The Riverside. the north bank east of the Tower. Blackwall, East India and Poplar. .
River bank – east of the Tower north bank only Old Blackwall, East India and Poplar.
TQ 38484 80477
An riverside area of paramount importance in British history. This was once a centre of world trade and British shipbuilding. Small 17th century shipyards developed into major works. From here the Pilgrim Fathers left to found Virginia. The East India Company had a ship yard here and later the East India Docks provided an international trading focus. In the 19th century most British railway companies had depots here and some had docks for goods transhipments. A specialist railway line was built to distribute sea bourne coal to the metropolis. The Blackwall Tunnel continues to provide a major cross river link. The area is also full of housing, facilities and small works. It is under intense development pressure and has some new, brash and gated developments which do not refer to the historic sites they are occupying.
This post is north bank only on this square. On the south bank the post is Blackwall Point
Post to the south Blackwall and Greenwich Peninsula West
Post to the west Canary Wharf
Post to the north Poplar
Post to the east Leamouth and Dome
Named for Ashton who was a previous landowner
Bricklayers' Arms. Built by Robert Snell of Limehouse and completed in 1814. I had a skittle alley. In 1912 it was purchased by the London County Council from Whitbread in order to rebuild the Woolmore Street School. It was then used as the schoolkeeper's house,
This is the main road that runs from the Limehouse Link Tunnel eastwards, and is the A1261. There is a junction with Cotton Street and Preston’s Road. It passes over both Blackwall Tunnels and goes to a junction with Leamouth Road and the Lower Lea Crossing. The East India Dock Tunnel joins the road from the A13
This is a new road, built in the 1990s, across a built up road grid.
1 Hotel Ibis
This was originally Bow Lane. It was named after Revd Thomas Bazely, rector 1839-1860. The street dates from 1686, was built up by the East India Company in the early 19th. Poplar Council built housing in the 1950s on the extensive bomb sites. The route the east, was Bow Lane, which continued northwards then curved around to join Robin Hood Lane
45-51 a terrace built in the 1830s by Hugh Mackintosh, East India Dock contractor and named Mary Place for his wife. They reflect the prosperity resulting from development of the area in the early 19th by the East India Company.
Union Chapel. This Baptist chapel was built in 1813 and was demolished in the 1840s. It stood on the east side.
Bow Lane School. This was built by shipbuilder George Green on the site of the Union Chapel. In 1867 it was named St. Matthias School. In 1878 it was moved and the building sold to the Ladies Charity School as a girls and infants school but was closed following a London Council Inspection in 1904.
Poplar Synagogue. This was in the old Union Chapel/School building 1923 - 1948. It was demolished in 1954.
Premises of the Sisters of St John the Divine. The East London branch of the Nursing Sisters of St John the Divine, was set up in 1880 by Julia Childers and Julia Lake. The sisters first came to Poplar in 1866 during a cholera epidemic. They lost everything when their nursing home was demolished during a V2 attack in 1945. The matron is said to have survived having been buried for 2-3 days. Their nursing home, initially in Montague Place, is said to have been on the corner opposite the Pavilion Cinema – may actually have been in East India Dock Road.
28 Greenwich Pensioner Pub. This was built in 1827. It replaced another tavern on the same site. There is a cut bench mark in the wall.
Esther Hawes Almshouses. Esther Hawes was a widow in 1685 who left land here as an endowment. Two single-storey ranges, with six almshouses, facing each other across a courtyard were built. In 1933 the almshouses were threatened with demolition as slum clearance and in were sold to the Borough Council. The Second World War delayed their proposed demolition, and they survived. By 1953 they were derelict and were demolished despite much discussion as to whether they should be preserved.
This new road goes from Blackwall Way to riverside flats on the site of railway sidings on the site of the Midland Railway Goods Depot, previously a shipbuilding site. The route of this road is shown slightly differently on various maps and as it gated with a security guard we are never going to find out anyway. Biscayne as a name is probably from sites in America (US)
Blackwall – the name is self-explanatory, from Old English and refers to the colour of the river wall. This name appears in the 14th... It lay to the south-west of open fields known as the East Marsh of Poplar where a community of fishermen lived 14th. Blackwall became a useful anchorage where moorings were protected. From the 15th Blackwall was the place where many embarked and disembarked, and was a victualling point for outward-bound vessels. In the 16th it was the point of departure for many of the great voyages of discovery and in 1606, the Virginia Settlers. During the 15th fifteenth and 16th it became a centre where ship repairs were carried out. Residential development began during the 1620s and 1630s, and continued as the demand labour in the ship yards increased. From the mid 16th inns had existed here to serve the needs of travellers. In the first half of the 19th Blackwall had at least nine inns, five of them on the riverfront.
The Blackwall Basin was the first impounded dock entrance basin ever built. In effect it was a big entrance lock. Ships could be locked into it at high tide and then lock into the docks when they wanted without affecting the water level in the docks. It was excavated in 1800–1. Its banks have been altered, but it still remains close to its original shape. Apart from the addition of some jetties it has had little change
Saltpetre Warehouse. Saltpetre was imported in the 19th and needed secure isolated storage. In 1828 a special warehouse was built on the south side of the Blackwall Basin. It was designed by John Rennie and built by Jolliffe and Banks. Following damage and some demolition it was used by the London Graving Dock Company as a platers' shop. It was bombed in the Second World War and rebuilt.
Guard House. This was built at the west end of the basin in 1821 for the Military Guard. It was designed by John Rennie. Later it was used for Customs officers and demolished in 1875
Lascar House. Accommodation was provided for Asian seamen following a 'disturbance' in 1839. This was built near the Blackwall Basin. It was converted into an engine house for the Junction Dock building works in 1853 and subsequently demolished.
Cut Wood shed. In 1857 a shed was built in South Dock. In 1902 it was re-erected as a single-span structure, on the north side of the Blackwall Basin, a piling ground for soft wood since 1853. It was demolished in 1949, following wartime bomb damage
Teak Sheds. In 1893 large timber-framed open-sided sheds were built and a shed was sited south of the Saltpetre Warehouse and west of the Graving Dock. Electric cranes were installed here, the first use of electric motive power for dock machinery in London following discussions at the Victor Engineering Works at Holloway. The teak sheds were extended westwards in 1898–9 but were badly damaged by Second World War bombing, and were cleared in the 1940s
Engine House. Two Boulton & Watt steam engines were used in the building of the West India Docks from 1801. The larger pumped water from the excavations from an engine house north of the Blackwall Basin; there was a small reservoir on its north side. This was converted into a gatekeeper's house in 1808
Figurehead for Docklands. This statue by Anna Bisset in 1997 is beside this marina (part of Blackwall Basin marina).
Jamestown Harbour. This housing development extends round two sides of the basin. (See Lovegrove Walk below). There is other housing development to the north.
Marina. This consists of 27 residential moorings and additional narrow boats. There is a facilities building and other amenities.
Rafts for common tern
Blackwall Dry Dock
Dry Dock. Shipbuilding and repair had not been allowed within the West India Docks but in the 1850s the Victoria and Millwall Docks had integral ship-repair facilities. Donald Johnson & Co. approached the East and West India Dock Company in 1872 with an offer to build dry docks. They proposed a single large dry dock off the Blackwall Basin and a site was leased top them in 1875 with a frontage on to Preston's Road. The West India Dock Graving Dock opened in 1878 and was one of the largest dry docks in the country, and only second in size to Thames Ironworks London. It was soon in financial trouble and it was mortgaged and passed through a number of company changes. In 1890 the lease was assigned to A. Chivas Adam, a shipowner, who set up the London Graving Dock Company, The area around the dry dock was developed with new buildings, facilities and plant in 1891. The site suffered heavy bomb damage in 1940 but by 1943 new offices and a fitting shop had been built. The damaged dry dock remained in use but was reconstructed in 1948–9. When the ship-repair industry was nationalized in 1977, it was made part of River Thames Ship repairers. However its continued use depended on use of the wet docks and the caisson was removed and the workshops were demolished in 1985. A permanent bridge was erected across the graving dock in 1988, as part of a housing development.
Housing development (see Lovegrove Walk below)
LEAP. Sculpture. In the graving dock from 1982, by Franta Belsky, of eight stylized dolphins spouting water.
Blackwall Entrance Lock
Johnson's Upper Dock. This was a small yard with just one single dry dock. In the 17th it was called Coldharbour Dock and was held by Henry Johnson. In 1678 Johnson applied to the Thames Conservancy to build a wharf here and previously James Avery, had done work for the Navy here. The site was later taken by the West India Dock Company and became the site of the Blackwall Entrance.
The entrance to the new West India Docks from the river was the most critical point of the original dock system. In 1799 it was decided to build a lock and excavation began in 1800. It was to be the largest lock in England and work continued apace. Within months of the opening John Rennie reported here and some collapses and as time went on it required many more repairs, showing the haste with which it was built. The lock gates were replaced in 1812, and again in 1864. The pier heads were improved in 1824–5. On the south side, a timber jetty was added, and a section of river wall, was rebuilt in brick. As ships grew larger its size became another problem and in 1870 the rebuilt South Dock east entrance became the main entry to the dock. The Blackwall entrance lock was rebuilt in 1892–4 and later after a lot of discussion and more failed work three pairs of lock gates were constructed and erected by the Thames Iron Works & Shipbuilding Company. Many of the fittings of these still survive. The rebuilt lock opened for business in 1894 and still survives. It became much less important after 1929, when another new South Dock east entrance was built along with passages linking the three wet docks. It was closed from 1940-1950, reopening only for barge traffic. In 1960–1 John Mowlem & Company made some repairs but the lock was last used in 1968. The London Docklands Development Corporation removed the middle gates and permanently dammed it under a bridge in 1987.
Impounding Station. An impounding system was part of the improvements to the Blackwall entrance lock in 1893–4. This was to maintain the depth of water in the older docks for larger ships. H. F. Donaldson designed it in 1893 as a plant with four pumps and specially designed outlets at the bottom of the Blackwall Basin. The impounding station stood on its north side and to the south was the engine house. It was made redundant in 1930 and in 1936 the building was leased to become part of the Northumberland Wharf oil and grease factory. From 1952 it was Raleana Works, the premises of the Thames Welding Company, and was demolished in 1986
Blackwall Tunnel Approach
The approach system is made up of a complicated set of roads. Roads leave the northbound ‘old’ tunnel and enter the southbound ‘new’ tunnel. There are slips from East India Dock Road and a footway above the ‘new’ tunnel approach.
A road tunnel here was projected by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1887 with a design by Bazelgette. In June 1890 the London County Council commissioned Benjamin Baker and Chief Engineer, Alexander R. Binnie for a single-tunnel design.
Northbound Tunnel. Built in 1891-7 and designed by Alexander Binnie of the London County Council. Driven through mixed water-bearing strata by Greathead shield and compressed air - the first time these techniques had been combined. Four shafts were sunk in steel caissons built by Thames Ironworks. The shield built by Easton & Anderson of Erith was driven forward by hydraulic rams, and excavation was by hand. The carriageway is 16 ft wide with a footway either side, and there are 5 sharp bends. It was ceremonially opened by HRH the Prince of Wales in 1897.
The Southbound Tunnel. By the 1930s the old tunnel was inadequate and the London County Council obtained an Act in 1938 for a new tunnel. However construction work did not begin until 1958 under the Greater London Council Directorate of Highways and Transportation. The new tunnel is used for southbound traffic and lies about 700 ft to the west of the earlier tunnel. The consulting engineers for the bored section of the tunnel were Mott, Hay & Anderson who drove it under compressed air with the ground consolidated by grouting from two pilot tunnels. It was opened in 1967 by Desmond Plummer, Leader of the Greater London Council.
Northern Gatehouse. The original on the Blackwall side was demolished when the second tunnel was constructed. In effect it was similar to that remaining on the south. It had a flat over the archway. The facades were decorated with shields with coats of arms of Middlesex, Kent, Essex and Surrey, and bronze plaques. In 1899 public toilets were provided by the London County Council in a small building adjoining the north entrance gatehouse, in a sympathetic style
Service Building. A rectangular administration building was built between the two approach roads on the Poplar side. It is has Offices and a traffic-control room with a garage and yard below.
Plaque. This is by Alfred Drury and dates from 1897. It shows and shows two allegorical women and the head of Father Thames. There is a diagram of the tunnel construction below. It is by the foot entrance to the southbound carriageway bus stop.
Sign. There was once a sign asking drivers of horses to be quiet going past Poplar Hospital
Entrance to East India Docks. The East India Dock gates were alongside the present tunnel approach. It was situated by the north-west corner of the East India Import Dock and 70ft high making a local landmark. It was designed by the dock engineer, Ralph Walker, was a triumphal arch plus metal clock-and bell tower. The top storey contained the East India Dock Company's board-room. There was a large inscription about the dock and its supporters. This gateway survived until 1912 and the widening of East India Dock Road plus the trams. In 1913–14 the Port of London Authority built a facsimile in ferro concrete using Hennebique's system. This second gateway was demolished in 1958 for the new northern approach road where the replica inscribed blocks remain t
Plaque. This is on the corner wall by the footpath above the slip onto the southbound carriageway from East India Dock Road. It is a replica of the giant inscription plaque, from the main gate of the East India Dock which once stood in this area. It has been moved more than once.
Tunnel Gardens. The footway above the southbound approach leads along a remnant of a playground and raised terrace made in 1902 by the London County Council. This site was kept for future road widening. In 1901 the London County Council converted it into a playground. Half for boys and half for girls and infants, with a gravelled tree-lined terrace for adults. It was opened in 1902 with trees and play equipment. Most of the gardens were cleared in 1958 for the new approach road although a handful of trees planted by the London County Council and part of the raised terrace remain – there are also some ‘optimistically placed’ benches and the man who shouts at the traffic every day.
In 1618 William Burrell bought a strip of land from Poplar High Street to build a Causeway, connecting the High Street to Blackwall Stairs and the river. It has also been known as Blackwall Causeway, Brunswick Street and currently Blackwall Way. Travellers from the river could disembark here Blackwall and take a coach to London. Burrell leased it to the East India Company who put a gate on it and exacted tolls. Pedestrians went free but only via a ladder style gate. Sadly Blackwall Way no longer goes to the riverside and there are gated developments in the area.
Lower Wharf. This was to the east of the Causeway, beside Blackwall Yard. During the late 18th it was used by Thomas Newte. It had warehouses, rigging houses, stable, and a crane'.
Blackwall New Tunnel Vent. The shell-concrete ventilation stack was designed by the Greater London Council Department of Architecture and Civic Design, project architect Terry Farrell.
Empress Electric Theatre. This was opened in March 1913 ad was also known as the Popular Picture Theatre. It closed during the Great War .
The Globe. This pub was built by Henry Johnson, who then owned Blackwall Yard and took its name from one of the first East Indiamen to sail from Blackwall, which took almost four years to return. It was built 1643 - 1656 and had stables and a hay loft'. In the 18th nine cottages were built in the yard and by 1755 six almshouses too. In the early 1830s it was the base for Onesiphorus Randall’s horse bus company. The Pub and its site were cleared in the late 1870s for the Midland Railway Company's goods station.
Johnson's Almshouses. Globe Yard. Money for these was left in 1683 by Sir Henry Johnson, owner of Blackwall Yard. It was for six almshouses for poor and aged ship-carpenters. They were not actually built until 1755. They were demolished with the Globe Tavern.
45 Old Hob. Pub said to have been named in memory of a horse that worked at the shipyard for thirty years and stopped work with the men when the yard bell rang. The pub dated from 1756 and was closed by 1876.
53 Shoulder of Mutton and Pig. Pub which stood on the left hand side going towards Blackwall Stairs. This was open 1839-1876 and renamed “shoulder of mutton” 1853
The Ship Pub. This stood on the left hand side going towards Blackwall Stairs.
78 The Brunswick Arms (The Coopers Arms) stood on the right side. In the middle of the 19th century, Brunswick Mum, a strong kind of beer, introduced from Brunswick, in Germany. The Brunswick Arms was the first to sell it. Demolished 2007.
130 White Swan Pub. This stood on the right side. It was a Watney’s house present by 1839. It closed in 1992 and demolished in 2003. Excavations at the rear suggest that a much older building stood on this site.
The Plough. This dated from at least 1725 and was had buildings on three sides of a yard. There were stables, parlours, bars, and a tap-room. The inn could be entered from the High Street or from the river via a small staircase. It was partially rebuilt in the mid-1840s, following a fire. There were private dining-rooms and a large coffee room and five bay windows on the first floor allowed customers to enjoy the river.
Artichoke Tavern. It was built about 1731 and they served whitebait there until 1841. In 1754 the landlord, Peter Lord, advertised the opening of the Long Room as 'a fine place for seeing the ships launched'. In the 18th it was also used as a coach office. It was purchased by the Metropolitan Board of Works from Charrington & Co. in 1888, to allow the construction of the Blackwall Tunnel
Sir Walter Raleigh’s House. This stood opposite the Artichoke Tavern and said to be on the site now used by the old Blackwall Tunnel ventilation shaft. This ancient timber-framed house had only tenuous connections with either Raleigh or indeed Sebastian Cabot. Raleigh had business at Blackwall but there is no reason to believe he lived there. The house was a jettied timber-framed building with carvings of grotesque heads on the outside. Pressures to develop the area led to its demolition by 1881. Its site was bought by the Metropolitan Board of Works from the London and North West Railway Company in 1888 for the construction of the Blackwall Tunnel.
The George. This was there from at least 1839 until 1876.
Poplar Station. The original Poplar Station opened in 1840 on the London and Blackwall Railway and was sited on the west side of what was then called Brunswick Road. It was resited to the east side of the road in 1845. The platforms remained intact until the late 1960's when the cutting was infilled. The top of the up side stairway is said to have continued to be visible for quite a while after and even boasted the remains of a handrail. Redevelopment has now made this impossible to trace
Poplar Station. This was the replacement for the first station and opened on the east side of Brunswick Street bridge (the first station had been on the west side of the bridge) in 1845. Poplar had a timber street level building with covered stairs down to the platforms. A wooden hut on one of the platforms was believed to be a stationmaster’s office. Brick toilet blocks were sited at the east end of both platforms. After closure in the 1930s the platform buildings were demolished. But the lamp room and the gents’ toilets survived until the late 1960's. The track through the station remained in use as a siding until the late 1960's, but was lifted in 1977 and in 1981 the cutting was infilled leaving the top of the bridge visible. The site was occupied by a children’s playground before the building of Aspen Way road in 1993.
Brunswick Junction signal box was east of Poplar Station, dated from 1906 and controlled movements in and out of both the Blackwall and the East India goods deports. The warehouse was destroyed by Second World War bombing but only closed in 1961
The original Blackwall Yard was created by the East India Company. They were first granted a licence by Elizabeth I in 1600 mainly to allow then to import products from Asia and export them to Europe. Within 20 years the company had trading bases in Asia and their profits for 1601–23 averaged 100 %. At first they used men-of-war and commissioned vessels from East Anglian shipyards. It was at Deptford that they first built their own ships for the East Indies trade. The Deptford site was too small and so in 1614 the company obtained land in the Poplar East Marsh and William Burrell oversaw digging a dry dock there. In 1615 it was lengthened, again in 1624 and in 1630 another dock was built. Buildings were erected: a forge; a spinning house for rope; storehouses and slaughter and salting houses for provisions. A brick wall built around the perimeter and also a Mansion House, which survived until 1870. There were offices and a gatehouse to Blackwall Causeway showing the Company’s coat of arms. There was also a tap house and canteen for the workmen, a saw pit and a tar house. The yard was fully operational by 1617. There were however doubts as to whether the Company should build its own ships and in the 1650s it was decided not to continue with Blackwall Yard.
Henry Johnson. In 1655 the Company agreed to sell the docks and the yard to Henry Johnson. He had served an apprenticeship at Deptford Dockyard and a member of the Pett family of Royal Shipwrights. East India Company ships continued to be built and repaired at Blackwall throughout the 1650s and 1660s and Johnson became a leading part owner. He also built ships for the Navy in a period of great demand during the Dutch Wars. Merchant shipbuilding was encouraged under Charles II and 1670 - 1677 12 ships were built at Blackwall. A survey by Samuel Pepys showed that the yard had the greatest capacity of the commercial yards on the Thames. Johnson undertook many improvements and expansion on the site. In 1659 he built the largest wet dock, on the Thames. He also built storehouses for the safe storage of imported goods which was another innovation. Henry Johnson’s son, also Henry Johnson took over the yard and made a great deal of money. Shipbuilding at Blackwall continued up to his death in 1719 and left it to his daughter, the Countess of Stafford. In 1724 she sold the yard to Captain John Kirby who was acting on behalf of a four-man syndicate. This left a complicated pattern of ownership over the next fifty years. During this time the yard was managed by members of the Perry family
The Perrys. John Perry eventually bought the yard from the syndicate in 1779. By 1782 the yard contained at least six building launches and a fourth dry dock - which is the dock which still survives. The 1780s was a decade of great expansion in the yard with more East Indiamen and naval vessels being built and repaired.
Brunswick Dock. The dock was built by John Perry in 1789, a petrified forest found on the site while it was being built. It had two basins, and could take 28 East Indiamen, and 60 Greenland sloop. The dock had the capacity to refit and repair small vessels and enabled more minor repair work to be done. In the late 1790s Perry retired and his sons took over with their brother-in-law, George Green. Part of the yard to Deptford shipwright John Wells and the firm became Perry, Wells and Green
Mast House. Dominating Brunswick Dock it was the great timber-and-brick mast-house on the western quay. This contained a revolutionary masting machine which could do the work in a fraction of the time normally needed. It survived as a local landmark into the 1860s. During 1862–3 the old mast-house, a familiar Blackwall landmark was removed from what was then the west quay of the East India Export Dock. The Ordnance Survey had used it as a triangulation station for its survey of London, in 1848– 50.
The East India Company. In 1803 they were planning docks here and bought Brunswick Dock which was remodelled as their Export Dock. Land to the east became the their Import Dock
Wigram. In 1805 John Wells sold the yard to Robert Wigram. He was an important ship-owner, and a subscriber to the East India Dock Company, later becoming a director, an MP and a baronet. Two of his sons, Money and Henry Loftus Wigram managed the ship yard and eventually the firm's name was changed to Wigram & Green. Sir Robert retired in 1819 and sold the yard to George Green, Money Wigram and Henry Loftus Wigram.
Wigram and Green. In 1805 the Government contracted with the firm to build three 74-gun ships but although the wars increased shipbuilding this was a bad time for London firms - Indian-built ships were considered the reason. In 1821 the first steam-vessel to be built at the yard was launched and In 1824 George Green founded the Blackwall frigates, a line of passenger sailing vessels to India and Australia. He also became active in the whaling trade. In 1838 George Green retired by which time his son, Richard, was a partner. Also in 1838 much of the northern part of the yard was taken by the London and Blackwall Railway for their line to Brunswick Wharf. In 1843 the partnership agreement between the Greens and the Wigrams expired and a division of the yard took place - the yard was physically divided by a brick wall, reputedly built overnight, to separate the two businesses
The Western Yard. The area was taken by the Wigrams. It was the 'historic' yard, where docks and buildings dated from the 17th. However the historic features were not altered, apart from the infilling of Johnson's wet dock. The first ship built here was a traditional wooden warship but the second vessel built there was an iron paddle-steamer. In the early 1860s on the site of Johnson's wet dock was a slip for one of the largest ships ever constructed at Blackwall. In 1877 Wigram & Sons sold the Western Yard to the Midland Railway Company.
The Midland Railway – Poplar Dock. Shipbuilding on the site came to an end and great changes were made. The three dry docks and the slips disappeared beneath a new wet dock, and all the old buildings including the Mansion House, the Globe tavern and Johnson's Almshouses, were swept away. The name was changed Poplar Dock. The Railway wanted a modern collier dock and coal-handling depot, where coal brought in by rail could be transhipped into lighters for delivery. The work was carried out between 1877 - 1882 supervised by John Underwood. They rebuilt the river wall; excavated a new dock, built warehouses, stables and a branch line to connect the site with the main railway. In Brunswick Street they built a goods office and a hydraulic pumping station. The site of the old wet dock was covered by railway tracks and sidings. (See Railway below)
Charringtons. Poplar Dock was badly damaged by enemy action during the Second World War. From the late 1950s the yard was occupied by Charringtons, who infilled the dock, demolished the warehouses, and used the site for the storage of fuel oil. In the late 1950s an area was taken for the ventilation shaft of the second Blackwall Tunnel. Charrington's continued on site until the late 1980s. The only surviving parts of the Midland Railway's works are a short length of brick wall on the east side of Blackwall Way and the hydraulic pumping station
New Providence Wharf. This development built in the early 21st is on the site of what was most of the Midland Railway Yard. Their advertising says that. ....”development along the Thames ...... often developed with little regard for their context ....................... New Providence Wharf ...boldly takes a very different approach. Excavations before construction showed timbers of two dock structures including a wall of the Wet Dock of 1659 modified and repaired until its closure in the mid 19th. The dock wall was built of oak, pine and teak.' Also found was 'planking and working debris belonging to a slipway built in 1860 and closed in 1877. The development by the Irish developer Ballymore consists of blocks of flats - all “luxury” and with American (US) names. Providence Tower will have. 43 floors of flats designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Ontario Tower also has ‘luxury’ 29 storey high-rise’ flats built in 2007 as ‘new executive housing’ and the tower has a blue LED rimmed elliptical profile. There is also a posh hotel.
The Eastern Yard. The eastern section of Blackwall yard was taken by R. & H. Green. They made an entrance into the yard from Brunswick Street and built offices one of which survived until the late 1980s. They also extended John Perry’s 18th dry dock. During the Crimean War the yard supplied ships to for the Navy but Richard Green continued to build wooden ships until his death in 1863. In 1866 the first iron ship built here was launched. In the 1870s they built a large new graving dock along with an engine and boiler house. The yard was incorporated in 1894 as R. & H. Green Ltd, and they continued to build ships until 1907. In 1910 R. & H. Green Ltd amalgamated with Silley Weir & Co. and they grew rapidly until the outbreak of the Great War. During the war they built and repaired munitions ships, minesweepers, hospital ships and destroyers. After the war they built a marine engineering shop between the two graving docks.
Blackwall Engineering. In 1977 the company merged with the London Graving Dock Company Ltd to form River Thames Ship Repairers Ltd, the works at Blackwall was called Blackwall Engineering. When this firm closed in 1987, it brought to an end 350 years of shipbuilding and ship repairing here. The upper graving dock of 1878 remained in use until closure the final work being new work to provide covers on local authority rubbish barges. In 1989 the dock was partially filled in and the new Reuters building were constructed over it. The other late-18th dry dock, one of the earliest remaining on the Thames was refurbished in 1991–2 and cut back to its original length. Reuter’s security makes it impossible to see.
Reuters (see Paul Julius Close)
Bridge House Quay
Part of the Wates Built Homes scheme designed by Whittam, Cox, Ellis & Clayton on the site of the Blackwall Graving Dock. Bridge House is the adjacent ‘big house’ in Prestons Road. It covers the site of the entrance to the Blackwall Basin.
This runs parallel to the west of what is now Poplar Dock Marina. It is closed off; it has all the usual blocks of flats and access roads to the Marina. It is on the site of the Great Western Railway depot. This had opened 1873 and was also served by the North London Railway. It was bombed flat in 1941.
Gibbets. This area was the traditional site for gibbeting pirates previously executed at Wapping.
Brunswick Wharf. In the early 1830s the river frontage west of Blackwall Yard east of the East India Docks basin was rebuilt as a steam wharf by the East India Dock Company to cater for the steam-packet trade. Whereas earlier docks were built, first of timber, then later of massive brickwork or masonry, the Brunswick Wharf was built of cast iron sheet piling. This was not only a great saving in cost, but also the first major application of the system. The piling was backed by mass concrete. It could be seen as the world’s first ocean passenger terminal. It was linked to the City by a frequent rail service. It survived into the late 1940s, when it was redeveloped as part of the site of the Brunswick Wharf Power Station. Supervision of the project was in the hands of the resident engineer, George Parker Bidder. Construction began early in 1833. At the west end of the wharf the dock company built a causeway extending 60ft into the river, approached by stone steps called Brunswick Stairs. These steps were dismantled in 1890–1. The steam packet companies required good transport links with the City. A road connecting the Wharf to East India Dock Road was a priority. This was East India Dock Wall Road along the boundary walls of the East India Docks. The dock company built stables on the wharf itself. By 1836 omnibuses were leaving Brunswick Wharf for the City almost every five minutes. In 1840 the London and Blackwall Railway opened its terminus on Brunswick Wharf itself. The railway cut the journey time from the City to the wharf to only 15 minutes. As well as constructing the new link road, the directors of the dock company promoted the building of hotel and tavern and baggage warehouses to encourage use of the wharf. The wharf had become a very popular destination for 'excursionists’. After 1918 the already dwindling number of visitors was further reduced by the closure of the railway to passenger traffic in 1926 and by the London County Council's withdrawal of the 'penny steamer' service. By 1930 the nearest public transport was the bus service in the East India Dock Road.
The Brunswick Hotel and Tavern. Designed by Walker, it was erected in 1833–4. It was one of Blackwall's more elegant buildings, with a stuccoed river front. In 1842 landlord Lovegrove enclosed the terrace in front of the hotel within a single-storey extension, with good views over the river. At the back were offices, stables and coach-houses, an ice-house and the Brunswick Tap. . It became one of the venues for the famous Blackwall Whitebait Suppers. The hotel closed in 1873, but the Tap continued to operate until 1900. In 1874 the hotel was let to the New Zealand Government for an emigrants' depot, and this continued until about 1900. Then the Managers of the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum leased it for a children's convalescent home. During the Great War the building was used as barracks and in the 1920s as offices by R. & H. Green & Silley Weir Ltd of Blackwall Yard. It was demolished in 1930
The Brunswick Wharf Warehouse. To the east of the Hotel was warehouse. Designed by Walker, and built in 1834, it survived until 1947. It was built to provide storage for luggage and goods plus shelter for passengers. For many years it was used chiefly for the 'accommodation of cattle'. From 1877 it was used to store hay and Peek Frean's biscuits. Later it became part of the New Zealand emigrants' depot and as a dormitory for married couples on the first floor and for single men on the ground floor.
The London and Blackwall Railway Terminus. It was designed by William Tite, architect to the London and Blackwall Railway. The station opened in 1840. On the ground floor of the office block were waiting-rooms, a booking hall, and a flat for the superintendent. There were Toilets and a customs room. The idea was to transfer from the railway to a river boat. The arrival and departure sheds were between the façade and the boundary wall of the East India Export Dock. Over the next hundred years of existence there were many changes. The remains of the station were demolished in 1947
The Railway Tavern. In 1844 the dock company decided to build a second tavern pitched to suit parties travelling on the railway and the excursionists. The new building was designed by Adams and Martin. The tavern was closed in 1871, after complaints that it encouraged drunkenness in sailors, Renamed Brunswick Buildings; it became a dock master’s house. It was demolished in 1947.
Brunswick Wharf Power Station. The power station was conceived in 1939, but the war prevented construction which began in 1947.Ift was demolished in 1988–9. It was built under the South East England Electricity (Alteration and Extension) Scheme of 1939. Poplar Borough Council resolved to make representations to the CEB for one of the new stations. Poplar Council prepared a report. Land was bought from the PLA and objections from London County Council and others were overcome. With nationaliaation in. responsibility for completion passed to the British Electricity Authority. It began to supply electricity in 1952 and was officially opened in by Lord Citrine, chairman of the British Electricity Authority. It was Built in two-thirds of the old dock, old quay. The brickwork was impressive, all the walls being clad with reddish brown bricks. Darker brown bricks were used at the bases to suggest a plinth. The interior reflected the austerity of the period in which it was built. The generating plant which was virtually obsolete by completion was supplied by Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company of Manchester. A new wharf was built in reinforced concrete for coal brought by river. In 1970–1 the boilers were converted to burn oil. Brunswick Wharf ceased generating in 1984. The site was sold in 1987 for redevelopment and the power station was demolished – the chimneys were blown up on Sunday lunchtime while Edith was checking to see if she was parked ok. The switchgear house to the north remains. The site became a golf range
Switchgear House. Low red brick that was extended upwards in 2003 as a ten-storey apartment block. On the wall is the design of a huge acorn.
The Virginians It was from Blackwall, that the Virginia Settlers set out in 1606, Captain John Smith sailed with them in three ships: The Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery. 105 of them made it to Jamestown, Virginia, although six months later only 38 were still alive. In 1608s two women joined them. Their child Virginia was eventually born...
Virginia Settlers' Memorial. In 1928 a bronze tablet was fixed to the western pier of Brunswick Buildings by the Association for the Preservation of the Virginia Antiquities, to commemorate the 1606 embarkation. In 1951 this tablet was put into a memorial erected by the Port of London Authority and designed by Harold Brown. This was a pile of granite blocks, surmounted by a bronze mermaid. After redevelopment of the wharf began the monument became derelict and the mermaid disappeared. Following a long campaign by a Wapping pensioner to attract the attention of the American authorities to the state of the monument it was restored, by Barratt Homes embellished It with an astrolabe and new plaque, and the monument is mounted on a large plinth. The campaigners were however ignored in the ceremonies. Sometime later the mermaid turned up in a Chingford back garden.
This was once Union Street
Poplar Mosque. A site was used for a London County Council ambulance station built in 1921–2 to take two motor ambulances and 12 staff. It remained in use until 1972 and was subsequently converted for commercial and religious purposes. Demolished 2014
St Matthias Centre. Part of this was the London County Council. Manual training centre for 40 boys opened in 1910. Later, as St.Mathias Centre. It provided adult education. It was demolished in 2014
School. In 1912 the London County Council planned to erect a new infants' school, in Union Street. This involved the purchase of the Bricklayers' Arms ad some houses in Ashton and Woolmore Street. The school was north of the manual training centre. Along with the training centre it survived the war and was reinstated as St Matthias Church of England School. It closed in 1983. Demolished 2014
This road is largely taken up with office buildings on the site of the East India Dock.
2 Mulberry Place. This has been Tower Hamlets Town Hall since 1993. It is one of four linked office blocks by Sten Samuelson of Malmo, and the British based Beaton Thomas Partnership. It was built as part of the commercial redevelopment of the East India Dock. The borough imported the traditional horseshoe-plan council chamber into and open-plan office space. The Town Hall is built on what was part of the East India Dock where the Mulberry Harbours were built in the Second World War for the Normand landings.
Awakening. Art work in the foyer of the Town Hall based upon Stanley Spence's "Resurrection” which is the reshaping of the East End by Docklands Development. By Loraine Leeson, Peter Dunn and a team from George Green's School.
Shadow Play. This sculpture is in front of Compass House in Mulberry Place is in steel and bronze showing recreational pastimes of adults and children. Sculptor Dave King. 1992.
Renaissance. This sculpture is by the pond at the junction with Saffron Avenue. The kiss has swept the lady off her feet and she seems to be flying. This statue is placed in the middle of what was the East India Dock. The sculptor was Maurice Blick.
The Domino Players. This is outside the Lighterman Building. The sculptor was Kim Bennet.
Meridians and Metaphors. This is by the pond near the junction of Saffron Avenue. It is on the Greenwich meridian. The sculptor was David Jacobson.
The road runs close to the riverside and is a continuation of the causeway from Blackwall, probably developed from the pathway along the top of the river wall. The name goes back to the 14th. There were buildings here by the 1620s. The name Coldharbour is a common one with many theories of origins.
1 Isle House. One of the earliest houses in the street it seems to have been on this site before 1626 when it belonged to a waterman. Later it belonged to a merchant who had warehouses here as well as a house. Isle House itself was a dock master's house built 1826 by John Rennie for the West India Dock Co. It replaced an earlier dockmaster's house to the south which had structural problems. It has an unusual plan presumably to give a view of the dock entrance and river. The earliest-known occurrence of the name Isle House is in 1871. The house was occupied as a dockmaster's residence from 1826 until the 1880s, the first inhabitant, being Captain Thomas Harrison, the West India Dock Company's Blackwall Dockmaster. In 1904 the London and India Dock Company let the house to a dredging company on a yearly tenancy, and in 1935 the Port of London Authority granted lease to the Bethnal Green and East London Housing Association, Restored by Carole A. Gannon of the Welling Partnership, 1995-6.
3 Nelson House. This was formed in 1820 by Samuel Granger, coal merchant and lighterman from two older houses. Since the 1670s the southern house, 3, was leased to a, shipwright, and later to a fisherman, and a waterman. 5 was owned by a shipwright and ship's chandler. In 1802 Samuel Granger lighterman and coal merchant, purchased the freehold and turned it into one house. Evidence of the older building survives in the south cellar wall, and the chimneys. Nelson was reputed to have stayed there, hence the name, and he did visit Blackwall and so he must have stayed somewhere. In 1856 the house was let to William Watkins, the tug owner. In 1924–5 the house was converted into two units for Port of London Authority police families. In 1935 the Port of London Authority leased it to the Bethnal Green and East London Housing Association.
5 - 7 these were probably built in 1809 by Richard Gibbs, a shipwright. In 1834 5 was let to the West India Dock Company for an Assistant Dockmaster's house. In 1877 it was a coffee house
9-13 Crown Wharf was built in 1971 by Bernard Lamb and the Greater London Council. It is a tall white- boarded terrace which partly replaced a late 19th public house
9 Fishing Smack. This had been a pub since at least 1750. In the 1760s it was called the Fisherman's Arms. I was rebuilt in 1893, probably by the surveyor to Watney Combe Reid & Co. It was demolished about 1948 and a section of the brown glazed brickwork survives at the south corner of 7.
15 Built in 1843-5 by Benjamin Granger Bluett, a block and mastmaker. There is a ground-floor workshop which was originally the full width of the house and open to the river. Later t was J. M. Jackson & Sons, shipwrights, joiners, mast and block makers, and ship's smiths with a yard to the south near Preston’s Road. As Crown Wharf it was an oil wharf. In 1894 the Metropolitan Asylums Board which had the adjoining wharf bought the site and in 1895 turned the mast making shop into dressing-rooms, bathrooms, waiting-rooms and stores. It also built a range of water closets and an observation ward. Edwin T. Hall designed and supervised this work. In 1969 the GLC transferred the property to the borough council.
15-25 The General Steam Navigation Company's Cattle Wharf. Acquired 1842 - 1868, it was used for the landing of live sheep and cattle, for the meat trade. GSNC founded in the early 1820s as a passenger carrier, pioneered this trade. GSNC first came to Coldharbour in 1842, when it acquired the Peninsula & Orient Company's leases of Brown's Wharf and Stewart's Wharfs. In 1842 two piers were built one at Brown's Wharf, the other at of Stewart's Wharf. They were designed by Robert Palmer Browne. In the mid-1860s the live-cattle trade was hit by Rinderpest which brought about an abrupt end to the 'free trade' in imported cattle, and led to the closure of the wharf
19 this is the former Blackwall river-police station, built in 1893–4 now converted to flats, and new flats built in the station yard in 1982. This is part of the General Steam Navigation Company's cattle wharf and in 1891 the East and West India Dock Company, sold it to the Metropolitan Police. The boat-dock under the building had to be usable at all states of the tide, so the ground floor of the station is above street level. Thus the public entrance from Coldharbour was at the top of a flight of steps. The felons' entrance was in the parade shed from where a passage led directly to the charge room and the cells. The station was closed in the late 1970s, and the building was divided into flats in 1982.
19a flats built on the site of the former police station yard. Designed by Rothermel Cooke for Downshire Properties
21- 23 Concordia Wharf. This was the site of the Stewart family's cooperage. Founded by Richard Stewart in the 1760s, the works was on a site later taken for the City Canal. They later moved to the west side of Coldharbour. The cooperage closed in 1831, and the General Steam Navigation Company used the site for its cattle wharf which was on the opposite side of the street. When General Steam Navigation Co. left in the early 1880s the Stewart family's old riverside residence was still standing. In 1886 oil merchants J. W. Cook & Sons, renamed it Concordia Wharf and left in 1890. In 1898 the wharf was taken over by Charles Grant Tindal, and the Australian Meat Company, which imported tinned and fresh meat and stayed until 1920. In 1921 the British Bluefries Wharfage & Transport Ltd, but moved following a fire in 1924. It was later occupied by the White Sea & Baltic Company pine-tar refiners and distillers.
25 Hawthorn's Wharf. In the 1920s and 1930s the site was a collecting depot by Hawthorn Wharf Ltd, for export of motor car and cycle accessories.
27 The Gun Pub. There was a pub here in 1716 called the King and Queen, later called the Rose and Crown, and then the Ramsgate Pink. It became became the Gun in 1770. The current building may incorporate old fabric and The Oldest part the North end, single-storey to street, extended in 1875 by F. Frederick Holsworth. It is associated with the opening of the West India Dock in 1802 when the first ship to enter was the Henry Addington firing guns on the way in. There is a concealed staircase with a spy hole facing out to the river, which it is said was used to check that for the presence of revenue men. Said to be the meeting place of Nelson and Lady Hamilton and a room above the bar is called the Lady Hamilton Room, and the pub is reputed to be haunted by her ghost. The pub was believed to have had a secret passage connected to a house possibly occupied by Nelson at .3 Coldharbour.
28 three-storey house with one room on each floor. This was a mast maker’s workshop,
29-35 Dock cottages built 1889 on the end of the South Dock Pierhead. They are built on land that belonged to the East and West India Dock Company.
30 -32 likened to lighthouses, and said to entirely consist of a dark and winding staircase with rooms of it. They were demolished in 1935–6 under a slum-clearance order. Their sites remained cleared.
Hanks Court. At the back of some of these houses named after, Joseph Hanks, a builder of Ratcliff, who built four cottages there. They were demolished in 1881, being deemed ‘unfit.
North Wharf. Metropolitan Asylum Board's ambulance station, known as North Wharf. From 1885 onwards smallpox patients were ferried out to floating isolation hospitals moored in the Thames. The General Steam Navigation Company sold its property there to the Metropolitan Asylums Board. They wanted the riverside site for an ambulance wharf where smallpox patients from north London could be brought for transfer by boat to the Board's hospital ships moored at Long Reach. At the wharf the Board required a floating pier to transfer patients at all states of the tide and connected to the wharf by a gangway. The work was carried out in 1884. Both pontoon and gangway survived into the 1960s. A galvanized-iron canopy to protect patients from the rain was also built. In about 1915 two four bed single-storey wards were built on the wharf for infectious cases and there was also disinfector and a boiler. The wharf passed in due course to the London County Council and in 1969 to the borough council. The structures were demolished in 1992–3.
Stewart's Wharf. Thus is now the the northern part of the site between the old river-police station at 19 and the Gun publ. This included the Stewart family's own residence. The Stewart family also leased a wharf upstream and other property. West of their workshops was an L-shaped timber-pond known as the 'canal'. One building was a buoy-store of 1787–8 for Trinity House. Richard Stewart, the founder of the cooperage, had been buoy-maker to the Corporation
West India Dock Tavern Site. In 1830 Samuel Lovegrove built a large tavern here but it was never very successful. In 1854 it had stood vacant for 'many years' and was demolished. Lenantons, the Millwall timber merchants, acquired part of the site in the 1870s for a timber-yard, and later used it for boatbuilding
The east side of the road is taken up with the walls of Robin Hood Gardens.
70 The Nags Head. This pub has now been demolished
Cotton Street Baptist Chapel. The congregation which built the chapel was founded in 1808 and bought the site for a chapel from the East India Dock Company. This was at the junction of Cotton Street and Woolmore Street. The church opened in 1811. There was a burial ground but that was built on for a schoolroom. Damage was caused by a fire in 1914 and the buildings were severely damaged during the Second World War and the site was cleared by 1945.
The Ladies' Charity School building dated from 1813 on a site acquired from the East India Dock Company. A new schoolroom was built in the early 1860s. The school was taken over by the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1880 and demolished.
Blackwall DLR Station. This was opened in 1994 and lies between East India and Poplar on the Docklands Light Railway. It is the first station on the Beckton extension. When it opened it was going to be called Preston's Road, but this was changed in the early days of construction. The site is adjacent to that of first Poplar Station on the original line of the London and Blackwall Railway
Docklands Light Railway
The Beckton extension was opened in 1994, leaving the original line at Poplar to go eastwards. Beyond Poplar, the trains for Beckton climb up onto the new concrete viaduct. Leaving East India, the train curves northward and descends to ground level as it heads towards Canning Town.
This was previously known as Leicester Street was originally part of a grid of roads built on the site of an 18th rope works. It has now more or less disappeared under new road works and the pumping station which was there now has its address in Preston’s Road,
East India Docks
East India Docks. These were built for the East India Co. by John Rennie and Ralph Walker in 1806 as the third set of wet docks built in London. East Indiamen had traditionally lightened their loads at Long Reach, before sailing to moorings at Blackwall. However the construction of other docks was leading to robberies from ships still in the river, rather than behind dock walls. The initiative for the creation of the East India Dock did not come from the East India Company itself, but from a group of East India merchants. In 1803, a group of ship-owners led by Robert Wigram and John Woolmore secured an Act for the docks. Four of the Directors of the dock also had to be directors of the East India Company. The company proposed to build the docks around the existing Brunswick Dock. The docks were opened in 1806 and as built consisted of a basin communicating with an Import and an Export Dock. The goods imported by the East India Company were generally of high value and little bulk and were taken to warehouses in the City for warehousing. This meant that there was little warehousing built around the docks themselves. In 1833 the Government ended the Company's trading function, and, the dock company was deprived of the use of the bonded warehouses in the City. In 1838 they amalgamated with the West India Docks. Their larger locks and deeper entrance basin of the East India Docks were better able to accommodate larger ships than the West India Docks and they were used more for the export trade. In 1909 the East India Docks passed into the control of the newly created Port of London Authority who undertook some modernisation including to the passageway between the Import Dock and the Basin which was deepened to allow modern ships into the dock. In 1967 the Port of London Authority decided in 1967 to close the East India Docks. The main user of the dock then was Fred Olsen Lines, for the Canary Island fruit and vegetable trade which moved to the Millwall Docks. Since then East India Docks have been all but obliterated. Most of the original features have gone, apart from stretches of original walling. The dock area is now the site of a complex of office buildings, including Tower Hamlets Town Hall. The road names are largely of spices imported into the dock and roads and canals roughly follow its outline.
Export Dock. The Dock and Entrance Basin were adapted from the 18th Brunswick Dock. The brick quay walls were similar to those at the West India and London Docks but were founded on clay and prone to slip. It was used for 161 years by vessels including tea clippers. In 1895–7 new works here involved the construction of the new cut between it and the basin. By 1905 it was mainly used by sailing ships of the Aberdeen Line and Shaw, Savill & Company, and other steamers. The Union Castle Line trading to the Cape made the docks its headquarters. The Dock was heavily bombed during the Second World War. Brunswick Wharf Power Station was constructed on the site and since that has been demolished there is now housing. The shape of the dock can still be discerned in the outline of the estate.
Import Dock. This was constructed in 1805 north-east of Brunswick Basin, and a high wall separated it from the road. Ralph Walker was the Engineer, and brocks were made on site because off the difficulty in obtaining them locally. Hugh McIntosh was the contractor. The Import Dock was the most important element in the system, with room to unload the returning East Indiamen. It impounded 18 acres of water to a uniform depth of 22ft. Berths were confined to the north and east quays and traffic to them came exclusively from vessels in the 'short-sea', or near-continental and coastal trades. On the South Quay No. 1 Warehouse was a saltpetre warehouse built in 1814 and another saltpetre warehouse was built adjacent to it in 1816. Between 1814 and 1821 three pairs of bonded warehouses were built along the south quay for the use of the private trade. They were designed by Ralph Walker, the dock company's Engineer. In 1820 the foundation stone for 6 & 7 Warehouses was laid by Joseph Cotton, Chairman of the Dock Company. Warehouses were to meet problems of storing coconut oil and tamarind and they were not demolished until 1959. During the 1850s there was a shortage of berths and four fixed wooden jetties were built and others followed. Donald Currie & Co used the dock for their Cape mail service in 1876. By 1883 the chief imports were from Australia, the Colonies and America, made up of comprised rice, jute, seed, wheat, wool and tallow. In the 1880s frozen meat imports included a shipment of 30,000 tons from the Falkland Islands, said to have been the largest single cargo of meat imported. A fire in 1900 destroyed 1 Warehouse built in 1913 and the adjoining quay sheds. They were replaced in 1901 by a single-storey flat-roofed building in ferro-concrete, one of the earliest uses of this material in the Port of London. As part of the redevelopment of the docks in 1912– 16, the entrance passage was widened to 80ft, and the lock was extended. In 1943 the dock it was pumped dry in order to build the wartime Mulberry Harbours. After closure it was partially filled and the end used as a container stacking yard, while water remained in the east end.
Brunswick Wharf. The East India Dock Company decided to build a steam wharf which opened in 1834 (see Brunswick Wharf)
Rail link. In 1859 the increasing export trade at the East India Docks encouraged the idea of a railway link from the north quay, passing behind the warehouses. The railway was built in 1860 as a branch line from Poplar station.
East India Dock Wall Road
East India Dock Wall Road laid out in 1833–4 to give access to Brunswick Wharf. It ran parallel to Naval Row and where they diverged is a connecting flight of steps for pedestrians. This stretch of the road was later closed and the area planted with trees and shrubs as part of Tunnel Gardens, opened in 1902 (see Blackwall Tunnel Approach) and the line of it and some of the trees remain on what is now essentially a footpath.
New road on the site of Charringtons/Midland Railway Poplar Dock/ 17th Blackwall Yard. This is all gated off with a security guard and it is impossible to see what is there. Appears to be flats and gardens with American names.
Midland Railway Depot. (See under Blackwall Yard, Midland Railway above)
This was originally called Regent Street. It is built on, and follows the line of, a rope works.
The road goes round a section of the east end of the north quay of the South Dock Basin, heading for Wood Wharf business park. It is on the water edge and it is possible to look at the length of the dock.
Cranes. Preserved cranes on the quay side albeit moved here from elsewhere.
Wood Wharf Business Park. A development which consists of two steel-framed high-tech pavilions, intended for office and warehouse use.
Dock offices. On the quayside are a number of brick buildings in a variety of uses. They are post Second World War and were inside the curtilege of the dock estate.
Lutomer House. Sports Centre. This is part of buildings erected for the bulk wine installation (see Junction Dock)
Private road on a Barratt built estate on the site of Brunswick Power Station, previously East India dock Export Basin. The name presumably relates to the Pilgrim Fathers who left from here.
John Smith Avenue
Private road on a Barratt built estate on the site of Brunswick Power Station, previously East India dock Export Basin. The name presumably relates to the Pilgrim Fathers who left from here led by John Smith.
Junction Dock. Built in 1853 to allow for access to the docks from more than one entrance by linking the South Dock to other parts of the West India Docks. In 1851 the dock company was forced into action by the collapse of a wall at the Blackwall. James Rendel suggested building a linking cut from the South Dock to the Blackwall Basin although his plans were considerably amended. It was never used other for much other than for berths for exports and timber imports. It was filled in by the Port of London Authority in 1979–80 as part of an agreement for the lease of the site to Teltscher Brothers Limited.
Cut-Wood Sheds. From the late 1820s softwood piling grounds were formed around Junction Dock
Cranes. Electricity was experimentally applied to existing cranes at the East Wood Wharf before Donaldson ordered three 60ft-wide steel-framed 6-ton electric travelling cranes from John Grice Statter, of Westminster, and Stothert & Pitt, of Bath,
Bulk Wine Installation. Despite the possible closure of the docks, the Port of London Authority remained committed to continuing operations. In 1979 Teltscher Brothers, importers of Yugoslavian wines set up a bottling and distribution centre and leased a site at the Junction Dock which was operational by 1980. The Junction Dock was filled in and in 1982 Teltscher Brothers built offices and a warehouse on what had become an Enterprise Zone site with architects Building Design Systems called Lutomer House which looks out over the Blackwall Basin. This was the last bonded warehouse in London's up-river docks. The site was vacated in 1991.
Named after the landlord of the Brunswick at Blackwall. It crosses what was the Blackwall Basin Graving Dock of 1875-6.
Jamestown Harbour. Housing 1982 by Whittam, Cox, Ellis & Clayton for Wates
Built to take smallpox patients to the MAB wharf without taking them down Coldharbour. It was laid out in 1884–by Board's architects, A. & C. Harston of East India Dock Road and Leadenhall Street, the new road was called Managers Street, after the Managers of the Metropolitan Asylums Board. The contractors were Beadle Brothers of Erith.
1 - 2 built for the pier-master and his men. They were designed by the Harstons and erected in 1888. The men's accommodation, in the eastern house, comprised a mess, three bedrooms and a bathroom. No longer there.
Laid out by James Mountague, District Surveyor for the City of London and built up piecemeal.
The road dates from the 19th and derives from a terrace of houses erected on t built by John Perry as housing for his ship yard officers. Parallel to it was East India Dock Wall Road laid out in 1833–4 to give access to Brunswick Wharf, to make space some of the deck wall had to be set back. The two roads ran side by side and where they diverged is a connecting flight of steps for pedestrians.
Dock Wall. This is the most substantial surviving remains of the East India Docks system. The longest stretch consists of part of the western perimeter wall, a portion of the southern wall and the curved section which is part of a rebuilding in 1833-4 by James Walker all capped with iron railings. At the south-west corner there is an iron door in an iron-framed doorway from 1833–4. The other openings are all recent. This is a retaining wall which holds back the ground under a rising stretch road.
5 East India Arms. This was on the north side of the street. This was demolished to make way for the second bore of the Blackwall Tunnel. There were impressive railings on the roof where the pub has a terrace with views across London.
Traffic Control Centre for the Metropolitan Police. Built 1992 on what was part of Tunnel Gardens.
Lead Works. This was the easternmost house in Naval Row. It was owned, with the adjoining land up to what is now Quixley Street, by Simon Kingsell, plumber, painter, glazier, and lead manufacturer who had been here since 1789. The lead-works included a mill, a counting-house, a chaise-house, stables, a glazier's shop and a plumber's shop He was bankrupt in 1816, and in 1823 his works was in the hands of Henry Pinchard, a colour manufacturer. By 1841 the Steamship pub was established there.
26 on the site of the lead works. This is a group of workshops and another building designed by Alfred Roberts, for John Wright & Sons, painters and plumbers, with offices and a warehouse
24 Steamship Pub. Built 1885 by Edward Brown but a pub of that name had been her since 1842.It is a single storey pub extension attached to a house which once stood in line with others, now gone. I
28 The Prince of Wales. This was on the corner with Quixley Street from at least 1846
Hydraulic pumping station. This was built For the East India Dock Co. who later bought power direct from the London Hydraulic Power Company. This station dates from 1857 and was probably designed by the dock company engineer Henry Martin. It was extended later to provide power for new lock gates, probably by A. Manning, then with an engine room in matching style. Machinery by Armstrong & Co. was replaced by electrically powered machinery in 1925.
The road name is derived from the local landowning Newby family and in particular Ann Newby who lived here and gave land and money for local amenities.
2 Newby Place Health Centre. Built in 1993-5, a design-and-build scheme with architects Janka & Tony Mobbs. This has recently been remodelled as the Health and Well Being Centre
Obelisk in the health centre grounds in red granite
1 was sold to the North London Railway Company in 1903. It was occupied by the Poplar Constitutional Club from 1886-l 1917.In 1917 the British Empire temperance public house was there. In 1920 it was leased to the Dock, Wharf, Riverside and General Workers' Union and then Poplar Labour Party, until the Second World War.
All Saints church. Built in 1820-3 after the inhabitants of Poplar put a petition to Parliament in 1816. Until then Poplar had formed part of the parish of St Dunstan's, Stepney. The church was designed by Charles Hollis and built by Thomas Morris of Blackwall on land given by Mrs Ann Newby. George Green of Blackwall Yard loaned the money for it. There was Second World War damage and the steeple was pulled away by a barrage balloon. The Church took a leading role in the community of this targeted area of dockland during the Second World War. Bombs constantly damaged the Church building, although this did not dissuade hundreds of people from using the Crypt as an air-raid shelter. Late on in the war however, a V2 rocket devastated the building, destroying the east end and bringing down the roof. It was rebuilt in 1953. It is in Portland stone on a granite plinth, this then being a new material for a London church. The crypt was converted to a parish centre by Thomas Architects, 1987-9. There is a clock on the church tower and a ring of ten bells. In 1971 the Parish of Poplar was the first Team Ministry in the London Diocese, combining nine parishes in an area which is one of the poorest in terms of multiple deprivation, in the shadow of Canary Wharf.
Flush bracket. This is located near the north east corner of All Saints Church. There is also a stone at the rear of the church with the consecration date
Churchyard. It was re-ordered on the north side as a public garden by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association in 1893. The new layout was by Fanny Wilkinson, who laid out over 75 public gardens in London. It surrounded by early 19th railings on low walls with 19th granite and Portland stone piers. South of the church is Garden of Remembrance, with flowerbeds and chest tombs. Headstones are arranged round the perimeter against the railings. There is a war memorial in the churchyard.
Green space across Newby Place. Two areas fronting other buildings were probably once part of the original churchyard. There are stone gate piers at the entrances and iron railings like those around the church. There is a memorial with the inscription: "to perpetuate the sacred character of this ground consecrated and used for the interments of inhabitants of this parish. This monumental stone was erected by the Vestrymen of All Saints Poplar on the closing of this portion of the churchyard ADMDCCCLIX
Rectory of All Saints. Built on Mrs Newby's land in 1820. . She had given her house as the rectory, but it was demolished and a grand new house was built for the rector on the same site. Peacocks once roamed the gardens.
A coach-house was built to the south of the house and in converted into a clubroom and parish room. In 1900 this included a workshop employing local women as seamstresses in the 'Goodwill Outfitting Society’. These buildings were destroyed in Second World War bombing.
Fire-engine house. This was built by 1822. Under the London Building Act of 1774, every parish had to have a manual fire-engine, and other fire-fighting equipment.
Watch House. This was built in 1828 in the yard of the fire-engine house, with cells, a room for the watchmen, and accommodation for the Superintendent of the Watch. It later became a Metropolitan Police station until it was replaced in 1869.
Town Hall. This was built for the Trustees of the parish in 1870–1. It was on the site of the watch-house and fire-engine house plus the site of a school and some of the rectory garden. A two-story building by A. & C Harston was built in 1871-1 in the usual vestry hall design of the times. From 1900 it was' occupied by the rates department of the new borough. This was the scene of the Poplar Rates dispute 1920-1. The councillors were sent to gaol for refusing to set a rate – about equalisation of rates over London. In 1938 it was renamed' Poplar Public Hall' when the new town hall in Bow opened. It was demolished following extensive bomb damage in 1940 during the Blitz.
All Saints' School. This was built by the vestry in 1846 on land at the end of the rectory garden. The architect was John Morris. I was rebuilt on a part of the rectory garden, with land behind the town hall used as the school's playground. In 1894 it became the infants department. In 1904 following a London County Council inspection it was decided that the building was unsuitable for elementary education. It was closed in 1906 and demolished in 1909.
All Saints' Institute. Following the closure of the All Saints' school, it was decided to use the site for a parish institute. The building was formally opened in 1911. It contained a gymnasium, a billiard room and clubrooms, with a hall on the first floor In 1940, when the adjoining town hall was alight the Institute was being used by the RAF Balloon Command and was saved by water from Poplar baths. But the damage was such that the building was demolished in 1961 by the Borough Council
Hope and Anchor. The pub is said to have closed in 2014. It dated from the 1880s
Private road on housing estate on the site of Blackwall Power Station.
East India Docklands Light Railway Station. Opened in 1994, it lays Between Canning Town and Blackwall on the Docklands Light Railway. This was not the original choice of name, as it was at one time going to be called either Brunswick or Brunswick Wharf.
Paul Julius Close
Reuters Technical Services Centre. This was built on the site of Blackwall Yard. In 1989 by the YRN Partnership
Poplar Dock was London's first railway dock when it opened in 1851. The site was originally reservoirs built by the West India Dock Co. in 1827–8 which were converted into a timber pond in 1844. There was a plan for a railway to join the West India Dock and the East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway Co. was incorporated in 1846 - later the North London Railway Co. The sea-coal trade needed to respond to the changed regulations and the increase in rail transport. It was suggested that the timber pond could be used as part of a system for transferring goods using railway wagons. After much discussion the dock company agreed to allow it to be used for small craft and colliers serving the railway and an agreement was reached for the railway company to lease it. The North London Railway began building its line to the docks from Chalk Farm in 1847 and the dock opened to shipping in 1851. Hydraulic cranes were used to speed the transfer of the coal from the colliers to rail, the first systematic use of them in the Port of London. Cranes owned by the Northumberland and Durham Coal Company stood on the east quay and that company ran their own stock on the railway line. The dock was used for the transfer of inland coal from railway to barge from 1857. By 1863, with the Great Northern, Midland, and Great Western railway companies wanted depots at Poplar Dock, it seemed necessary to expand. The railway companies decided to proceed with the construction of the dock and its entrance in 1871 and the work would include goods depots for the Great Western and Great Northern railway companies. A depot was also planned by The London and North Western Railway Co. The Midland Railway had built their own depot elsewhere. In 1875 a second basin was added on the west of the original dock with goods facilities for these other railway companies. Poplar Dock became an export dock with goods from all over the country arriving for delivery into barges and redistribution to shipping throughout the Port. On the east side of the east basin a heavy lift crane was built with an octagonal base which remained into the 1970s. The inland coal business moved to the east quay kept for that trade by the North London Railway. Poplar Dock remained in the hands of the North London Railway Co when London's other docks were brought together under the Port of London Authority in 1909, because it was seen as a railway facility. In 1923 the North London Railway Company became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Co. The dock's main business still came from coal, distributed to riverside industries. All the depots at the dock were destroyed by bombing in 1940. After the Second World War the dock continued to function as a transit facility for coal, steel and other traffic but Traffic declined from the late 1960s. Railway lines and sidings were removed, and the remaining sheds and depots were demolished and work ended in 1981. In 1988–9 much of the barge dock extension and the north end of the old dock were filled to make space for roads.
Hydraulic power. By 1877 there was a large hydraulic pumping station the shell of which survived along with two accumulator towers into the 1980s. A water tower serving the pumping station was added after 1877 and here was a large chimney.
North London Railway. To access the dock the NLR line had to cross The London and Blackwall Railway after passing under Poplar High Street. This route had a steep gradient and alternative approaches were subsequently constructed – a second line was longer and ran to the east side of the basin. Sidings were built in 1865 running west along the north side of the Blackwall Railway with exchange facilities at Harrow Lane Sidings. In 1875 an alternative line was built with what was called the Loop Line - a curve from Harrow Lane Sidings which meant that trains had to reverse. These lines remained in place into the late 1970s.
London and North Western Railway Depot. This was on the north quay of the dock and included a warehouse owned by Bass & Co. who exported ale from 1852.
Great Northern Railway Depot. This was on the south side of the dock where there was an export shed. A small GNR warehouse existed before the mid 1860s on the south side of the east basin and it was reached by a swing bridge across the dock entrance.
Great Western Railway. This was on the west of the dock
Poplar Dock Marina. The Marina opened in 1999
Cranes on the quay. Two Stothert & Pitt travelling cranes in front of the flats. These are 6-ton travelling cranes rebuilt to near original condition.
Flats. Built in 2002 by RMA Architects.
Poplar High Street
Bridge over the rail lines parallel with Harrow Lane – this line would have taken the majority of the coal from Poplar Dock carried by a variety of railway companies. It now carries the Docklands Light Railway.
260-8 Hidayyah Trust. The building was originally the South Poplar Health Centre, built 1978-9 by Derek Stow. It is a steel-framed, steel-clad box composed of separate modules, designed as a prototype for transportable hospital units.
275 Angel Pub. This dated from before 1765 and was renamed Queens Arms in the 19th.
275-9 Queens Theatre. This was at the top end of Poplar High Street. Many famous music hall stars and other entertainers began their careers here. They included Betty Driver, Nellie Wallace, Kate Carney and Vesta Victoria. The first music hall here, the Oriental, was licensed in 1865 and performances were given in a hall at the back of the Queen's Arms public house. In 1873 this was replaced by The New Albion to the designs of Jethro T. Robinson and cottages in Angel Court were cleared as part of the scheme. Later the name changes to The Queens. In 1897 the LCC demanded considerable alterations mainly related to safety: the widening of entrances, provision of additional exits and removal of wooden linings. The façade of the building was reconstructed and the coat of arms in the centre of the building was incorporated into the pediment. The entrance to the theatre was squeezed between the Queen's Arms and the Little George Pub. There was a side bar where the public and performers could mingle; there was a large working cellar beneath the stage, where gas tanks for limelight were stored. It was sold in 1905 and reopened in April 1905 with a new bill’ two shows a day and benefits for local charities and individuals. In the 1920s a new box office, bar and frontage was installed. In 1937 a cinema projection room was provided but it continued throughout the 1940s and 1950s as a place of live entertainment. During the Second World War the theatre was bombed twice but by 1956 it had closed. Various schemes were put forward and it was hoped to reopen as a theatre showing plays rather than variety shows. By 1964 the LCC had acquired the site for housing.
Blackwall Tunnel Ventilation shaft. This is one of two shafts on the north side of the river for the old tunnel. These shafts have been rebuilt and most recently fitted with smoke control apparatus which means they now open up like a flower. This vent is on the site of what was originally a staircase for pedestrians down into the tunnel.
Landon's Place, Accumulator Tower, built in 1877-8 when the hydraulic system was extended. This was for the London & North Western Railway.
Bridge House. Built 1819-20 by John Rennie for the West India Dock Company's Principal Dockmaster or Superintendent. It had some 19th alterations and in 1987 Whittam, Cox, Ellis & Clayton, converted it into flats. It was placed at the entrance to Blackwall Basin with views over both docks and River. It is now offices for the London Youth Federation.
Blackwall Entrance Lock Bridges. The bridges across the entrance locks were a vital link and operated by the dock proprietors as part of the dock estate. The first bridge here was one designed by Ralph Walker as a horizontal swing-bridge, double-turning and arched. Rennie replaced this Blackwall entrance bridge in 1811 by installing one of the same type, but in cast iron. In 1813 he also had a cast-iron footbridge, built over the east side of the lock. A second footbridge was built in 1865. These were removed by 1893. Congestion grew on the road bridges and there were disputes with the dock companies about improving the crossing. In 1890 bridges were renewed but paid for from by the London County Council. Alexander Binnie, the London County Council Engineer, worked with Robert Carr of the Dock Company to design a single-leaf hydraulic swing-bridge of wrought iron plate-girder construction, with double carriageways and footpaths. In 1892 it was decided to rebuild the Blackwall entrance and Thames Iron Works & Ship Building Company manufactured the new bridge. The bridge over the Blackwall entrance lock was sited east of its predecessor and was opened in 1895. It was the largest of the dock road bridges and to minimize inconvenience quick-acting hydraulic machinery was used. It was dismantled in 1988, when the London Docklands Development Corporation built a causeway with five decorative arches, permanently damming the lock. A fixed lattice-steel footbridge was built over the west end of the Blackwall entrance lock in 1984–5, as part of the Jamestown Harbour housing estate
100 Lutomer House. Buildings erected for the bulk wine installation (see Junction Dock)
Hydraulic Pumping Station. This was a relic of the Midland Railway Company’s coal dock at Blackwall Yard. It was built in 1881-2 by John Undergo, the Midland Railway engineer. It functioned from 1882 until 1956. It is now a wine warehouse...
Poplar Business Park. Two-storey units built 1987-8, by YRM for the London Docklands Development Corporation.
Marshall Keate. The pub dated from the mid 1840s. There appear to have been three sections to it: the Marshal Keate Hotel, Union Dock Hotel and the Railway Tavern. In its final years tap dancing classes were held at the pub. Demolished for road widening.
The street is on the site of what was originally an entrance into Blackwall shipbuilding Yard.
Great Northern Railway Goods Depot. The area east of Quixley Street was used as a railway goods yard. By another agreement, with the Great Northern Railway Company, the London and Blackwall Company built sidings, turntables, a 12-stall stable and a warehouse and leased them to the Great Northern Railway Company. The warehouse was a two-storey brick building over a brick-arched basement. Enemy action during the Second World War left the warehouse with only two walls which still stood in 1970. The whole site was bought by the London Docklands Development Corporation in 1983 and was cleared.
London and Blackwall Railway. This railway originally came through the area as a cable hauled railway from the City to Brunswick Wharf in 1840. It was steam hauled from 1849. This closed to passenger transport in 1926. A branch to the East India Docks was built by agreement with the East and West India Dock Company, into the East India Docks, and running between the two basins to access sites to the east and leaving the line at what was known as Brunswick Junction where a signal box was sited. This closed in 1961. A line also went to the Great Northern depot on the east side of Quixley Street. (See Quixley Street above).
North London Railway. The railway inherited the line into Poplar Docks from Chalk Farm built by its predecessor the East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction railway. Two hydraulic accumulator towers remain but their power station has gone. This originally dated from 1851 and closed in 1968. The railway and its predecessor were built in order to facilitate coal traffic from the River around North London and beyond. Coal traffic began in 1851. This was originally via an agreement with the Northumberland and Durham Coal Company who operated their own locomotives. Other railways obtained running powers over these lines to access their various depots at Poplar Docks, and indeed other depots in the area. (See Poplar Dock above)
Great Northern Railway. Depot at Poplar Docks This dated from 1878 and closed in 1968. (See Poplar Dock above)
Great Western Railway. Depot at Poplar Docks This dated from 1878 and closed in 1940. (See Poplar Dock above)
Midland Railway. Midland Railway bought part of the Blackwall Yard in order to improve and maximise their coal trade. This was accessed via the London and Blackwall Railway. In 1876 the railway built a Poplar branch line from the London to Blackwall to their yard. This left the London and Blackwall at Poplar Junction which was near Preston’s Road – where today the Docklands Light Railway runs below the roundabout for the Aspen Way flyover. There was a signal box there. A spur from this line went back towards their Hydraulic Power Station (see Preston’s Road above). There was a second signal box at Brunswick Street bridge (see Blackwall Way above). There was also a siding for R&H Green and Silley Weir, shipbuilders still on part of the Blackwall Yard site. (See Blackwall Yard above)
London and North Western Railway. Depot at Poplar Docks This dated from 1853 and closed in 1968. (See Poplar Dock above)
The house said to belong to Sir Walter Raleigh stood in this area. ‘Raleana’ is a word used in relation to him – to refer to a drink said to be invented by him, or a place or river named after him.
The site of ‘Walter Raleigh's house’ is covered by Raleana Way it was demolished during construction of the tunnel in 1897. (See Blackwall Way) The Blackwall Tunnel ventilation shaft is said to be now on the site (see Yabsley Street)
Blackwall Reach. This stretch of the river is so named from at least the late 16th.
Blackwall Rock. This was a shoal in the river here in the immediate vicinity of Blackwall Stairs. Said to be “off Mr. Perry's Building Slips”. In 1804 it was described as a mass of siliceous "pudding stone" about 300 feet in length, 150 feet wide and not more than two and a half feet under low water Spring Tide. William Jessop was asked to remove it and worked with William Walker and with Trinity House staff to achieve this over a period of four years and the work was completed in 1808.
Coldharbour (see Coldharbour above)
Concordia wharf (see Coldharbour above)
North wharf (see Coldharbour above)
The Coldharbour Iron-clad river wall. This was installed around 1860 by the General Steam Navigation Company, which imported live cattle for slaughter until 1870s. The wall is constructed of concrete overlaid with five rows of large overlapping iron plates rivetted together. Each plate measures 8ft by 2ft 6in.
Blackwall entrance (Blackwall Entrance above)
Northumberland Wharf (see Yabsley Street below)
Blackwall Stairs. These were at the southernmost end of Blackwall Way and most early travellers would have embarked here. There was a ferry here in 1568, and several pubs. Martin Frobisher set off from here in 1577 in search of the North-West passage and in 1606 three ships left here led by John Smith - Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and Discovery - going to Virginia to found a settlement.
Blackwall Way – and many riverside pubs (see Blackwall Way above)
Poplar Midland Railway dock entrance (see Midland Railway wharf above)
Graving docks (see Blackwall yard above)
Brunswick wharf (see Brunswick Wharf above)
Brunswick Wharf. The East India Dock Company's needed to rebuild its long and largely under-used river frontage — then called the Anchor Wharf and Gun Wharf. Turning the river frontage into a steam wharf would secure the river wall while providing a facility. William Walker replaced the wall with one constructed of cast-iron sheet-piling backed by mass concrete, notable for its large scale and because the iron sheeting was used for the entire face of the wall.
Robin Hood Lane
12 The Beehive . The pub was on site by 1876 and a tied house to Noakes & Co. Brewery of Bermondsey, taken over by Courage in 1930. It was demolished with to provide an enlarged entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel.
28 British Oak pub. The British Oak, was described as a beer house in 1883. It was completely rebuilt following a fire in 1927 by Walker & Son. It closed in 1991 and is now demolished
Two cast-iron bridges with slate panels from the London and Blackwall Railway. They were built in 1836-40 to connect the East India Docks with London in an alignment planned by John Rennie.
6-19 Grand Palace cinema. This was opened in December 1913. It was modernised and to the plans of Charles Brett in 1934. In the Second World War it was requisitioned by the Ministry of Food, and was used as a food store. It never re-opened as a cinema, and became a storage warehouse, until it was demolished in the late-1980’s. The site was used for a new road widening scheme at the mouth of the Blackwall Tunnel. A different version of this is that the building was destroyed by a Second World War bomb and rebuilt in 1949 as the Lansbury Palace cinema which never actually opened.
Robin Hood gardens 1966-72 by Alison & Peter Smithson for the GLC, the apotheosis of public housing in the borough and an icon for the Smithsons' admirers. In 1963 when the London County Council commissioned Alison and Peter Smithson to design two separate buildings. Their successor Greater London Council decided to demolish the adjacent Grosvenor Buildings –private tenement blocks from 1885. The Smithsons were influenced by le Corbusier. Construction began in 1968, and the scheme was completed in 1972. It comprises two precast concrete-construction slab blocks – one ten-storey and one seven-storey in a fairly uncompromising Brutalist design. The site remains, sandwiched between three busy roads and the Smithsons tried to make a ‘stress-free central zone and a quiet green heart which all dwellings share and can look into’. There were also ‘streets in the sky’ intended to encourage a traditional model of East End sociability. The flats quickly got a reputation as a very troubled estate. Tower Hamlets Council, the successor landlord, voted for demolition in 2008. In 2015 the estate is still there but with clearance and demolition probably underway.
This square covers a small section of the south east end quay
Cut-Wood Sheds. From the late 1820s softwood was floated and piling grounds were formed. In 1857 a cut-wood shed was built. At the east end of the north bank of the South Dock. In 1902 it was divided and most was re-erected on the north side of the Blackwall Basin. It was demolished in 1949, following wartime bomb damage.
Woolmore Primary School. In 1814 a committee was to be appointed to fundraise for a Free School here. The East India Dock Company donated a plot of ground and buildings were begun in 1815 and the school was formally established in 1816. Shipbuilder George Green, was a leading figure. In 1875 the managers transferred the school to the School Board for London and its title was changed from the Poplar and Blackwall Free (British) School to the Woolmore Street School. The Board rebuilt the school in two phases, demolishing the school and replacing it with girls, boys and infants departments. In 1912 the London County Council again rebuilt the school which was opened in 1914. The infants' school and manual training centre were largely undamaged in 1945, but the Woolmore Street building was described as derelict. Work to rebuild it was finished in 1950. The school is currently being rebuilt.
Northumberland Wharf and waste depot Tower Hamlets Waste Recycling Unit which is now run by Cory.
Blackwall Tunnel Electric Lighting Station. This was on Northumberland Wharf. In 1896 the London County Council decided to build an electricity-generating station. This was made up n buildings to house the boilers and engines, a large chimney, a subterranean water-tank, and a building for offices and stores if was designed by the London County Council’s Engineer’s Department. The boilers and fittings were supplied by Fraser & Fraser, and the engines and dynamos by Laing, Wharton & Down. The buildings were finished by 1897, when the tunnel opened for continuous day-and-night traffic. The plant was shut down in 1912 when the tunnel was connected to the municipal supply, and in 1920 the wharf and disused station were sold to Poplar Borough Council and used as a refuse depot. The buildings were demolished by the Greater London Council in the late 1960s
Tunnel vent shaft on the site of Walter Raleigh’s House
James Hellyer & Sons. Northumberland Wharf. They were leading figurehead carvers and gilders in the 19th. James Edward Hellyer Senior and two of his sons, Frederick and James worked for the firm. Frederick carved the Nannie Dee figurehead for Cutty Sark and died in Lewisham in 1906.
St Nicholas's Church Said have been built on the site of Raleigh’s House in 1900 and paid for by money donated by Miss Trevor. Said to be first building in Poplar to be lit by electricity. Badly damaged during the Blitz, and was used as a waste disposal centre later in the War. The parish was united with All Hallows in 1955, to create the parish of Saint Nicholas with All Hallows, Aberfeldy Street
All Saints , Poplar. Web site
Banbury. Ship Builders of the Thames and Medway
Bird. Geography of the Port of London
Body. The Blackwall and Millwall Extension Railways
Carr. Dockland History Survey
Cinema Treasures. Web site
Clunn. The Face of London
Connor. Branch Lines of East London
Connor. Forgotten Stations of London
Connor. Stepney’s Own Railway
Disused Stations. Web site.
Flikr. London at War Group.
Kay. London’s Railway Heritage. East
London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Web site.
London Gardens Online. Web site
London Pubology. Web site.
London Railway Record
Lost Pubs. Web site
Marcan. London Docklands Guide
Marden. London’s Dock Railways. Isle of Dogs and Tilbury.
Municipal Dreams. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. London Docklands
Port of London Magazine
Pub History. Web site
Robins. The North London Line
Sabre. Web site
Survey of London, Poplar
Taylor. Blackwall. The Brunswick and Whitebait Dinners
Thames Basin Archaeology of Industry Group. Report
Walford. Village London .
Waymarking. Web site
Woolmore Street Prinary School. Web site
Thanks again to the Survey of London, Poplar volume