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Post to the west Stepney

Alton Street

A largeI expanse of LCC housing of 1958-61.

Barchester Street.

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

Bartlett Park

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

Brabazon Street

Some later low-rise infilling in the middle 1976-7 by the GLC.

Bygrove Street,

Jellicoe again, a three-storey terrace with front doors to ground-floor flats and the upper dwellings with roof gardens reached by side entrances.                                    

Canton Street

A terrace

Chilcot Close

Pleasantly simple three-storey terraces with pitched roofs and  small balconies. Entrances in side passages allow for larger rooms.

Chrisp Street

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.

Cotall 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 dignified. 

121-131 Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest.  Another 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 the  most 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.

Co-partnership Institute.

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 Clarkson, 1902

Gorsefield House.  Part 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 completed 1952.

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.

Stone marking 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 War. The 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.

 Elizabeth Close

Pleasantly simple three-storey terraces with pitched roofs and small balconies. Entrances in side passages allow for larger rooms.

Fawe Street/Clutton Street Footbridge

South Bromley Station.  1st September 1884. Built by the North London Railway. Closed  23rd April 1945. The site is marked by Fawe Street/Clutton Street footbridge. The original trackside walling remains by the position of the former South Bromley station, which is marked by the public right of way footbridge linking. his crosses the line near the north end of the old station site. Etched stone panels relating to the Far Famed Cake Company, presumably erected to attract the eye of railway passengers, were visible here for many years,

Etched stone panel on the west side which promoted St. Georges' Kapok Mills.

Gates Street

Site of the original St.Mary and St.Joseph’s chapel.  Built in 1856 and demolished by a land mine on 8th December 1940. . The site is marked by a mound

Gough Walk

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 extension. 

Grundy Street,

Pleasantly simple three-storey terraces with pitched roofs and small balconies. Entrances in side passages allow for larger rooms.

Heckford House, Poplar housing of 1920, yellow and red brick with mansard roof vaguely Queen Anne style, named after the Borough Surveyor Harley Heckford.

Shaftesbury 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

Live architecture 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 1951 Festival.

Limehouse Cut

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 Board of  Works

Malam Gardens

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.

Market Square

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

Ideas Store. 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 1950s.

Market Way

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.

North Street

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

Pekin Close

small houses, 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,

Pekin Street

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.

Plimsoll Close

The yellow brick low-rise housing around 1982, 

African Queen, solitary c19 survival.

Ricardo Street,

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 accommodate it

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 floor.

Elizabeth Lansbury Nursery School single-storey by the same architects, 1952, with two large playrooms linked by an entrance wing

Rifle Street

South Bromley Station. North London Railway. Only a fragment now remains. The station comprised a single island platform and was reached by way of a doorway adjoining the Far Famed Cake Company's works at the east end of Rifle Street. From here stairs ascended to the brick-built booking hall, which stood above the tracks. This was demolished soon after the Second World War, but the overgrown platform lasted until the 1980s, when it was swept away in the early stages of DLR construction.

Saracen Street

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 modish balconies.

The Chimes, a typically unassuming post-war pub by Stewart & Hendry.

Shirbutt  Street

Trinity House for lady workers, rebuilt 1934.

Stainsby Road

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, pitched roofs.

The extension 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 College.

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 children.

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.

Zetland Street,

Poplar and Berger Baptist Church, 1950-1. Small portal-framed building with nicely lettered name over the entrance. Furnishings of mahogany.

Church Hall of 1957-8.


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