History

Tower Hill Memorial

Trinity Square Gardens on Tower Hill is an elegant green space which draws many on warm sunny days and has been so since laid out in 1796 by Samuel Wyatt. This, to complement Trinity House which he designed for the …

Merchant Navy Memorial

A ship, seahorse and the Tower, guarded by crossed anchors, dominate Tower Hamlets’ coat of arms. The maritime history represented brought the national Merchant Navy Memorial to Trinity Square Gardens on Tower Hill. A Commonwealth War Graves Commission site, the …

Tower of London

It’s one of our nation’s most important historical sites, a London landmark and a draw for tourists across the globe – and the Tower of London is in our ward! Its centrepiece, the White Tower, was built in 1078 and since …

Wapping Wall Conservation Area

The north eastern banks of the Thames have historically provided perfect conditions for shipping docks and by the sixteenth century, both north and south of the river were lined with wharves that served merchants and a burgeoning ship-building industry. In …

Industrial Heritage

Across the ward are tantalising glimpses of its industrial past. Perhaps the most obvious of these is the former Wapping Hydraulic Power Station which closed in 1977. Originally steam-powered, this base was built between 1889 and 1893 and used to …

Green Spaces

We are lucky in Wapping to have several small parks and recreational spaces, stretching from the King Edward Memorial Park in the east to the Hermitage Riverside Memorial Garden in the west. Elsewwhere we have the Wapping Rose Garden, Wapping …

Thriving Shops and Restaurants

One of the joys of being a Wapping resident is that a great selection of local shops, restaurants and cafes is only a walk away. On Wapping Lane alone we have a Post Office, pharmacy, launderette, off-licence, several corner stores, …

Historic Churches

Wapping has several places of worship, including the Church of the Sea Captain’s – St Paul’s, Shadwell. St Paul’s was built in 1657 and parishioners have included Captain James Cook and Thomas Jefferson’s mother. John Wesley preached his last sermon …

Warehouse Conversions

Many of the warehouses used to store ships’ cargo from the London docks in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have since been converted into beautiful homes. The first warehouse in Wapping was Oliver’s Wharf, built in 1870 by the Town of Ramsgate …

Sports Facilities

Wapping’s riverside, open spaces and ornamental canal provide safe and quiet routes for local runners while our ward boasts nine Boris Bike terminals for the benefit of cyclists. Meanwhile, every April, Wapping residents line the Highway to cheer on a …

Thames Police Boat Station

Established to reduce the amount of pilfering of cargo at the docks and looting of ships, a Marine Police Office has existed in Wapping since 1798. That makes the Marine Police Force (or Thames River Police) the oldest police force …

Charitable Schools

Walk along Raine Street or Scandrett Street and you might notice some figures dressed in blue looking down on you. These are the boys and girls who represent Wapping’s old schools. These distinctive figures mark a charity school – blue was …

Community Spirit

Wapping’s community is a great mix of stable, long term residents and fresh blood. The strength of this mix is never more evident than at the annual Wapping Shindig, organised by the Turk’s Head charity. Held on Wapping Green, the …

Blitz History

The tower of St John’s in Scandrett Street is all that remains of the beautiful eighteenth century church that stood in Wapping before the Blitz of the Second World War when London was blasted by a sustained, strategic bombing campaign. …

Pierhead Conservation Area

The Wapping Pierhead Conservation Area was designated in July 1969 and extended in 2008. It incorporates the smart Georgian terraces and nineteenth century warehouses of the pierhead area as well as Wapping Underground station, and is intended to protect the unique …

Fortress Wapping

Frustrated by the control the print unions had over Britain’s newspaper industry, in the mid-1980s media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, hatched a plan to move his titles away from Fleet Street and into modern offices and print works in Wapping. The …

Stairs and Beaches

One of Wapping’s greatest attractions is the old stairs that lead the curious down little alleyways and onto the beaches of the Thames. When the tide is out, you can climb down onto the river’s shore and pick a path …

King Edward Memorial Park

Opened in 1922 as a tribute to Edward VII, the King Edward Memorial Park provides 3.3 hectares of beautiful riverside parkland in the east of the ward. The park includes a bandstand, bowling green, flower gardens, play area, football pitch, …

Shadwell Basin

Shadwell Basin used to form part of the London Docks and now stands as one of the few surviving parts of that dock complex that has not been filled in. After the docks closed, Shadwell Basin fell into dereliction until …

Historic Riverside Pubs

Wapping’s inns and taverns have a long and rich history and have become a tourist attraction in their own right. The Prospect of Whitby claims to be the oldest pub on the Thames, dating back to 1520. Famous patrons have …

St Katharine Docks

Originally the site of the St Katharine’s by the Tower Hospital, in 1827 the area was cleared and construction began on a complex of  docks and warehouses that eventually became known as St Katharine Docks. Commercially unsuccessful, the docks were …

Brunel Thames Tunnel

What many commuters to and from Wapping do not realise as they arrive at its station is that they are passing through the world’s very first underwater tunnel. Built between 1825 and 1843, the tunnel was designed to take horsedrawn …

Tobacco Dock

To the north of the ward lies Tobacco Dock, a Grade I listed warehouse built in 1811 to store tobacco. The warehouse was vast, capable of storing 24,000 hogsheads, and its high walls were designed to be impenetrable to prevent theft. …

The Turks Head

A survivor of the Blitz, the Turk’s Head was a lively East End pub serving dock workers and their families until its closure in the 1950s. The building then lay empty and unloved for many decades, serving as a storage …