 1991.
The White Lead Factory and Timber Yards. The flood wall here was rebuilt following a breach in 1660. At that time it was the site of a mast master’s works, William Wood, and from 1698 Philip Dyson, a shipwright.
Star, a timber-built public house.
White Lead Yard. This is on John Rocque's map of 1746. This was the works of the London (Quaker) Lead Company, which had lead mines on the Greenwich Hospital's estate in the northern Pennines.In 1717 William Rice had had a works here for the production of white lead by the stack process with a windmill, and a draw dock. In 1734 the site was sold to the London (Quaker) Lead Company. They left in 1780 and the site became a timber-wharf and yard owned by a Richard Hank. From about 1727 the southern end of the lead site was used by another timber merchant John Satchell. John Tucker, of Weymouth, had part of this frontage as a stone-wharf, presumably for Portland stone. All of these properties were compulsorily purchased for the formation of the west entrance lock to the West India Docks and the buildings were demolished.
Emmett Street Wharf. Curling, Young & Co took over part of the white lead site for a timber-yard. By the 1860s it was a scrap-iron wharf used by James Thomas Jago. In the 1870s Sidney Young & Company a shipwrights' and joiners' installed a sawmill. In 1885 Thomas Smith, County Durham opened the Emmett Street Foundry and Wharf and they made sash weights, columns, fire bars, sanitary castings etc'. The company was wound up in 1916 when it was purchased by William Mallinson & Co timber merchants, who stored aeroplane timber here. In the 1960s it was used by Jack Summers Ltd, timber merchants but in the 1870s was cleared and is now under Westferry Circus. (Also see Emmett Street)
The Union Docks. These were owned by Fletcher Son & Fearnall 1818–1925 and the site draw dock that became the Limehouse Slipway. They were steamship builders who also repaired shipping using the West India Dock, specialising in river and excursion vessels. They built a dry-dock in the hull of the Canton, an East Indiaman. The Union Docks eventually occupied most of Limehouse Breach stretching over the whole river front between the two Limehouse entrance locks, and was one of the largest private yards on the Thames. They gradually took on general engineering work, although the Great War brought them some shipbuilding work. Fletcher, Son & Fearnall Ltd was wound up in 1925. For a decade the Union Docks site remained vacant. (See Riverside and Bridge Road)
Locke's Wharf and Union Dock Wharf. In 1871 some of the land of the white lead site was leased to Locke, Lancaster & Company, lead merchants.In 1872 F. W. May of Camberwell built a lead-refining works on the site, with two blast-furnaces. A third blast furnace added in 1892 was reputedly the first mechanically charged lead blast-furnace in the country. They remained here until 1930.
Lamb, Beal & Son, chain-cable makers and anchor-smiths. They were on part of Union Dock Wharf until the early 1920s.
Union Dry Dock. This is the lower dry dock and the gridiron. In 1940, the Admiralty requisitioned it for wartime work managed by R. & H. Green & Silley Weir until 1951. In 1955–6 the Thames Dry Dock & Engineering Company, which was part of the General Lighterage (Holdings) Group, converted the dry dock into a double slipway for the building and repair of small tugs and barges but the slipway was used only until 1965. In the late 1960s it became Cargo Fleet Wharf and the Union Dry Dock was used for processing of sand and gravel. The northern section was taken for the building of Westferry Circus. The remainder was cleared in 1991
Bridge Wharf. In 1929 the lock and its pier heads were let to J. J. Prior Ltd, sand and ballast wharfingers. They infilled the lock and leased the old Dock Company's gatekeeper's house. They built a tar plant. Bridge Wharf was taken over by Merediths Ltd, timber importers, in 1962. The site is now under Westferry Circus.
The Limehouse Slipway. An old ship-breaking yard south of the entrance lock was used by the West India Dock Company for the deliveries while the docks were being built. The frontage was later bricked up leaving a draw dock for repairs by the dock company. The surrounding area was taken over by Thomas Johnson & Son, who rebuilt the draw dock with stairs in 1822–3. The site was leased to Charrington, Gardner, Locket & Company in 1925, for a barge repair business. The slipway was rebuilt in concrete in 1938–9 to take two barges but the site was destroyed in the bombing of 1940. The Port of London Authority took the site in 1962 for barges repairs. They sold it in 1972 and it was used by Robbins (Marine) as a barge- and yacht-repair yard. It is now under Westferry Circus.
The eastern services building for the Limehouse Link has artwork commissioned from leading UK artist and sculptor Michael Kenny (1941–1999), a relief work in Kilkenny limestone called On Strange and Distant Islands.
Aldous. Village London
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
Bird. The Geography of the Port of London
Bloch. MS on glass imports to London.
British History. Poplar. On Line
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Cruising Association. Web site
Derelict London. Web site
Docklands Light Railway. Trail
Dundee Wharf. Web site
Ellmers and Werner. London’s Lost Riverscape
Essex Lopresti. Exploring the Regent’s Canal
Francis. History of the Cement Industry,
Guildhall Historical Association. Web site
Lea Valley Walk
Limehouse Basin. Wikipedia Web site
Limehouse Cut. Wikipedia Web site
Limehouse Link. Wikipedia Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
Morris. Archives of the Chemical Industry
Port of London Magazine
Pub History. Web site
Skyscraper News. Web site
Survey of London. Poplar
Workhouses. Web site
Zythophile. Web site
Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Riverside north bank east of the Tower.
Shadwell and Ratcliffe
Mr. Bere had an orchard here in the 18th
This street seems to have been called Cranford Cottages until at least the 1960s.
Cranford Cottages still stand on the south side of the street, although the northern terrace has gone. The cottages were built in the early 1890s via the Limehouse District Board with the special permission of the Secretary of State. They were designed by the London County Council Architects Dpartment. The area had previously been called Harris Court.
On the site of Angel Court.
This was once Love Lane which ran along the eastern edge of Sun Tavern Fields. In the 17th it was Cut Throat Lane. Roman remains, including coffins were found at the junction with Cable Street.
Glasshouses. There were said to be several glassworks in Cut Throat Lane in the 17th, one was Nelson & Co.
Peabody Brodlove Lane – this was the second Peabody estate, four barrack blocks around an asphalt court, built in 1867 to the designs of Henry Darbishire.
The road follows the line of a water course to the river
Cemex. Concrete batching plant
St James. This was the parish church of Ratcliffe and the first church built in Stepney by the Bishop Blomfield Metropolitan Churches Fund. It was designed by Edward Lapidge in the early 1830s.. It was burnt out in 1940 by incendiary bombs and closed when the parish was merged with St. Paul, Shadwell and the ruins taken down. In 1948 the site became home of the Royal Foundation of St. Katharine and a public garden.
St James’s Gardens. an area of public open space surrounded by homes and major roads laid out in t in the old graveyard of St. James 1913 together with residual land from the 1908 Rotherhithe Tunnel cutting, to form a long strip of public gardens. A line of plane trees follows the retaining wall of the north side of the tunnel to Branch Road. It was landscaping when the Limehouse Link was built in the 1980s and a bridge was added which crossed the new road into the tunnel. The park is grassed with mature trees, with a children’s play area and local pedestrian and cycle route connections. The gardens include the site of the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, who were incorporated in 1612 and built their Hall on part of the land vested in the Corporation of London by John Philpot.
War Memorial. This is the Ratcliffe Memorial Cross to the Great War. It is a stone Latin cross with carvings. It on a square plinth with dedication and names are incised into the sides although these have been painted.
Cyder Wines. Owned by John Symonds. This establishment was present from the 1880s to at least the 1950s. It was the London office, and probable bottling establishment, of Symonds Plough Cider & Perry Mills near Hereford, and Apple Mills, Totnes – suitable for temperance establishment, with many medical references and also suitable for hot climates! SYMONS' "MEDIUM" or "DRY," Gold Medal CYDER In Casks and Bottles of various sizes”
2 Royal Foundation of St Katharine. This is now home to the Community of the Resurrection. The Foundation was established by Queen Matilda in 1147 and refounded by Queen Eleanor in the 13th; it survived the Reformation as a Royal Peculiar. It’s buildings were demolished in 1825 for St Katharine Docks. The Foundation's moved to Regent's Park and then at Bromley Hall, Poplar. After the Second World War it moved the site here of the bombed St James Ratcliffe. Relics from the original buildings were transferred to a new chapel by R.E. Enthoven, built in 1950. In 2003-4 the chapel was refurbished, with accommodation and conference facilities by PRP Architects.
Master's House. This was, built in 1795-6 for Matthew Whiting, sugar refiner and director of the Phoenix Assurance Company. In the 19th it had been the Vicarage for St James Ratcliffe. It is possibly designed by Thomas Levenon, after the Ratcliffe fire of 1794; there are 18th murals in the ground-floor rooms facing the garden. There is a post-war residential wing and 21st extensions with a new entrance and a conference room facing the garden.
Cloister. This dates from 1951 as a route from the house to the chapel and some of the monuments from Regents Park are displayed here.
The Chapel. This dates from 1951 designed by R. E. Enthoven, altered in 2003-4. There is a relief of St Katharine. There are fittings preserved from the medieval site and radical furnishings of 1954, designed by Keith Murray.
Cable Street. In the 18th this was an area of rope manufacture. There were a number of rope walks in the area, some of which are identified below but most not. It runs parallel to the Blackwall railway which opened in 1840. The current street is made up of roads which have had a number of past names. In the mid 18th the area which first appears in this square from the west was Bluegate Field, followed by a short stretch of Princes Street and then, from King David’s Lane it was Back Lane as far as Cut Throat Lane (now Brodlove Lane) and then Brook Street to Butchers’s Row. Brook Street is so named as it led to the watercourse at Butcher Row. By the late 18th Bluegate Field and Princes Street were part of Back Lane. A hundred years later Back Lane was Cable Street.
290 Shadwell Fire Station. This opened in 1910 and is the oldest fire station in the east end still in use. It still has the old ‘London County Council’ emblem above the front doors. it is however an innovative fire station, the first to run the ‘Life’ programme involving youngsters in the East End to learn about fire-fighting
Frost's ropeworks. This was the largest in Britain. It appears to be the large ropeworks running north from Cable Street on a site north of King David Lane and parallel with Sutton Street and eventually reaching Commercial Road, to the north of this square.
Shadwell Gardens Estate. Built by the London County Council 1939-1948. It has a formal layout with dignified blocks in pre-war style. The estate is split into distinct areas east and west of the main entrance off Cable Street
Blue Plaque to “Sir William Henry Perkin, F.R.S. discovered the first aniline dyestuff, March 1856, while working in his home laboratory on this site and went on to found science-based industry. 1838-1907”
Sun Tavern Fields gas works. This lay between Hardinge Street & Johnston Street in 1817 when it was owed by the Ratcliffe Gas Light and Coke Company. It was taken over by the Commercial Gas Company in 1875.
St Mary’s Church. The parish was originally part of Christ Church, Watney Street. The vicar of Christ Church had schools opened in 1849 and the foundation stone of a new church was laid by Lord Hadda – who asked for a dedication to Saint Mary. It was designed by Frederick and Horace Francis
387 The Ship. In 1861 this is The Ship, Sun Tavern Fields. This pub closed in 2003 and now lies
Cable Street garden. Corner of Hardinge Street. Established in the 1970s with locals keen to have access to the 50-plus plots, where vegetables, fruit, flowers, meadow flowers and oriental salad greens are grown according to strict organic methods.
Stein, Smith and Ditchley. This firm of ropemakers were in Sun Tavern Fields in the early 19th. They commissioned one of the earliest gas making plants in London from Birmingham based, Boulton and Watt
414 Glamis Hall – community meeting hall.
432-46 a humble terrace of early 19th houses which has been was allowed to remain
513 King’s Arms. Built in 1931 and designed by William Stewart
Ratcliffe Meeting House for the Society of Friends. This lay between glasshouse fields and School house lane. The Friends bought this site in 1666 and it included a burial ground. This was rebuilt after the Ratcliffe fire of 1794 and was still extant in 1919. The Meeting declined in the nineteenth century, and the Wheeler Street based Bedford Institute took it over. In 1935 the building was declared a dangerous structure and had to be demolished. It is now the site of a ballcourt
571 Motor Cycle etc. Business. This building was Ratcliffe Baths, built 1900. This included a ‘mechanic laundry’ added in 1928.
Cable Street Studios. This was Thames House built 1919-22 by E.J. Gosling for Batger & Co., Confectioners and cracker manufacturers. Converted to galleries and studios after 1998.
Batgers. The firm was in Stepney from 1748. Batgers appear to have been a family of German sugar bakers who came to London, as many others did, in the 18th. Their factories had their own wharfs and shipped their raw materials along the Thames. At Thames House they manufactured jams, bakery sundries and confectionary; best known products being 'Chinese Figs', 'Silmos Lollies', 'Jersey Caramels', and 'John Peel marmalade'. The employees at the other factory manufactured 'Harlequin Christmas Crackers', and all forms of cake decorations for the bakery industry. At the height of the fruit season they would employ 700 people
Cranford Cottages. These were part of a modest slum clearance scheme by the Housing Branch of the London County Council Architects in 1898. .
Part of the Peabody Estate, this was once Elm Row.
This was previously called New Gravel Lane
Scherzer rolling Bascule Bridge built in the 1930s by the Port of London Authority. This is an electric bridge that is no longer in use and was built to cross the cut that led from Shadwell Basin to the Eastern Basin of London Dock which now filled in. It was restored by the LDDC as a fixed bridge pre-1987. There is a cascade of ponds beneath
Dock wall – this is the wall of the Eastern Basin of the London Dock.
7 Barley Mow Pub. This is long gone, but was still extant in 1944
61 Three Sons Pub. This pub dated from before 1856 but the current building is 1880 and the pub closed in 1986. It was later an off-licence and a wine bar
St Peter, London Docks, School. The school was originally set up by Charles Lowder in the 19th as part of outreach work from the church which opened in the 1860. It is on the site of Wapping Gas Works.
Wapping Gas Works. The works was started in 1829 by a Hercules Poynter apparently at the request of local residents. Like many other local gas works it was built and operated on commission by members of the Barlow family. It was taken over in 1831 by the non-statutory East London Gas Light Co. which had been set up by Poynter. In 1835 it was purchased by the Ratcliffe Gas Light and Coke Company because they expected to have to leave their existing works in Sun Tavern Fields Works. The Ratcliffe Company was finally bought out by the Commercial Company in 1875. The site was only 2 acres but had a high output for its size. In 1935, following upon the collapse of a tower scrubber, a major fire resulted, and it was decided to close the works. It is now the site of the school.
Angel Court. This is said to be the site of a hostel owned by the East India Company for Chinese seamen and set up around 1800 by a Chinese contractor called Anthony.
The northern end of the road was once called Foxes Lane.
Shadwell Sure Start Centre
Shadwell Fire station. The fire station moved here from The Highway before 1914 but was destroyed in Second World War bombing although a small part of the basement wall can still be seen. A new building opened in 1940 in Cable Street
Glamis Adventure Playground. the Children’s Hospital was demolished in 1963 and a covenant stated that the site should be used for amenities for children. However it was being used as a lorry park but in 1969 it became one of the first adventure playgrounds in London.– By 1974 the site was supported by the Greater London Council. But in the 1990′s with the abolition of the Greater London Council, funding was withdrawn. The site was closed and the building demolished. Eventually Play Association Tower Hamlets helped to get it reopened and a number of parents came forward to form a Management Committee. In 2003 a portacabin and a toilet block were installed. They won the London Adventure Playground of the Year Award and started work on a major building project. But from 2011 funding issues have forced a reduction in opening days
Dock Wall – the wall was for Shadwell Basin.
Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre. They have rescue craft, sailing dinghies, kayaks and canoes as well as wet suits and buoyancy aids. A community sailing centre by Bowerbank Brett & Lacy built in the 1980s for the London Docklands Development Corporation.
Gordon House. This is a twenty-two-storey tower block built in 1963-5.
Scherzer rolling Bascule Bridge. Built in the 1930s over the the outer entrance lock entrance to Shadwell Basin. It has a water tank counterbalance and enough clearance for a double decker bus. Built by the Port of London Authority and restored by the London Docklands as a fixed bridge pre-1987.
Eva Armsby Family Centre. Built on the part of the site of the East London Children’s Hospital by Robson Kelly Architects for Tower Hamlets and the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1994.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children. This was originally The East London Hospital for Children and Dispensary for Women founded in 1868 by Dr. Nathaniel Heckford and his wife following their experiences in the 1866 cholera epidemic. It was the first hospital in London to admit children under two years and was originally based in a sail maker's loft in Ratcliff Highway with ten beds. Dr. Beckford died of tuberculosis three years later at the age of 29. The Hospital relied on private donations, but Charles Dickens visited and helped with articles in 1869. In 1877 they moved to a purpose-built building in Glamis Road and there were additions in 1881 and 1887. In 1932 it was renamed the Princess Elizabeth of York Hospital for Children. It was intended to rebuild the Hospital at Banstead, but this was prevented by the Second World War. The Banstead Wood Country Hospital opened in 1946 as a branch of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children. In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS and the Glamis Road building had closed in 1963.
Glassmaking in this area probably dates from 1540 when French Godfray Delahay and Venetian Orlandini had been making glass at Rye and the works was moved here by a john Smith. the site was bought by Sir Roger Mansell in 1616 who made drinking glasses here
Bowles's Manufactory and Glass Houses. This was once the leading house in the glass industry in London, which produced Ratcliff Crown glass from 1677 in Bankside. In 1680 land was leased between Cut Throat Lane and Schoolhouse Lane, and brick buildings for glass houses and workshops were built plus a house as a family home. The manufacture of Crown glass was transferred there
Ide & Co. In 1860 the Commercial Gas Company sold half of the old British Gas site to Thomas Ide and he built a factory to make curved glass sheet. In due course the works was taken over by his sons. The works included an Arts and Design Department to work on decorative glass. In the Second World War the works suffered from bombing but they produced specialist items for the military and research arms of the government. The Glasshouse was rebuilt in the early 1950s and in the late 1960s began to make bullet proof glass. In 1991 they were taken over by decorative glass makers James Hetley Ltd. The site is now flats but had a frontage on both Schoolhouse Lane and Cable Street. One block is called Ide House.
Miller and Ravenhill. In 1835 Joseph Miller bought premises in Glasshouse Fields and was joined by Richard Ravenhill. They worked on engines for Royal Navy Ships installing an engine on HMS Blazer, the first such to be done. They also repaired boilers but moved to a premises at Blackwall where they built steam ships as well as engines
British Gas Company gas works. The British Gas Light Company - which closely mirrors the international Imperial Continental Gas Association - was set up by a group of rich industrialists among whom banker members of the Attwood family were prominent. William Congreve was also involved. This, their London site, was on the west side of the Lane having been leased from the Bowles family of glass makers in 1824. The British Company decided to pull out of London in 1855 and the works was sold to the Commercial Company who immediately closed it. The site eventually passed to the London School Board whose school fronts onto the Highway. The British Company continued to own and manage gas works elsewhere in the English provinces until nationalisation in 1947.
The name of the street and the trading estate are in memory of Dr Heckford who began the East London Children’s Hospital. It was formerly Collingwood Street.
Atlantic Wharf flats. Built by Regalian in 1996 after a long gap caused by recession. blocks are: Scotia Building, Campania Building, Unicorn Building, Mauretania Building, and Sirius Building.
Clergy House for St. Mary’s Church. In the late 1980s this was demolished and rebuilt as part of All Saints Court.
St. Mary’s Church hall. This opened in 1991 and houses the Tower Hamlets Community Drugs Team. A building to the rear works on drugs counselling services."
King David’s Fort
This road ran north from Cable Street opposite King David Lane. It is thought that it was in a house here that William Perkin actually undertook his initial experiments and manufacture of aniline mauve.
Rope Walks here belonged to E.Gale in 1806 and also to William Cornwell. Another, in the 1780s, belonged to Joseph Reed, who was also a poet.
Hope Pole pub.
King David Lane
10 Quantum Court. Student accommodation. This was previously the site of John Bell House which had previously been a police station also used as student accommodation since 1993.
3 William Perkin, who discovered aniline dyes, was born here. The house was demolished in 1937 but had a plaque on it about Perkin.
43 Crooked Billet Pub. Now demolished but dated from before 1817, rebuilt around 1852 and survived the Second World War.
This was near King David’s Fort, which was some sort of civil war emplacement, around a rope manufactory.
Bluegate Fields Infant School
Bluegate Fields Junior School. Built in 1993 by GHM Rock Townsend as a London Docklands Development Corporation project.
King Edward Memorial Park
Shadwell Water Works – the park was built on the sire of Thomas Neale’s waterworks. Neale had leased land in Shadwell for development and established a water-works in 1669 with one four-horse engine and using some large ponds. . The works were rebuilt in 1679, when two horse engines were erected. Neale raised a considerable sum of money through selling 36 shares. The works was incorporated in 1691. In 1750 a steam-engine was then installed but this was a failure. In 1774 it was replaced by a Boulton and Watt engine. The sitee was bought by the London Dock Company in 1807 and in 1808 absorbed by the East London Water Company who subsequently closed it when their Old Ford Works opened.
Shadwell Market. This lay to the east of the church and slightly south of the Highway and was present from the 17th following the charter granted to Neale to the 19th.
Shadwell Fish Market. Built by the London Riverside Fish Company in 1885. It was unsuccessful and became derelict.
King Edward VII Memorial Park. Built in 1922 when a Memorial Committee was set up by the Lord Mayor of London to buy the area of the old fish market and turn it into a park. the City Corporation owned a significant portion of the land on which the park was built. The Great War delayed the work and the London County Council completed after the war. It was opened by George V in 1922. It has a terrace running parallel to the river which is now part of the Thames Path. Ownership of the park transferred to the London borough of Tower Hamlets in 1971. The landscape was restored and improved by Cooper Partnership for the London Docklands Development Corporation. The park has a bandstand, waterfront benches, children's play area, bowling green, all weather football pitch and tennis courts. However Thames Water proposed to use for of the park for construction of the Thanes Tideway tunnel. There was a petition against this and many protests and the plan has now been modified.
Memorial to the opening. This was a bronze medallion and a memorial pillar by Edgar Bertram Mackennal. A drinking fountain carried the medallion with a likeness of the King and an inscription ‘IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF KING EDWARD THE SEVENTH THIS PARK IS DEDICATED TO THE USE AND ENJOYMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF EAST LONDON FOR EVER - OPENED BY KING GEORGE THE FIFTH 1922’; the medallion was stolen in 2007
Memorial to Newfoundland Passage seekers who sailed from the Thames here to find a northeast passage round Russia to China. The expedition went in 1563 but the ships were separated and Sir Hugh Willoughby and his crew froze to death. The others returned one of them via the court of Ivan the Terrible in Russia. Erected by the London County Council in 1922. Porcelain plaque painted with galleons.
Rotunda over the vent and shaft for the Rotherhithe tunnel. The tunnel was opened in 1908 so this vent was present before the park was built, and it once dominated the site but it is now masked by trees. The tunnel was refurbished in 2007 and a roof was installed on the rotunda. It is a circular red brick single storey 'drum' with Portland stone dressings and within the vents is decorative ironwork incorporating the letters ‘LCC’. It contains a staircase down to the tunnel itself and a pedestrian footpath – this however has been closed for many years.
2 Broad Street and Ravensdale Club. This boxing club is also The Highway Club. The building appears to be with Lowood Street School or something in a very similar style.
Lowood Street School. London County Council School for special needs children. The school was bombed in the Second World War. Children had been evacuated and when they returned they went to other schools.
This service road runs along the southern edge of Shadwell Basin, but pre-dates being shown on maps in the 18th.
Sugar House – this was sited here and owned by Theodore Wackerbarth in the 1750s
Riverside Mansions. These flats were built in 1928 by Metropolitan Borough of Stepney. They were the first flats for working people in the East End to have a bath and running hot water in each flat, with communal laundry rooms, a purpose-built doctor’s surgery and lifts. They were used to re-house people from slum clearance schemes
Peabody Estate of 1866, designed by H.A. Darbishire, This was the third estate built by the Trust and had four storey blocks grouped around a courtyard – a design which Darbyshire had pioneered at Islington
Housing built under the London Docklands Development Corporation which lies beneath the wall of Shadwell Basin. The estate is on the site of warehousing on the eastern quay.
Much of the area covered by this square was known as Ratcliff. The name is seen to be a description of the Thames side area - the red cliff. There is a record of the King's ships lying at Le Redeclyve in 1370. Ratcliff became the entrance to the port of London and Merchandise was unloaded here and explorers left from here.
Wapping Dock Stairs. poor condition, bottom wooden flight broken, fenced off at top. Accessed from Wapping High Street
Lower Gun Wharf. This owned by the Co-operative Wholesale Society in the 20th. It was known as Wheatsheaf Wharf, with a warehouse building on it dating from before the 1870s. The current building dates from the 1920s following redevelopment by wharfingers, Litchfield and Soundy. This fronts on to Wapping High Street
Wapping Station. Wapping Station is the northern end of the Thames Tunnel and the site here is where Brunel, much delayed, tunnel neared here from Rotherhithe in 1839. Soon after, when a spring was breached, there was a hole here in the foreshore 13 feet deep and 30 feet across. However within a few months iron curbs with which to sink the Wapping Shaft had been delivered by Rennie’s firm. As the shaft was sunk subsidence appeared in surrounding buildings. The tunnel and the shaft finally met in 1841. In 1843 Victoria came in the Royal barge to view the works.
Frying Pan Stairs. In the 17th these were at the end of Cinnamon Street
Middleton and St Bride Wharves. This wharf fronted on to Wapping High Street but was demolished and is now the site of Towerside development. This was designed by PRP in 1983. The original developer was Hammersons who sold to Wates Built Homes. It was for a river front development to integrate with the existing warehouses. Parking for the site was to be within the block and a riverside walkway provided. A craggy indented form was chosen to give oblique views of the river and integrate balconies with the main structure
Foundry Wharf. The parish of Wapping Stepney owned a frontage to the Thames o the site of what was later Foundry Wharf. On the site was, or is, the outflow of an old watercourse which was the responsibility of two neighbouring parishes. It was built in 1886 for Innes Bros. They were sugar importers with a warehouse in Clegg Street. The wharf was once part of the Commercial Gas Co. site
Commercial Gas Co. This was the wharf used for coal import to the Wapping Gas Works in Garnet Street to the North.
New Crane Stairs. Good condition and access
New Crane Wharves. Warehouse built around 1900. This is now converted to flats designed by Freehaus. The wharf was used by coal merchants, including Cory Associated Wharves and had been built by Thomas Cubitt in the 19th, alongside the Thames Tunnel.
New Crane Dock. In 1839 this was in possession of Messrs. Tebbut, Stoneman and Spence shipbuilders. The dock was used for fitting masts, rigging and copper bottoming. The firm also seem to have been involved in convict transport and had strong links with north east ports.
In 1843 it was used by Thomas Scanes, shipwright.
Ayles Luke and Weston. This firm were early 19th shipbuilders at New Crane Dock
Pett – Shipbuilding. The Pett family, famous for their work in the Royal Dockyards had a private shipyard at Wapping. In 1597 Joseph Pett repaired 'a great Flemish carrack' here and later they built the Mercury and the Spy for the Algiers expedition of 1620..
Lime wharf. This was present in 17th
Bludworths Dock. This was a centre for shipwrights by at least 1731. It was operated by the Shadwell based Bludworth family, and then by the Menetone family. It included a sail loft, a tree nail house, a wedge house, offices and a crane. They have said to have built East Indiamen there.
Mast Yard. This was owned by the Quaker Sheppard family of timber merchants and mast builders.
Buchanan Wharf. P R Buchanan were public wharfingers who specialised in the handling of tea
Jubilee wharf. This wharf fronts onto Wapping Wall and is now converted to flats. It was built in the mid-19th,
Lusk's Wharf. This wharf was built in 1890. It fronts onto Wapping Wall and is now converted to flats. This was Andrew Lusk & Co. – he was Lord Mayor of London
Lower Oliver's Wharf. Built in 1890 this wharf fronts onto Wapping Wall and is now converted to flats
Metropolitan Wharf. This site fronts onto Wapping Wall and is now converted to flats. It was a pepper and tea warehouse built in 1864. Ships up to 1,500 tons could be berthed here and a vast array of goods were handled - coffee, cocoa, tea, rubber, gums, spices, metals, wines and spirits, tallow, fruit juices and canned goods. There were tanks for the storage of vegetable oils. It was the first building to be listed by the London Docklands Development Corporation.
King James Stairs. This was the site of the Coal Whippers Office, set up in 1844,
Tinder Box Alley. stairs - good condition and access
Thorpe Wharf. In the 1930s this was Cole and Carey who handled dried fruit.
Pelican Wharf. Fronts onto Wapping Wall. In the 19th this had been a barge builder and a marble wharf. It later became a barge yard for storage of sand. In the 1930s Nash and Miller operated it for ballast and aggregate
Pelican Stairs. good condition and access by Wooden stairs to River Thames
Prospect of Whitby. Riverside pub which claims to have been here since 1520 and to have been called ‘The Devil’s Tavern’. It is said to be named after a Tyne collier that used to berth here in the 18th – one of its other names has been the Pelican, another The Ship. It has the narrow width of the 16th riverfront plots and an old stone flagged floor but has a 19th facade although it is informal and rambling at the back. There is some 18th panelling
Dock Masters Residence and Office. Built in 1831 for the dock master of the London Dock Company. It is now gone.
Port of London Authority River Quay. This was built by William Arrol Co in 1921 as part of the works to Shadwell Entrance. It was on the site of the old Shadwell Dock Entrance. There are now flats on the site
Shadwell Old Entrance. The basin was opened in 1832 and named Shadwell Entrance. But by the 1850s, the London Dock Company had recognised that it was too small and it was replaced. It was dammed in 1922.
Trafalgar Court. These flats are on the site of the old Shadwell Dock Entrance and date from 1991. The freehold is owned by the Residents' Association. An anchor in the gardens came from a scrap yard in Portsmouth.
Shadwell Dock. This dock was on site before the building of the London Docks and Shadwell Basin. In 1713 it was in possession of the Foster family of shipbuilders.
Shadwell Entrance. This is the entrance to the New Basin built in 1858 as a replacement for the old one. It is still extant.
Shadwell dock stairs. These are a brick and stone ramp, present since before the 19th. There is a mural in ceramic tiles on the front of an adjacent building, showing the activities run by the Shadwell Dock project, and commemorating its opening by Prince Charles
Rotherhithe Tunnel. The Rotherhithe road tunnel passes under the foreshore here – the shaft and air vent can be seen in the decorative rotunda on the edge of the park.
The North Eastern Storm Relief sewer discharges into the river having run under the park. It has three rectangular channel supported by brick piers.
Free Trade Wharf. Free Trade refers to the 19th movement to repeal laws on some goods. The warehouses were 19th and early 20th. In the 1930s they were controlled by the Tyne Tees Steam Shipping Co. (this wharf fronted on The Highway below)
East India Company Warehouses. These were built in the 1790s to the designs of Richard Jupp but were used by the Tyne Tees Stream Shipping Company in the 19th for general cargo. In the 1930s concrete floors were added
Seaborne Coal Wharf. Charrington’s Coal Wharf – some of the buildings later known as Free Trade Wharf. (This wharf fronted on The Highway below)
Bell Wharf Stairs. These were at the river end of Cock Hill
Cock Hill Wharf. This is where the Ratcliffe Fire began in 1794.
Inlet from the Thames at Bell Wharf by Cock-Hill. This may have worked the wheel of Ratcliff mill.
Bowles Wharf, this wharf was used by the 17th Bowles glass works and later passed to the British Gas Co. (this wharf fronted on The Highway below)
Great Stone Stairs
Horne dock. This was present in the 17th
Atlantic wharfs. Conversions and new build by Regalian
Hubbucks Wharf. Hubbuck were lead manufacturers. The wharf was demolished in the 1970s as part of the Free Trade Wharf development (this wharf fronted on The Highway below)
Radcliffe Cross Wharf. This old established wharf had had a variety of users. It final use was for RXW Transport Co later London Clearance and Distribution Ltd
Almshouses – What became the Ratcliffe Charity consisted of almshouses and a school built in 1531 by Nicholas Gibson, sheriff of London, on what was then Broad Street and in east side of what became Schoolhouse Lane. In 1552 his widow Avice, settled the estate on the Coopers' Company to maintain the school and almshouses. This was to support seven poor people from Stepney and seven members of the Coopers' Company or their widows in the almshouses. Other bequests followed and six more almshouses, for Coopers, were built in 1613. New almshouses were built by the company in 1694. An additional house was built in 1826. The 1694 almshouses were to the north of the older buildings, forming three sides of a narrow courtyard off the Lane. They were rebuilt in 1795 after the Ratcliffe fire. A chapel stood in the central block flanked by two-storeyed houses. The charity was combined with Prisca Coborn's school charity in 1891 and the almshouses were closed in 1894, when the whole site was cleared. The charity however is still active.
School. This free school for sixty boys was set up in 1538 by Nicholas Gibson. The school was managed by the Coopers Company who rebuilt it in 1786. They were however burnt down in the Ratcliffe fire and rebuilt with insurance money in 1796 but to the north of the original site. The Stepney & Bow Educational Foundation was formed under pressure from the Charity Commissions which merged the Coopers' Boys School at Ratcliffe with the Coborn School in Tredegar Square, Bow. The school was named the Coopers' Company's School and in 1908 the school was rebuilt in Tredegar Road – and has since moved to Upminster.
Much of the area covered in this square is now know as Shadwell. It is sometimes said that the name comes from a spring dedicated to St. Chad or Cead but this is unlikely. It was Wapping Marsh that was drained in 1587 by Cornelius Vanderdelf, and was on the eastern boundary of what was then described as the town of Ratcliff. It was not until the 18th that this drained land became known generally as Shadwell. The land now covered by King Edward VII Memorial Park, was owned by the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's but by the 17th it began to increase in value. houses and streets began to appear occupied by boat-builders, sail-makers, mast-makers, riggers, biscuit-bakers, coopers, ships' chandlers, anchor-smiths, am doters. The area was then developed under Thomas Neale, who leased it from the Dean and Chapter. He was Master of the Mint from 1678 to the date of his death and in 1684 he was groom-porter to Charles II. He began to develop several areas – one was Seven Dials. Charles II granted a charter to Shadwell to hold a market and in 1669 the parish was created out of Stepney. Neale turned the hamlet of Shadwell into a town. It was eviscerated by the excavation of the docks.
Shadwell Basin is the main remnant of the London Docks still in water. It was the most easterly part of the complex and is now an area of 2.8 hectares used for sailing, canoeing and fishing and is surrounded on three sides by housing. It was built 1828–32 by J.R. Palmer as an entrance area to the Eastern Basin and was later known as Shadwell Old Basin. The two other entrances to the London Dock complex at Wapping and Shadwell were too small to take larger ships and in 1854 a new larger entrance and a new basin was built here by J.M Rendel for the company. This linked to the Western Basin Eastern Dock. Its quay walls were constructed with mass concrete piers and brick relieving vaults. In the north eastern part of the basin Swedish and French trades were catered for. However the dock became outdated and inefficient and so closed to shipping in 1969. It was purchased by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and eventually became derelict. In 1981 it was vested into the London Docklands Development Corporation ad was redeveloped in 1987. Inner Entrance Lock built in 1858.
Housing built in 1987 designed by MacCormac, Jamieson, Prichard and Wright. The buildings are of four and five storeys with façades of alternating open and enclosed arches. It was intended to echo the scale of traditional 19th dock warehouses. The original concept had to be diluted because it would have adversely affected winds onto the basin –which was intended for water-based recreational sports. This also meant that the terracing be fractured in order to let winds penetrate down onto the water
Sun Tavern Fields
The Highway was a busy thorough fare and until the 17th area was open country – thus pubs were built to cater for passing trade and livery. Ratcliff Fields were north of the road, and became known as Sun Tavern Fields. The fields extended from Blue Gate Fields as far as Cut-throat Lane, now Brodlove Lane. gravel was extracted from the fields and used as ballast in ships. ARoman coffin was found here in 1614. Several rope walks were sited on the fields – one along the southern boundary,
A mineral water spring was found here in 1745 during the sinking of a well. It was said to be impregnated with sulphur, vitriol, steel, and antimony and a cure for almost every disorder. The water was used by calico printers as a mordant.
There is thought to have been a Roman road running on the line of the Highway between the Tower and a small port at Ratcliffe. In the 17th the road was known as Ratcliffe Highway going westwards to Sun Tavern Fields, and then Upper Shadwell to Cut Throat Lane (Brodlove Lane) and then Broad Street – Broad Street also being known as Cock Hill.
302 St.Paul’s Institute
School. This was founded in 1811 for the religious and moral education of the parish and was a turning-point in educational design
St.Pauls Shadwell. The original church was demolished in 1817 . It had been Built by Neale in 1656, first as a chapel but, with the addition of a sixty foot tower it became the parish church – the a dedication relating to the ground landlords, the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's cathedral. It was called ‘the church of the sea captains ‘and Captain Cook was a worshipper here.
St. Paul’s. Built 1817-21 0- a plaque says:' J.Walters, Architect: rebuilt 1820; R. Streather, Builder'. Its steeple is a local landmark. It was converted into a community centre by the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1983 and the church was restored
St. Paul. The spring which is supposed to have been dedicated to St. Chad, supplied a well east of the church. it has been stated that it is now beneath a pillar near the south-east corner of the church within the church yard. It is said that it would, cure every disease
St Paul's Terrace. Below the retaining wall of the churchyard a row of tiny, one-bay artisan cottages of 1820. Originally they would have been accessible only via an alley from the dockside.
Churchyard. Some 75 sea captains and their wives buried in the grounds between 1725-95. In the 1840s, the London Dock Company took half of the churchyard for the construction of Shadwell New Basin. In 1858, the structural stability of the church was compromised by the excavations, requiring heavy buttressing of the retaining wall. The churchyard was improved by the Metropolitan Pubic Garden Association when it was laid out as a garden for recreation in 1886. It was landscaped in 1983 and the early 19th iron railings and lamp brackets retained. There is a doorway to Shadwell Basin.
28 (Broad Street) Free Trade Wharf. Built by the East India Company in 1793. All that remains is the gateway of 1846, rebuilt in 1934, with lions and the coat of arms of the East India Company. The Company housed saltpetre here, away from their main warehouses in Cutler Street and an explosion here caused the disastrous Ratcliffe fire of 1794. The remaining warehouses face each other across a long paved court and were built in 1795-6, probably by Richard Jupp, Company Surveyor. They were enlarged in 1801 and 1828 and have been changed since. In the 1920s they were used by the Little Western Steam Ship Co Lt, the Tyne-Tees Steam Shipping Co Ltd and the Free Trade Wharf Co Ltd and on Riverside
Free Trade Wharf. Converted in 1985-7 to flats and offices by Holder Mathias Alcock. The western part is a huge ziggurat with layers of balconies facing the Thames. A 45ft Thames sailing barges used for transporting gunpowder was put on the site in an old barge dock. The ranges of original warehouses were converted into flats, shops, a wine bar, office suites and a leisure area. The Mall has a wide paved precinct which runs from the gated archway entrance through to the river walkway. There are sculptures along the river including Polly lonides' Father Thames.
55-57 Broad Street. Hubbuck's Wharf. Thomas Hubbuck & Sons were lead and zinc merchants who patented white zinc paint. Their colour works was at Ratcliff, just east of Free Trade Wharf.
2 (Broad Street) Sea-Bourne Coal Wharf – used by Charrington, Dale & Co, coal & Coke merchants and on Riverside
Bowles Wharf – and on Riverside
56 (as Broad Street) Ship Aground. Pub present in the 1920s and since demolished
350 The Listed Building. Converted by Regalian
Ratcliffe cross. At the corner of Broad Street was the Ship Tavern which was the town's meeting-place.
455 Shadwell Centre and Ideas Store. This was Broad Street School built by the London School Board in the 1880s. After the Second World War it was renamed Nicholas Gibson School after the man who had set up the 17th school in the area which later became the Coopers School.
27 Broad Street Boys Club. Set up next to the school by Frederick Mills. Mills was an associate of Canon Barnett at Toynbee Hall and was later appointed School Manager at the Board School. He bought the house next door, which had been mast makers, and set it up as a boys’ club which opened in 1886.
Air shaft for the Rotherhithe Tunnel, probably at the bottom of Heckford Street
Cock Hill. This was the easternmost section of Ratcliffe Highway.
Market cross, at the bottom of Butcher Row, still standing in 1732,
Wapping High Street
138-140 Lower Gun Wharf
157 Steam Ferry Tavern. This was also called the Bell Tavern and is now demolished
Passage to Wapping Dock Stairs, alongside the station
Wapping Station. This opened in 1869 and it lies between Rotherhithe and Shadwell on the East London Line of the London Overground. It was originally opened as ‘Wapping and Shadwell’ by the East London Railway which opened from New Cross to Wapping through Brunel's Thames Tunnel and using London Brighton and South Coast Railway trains. The line was extended to Shoreditch in 1872 with a connection to Bishopsgate Junction. In 1884 it was run by the Metropolitan & District Railway between St.Mary’s and New Cross. Above ground the station is built in pale brick of 1959-60 by the East London Railway, itself built in 1865-76 by John Hawkshaw. The line arrives having passed through first tunnel to be built under water. Access to the platforms can be by a flight of stairs built into one of the original access shafts of the Thames Tunnel. The station was remodelled between 1995 and 1998, for upgrading work. On the station platforms are Vitreous enamel panels by Nick Hardcastle showing the station and giving information about the tunnel.
The Thames Tunnel was completed in 1843 after 20 years of tunnelling. It was the first tunnel to be built underwater s through soft ground, within a few feet of the bed of the Thames. It was begun in 1825 by Marc Brunel using his patent tunneling shield. There were five major inundations but with government assistance and perseverance the tunnel was completed. Spiral ramps for access by carriages were never built and it was a foot tunnel until it was taken over by the railway.
210-222 Middleton and St Bride Wharves. This is now the site of Towerside – with detail under Riverside
This follows the line of the Sea Wall built from St Katharine's to Shadwell in 1540 after the medieval defences had been washed away by heavy tides
New Crane Place. The three converted 19th warehouses surround a cobbled courtyard with a mix of commercial and residential units fronting the River. The conversion was by Conran Roche.
5 Queens Landing Beer House. Pub which probably dated from the 16th. Now demolished
6 Old Greenland Fishery. Present by 1741, but is now demolished
15 George and Vulture. Pub now demolished
19 Ship and Whale Pub, also called Sunderland Bridge.Now demolished
22 Waterman’s Arms pub. Now demolished
30 The Three Mariners Pub. Present by 1649, but is now demolished
36 Old Dock House Pub. Present before 1851 called the Chequers and also using the name of Greenland Fishery.It is now demolished
58-60 Pelican Wharf. Riverside front noted above. Flats by Shepheard Epstein & Hunter built 1986-7 in yellow brick. The flats have their own private floating river terrace and moorings.
59 The White Horse Pub. Now demolished
59 Grey and Martin. This firm dealt in lead and related products and had a number of works and depots around London.
65-9 Warehouses 1898-1900,
70 City of Quebec Pub. Now demolished
70-74 Metropolitan Wharf. This wharf has a Riverside frontage noted above. It is now converted into offices and studios. The name originally referred only to the centre block of the range but other warehouses were added - some in 1864-5 by John Whichcord Jun. Part is perhaps the oldest warehouse along Wapping Wall, built c.1862-3 by William Cubitt & Co. with two top floors added around 1900. It was the first building to be listed by the London Docklands Development Corporation and was originally used for small businesses...
71 The Wheatsheaf. Pub now demolished
73 Ship Royal Oak Pub. Now demolished.
75 Warehouse D of 1898-9. This was built by Holland & Hannen.
76-7 this was previously Jubilee Wharf but now part of Great Jubilee wharf. It was mid-19th, ad three forged-iron wall-cranes remain.
78-80 Great Jubilee Wharf. This wharf – which also has a Riverside frontage - is a single block of flats by BUJ Architects converted in 1996-7 but in fact unifying the facades of three former warehouses. These were Wharf and Lower Oliver's Wharf, built in 1890. Original wrought-iron wall-cranes have been left on the buildings.
London Hydraulic Power Station. This is now the Wapping Project gallery. Built in 1889-93 it marks the junction with Glamis Road. Built by E.B. Ellington, engineer to the Hydraulic Engineering Company of Chester who supplied the machinery. It was originally steam powered. It is a tall, single-storey red brick building, with a rear boiler house of 1923-5 under cast-iron water tanks. The Tall accumulator tower rises above the Engineers' house adjoining. This was the last to work of the five power stations built by the London Hydraulic Power Company to provide power for cranes, lifting bridges etc. through inner London. It was closed in 1977, finally converted in 2000 by Shed 54 Limited. Inside the engines remain under a timber and-iron Polonceau-truss roof and the gutted boiler house provides an exhibition space.
Park built in the eastern end of the Eastern Basin of the London Docks. Wapping Wood. The canal from Wapping Lane ends at an informal park, planted with trees and known optimistically as Wapping Wood. Part of the former dock, left as open space in Epstein & Hunter's master plan for the area. The former quay wall has been incorporated into the lowest part of the wall of the adjacent flats.
AIM. Web site
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
British History. Web site
Cable Street. Wikipedia Web site
CAMRA. City and East London Beer Guide,
Clunn. The Face of London
Cox. Old East Enders
Dockland History Group. Web site
East London Record
Ellmers and Werner. London’s Lost Riverscape
Field. London Place Names,
Friends of the Earth. London Gasworks sites
Graces’s Guide. Web site
London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Web site
London Docklands guide
LondonGardensOnline. Web site
London Parks and Gardens. Web site
Long. City of London Safari
Marysgasbook. Web site
Mathieson and Laval. Brunel’s Tunnel and where it led
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Pevsner and Williamson. London Docklands
Picture the Past. Web site
PortCities. Web site
Port of London Magazine
Prospect of Whitby. Web site.
Pub History Web site.
River Thames Society. Web site
Skyscraper News. Web site.
Stewart. Gas works in the North Thames Area
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry. Survey
Waymarking. Web site
War Memorials. On line. Web site
Watts. A History of Glassmaking in London
Much of the information on this page has been taken from work done in the 1930s and printed in the unlikely pages of Co-psrtnership Herald – the house journal of the Commercial Gas Co.