An Authentic London Experience Steeped in History
Wapping has a rich nautical heritage and today, glimmers of original docklands life can still be seen here.
In the 18th century Wapping was a village, made up of sailors, shipbuilders and other tradesmen, and surrounded by marshes. The Town of Ramsgate dates to the early 17th century and was named after the sailors from Ramsgate who used to moor their ships at Wapping Old Stairs before enjoying a drink at one of the local pubs.
Wapping has many longstanding pubs and it’s easy to see why they were so popular with the sailors of yesteryear. The Prospect of Whitby dates back to the 1520s and is now a popular gastropub; whilst on Narrow Street, in amongst some beautiful late 17th and early 18th century houses, sits the Grapes. Re-built in the 1720s, Charles Dickens first visited this public house as a boy and went on to use the pub as inspiration for his novel, Our Mutual Friend.
St Katharine Docks
One of London’s best kept secrets, this picturesque marina with its charming restaurants and plush yachts has certainly aged well.
St Katharine Docks, inaugurated in 1824, took its name from the nearby medieval St Katharine’s Hospital. In 1827 many houses along with the hospital were demolished as the dock's warehouses were built on the quayside. The docks specialised in luxury goods but were not a commercial success as they were unable to accommodate the biggest ships at the time and eventually merged with London Docks.
St Katharine Docks officially closed in 1968 and went on to be redeveloped over the years into commercial space with the docks becoming a marina. Today, this bewitching area with its cosmopolitan air is a model example of successful urban redevelopment. Residents of Wapping Riverside will be a mere three minute walk from this idyllic spot.
A network of cobbled streets, iron walkways and original warehouses, Shad Thames is a beautiful pocket of London.
In Victorian times, Shad Thames was home to the largest warehouse complex in London and housed huge quantities of tea, coffee and spices. The area went into decline in the 1970s before undergoing a mass regeneration during the 1980s-1990s. Today the area is thriving and boasts renovated warehouses, riverside restaurants and the famous Design Museum.
One of the most striking features of Shad Thames are the iron walkways which criss-cross the street overhead. Most of them now connect the Butlers Wharf building and the Cardamom Building but were originally used as bridges to roll barrels between warehouses. Residents of Wapping Riverside will no doubt be visiting here often to enjoy the area’s charm.