Riverside east of the Tower, north bank. Galleons

Riverside east of the Tower, north bank

Riverside area where entrance areas to the River for late 19th and early 20th docks were placed along with associated facilities and works including an important shipyard.

This post only includes items north of the river. Sites in the south part of the square are at Gallions

Post to the north Beckton
Post to the east Tripcock Ness
Post to the south Broadwater and Arsenal
Post to the west Cyprus and Gallions

Atlantis Avenue
Bohler Sortex. Buhler is a company with Swiss origins who make a wide variety of machinery. Buhler Sortex is involved in the field of optical sorting.

Galleons Road
Royal Quays. Housing scheme on old rail land.
Galleons Hotel. The hotel was originally built in the early 1880s for P&O shipping company and originally catered for passengers waiting to embark on their liners in the Royal Albert Dock.  It was built on piles with stables in the basements, and with a subway from the hotel to the dockside quay.  It was designed by George Vigers & T.R. Wagstaffe, in the Norman Shaw tradition. It has a long, rendered front with a jettied upper storey, a tower and 'Ipswich' windows. The plaster frieze, which was originally blue and white, was by Edward Roscoe Mullins. The first-floor billiard room opened on to a balcony over the station platform canopy.  It did not close as a pub until 1972 but after the railway line closed it stood alone in  surroundings covered in railway tracks, and was described as a ‘good place to hatch a revolution’. When the Royal Quay housing scheme was instigated plans were made for its renovation, which was undertaken by the Brian Partnership in 1996. It is now surrounded by new housing, is no longer scary, and houses the headquarters of Irish-London company, Corbyn Construction, The Reach bar and kitchen and Luck’s Gym. The bar was officially opened by the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in 2014.   
Galleons Station.  Opened in 1880 and built by the London and St.Katharine’s Dock Company. It was sited north of Galleons Road, adjoining the hotel and the front door opened out onto the platform. Both the dock company and the Great Eastern Railway Company used it. In 1886 it was resited but a fragment of station remained behind the hotel and part of the platform was kept as a raised area in front of the hotel
Galleons Station.  Opened in 1886 and built by the London and St.Katharine’s Dock Company. It was to the east of the previous Galleons station’.  It was bombed in 1940 and abandoned by the Port of London Authority in 1950.  The site has since been redeveloped although the platform survived for a while.

King George V Entrance
George V entrance lock.  This was built in 1921 to take 30,000 ton ships and it much bigger than the Royal Albert entrance lock. It had steel gates and a small automatic local hydraulic pumping station of 1970 to power the lock with a modern accumulator tower which was removed in 1989.
Flood Defence Gate. The gate provides flood protection to the impounded area of the docks. It consists of one 30.5 meter wide flap gate hung from an overhead travelling frame together with 250m of concrete floodwall.
Custom House. Single-storey brick building from 1948 at George V entrance
Offices - Small office for the Lock Keeper built by the Port of London Authority

Lower Galleons Entrance
This, northern entrance to the Royal Albert Dock, was built in 1886 in order to better compete with the Tilbury Dock then being built by the East and West India Dock Company.  It was damaged during the war and was not reopened until 1956.  In 1980 it was reconstructed into a small craft lock.  It is said that its 1950s electrically driven gear is preserved.

Plaistow Level
The Albert Dock and Basin lies in what was the Plaistow Levels - marsh next to the Thames. In the past the site was administratively in Kent, adjacent to the manor of East Ham. A chapel is said to have been still visible in the 18th in what was known as Chapel Field which lay east of Woolwich
Manor Way.

Galleons Branch. Development in this area north of the Royal Albert Dock entrance and around the Galleons Hotel is on the site of an extensive railway system. The Galleons Branch came from Custom House station and was opened by the London and St.Katherine’s Dock Company in 1880.  The Royal Albert Dock received its enabling act in 1875 and this included powers for the construction of a passenger railway from a junction east of Custom House Station to a riverside terminus at Galleons Reach. By later 1880 this line had been built and at first it was very busy with three trains an hour.   There have been two stations at Galleons on slightly different sites. Beyond the station the lines continued to a coal wharf managed by Corys and in 1918 this line was used to access a ferry for workers at the Arsenal. Services were curtailed in the Second World War and the area and the line were devastated by bombing in 1940. It was eventually closed and left to rot.
PLA railways. Around the Galleons Branch and interfacing with it was a large network of Port of London Authority railways accessing the Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Albert Basin, the entrance lock and indeed Cory’s coal wharf.

Galleons Reach. A reach is the part of a river which lies between two bends. The name of Galleons Reach here can be found on maps as early as 1588 and a Galyan family held land here in the 14th.
Galleons Point - This is shown as ‘Gailion Nesse’ on a map of 1588 and ‘ness’ is a word used for a promontory. The actual point is close to the entrance to the King George V dock.
Cory coal wharf. Closed in the 1960s
Port of London Authority. Radar scanner.  This scanner was installed in 20134 as is part of the PLA’s 18-installation network. It covers the eastern bit of the Thames Barrier Control Zone and feeds data direct to the Thames Barrier Navigation Centre. It is on a 65-metre high tower and the Scanter 5102 radar uses solid state technology and operates in a completely different way to traditional marine radars.
Piers – there were a number of steam ship piers around the entrance to the Riyal Albert and George V docks.
Galleons Riverside Footpath. This winds round the riverfront and the dock entrance, despite being closed as a right of way in the 1980s by the London Docklands Development Corporation. Good for bird watchers.
Devils House. A building which would have been on the site of what s now the Albert Basin was on the bank of the Thames north of Galleons Point. This is thought to be The Devils House’. It is thought this was demolished during dock construction and that it was probably a pub.

Royal Albert Dock Basin and lock.
Galleons Point Marina -  this is in fact Albert Dock Entrance Basin. All-purpose boating facility offering temporary moorings, maintenance, tuition and equipment sales. It is said to be upmarket with no residential moorings.
Royal Albert Basin and lock. This is very large –larger than many actual docks and intended to be large enough and deep enough to take any ship then afloat
Lock – built in 1880. This, southern entrance, was filled in during the 1960s
Thames House. There was a control centre here responsible for safety of navigation from Crayfordness to Teddington. Vessels would switch from Galleons Radio, channel 14, to Barrier Control, channel 18, between Margaretness and Blackwall Point.  This is now completely dealt with at the Barrier.
IVAX Pharmaceuticals. European Headquarters of the IVAX Corporation, opened in 1999. These long grey buildings are at the far east of the Royal Albert Dock. These buildings were vacated in 2007.
National Construction College (East London)
Pumping station.  This is a red-brick single storey structure with gable built in the same idiom as Port of London Authority buildings. Dates from 1930.

Woolwich Manor Way 
Galleons Point. Housing estate by Fairview developers built 2003 on the Harland and Wolff ship building and ship repair works site.
Sunderland Point. 12 storey tower on the riverside.
Harland & Wolff. This very large ship building and ship repair establishment was on the site of what is now known as the Galleons Estate. The main part of the yard was to the south in Woolwich Manor Way, but the works extended to the side of the George V entrance lock.

Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Bygone Kent
Carr. Docklands History survey
Connor. Branch Lines around North Woolwich
Connor. Forgotten stations of London
Field. London Place Names

London Borough of Newham. Web siteLondon Railway Record
Marcan. London Docklands guide
Nature Conservation in Newham,

Port of London Authority, Web site
Port of London Magazine
Royal Docks Trust. Web site
Victoria County History. Essex


Steve Bird said…
It's Gallions, not Galleons!
M said…
Steve - I thought about it, and thought about it. and various books of words said one thing, and some said another - and in the end I thought I had always spelt it with an e and I ought to make it consistent. But I do admit that OS seems to use the i version. Interesting that there also seems to be a Galyons about.
Anonymous said…
Spelling was not used in the middle ages.

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