Riverside North bank east of the Tower. Cubitt Town
TQ 38634 78935
Riverside area developed in the 19th century with much riverside industry including some important ship building sites all replaced by 20th housing. There was also some 19th century housing development, mostly replaced by 20th local authority housing - much of it on sites devastated in Second World War bombing. There are the remains of religious and social support organisations. There are historic ferry sites, now replaced by the early 20th foot tunnel. The ferries were accessed by a strange 19th railway now replaced by the Docklands Light Railway. There are 19th and 20th parks, including an urban farm on an area used as a 19th dump and a 20th military site. Still under intense development pressure.
This post only covers sites on the north side of the river. Sites on the south bank are Highbridge and Ballast
Post to the west Millwall and Deptford Riverside
Post to the south Greenwich
Post to the east East Greenwich
Post to the north Blackwall and Greenwich Peninsula West
Orlit houses built on the sites of bombed homes by Metropolitan Borough of Poplar, using Prisoner of War labour in 1946
School - there was a small school here attached to Christ Church. It moved in 1891 and became Cubitt Town School, and the old building became the church hall.
Part of the Compass Point development. Built on Dudgeon’s Wharf,
Cubitt Town Dry Dock. This was originally a part of Cubitt's cement factory which was leased to Thomas Rugg in 1877. Rugg built a new graving dock here, similar to Poplar Dry Dock further south. He did badly and sold it to the Dry Docks Corporation of London in 1886 as part of their planned amalgamation of London graving docks. After their failure the dock and yard were occupied by Rait & Gardiner, ship repairers, until c1912, when it became part of the Wilkinson Heywood & Clark site. They closed the dock by building a new river wall across the entrance on the line of the frontage and used it for storage
Falcon Wharf. This was part of Cubitt & Co.’s cement works. In 1871 it was leased to the London Rice Mill Co. When they left the site it was auctioned and by 1930 Pinchin, Johnson & Co., varnish makers, had built their own Caledonian Works here. The wharf buildings survived the Second World War, and Pinchin & Johnson remained there until 1962. The site was cleared in the 1970s.
Cubitt Town Wharf. (See Caledonian wharf) This site was leased from 1864 by the London Rice Mill Co. and used for cleaning, crushing and grinding rice. By 1896 they had gone and in 1902 it was leased by the Cotton Seed Co Ltd who refined and made oils from cotton-seed. They were liquidated in 1912, and in 1916–17 the leasehold of the premises was purchased by chemical manufactures Fox, Stockell & Co. From the late 1950s it was occupied by Apex Rubber Co. Ltd and Borovitch Ltd (Boropex Holdings), and used for the storage of rubber.
Storer’s Wharf. This had been William Cubitt & Co's wharf established in 1843–4 with sawmills, timber-wharves, a cement factory, a pottery and brickfields. In 1864 the southern section of the premises was leased to William Simpson to form part of his ship repair yard. In the 1870s the yard was divided into four separate wharves with new leases – to London Rice Mills Co; to Thomas Rugg; to David Storer & Sons of Glasgow. David Storer & Sons were Scottish oil and paint manufacturers who redeveloped the wharf through the 1880s. Storer & Sons were bankrupt in 1891 but by 1895 the paint factory had been taken over by Wilkinson, Heywood & Clark, paint, colour and grease manufacturers. In 1915 it was being used together with Caledonian Wharf and the dry dock was used for the storage of petrol, oils etc. They remained there until the Second World War. By the late 1960s the wharves were reunited as Caledonian Wharf, and housed a food-processing plant. The site is now occupied by the Caledonian Wharf residential development
Caledonian Wharf. This development was built by Turner & Associates. It is built round the dry dock which is now an ornamental lake. An industrial building remains converted to apartments in 2000. It had been rebuilt in 1927 after a fire. Remnants of other buildings remain as car park walls.
This is part of the Compass Point development on what was Dudgeon’s Wharf. It has Flats in single-gabled pairs. A green alley runs between the gardens here and those in Sextant Avenue.
Hepworth's Yard. This wharf had been the site of a shipbuilding yard but in 1868 John Hepworth leased it. It later became part of Dudgeon's Wharf,
Dudgeon's Wharf (Cubitt Town Yard). In 1863 John and William Dudgeon, engineers and boiler makers, leased the riverside site south of Cubitt Town Pier. They established themselves as shipbuilders exploiting the Union blockade of Confederate ports during the American Civil War by specialising in fast twin-screw blockade runners for the Confederacy. However they were in trouble over the launch of a warship for the Brazilian government in 1874 and, Following the death in 1875 of William Dudgeon, the yard was shut down. It was auctioned in 1880, and by 1882 was occupied by Ingall, Phillips & Co. for the storage of oil and petroleum. By 1885 this had been taken over by the London Oil Storage Company, who had here a total of 27 oil-storage tanks with a combined capacity of over 14,000 tons, including two giant tanks named 'Reliance' and 'Excellent' with individual capacities of 3,000 and 4,000 tons respectively. Control of the company passed to the London & Thames Haven Oil Wharves Ltd in 1918, but the London Oil Storage Company remained here until 1953. By then the tidal dock had been filled in and the projecting jetties removed and more storage tanks had been erected. The wharf was cleared in the 1960s, and the site is now occupied by the Compass Point development
Compass Point housing by Jeremy Dixon and BDP built 1985-8 and closes the end of Saunders Ness Road. This was formerly Dudgeon's Wharf. There are twin obelisks as a gateway to the public river walk, fronted by a pergola.
The area was developed before the Millwall Docks opened by William Cubitt. He was a Lord Mayor of London and brother of the famous builder, Thomas Cubitt. The land was mostly leased from the Countess of Glengall, daughter of William Mellish. She hoped that Cubitt's embanking and development of the riverside would encourage house building on the rest of her estate in Millwall. Cubitt established timber wharves, sawmills, cement factories and brickfields necessary to his development. He laid out roads, built a church, terraces of houses, and developed riverside wharves. Many of his terraces were destroyed in Second World War bombing. In place of Cubitt's houses are council estates and, along riverside, post 197s housing on industrial sites.
Cumberland Mills Square
Cumberland Oil Mills. This was next to the Greenwich Hospital Estate and was established in 1857 for the production of linseed oil and oilcake by Nicholay, Graham & Armstrong, who had mills in West Drayton. It was latterly occupied by British Oil & Cake Mills Ltd, which continued until 1949, when seed-crushing was replaced by linseed-oil refining. The works closed in 1964. The premises were then occupied by a steel-fabrications company and then by the Apex Rubber Company Ltd for warehousing. There was a fire in fire in 1972, and the remaining buildings - were cleared in the late 1980s for housing
Durham Wharf. This was used for some years by coal and stone merchants, but by the early 1870s had been absorbed into Cumberland Oil Mills.
Slate Wharf or Export Slate Wharf. The wharf was not developed until c 1905; after a brief period in the occupation of a firm of lamp-glass merchants, under the name Invicta Wharf, it too was annexed by Cumberland Oil Mills.
Cumberland Mills Square. Built in 1987-9 by ex GLC architect Donald Ball of Alan Turner & Associates.
East Ferry Road
Canary Wharf College. “Free School” This is a primary school run by an ex-private school head, Sarah Counter, who is also a speaker for the Independent Schools Council. The team setting up the school are said to be bankers and that it has a “Christian ethos”. It is site in a rebuilt of the Docklands Settlement which was there to help the children of the poor.
Dockland Settlement. Opened 1905 as a club and dining room for local girls known as the Welcome Institute. The Foundation stone was laid by Alfred Yarrow. Shipbuilder. It has now been sold to this “Free School”.
Empire Wharf Road
Empire Wharf. This was formerly called Poplar Dry Dock. In 1863 William Simpson leased the wharf and established his own ship-repair yard, known as Christ Church Works. The yard was dominated by a large patent slip extending over 100ft into the river. By 1879 the wharf, had became a frontage only and on the northern section was a new paint factory built for Storer & Sons. The river front age was taken by John & Robert Barclay Brown, shipbuilders. They built Poplar Dry Dock which was then the largest dry dock in London. It opened in 1880. The premises were taken over in 1886 by the Dry Docks Corporation of London which attempted to monopolize ship repair in London Poplar Dry Dock was used by various companies.
Sternol Ltd. In 1933, when the Sternol built a timber staging between the dock pier heads to form a landing quay, and used the wharf as an oil and grease refinery.
Housing. In the 1970s Empire Wharf was purchased by London Borough of Tower Hamlets for public-housing. This was laid out to give as many homes as possible a view of the river. Built in 1978-81 for Tower Hamlets Council by project architect Martin O'Shea.
Port of London Wharf. This was the westernmost wharf embanked by Cubitt & Company. It had been acquired by the City Corporation in 1850 as the main harbour service station and was used for storage and repair of mooring chains and buoys, and as a berth for their boats. The Corporation's Navigation Committee added buildings with committee rooms and offices plus a house for the clerk, and workshops. In 1888 they took over the wharf to the east and replaced the original building with a carpenters' shop and pattern loft, and added a small dry dock. In 1904 the London County Council bought the freehold of Potters Ferry approach and transferred it to the Port of London Authority, which had replaced the Thames Conservancy. In 1921–3 Harland & Wolff managed the wharves as part of their takeover of the PLA's engineering and it was closed in 1933. It was then let out commercially and became Felstead Wharf
Grissell Bros Wharf. By 1848 the wharf to the east of the Port of London Wharf was occupied by Grissell Bros timber merchants. They left by 1870. Edwards & Symes, shipbuilders, were there from 1874. They undertook specialised boat building – including Hermione, a 149-ton ferry boat for the Thames Steam Ferry Company's Wapping to Rotherhithe service. The site was taken over by the Thames Conservancy in 1888.
Felstead Wharf. This was the Port of London wharf closed by them in 1933. In 1934 Messrs Gregson & Co, ship joiners and timber merchants, leased it. The name changed to Felstead Wharf, after Gregson’s previous works.
Bradley Forge & Engineering Company Wharf. This firm was later Bradley Laminates. They took over Felstead Wharf in 1941 and filled in the dry dock in 1952. Gregson's, returned in the early 1960s and built a container repair-shop
Felstead Gardens. Flats built for Wates by Wigley Fox 1983-4. There is a big arch into a riverside garden. The estate is on the site of part of the Port of London Wharf, later Felstead Wharf.
Ferry Street is now a U shaped street ending and beginning at Manchester Road. Originally only the western arm of the U was Ferry Street. The eastern arm was Johnson Street with Wharf Road joining them to the south
Starch House. In the early 18th there was a building here called the Starch House. Starch was made with refuse wheat and needed clean water and open ground. It closed about 1740. The Starch House became the Ferry House and was used by ferry passengers until the present pub was built. There was little other activity at the Ferry until the early 19th when a boat-building yard and a herring-curing works were set up on the Ferry Piece. About 1813 John Fugman, an emery-paper maker began to make colours in the former fish sheds. In the mid-1820s they were replaced by a steam laundry
Ferry House Pub. The pub is said to have been built in 1822 but it is likely that the first Ferry House was the old Starch House renamed and rebuilt in 1748. The core of the building is thought to date from then. The pub claims a foundation date of 1722. The name Ferry House was certainly in use by 1740. On the front is a projecting square sign with gold Courage 'cockerel' on red background.
17-31 De Bruin Court. Completed 198840- 46 Port of London Wharf (see Felstead Wharf)
Grissell Bros. Wharf (see Felstead Wharf)
Felstead Wharf. (see Felstead Wharf)
Island Boatyard. This was the old Potter's Ferry slipway which became known as the Island Boatyard, used by Dukerswim Ltd for barge repairing until 1970
45 William Shelton, oil contractors who also took in Horseshoe Yard as 45 Ferry Street. Sheltons erected a number of iron tanks and a two-storey office block.
Victoria Stone Wharf. The wharf was occupied from c1844 by John Husler of a stone merchant with Samuel Trickett as agent. Husler died in 1853 and Trickett took over sole occupation. He continued use as a stone-yard, linking it to land across Wharf Road with a tramway. In 1890 his sons assigned leases to John Fraser & Son who built engineers' and fitters' workshop plus an open brick tower. They acquired further land and extended their works with a hydraulic-press shop added in 1942. Frasers left in 1970.
50 Livingstone's Wharf. (See Livingstone Place)
52-60 Midland Oil Wharf (See Midland Wharf)
58 - 60 built in 1845 by Cubitt & Co as a two-storey brick villa. 58 is the only building in the area pre-dating industrialisation. It was originally a riverside villa built in stages between 1830 and 1850.
48 Johnson’s Draw dock. A slipway for small craft built by LDC Ltd for the LDDC, 1989. This used to be at the, since renamed, Johnson Street. Local firms were dependent for access to the river on Johnson's draw dock and in the 1920s opposed moves to close it. It was however closed and used as a scrap-yard. It was subsequently cleared and access to the river restored.
The Boat House. Poplar, Blackwall and District Rowing Club. The Club was formed in 1845 and is believed to be the third oldest rowing club in Great Britain. The nondescript building occupies the site of the first North Greenwich terminus which was open from 1872 to 1926, closing a due to the General Strike. After the station closed in 1928 a boathouse for the Poplar, Blackwall & District Rowing Club was built on the site by E. S. Boyer & Partners
Calder's Wharf. Part of the terminus site was left to the Unsinkable Boat Company in the 1890s and, in 1926, the wharfingers J. Calder & Company took over the whole site.
Horseshoe Yard. (See Horseshoe Yard below),
The land between Horseshoe Yard and Fraser's Iron Works was occupied from the late 19th by John Lewis James, who made encaustic tiles, and Jonathan Reid & Company, tinplate – who stayed there until 1960,
This was originally Newcastle Street
1 Great Eastern/ Waterman's Arms. Pub built in 1853, probably by Cubitt and originally called the Newcastle Arms. Neo-Victorian interior designed in 1972 by Roderick Gradidge. It was renamed the Waterman's Arms in 1962, which name remained until 2011, this pub when it was renamed the Great Eastern. The outside is rendered and had been painted in various colours. The pub name is displayed below the parapet. There is a painted signboard at corner. There are cast iron balconies to windows at the first floor. Brown tiles at ground floor level.
Grosvenor Wharf Road
Grosvenor Wharf. In 1858 William Simpson & Company established an engineering works and factory here. It remained with the Simpson family until 1865, and was then later taken over by James Mason as part of his copper ore depot at Alpha Wharf. Grosvenor Wharf became a coal works in the late 1880s, and was leased in 1889–91 to the Block Fuel Syndicate Ltd making briquettes. A jetty was built for barges. By 1916 the premises were occupied by Sternol Ltd as an oil and grease refinery. In the 1970s the site, was acquired by the Borough of Tower Hamlets
Alpha Wharf. This wharf was occupied by William Henry Nash as an engineering works in 1857. In 1865 it passed to James Mason, an engineer, who had a copper-ore depot, known as Alpha Works here. By 1888 Alpha Wharf was occupied by Colthurst & Harding, paint manufacturers and in 1949 it was acquired by James Moore & Company for general storage. The site is now housing
Housing. This is a pre-London Docklands Development Corporation development built by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Laid out to give as many homes as possible a view of the river. Project architect Martin O'Shea.
Much of the area north of Wharf Road continued to be referred to as Horseshoe Yard. It was occupied from 1915 by E. Turner & W. Brown, barge-breakers and timber dealers. Land from bombed out housing was added to the yard. From 1951 it was occupied by Burdell Engineering Company which buildings fronted onto Manchester Road.
Flats built by Wates 1987-8
Island Gardens and the Greenwich Hospital Estate 'Scrap Iron Park', as it became known locally, was set aside as an open space in 1849, and laid out as a park in 1895. John Liddell, medical inspector to Greenwich Hospital, had suggested saving the ground on the Isle of Dogs opposite the Hospital from industrial development. The Commissioners reluctantly entered into agreement with Cubitt and in 1852 a lease was granted .Cubitt had intended to put grand villas along the waterfront as part of his plans for developing the island and he commissioned a plantation which was designed by the Scottish landscape gardener, Robert Marnock. His scheme outlined in 1859, was for a belt of trees screening the intended villas from the river. He proposed a variety of trees and shrubs. The ground was planted but the villas were not built and the trees were neglected. There was a decision to make the derelict plantation into a municipal park and in 1889 the newly formed London County Council opened negotiations for its purchase. A deputation from the LCC met the First Lord of the Admiralty in 1892 and the purchase was made in 1895. The freehold was also acquired. Ltnt-Col John Sexby, the chief officer of the LCC Parks Sub-Department, designed the new park. Laying out involved re planting with trees and shrubs, as well as paths and drains, a riverside walk, children’s play areas and a bandstand. It was opened by Will Crooks in 1895. The refreshment-house, with its giant teapot and steaming cup picked out in dark brick was built by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 1979–80. New gates and railings were installed in 1985
Osborne House. This was the only completed of Cubitt's riverside villas. It was Occupied in 1871 but later uninhabited. Osborne House it was acquired with the plantation by the London County Council who leased it to Poplar Borough Council for A library. The library closed in 1905 and was then used for storage.
50 Livingstone's Wharf. Anthony Nicholas Armani, was recorded there from 1849. Orsi & Armani traded as 'patent metallic lava, Seysell asphalte, patent Venetian stucco and patent stone marbling manufacturers'. In the early 1870s, Stodart & Company traded as 'asphalte contractors'. The wharf was occupied in the 1870s by the Protector Fluid Company, with a preservative process for metals, wood, stone devised by Charles Harrison. Then Calendar & Sons, extracting bitumen from Trinidad pitch. They were instructed by the District Board of Works to modify its equipment or face a summons for pollution and they left the wharf just over a year after it had taken it over. In 1906, it was taken by James Livingstone & Son as Millwall Iron Works. From 1931-1938 it was occupied by G. J. Palmer, wharfingers and lightermen and by 1939 it by Co-ordinated Wharfage Ltd., as a warehouse. They remained there until 1971.
Livingstone Place. housing by Levin Bernstein for Circle 33 Housing Association, built 1979-83 before development by the London Docklands Development Corporation.
Honduras Wharf (Lukach). The wharf west of Slate Wharf was taken in 1865 by John Newton & Co., fire-brick, tile, cement and plaster merchants and was called Honduras Wharf. By the mid-1880s it was joined with the wharf to the west as Ferry Iron Works. By 1890 Honduras Wharf was again separate but had been renamed Lukach Wharf. It was named after one of the promoters of the Lawrence Automatic Gas Company Ltd, formed to produce gas carburettors and gas-making plant. It was later used by the 'Arbey' Wood Wool Packing Company Ltd, making wood-wool, chips and shavings through a patent by Louis Arbey.
Jarrahdale Wharves. The eastern half of the Ferry Iron Works site was known in 1890 as the Belgian Iron Wharf, but in the early 1890s was used by The Buoyancy Supply Syndicate Ltd for patent lifesaving appliances. In 1896 the Arbey Wood Wool Co expanded onto it and it was later renamed Jarrahdale Wharf. After Arby closed it was used by a sawmilling subsidiary of Jarrahdale Jarrah Forests and Railways Ltd, from Western Australia, The wharves were later taken over by Sapon Ltd of Barrel Wharf.
Barrel, Sapon or Luralda Wharf. Bryan Corcoran, Witt & Co. had the wharf as a millstone cutting yard from the late 1870s to the 1890s. In 1897 the wharf on its west side was the Thames Steam Cooperage Company. In 1900 Sapon Ltd, was set up to make a washing-powder made from oatmeal and took over Barrel Wharf, and soon added Lukach and Jarrahdale Wharves. By 1905 Sapon was a success selling to the hotel and restaurant trades, railway companies, manufacturers, and steamship lines. After the Great War manufacturing subsidiaries were established in America and France. Eventually financial problems began and the company went into receivership. It was taken over in 1923 by Pure Products Ltd and the works was closed. It was let in 1924 to wharfingers J. Calder & Co. but in the late 1920s the former soap works were acquired by Luralda Ltd, manufacturers of tea chests, and renamed Luralda Wharf. Luralda, continued there until the 1980s, when the site was redeveloped for housing
1 Lord Nelson, 1855, urban pub , three storeys with curved corner, a western outlier of Cubit Town original pub and stabling block
84 Princess of Wales erected by Robert Gibbs in 1862. This was a three-storey building with four bars which was closed at the end of the 1960s and demolished to make way for George Green's school
126 Isle of Dogs Police Station. It was built in 1865 on with accommodation for a married sergeant, six single constables and three prisoners. It was designed by the police surveyor Charles Reeves. The station was demolished in 1973
160–174 Police Station. This opened in 1981 as a replacement for an earlier station.
Christ Church and St John. Built in 1852-4 by Frederick Johnstone, and paid for by William Cubitt. It was consecrated in 1857. In 1911 a new organ by T.C Lewis of Brixton was installed using some parts of the original organ. Later a mural was painted over the chancel arch. There are many other works of art and memorials in the church. In the 1950s it was redecorated with distinctive red and white wallpaper .In 1965 Stations of the Cross, the Lady Chapel Altar, High Altar and St John’s Chapel Altar were moved here from St John’s Church. The church was remodelled in 1982-3 by Levitt Bernstein Assocs providing office and a meeting room. A youth club was set up in the crypt. More recently stained glass windows from St Mildred’s Settlement were installed as has also wood block flooring from the Docklands Settlement.
Vicarage 1858, also built by Cubitt. Plain gabled brick.
299 Pier Tavern. This pub was built in 1863. It was renamed Mourinho's in 2013
George Green School. The School is over 160 years old, and the present building is the third it has had. It was founded by George Green, a shipbuilder from Poplar who had begun his career as an apprentice at the Blackwall Yard in 1782 and in 1796 married his employer’s daughter. He became a wealthy man, and his wealth on charitable works. He founded almshouses, sailors’ homes, a chapel, and schools. The first George Green’s School was founded in 1828 at the corner of Chrisp Street and East India Dock Road. Present George Green’s School was at the southern tip of the Isle of Dogs. This second building is still in use, and is occupied by Tower Hamlets College. In September 1975 it took in its first comprehensive intake, and became the secondary school for the Isle of Dogs, sharing its building with other agencies. The 1972 built was by Sir Roger Walters, from the Greater London Council’s Department of Architecture and Civic Design, job architect R.A. Dark. Funding from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets allowed it to be become a major community centre for the district, incorporating social services and recreational facilities, and the Lansbury Adult Education Institute. There is also a new wing built in 1996. There is also a historical connection and input from the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
Island Gardens Neighbourhood Centre. East End Homes offices, plus community meeting rooms.
Pre War public toilets with revolving ventilator on top.
Island Gardens Station. This replacement station opened in 1999 for the line to Lewisham. This had to descend under the river, and to take trains of considerably more than two cars. So the line was rebuilt from Crossharbour descending into a deep tunnel. This required the new station to be built further away from the river, north of Manchester Road, and underground. The current station is by WS.Atkins Consultants. It has two towers which are ventilation shafts for the tunnel below.
End of the viaduct – this is the end of the Great Eastern/London and Blackwall Railway viaduct which now runs door 300 yards northwards of this blank wall which carried a bridge over the road. In the centre of the road, under the bridge, was a cast iron gent’s urinal. The crossing was built in 1871 and closed in 1926 although it was later used, briefly, by the Docklands Light Railway.
Part of the Compass Points development built on Dudgeon’s Wharf.
Mariner’s Mews. New Housing on the riverside, decorated with Dutch Gables.
52-60 Midland Oil Wharf. Messrs Johnson, established the Victoria Iron Works in the mid-1840s. . In June 1845 Cubitt & Co built an engine house. And Henry Johnson, created their ironworks and rolling mills. They converted scrap from the naval dockyards into rods and bars. The works closed 1873 in 1881 as what had become the United Horse Shoe & Nail Company. In the early 20th they made 1,800 tons of horseshoes a year. The company was bankrupted in 1909. Henry Clark & Sons was on the part of the site known as the Victoria Iron Works. They were oil refiners, who renamed it the Midland Oil Wharf. They left in 1974. In the mid 1970s Dr Michael and Jennifer Barraclough, moved here with plans for four houses by Stout & Litchfield which stand on the riverfront;
Midland Place housing by Levin Bernstein for Circle 33 Housing Association, built 1979-83 before development by the London Docklands Development Corporation
The park was originally part of the Thames floodplain and until late in the 19th the site was still used as pasture, with a stream running North West/to south east across the site. By the mid 1930s some of what is now the park was fenced off as a sports ground which belonged to George Green’s School while the rest of the area was designed by the London County Council as a recreation ground for general use by the public. After the Second World War prefabs were built here for bombed out Londoners. In the 1970s the prefabs were cleared and the park was laid out. The fencing that enclosed the school’s land was removed and their land managed as one open space by Tower Hamlets. In the early 1990s the park was planted with trees and shrubs. The London Docklands Development Corporation replaced a temporary building that contained a One o’clock Club near Stebondale Street with a new purpose designed building and secure outside play area, with changing rooms on the side. It also constructed a grass pitch at Stebondale Street. Following the council's park landscape works, there has also been tree planting by the charity, Trees for London We have also planted bulbs and carried out wildflower seeding, as well as additional planting to make the site more attractive
The Millwall Extension Railway was opened in 1871 as a through route from Millwall Junction. Although trains on this line were only steam hauled on this section from the boundary of the Millwall Dock to North Greenwich station. Horses had to be used within the dock estate. This viaduct ran from Millwall Dock Station to North Greenwich and a possible ferry. The line closed in 1926 but was resurrected as the Docklands Light Railway in 1987. This ran on the viaduct across the park to what became the first Island Gardens Station. It also led to the loss of the use of the arches by the Council and George Green’s School for changing rooms and other purposes. When it was decided to extend the DLR to Lewisham it was proposed that the tunnel be built through park land west of the viaduct, with a new Island Gardens station in an unsupervised cutting within the park. Local people petitioned the Houses of Parliament about this and were eventually successful – a staffed station was built below ground, with escape routes, ventilation shafts and operational buildings. The Council agreed to accept the tunnel spoil as a means of raising the ground levels of the park in order to reduce lorry movements. Levels needed to be raised as the land was prone to flooding in winter and the water table subject to the tided. The tunnel contractors did their work and then out grass sports areas, reusing the existing topsoil over the tunnel spoil. The extension to Lewisham opened in November 1999. Although pitch quality was unsatisfactory for some years, with drainage problems. It has now improved.
The former park café and the changing rooms were relocated into temporary buildings, which in the end lasted some 15 years.
Paddling Pool. Before the Second World War the recreation ground contained a paddling pool, which lay west of the railway viaduct. This was replaced with a play area, and another laid out near to Stebondale Street.
Baths. Before the Second World War 2 the recreation ground contained an open air swimming baths. This was opened in 1925 by the Mayor, Cllr Edgar Lansbury. Designed by H Weckford, it was built as an unemployment relief scheme. It provided ample accommodation for 200 bathers. By the late 1930s, it was reported to be the least used London County Council pool and was closed all winter. It suffered a direct bomb hit in 1940 and was left derelict before being demolished in the 1960s.
Millwall Albion Rugby club. The club has facilities in the park and there is a clubhouse under the railway viaduct near Island Gardens Station. The club was founded by local men in 1995.
Millwall Football Club started here in the summer of 1885, when Millwall Rovers FC was formed by workers at Morton’s Jam works on the Isle of Dogs. Their teams played in various locations on the Island, including the open land here which became the north west part of the park. They relocated across the river to the Den in 1910.
Globe Rope Works. Owned by Hawkins and Tipson's this operated in what is now the north west part of the park. The firm occupied this site between 1881 and 1971.Its rope walk ran east-west along the boundary between the park and what became known as the Mudchute. The lines of the ropewalk still exist on site. The old rope walk is now a pedestrian link between East Ferry Road and Stebondale Street
One O'clock Club. Recreation centre. This was designed by Avanti Architects, in 1991-2 having been commissioned by the London Docklands Development Corporation.
Mudchute. So named from where mud was tipped having been pumped out of Millwall Dock from 1875. The Dock Company owned a huge swathe of land across the Island to extend the docks eastwards east n due course. Until then, the company kept the land undeveloped, mostly leasing it out for pasture. Part of the area was used for dumping mud through a pneumatic pipe, creating a messy uneven and surface. This system was designed by dock engineer Frederic Eliot Duckham. Following compulsory purchase by Poplar Borough Council in 1918 it was used for allotments and piggeries and then gun emplacements in the Second World War. After the war, the Mudchute remained in the ownership of the Port of London Authority. There was a Port of London Authority Sports Club football pitch near the Pier St entrance, and huge commercial cattle shed on the site of the later farm buildings. In the early 1970s, as dock closure seemed likely the PLA negotiated with the Greater London Council to transfer the Mudchute land to them for housing purposes. The Association of Island Communities launched a successful campaign to make sure the land became a public, open space. A newly-formed Mudchute Association leased the land from Tower Hamlets Borough Council, and a farm and garden was established in 1977.
Mudchute City Farm. Mudchute Park & Farm was established by the local Island community. Originally a piece of derelict land for decades, this hidden natural wilderness of flora and fauna remained untouched. In 1977 the Mudchute Association was formed to preserve and develop the area. Farm animals and horses were introduced, trees and plants were planted. Local schools were encouraged to use the project to study the natural world on their doorsteps. A landscape of low mounds used as gun emplacements in the Second World War and pillboxes have been adapted for livestock. Stables were designed by Kit Allsopp Architects. Landscaping and trellised entrances were provided by the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1985. The farm 1977 covers 30 acres and has the full range of farm animals and an approved riding school.
Anti Aircraft guns. Mudchute was a part of the Home Front during the Second World War, helping to defend London and its docks against German bombing on the farm. 3 of the 4 concrete gun sites are enclosures for pigs and other livestock. One of these gun sites has been used to create an exhibition on the role of Mudchute during the Blitz, including a restored anti-aircraft gun - Ack Ack Gun. The exhibition was opened officially in June 2012 with a celebratory 1940's banquet and street party. The enormous gun contrasts with its surroundings, acting as a sobering reminder of what Docklands residents went through during the war and how Mudchute was so vital in defending them.
Newcastle Draw Dock
Built as part of Cubitt's initial development of the riverside in the 1840s. It is brick-walled with wooden fenders. This was landscaped and laid out in 1997, by EDAW and the London Docklands Development Corporation, “with remnants from a chapel which stood on the site until it was bombed in the Second World War”. This chapel was a primitive Methodist chapel which stood some distance to the north in Manchester Road on the corner of Glengall Grove and demolished in 1978l.
A sculpture was commissioned here by the London Docklands Development Corporation from Grenville Davey in 1997 called Button Seat.
There is also a stone set into a wall which says 'Re-erected 1882, P. W. Gunning, Builder', and that it was laid on July 21st 1860 and re-laid in the early 1900s. The marble tablet set in the wall shows a relief of a kneeling woman, draped, arms crossed over her breast. A cross with a long shaft rests over her right shoulder, and an open book lies on the ground at her knees. She is against a background of a short column with a decorated top and a tasselled drape lying over it. It looks like a funerary monument from a tomb or church wall.
Four original bollards are at the dock entrance on Saunders Ness Road.
Cubitt Town Wesleyan Chapel. This was on the corner where the road once met Stebondale Street. The building was designed by Elijah Hoole in 1872 and built in 1875. It fronted Pier Street, and a schoolroom was added in 1885. It was badly damaged by bombing in the Second World War and was subsequently demolished.
Entrance to Mudchute Farm. With farm house designed by Kate Heron
Plymouth Wharf. This was an amalgamation of three riverside plots used 1849 -1858 by Michael Pass & Co manufacturers of 'marble, greystone and chalk-lime, bricks, tiles, fire goods, river sand, ballast, &c'. By 1897 the site was used by Deane, Ransome & Co. who turned the wharf into Cubitt Town Steel Works making girders and roof stanchions. The wharf was cleared and combined with Pyrimont Wharf between 1936 and 1945. After the Second World War it was used for storage. In 1961 the National Dock Labour Board established a Training Centre here for new entrants to the dockworkers' register and a large school building was erected
Pyrimont Wharf. This wharf was developed in 1861 by the Asphalte de Seyssel Co. In the 1870s this was taken over by Claridge's Patent Asphalte Company. They were wound up in 1917, and merged with Plymouth Wharf.
Plymouth Wharf. A complex of residential units by Lindsay Associates, completed in 1986.
The Ferry Piece was an acre of marsh and orchard, with the marsh wall and the ferry landing which was known as Potter's Ferry,
Starch House. (See Ferry Street)
Potter's Ferry and the Greenwich Vehicular Steam Ferry. Ferries existed here to the south bank of the river since at least the 14th but the first mention of one here is in 1450 and named as Potter's Ferry in 1626. Throughout the 17th and early 18th it was owned by the Warner family. With the opening of the West India Docks there was a greater need for a regular service and in the 19th a rival was set up by the Poplar and Greenwich Ferry Roads Company, using the same landing place. There were many disputes and by the horse ferry was discontinued. The Greenwich Vehicular Steam Ferry opened in 1888. This was a type of mechanical chain ferry with two boats working together and a system of platforms and counterweights in shafts on the river side. It was a financial failure and closed within four years.
The Ferry House Public House. (See Ferry Street).
Embankment. The river bank between the Potter's Ferry and the Folly House was embanked by Cubitt in the seven years after 1846. By 1850 leases were being granted on sites. In 1852 the Greenwich Hospital Commissioners took a stretch of riverside land with a covenant that they should embank it.
Port of London Wharf. This later became Felstead Wharf (see Ferry Street)
Victoria Stone Wharf (see Ferry Street)
Felstead Wharf (See Felstead Gardens)
Livingstone's Wharf, (see Livingstone Place)
Midland Oil Wharf (see Midland Place)
North Greenwich and Cubitt Town Station. (See Saunders Ness Road)
Pier and Ferry. The pier built in 1877 by the railway company was served by a steam ferry to and from Greenwich Pier, operated first by the Victoria Steamboat Association, and after 1897 by the Thames Steamboat Company. But with the opening of the London County Council's free foot tunnel in 1901 the service ceased to be viable and the pier was dismantled
Calder's Wharf. (See Ferry Street)
Poplar, Blackwall & District Rowing Club (see Ferry Street)
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel. In 1896, as the construction of the Blackwall Tunnel was nearing completion, the LCC began to reconsider the question of further river crossings in east London. The idea of an improved link between Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs was not a new one; as early as 1811 there had been an abortive proposal for a tunnel. In June 1896 the LCC had accepted plans by Alexander Binnie, the LCC Engineer, for a cast-iron tunnel connecting Island Gardens with Greenwich. The work was carried out under the supervision of Maurice Fitzmaurice, the LCC's Chief Engineer, with W. C. Copperthwaite as resident engineer. The shaft is capped by a small circular red-brick building Above the two doorways of the entrance porch a bronze tablet by J. W. Singer & Son commemorates the completion of the tunnel works in 1902. During bombing raids on in 1940 part of the cast-iron lining was damaged near the Poplar entrance shaft, and this section was repaired. The tunnel was opened to the public in 1902.
Island Gardens (see Island Gardens)
River Wall. Built for Cubitt in the early 1850s.
Durham Wharf (See Cumberland Mills)
Slate Wharf or Export Slate Wharf, (See Cumberland Mills)
Cumberland Oil Mills. (See Cumberland Mills)
Honduras (Lukach). (See Luralda Wharf)
Jarrahdale Wharves. (See Luralda Wharf)
Barrel, Sapon or Luralda Wharf. (See Luralda Wharf)
Newcastle Draw dock (see above)
Grosvenor Wharf. (See Grosvenor Wharf Road)
Alpha Wharf. (See Grosvenor Wharf Road)
Empire Wharf (See Empire Wharf above)
Caledonian Wharf (See Caledonian wharf)
Cubitt Town Dry Dock (See Caledonian wharf)
Falcon Wharf. (See Caledonian wharf)
Cubitt Town Wharf. (See Caledonian wharf)
Plymouth Wharf. (See Plymouth Wharf)
Pyrimont Wharf. (See Plymouth Wharf)
Hepworth's Yard. (see Compass Point)
Dudgeon's Wharf (see Compass Point)
Saunders Ness Road
This was previously called Cubitt’s Wharf Road. Philip Hardwick, architect to Greenwich Hospital, advised on its laying out with detached villas in a garden by the river.
North Greenwich & Cubitt Town Station. Opened in 1872. This was built by the London and Blackwall Railway Company for the Millwall Extension Railway as the terminus of the branch from Millwall Junction. It was on a 10ft-high embankment with a coal bunker, engine shed and station. A sloping covered way led to a riverside pier. It is described as ‘A ramshackle affair’ built of wood –although the street frontage was in brick. It closed in 1926, but a few weeks earlier than it should have, due to the onset of the General Strike’. In 1969 it was demolished after having been used as the first sailing club headquarters. The site became a piece of waste ground in front of the sailing clubs' premises.
Millwall Extension Railway. This had opened as a separate company in 1871/72 and run jointly with the Great Eastern Railway and subsequently closed to passengers at the time of The General Strike in 1926. Freight workings continued until 1929 and the construction of a new lock at the Blackwall Entrance. Parts of the North Greenwich branch may have been absorbed into the internal dock railway system.
Island Gardens Station. Opened in 1987 between Mudchute and Cutty Sark on the Docklands Light Railway. The original Island Gardens station was opened as the southern terminus of the initial system. It was built on the site of the old southern terminus of the Millwall Extension Railway. The viaduct would only allow a single line but at the station the tracks splayed out for two elevated platforms each capable of taking a single car train. Platform one turned out to be too short for two car trains. There was a glass dome under which was a lift shaft and stairs. The last train here was in January 1999 and the station has now been demolished.
Calder’s Wharf Community Centre. This is managed by East End Homes and used mainly by the Rainbow Playgroup and by Christchurch Tenants Assoc.
St Luke's Primary School. This was rebuilt by Howard V. Lobb in 1952 after bombing in 1940 and incorporating parts of the former Board School. Mural by Kempster & B. Evans. The school began in 1866 as an extension of the Sunday school at St. Luke’s Church, Millwall. The building was inadequate and Rev Jesse Hewlett began to fund raise. And finally had enough to build the school, including money from the National Society. The school remains open until 1971. It had however been damaged in the bombing. Prefabs were built on the site for those who had lost their homes. St. Luke ‘s moved into the old Cubitt Town school building which had been renovated in 1951 having been destroyed in bombing. The small house at the corner 1909, built as Manual Training Centre, the oldest surviving part of the local school. In 2008, a Service of Remembrance was held in the School for the victims of the 1940 bomb and a plaque was unveiled with the names of all those who died.
Cubitt Town School. This school had originally been attached to Christ Church and be sited in Billston Stret. It was sold in 1876 to the London School Board and moved Saundersness Road in 1891. It was rebuilt in the 1930s and in the Second World War after the children were evacuated in 1939 it became h an Air Raid Warning Post, a Stretcher Party, and a Mobile Unit with Ambulance and Fire Services also based there. The School Hall had been specially strengthened with iron girders for the fire service. However in October the centre of the building took a direct hit.
This is part of the Compass Point scheme.
Flats. These were built by the London County Council as their Manchester Estate of the 1960s, reclad by the LDDC c. 1990.
|99 Builders Arms . This pub was built in 1864 and enlarged in 1891. It was destroyed in the Second World War bombing
Banbury. Shipbuilders of the Thames and Medway
Carr. Docklands History Survey
Connor. Forgotten Stations
Ellmers and Werner. London’s Lost Riverscape
Field. London Place Names
Marcan. London Docklands Guide
George Green’s School. Web site
Kay. London’s Railway Heritage
Lidos in London. Web site
London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Web site
London Docklands Heritage Trail
Pevsner and Cherry. Buildings in Docklands
PMSA Web site
Port of London Magazine.
Pub History. Web site
Survey of London. Poplar
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry in Greater London. Report
Walford Village London
Wilson. London’s Industrial Archaeology
And as ever with these Isle of Dogs sites - tribute to the Survey of London, and my embarrassment as using so much of it as a source