London Local History - this lists street by street items of historical interest - public, industrial buildings & some environmental features in London and its immediate surroundings. Streets are given in OS grid squares - but numbering is not included (sorry!). Older squares give links to adjacent squares - but many are unfinished. Enter search words above right
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Post to the west Stepney
A largeI expanse of LCC housing of 1958-61.
A large expanse of LCC housing of 1955-5 .This
post-Festival expansion of Lansbury demonstrates the new confidence of the LCC
Architect's Department in reaction to the cosy villagey character of the
Festival area. This is mixed development on a grand scale, with terraces
interspersed with eight eleven-storey point blocks
Provided as a new open space. In the heyday of the tower
block the open expanse inevitably attracted tall buildings on its fringe, built
as part of neighbouring LCC estates. The park itself was left as an almost
featureless sea of grass around a strangely fortress-like cluster. Its
centrepiece is St Saviour's church,
self-build housing of 1987-9, designed by the Beavan Sutlers Partnership. The
enterprise was planned from 1983 and inspired by the Great Eastern self-build
housing on the Isle of Dogs. A wide variety of house types and sizes, nicely
grouped, especially on the entrance side. Conventional neo-vernacular detail.
Anglesey House a
ten-storey tower of 1959-61, dressed up some thirty years later with curved
roof, glass balconies and colour
Some later low-rise infilling in the middle 1976-7 by the
Jellicoe again, a three-storey terrace with front doors to
ground-floor flats and the upper dwellings with roof gardens reached by side
Pleasantly simple three-storey terraces with pitched roofs
andsmall balconies. Entrances in side
passages allow for larger rooms.
Ideas Store. Mix
of library and learning spaces
Langdon Park Station. 2008 Between All Saints and Devons Road on the Docklands Light
Railway. Site reserved for a station from the opening of the line – but it was
to be called Carmen Street.
A long six-storey range maisonettes, 1961,
East India Dock Road
Built in 1806-12 as an extension of the Commercial Road, made
in 1802-11 as a link between Whitechapel and the West India Docks. The
completed route was intended to take traffic from the East India Docks to the
Company's Cutler Street warehouses in the City of London.The road is now part of the grimy A13.
2-50 terrace of
ordinary houses 1850-60, perhaps by George Alexander, architect to the Conant
estate, whose property this was.
52 London and County Bank, former branch 1885 by Zephaniah King, very old-fashioned but
121-131 Queen Victoria Seamen’s
seamen's home, the Seamen's Mission of the Methodist Church 45 fronts the road
with a long block of 1951-3, which builds up in the centre in a 1930s way.
Chapel plain except for stained glass by Goddard & Gibbs. The earliest part
of 1901-2, free c 17-style with a cupola on the entrance tower, extension 1932.
All parts of he mission are by the same practice, called Gordon & Gunton b
1901-2, Gunton & Gunton by 1932. The Mission is Methodism’s only residential hostel for seamen..On the site of the Magnet
pub. The original Methodist Chapel was in Cable Street and then moved to
Commercial Road and then here. Bed and breakfast hostel run as a charity.
133 appears to
be a stuccoed Late Georgian terrace, much altered. There is now no clue to its
original role is a seamen's home, built by George Green of the Blackwall in
1839-41, nor to its former dignified appearance, with Doric colonnade and
balcony filling the recessed five-bay centre. Converted to social housing c.
1983 by Anthony Richardson’s’ Partners.The first private sailor’s home. For a while it was the Board of Trade Offices.
153 Palm Cottage,
a Georgian style villa of 1834 with canopied veranda and Doric porch, converted to a
hostel by Anthony Richardson & Partners, 1983-4. Built for Thomas
Ditchburn, shipbuilder of
Blackwall. He built over 400 ships at Orchard Yard, and probably themost memorable was the HMS Fairy, which he
built in 1845 for Queen Victoria. It was, "The most perfect gem that ever
floated in the water."
154 Pope John House. It was built as the Anglican Mission to Seamen by Sir Arthur
Blomfield, 1892-4. Jacobean domestic-style. Later in the 1930s the Mission
moved to the Royal Docks and these buildings became the Commercial Gas
Company's Co-partnership Institute. Bought by the RC parish of St.Mary and
St.Joseph converted into a club and social centre in the 1960s. Sold to a
developer in the 1990s.
253 Poplar Mosque, A steel-framed building of 1938-9, built for clothiers; later a
snooker club. A mosque since 1997. Two large prayer rooms on the upper floors,
the front given windows with coloured glass in 2002.
George Green School. Built in 1828, one of the many schools set up by George Green,
shipbuilder of the Blackwall Yard, who was a prominent local Nonconformist
philanthropist. The first school was on the corner of Chrisp Street, and later
moved to the site of Monastery House in 1884. In the 1960s a new School was
built near Island Gardens and this building houses a sixth-form centre. It was
designed by John Sulman, There is a tower with a which forms the roof to the girls'
entrance and screens the classroom block. The Boys' entrance also has a tower
with a timber lantern. Rising behind is a galleried hall. Laboratory block by William
of Brushfield Estate.Some other, then
fashionable, mural decoration on in the tiles with abstracted Docklands motifs.
Hind Grove Estate the well- landscaped fringe of the, the western- most housing site
Houses – a few
remaining houses of the earlier c19
Site of Howrah House. Duncan Dunbar’s son, also called Duncan, built a fine mansion. How
House, in East India Dock Road in 1790. This house was later bought in 1881 and
became the Convent of the Faithful Companions, and a select girls' school.The first Reverend Mother was Madame Veronica
Connolly It was a girls' school until World War Two.The ruins were demolished in 1950 to create
Saracen Street and build the blocks of flats
Manor Lodge on
the corner of Hale Street recalls the old Manor House of Poplar.
The manor house of Poplar stood on the site of the present Duff Street, on the north side of
the road. It was granted to Sir Gilbert Dethick by Henry VIII, together with an
acre of land. In the 18th century Jeremiah Wade owned the property, but by 1800
it was in a dilapidated condition and in 1810 it was pulled down during the
building of the East India Dock Road and rebuilt on the south side opposite.
Mrs Mary Wade, widow of Jeremiah Shirbutt Wade (d.1806), and her five daughters
were then owners of the property - Elizabeth Chrisp Willis, Susannah Grundy,
Sarah Kerby, Sophia Duff and Catherine Wade and their parents have given their
names to at least 14 streets in the area. By the 1850s the manor house was
occupied by a Thomas Westhorpe and later rented by Dr M. Comfit surgeon. In
1933 the house was sold to the Commercial Gas Company and demolished
Poplar Hippodrome. Site is on the corner of Stainsby Road.Built as the Prince’s Theatre 1905 it was a
cinema by the 1920s. Demolished in 1950 following bombing.
the Site of St. Stephen’s Church.Built
in 1867 and damaged by bombing in 1945.
St Mary and St Joseph RC Church, By Adrian Gilbert Scott, planned 1950, and completed 1954. as a
replacement for a church by W. Wardell, 1856, destroyed in the Second World
opening of its predecessor on 24 September 1856 was celebrated by an after
Service "Dejeuner" at The Brunswick Tavern, at 5/6 per head.
Trinity Church.By Cecil C. Handisyde
and D. Rogers Stark, 1949-51. A replacement for the Congregational church of
1841 by William Hosking, paid for by George Green, destroyed in August
1944.Built in time for the Festival of
Britain's demonstration of post-war building at Lansbury. Adjoining memorial
hall land club room, the upper part of the latter later converted to flats.
Refurbished by E.D. Mills, after the Methodists took over the building in 1976.
Some furnishings including a stained glass window by Frank O. Salisbury, 1933,
were brought from their previous building. In 1976 Poplar Methodists moved here. Royal Arms, unique in Methodism. These
originate from an occasion when Queen Victoria's carriage broke down nearby and
she took refuge in the Mission until she could resume her journey. The original
mission site is now occupied by a housing development, William Lax House. Six
churches in Poplar destroyed by bombing. . Only Trinity
Church was rebuilt as part of the Festival of Britain.
Urban Learning Foundation courtyard of flats and teaching rooms by Paid Hyett opened 1992,
discreetly and lovingly detailed. Extended in 1997 by PRP, with new facilities
for this teacher-training centre.
Pleasantly simple three-storey terraces with pitched roofs
and small balconies. Entrances in side passages allow for larger rooms.
Bromley Station.1st September 1884.
Built by the North London Railway. Closed23rd April 1945. The site is marked by Fawe Street/Clutton
Street footbridge. The original trackside
walling remains by theposition of the former
South Bromley station,which is marked by the
public right of wayfootbridge linking.
his crosses the line near the north endof the old station site. Etched stone panelsrelating to the Far Famed Cake Company, presumably erected to attract
the eye of railwaypassengers, were
visible here for many years,
Etched stone panel on the west side which promotedSt. Georges' Kapok Mills.
Site of the original St.Mary and St.Joseph’s
in 1856 and demolished by a land mine on 8th December 1940. . The site is marked by a mound
The expansion of
Lansbury in the 1950-60s was at first entirely by LCC architects, but in 1970
Shepheard, Epstein and Hunter were brought in by the GLC to design an
three-storey terraces with pitched roofs and small balconies. Entrances in side
passages allow for larger rooms.
House, Poplar housing of 1920, yellow and red brick
with mansard roof vaguely Queen Anne style, named after the Borough Surveyor
Lodge Old People's Home, a 1990s replacement for
Lansbury Lodge of 1951 by Booth & Ledeboer, demolished after a fire.
So much of Poplar was demolished by enemy action, that
when the Festival of Britain was planned, Poplar was part of the live
architectural exhibition, with various architects invited to design blocks of
flats and houses on what is now the Lansbury Estate, named after George
Lansbury the popular councillor, mayor and Member of Parliament
exhibition planned by Gibberd. 1949. Widespread publicity – the first post war
scheme to do so.Cost £1,600,000, called Lansbury after the late
Mr George Lansbury from the local M.P, first Commissioner of Works in the second
Labour government. Here flats, houses, schools and a shopping centre were erected.
The LCC bore the main cost, including the purchasing and clearing of the site
of 30 acres, but the Festival of Britain authorities contributed substantially
towards the cost of buildings which were the 'live architecture' section of the
Opened 1770, at the suggestion of
Thomas Yeoman following Smeaton's report of 1766.Connects the River Lee Navigation, at Bromley
to the Thames at Limehouse, obviating the need to go round the Isle of Dogs.
Bridge provided in 1890 by Poplar
The modest houses built for Commercial Gas Co. for their employees, 1934-6 by Victor
Wilkins, back on to the main road three rows of cottages along three private
lanes. Originally completely gas-powered: there are still-working gas lamps in
the lanes. On the site of the manor house.
The entrance from East India Dock Road opposite Poplar
Baths, is through the least appealing of later additions, the ungainly GLC
extensions with flats and maisonettes raised upon a concrete podium and shops
Transformed by the built on podium in 2003-4. When the square was laid out
older buildings still remained on the s side, so only two aides were new. One
side remained open to Chrisp Street the original site of the street market. The
square is covered by aggressively large canopies on steel posts, installed in
the 1990s to replace most of the covered meat and fish stalls.
Clock Tower completed
1952, has an open scissor-plan doubtless intended to provide access to and from
a public view. Dwarfed by the canopies, and even more so by the Wharf towers on
the horizon, it stands wired off and a monument to the lost innocence of the
The clock tower, and the three-storey shopping terraces on
the sides were designed Frederick Gibberd, who had suggested the idea at the
lecture exhibition adopted by the Festival.
Young Prince pub,
by Norman & Dawbarn 1962-3.
The only route north from Poplar was via North Street. The
road going northwards was about half a mile long, turning into a cart track and
losing itself on Bow Common
now so altered that their early character is hard to discern although the
ornamental street bollards are original. a small group of semi-detached houses,
a rarity at Lansbury,
Clergy house for
St.Mary and St.Joseph also by Scott, in the same materials as the church.
Part of the old route Limehouse. It became the home of the
Chinese community shifted from Limehouse Causeway in slum clearances 1930s.
Apart from a sprinkling of shops, almost entirely r with C20 council housing,
mostly post 1945.
The yellow brick low-rise housing around 1982,
African Queen, solitary c19 survival.
Four-storey terrace of maisonettes of pale brick runs
through stepped sections, part of a diverse collection of housing by Geoffrey
Jellicoe. This is the most urban looking groups: It faces the
playground of Lansbury Lawrence School which has an undulating wall to
Lansbury Lawrence Primary School. By Yorke, Rosenberg & Mardall, 1950-2, the first post-war
building in Lansbury, on the site of a bomb-damaged Board School.
foyer with yellow patterned wall tiles by Peggy
Angus, leads to the halls, with flying stair to the Junior hall on the first
Elizabeth Lansbury Nursery School single-storey by the same architects, 1952, with two large
playrooms linked by an entrance wing
South Bromley Station. North London
Railway. Only a fragment now remains. The stationcomprised
a single island platform and wasreached by way of a
doorway adjoining theFar Famed Cake
Company's works at the eastend of Rifle Street.
From here stairs ascendedto the brick-built
booking hall, which stoodabove the tracks. This
was demolished soonafter the Second World
War, but the overgrown platform lasted until the 1980s, when itwas swept away in the early stages of DLRconstruction.
A scatter of flats by the LCC, a group of three with
projecting balconies formally arranged, facing East India Road across a lawn. Others more loosely grouped. striking
balcony design with a chequer of glass bricks. The six-storey blocks were the
tallest in the first phase of Lansbury, the start of an acknowledgement of the
reality of the 136 p.p.a. density requirement.
Terrace of houses with flats above, by Norman & Dawbarn, given a little panache by
The Chimes, a
typically unassuming post-war pub by Stewart & Hendry.
Trinity House for
lady workers, rebuilt 1934.
From 1977 the housing was continued past Stainsby Road, at
an angle reflecting the different road pattern, creating some interesting if
rather overpowering grouping of blocky forms at the junction. The area was made
largely pedestrian, with the multi-layered access with linking upper walkways
so fashionable at the time, but also with much attention given to landscaping
and the creation of intimate spaces. Details are kept simple: brown brick,
includes a small group of shops
Grove Community Centre. Low
7-9 Luke House was
built in 1933 to house the East London Nursing Society. It was founded in 1868
by Mrs Wigram, wife of the famous shipbuilder and her daughters Harriet and
Eliza who worked for the society for over 40 years.It was the oldest nursing society in London
and the second oldest m Britain. The nurses were amalgamated with the London
Hospital in 1973- and the house is now a hostel for Queen Mary and Westfield
Trinity Green (not on AZ)
Site of burial ground for the Congregational Church. Green
shipbuilders family vault is in a corner.
Has a vista of the second post-war church its skeletal
tower top rising above trees. The green had at first a small lake, now filled
in; a fibreglass and concrete sculpture was added in 1962. This miniature
picturesque landscape was a showpiece adjacent to the 1951 temporary exhibition
site on the other side of Upper North Street, built over afterwards with flats
by Bridgwater & Shepheard.
The Dockers by
Sydney Harpley, of which only a fragment is left.1962.
Upper North Street
Empty except for a solitary former pub towards a crossing
over the Limehouse
Mayflower School some more survivors of 1928, replacing the school bombed in 1917,
which had its origins in Trinity chapel day-schools founded by George Green in
1843. Poplar suffered tremendous damage during World War Two, although it did
not escape its share of bombing during World War One either. On 13 June 1917
the little school suffered a direct hit from a bomb dropped by a Gotha
aircraft, which went through the roof and down to the ground floor killing 18
George Green Almshouses, 1849. For twenty-one poor women, -storey c19 terrace, identically sized windows on each floor, providing
for a flat on each. Built in the 1840s by Green for poor women and widows in
Poplar. In 1895 there were 21 residents, aged between 59 and 91 years. The
building now contains flats for single women and is administered by the
Springboard Housing Trust.
Blessed John Roche R.C. Secondary School
1950-2 by David Stokes. Enlargements 1970-3. On the
site of the bombed R.C. church of which some ruins remain in the landscaped
area of the school.. Built in 1951 on the site of the original church of St
Mary and St Joseph. First called Cardinal Griffin School, it was amalgamated
with St Victoire’s and renamed Philip Howard. Another change later when it went
back to being a boys school.
Poplar and Berger Baptist Church, 1950-1. Small portal-framed building with nicely lettered name
over the entrance. Furnishings of mahogany.
Post to the south Woodside Post to the east Birkbeck Post to the north Anerley Albert Road This road is the earliest built here, first listed in 1855, and although the Croydon Canal was no longer in use it influenced the alignment of the road. From the junction with Portland Road looking the curve of the road reflects the line of the old canal which was to the north of the houses. It is named after Albert, the Prince Consort. 74-76 Stanleybury . Very large three-storey semis. Built for William Stanley, who moved to 74 in 1867. William Stanley’s works in South Norwood was complimented by his local philanthropy. His site is now a close of modern flats. Accidentally demolished. 67 small trading estate and MOT centre . At one time this was home to a theatre transport specialist. St.Mark . This was the first church in the area and is the parish church by G. H. Lewis. The nave was built in 1852 and the church was extended in 1862 and in successive years until 1890. It is in Kentis
River Lea/Bow Creek The Lea winds itself generally southwards towards the Thames TQ 39505 81448 Canning Town on the Essex bank of Lea/Bow Creek. This was, and is, a heavily industrialised area together with a very down market housing area with markets, shops, cinemas, pubs and many charitable and missionary organisations. In the 2000s public transport has been transformed and much housing renewed, and it is an area in a great deal of change. Post to the west Poplar Post to the south Leamouth and Dome Post to the east Canning Town, Butchers Road Post to the north West Ham Station Appleby Road The road is named after a local ARP warden who was killed during the Blitz. A pre-war suburban ideal is demonstrated in this West Ham estate. Barking Road It was built by the Commercial Road Turnpike Trust from the East India Docks eastwards. Now the A124 it formed part of the original A13 before the building so the East Ham and Barking Bypass in 1928. It was widened as part o
Post to the west (north west quarter) Mile End Post to the west (north east quarter) Post to the east Bromley by Bow Post to the north Old Ford Addington Road Addington Arms . Pub dating from the 1860s. It does not appear to be still there. Police stables . From 1938 twenty horses were located here. These stables were built in moderne style white concrete by police surveyor Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. There is a stable at the back as well as tack rooms and a chimney for the forge – there was a full time farrier. Above are two flats for married police officers. The white concrete wall is original. Alfred Street 1-5 Inland Revenue Office . Sold off 1981. Has been used as a college an as offices Almshouses Way, This was once called Priscilla Street. 1 Drapers' Almshouses . These were built in 1706. What remains is a brick group of four tenements with central raised and pedimented chapel. They were restored in 1982 but were originally part of a larger group funded by