Blackwall, London

Blackwall, London

:"This entry concerns the area of London known as Blackwall. For the type of merchant sailing ship first built there and named after it, see" Blackwall Frigateinfobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
region= London
official_name= Blackwall
latitude= 51.5063
longitude= -0.0034
post_town= LONDON
london_borough= Tower Hamlets
dial_code= 020
os_grid_reference= TQ385805

Blackwall is an area of the East End of London, situated in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on the north bank of the Thames River.

The district around Blackwall Stairs was known as Blackwall by at least the fourteenth century. [ "Old Blackwall", Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs (1994), pp. 548-552] accessed: 05 November 2007] This presumably derives from the colour of the river wall, constructed in the Middle Ages. The area lay in a sheltered loop of the river next to Poplar's East Marsh, where the East India Docks were constructed at the beginning of the 19th century

Contrary to expectations, the River Thames landmark named "Blackwall Point" is not located in Blackwall district but on the northern tip of Greenwich Peninsula, which is south of the Thames. It is so named after the "Blackwall Reach" of the Thames.

Today Blackwall is perhaps most well-known for having given its name to the Blackwall Tunnel, which passes south under the adjacent River Thames to north Greenwich. Blackwall is also the location of a fictitious fire-station featured in the London Weekend Television series "London's Burning".

There was a railway from Minories to Blackwall via Stepney (called the London and Blackwall Railway). It ran a distance of three and half miles.Much of the current DLR track around Limehouse and Blackwall is on the old viaducts. This was authorised in 1836 as "The Commercial Railway", running close to Commercial Road in the East End.

It has been the home of such noted seamen as Horatio Nelson and Walter Raleigh. In 1606 it was the departure point of the colonization of North America launched by the London Virginia Company.


For over 350 years until 1987 Blackwall was a centre of shipbuilding and repairing. This included Blackwall Yard, two of whose former dry docks can still be seen around the Reuters building, the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, part of whose works lay in Blackwall, and Orchard House Yard. Little industry remains today. One of the last survivors, the Pura edible oil works in a loop of Bow Creek at Orchard Place, closed in 2006. This site had formerly been occupied by the Thames Plate Glass Works. For many years the sugar firm Fowler's, maker of a well known brand of treacle, was located in Blackwall.



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