E14 (Tower Hamlets) area guide
The E14 area can also be referred to as, or includes: Canary Wharf, Docklands, Tower Hamlets, Limehouse, Poplar, Westferry, Millwall, Cubitt Town, Canning Town, Blackwall, West India Quay, Heron Quay, South Quay, Crossharbour, Mudchute, Island Gardens.
To the east, south and west, E14 is demarcated by the River Thames. To the north, the cut off points are The Highway, Bow Common and the Thames Barrier. E14 is located in southeast London and can be easily reached via the Underground on the Jubilee Line. The Docklands Light Railway runs throughout the area and has links with the tube.
There are numerous theories about how the Isle of Dogs earned its name. Some say it is from the time when Henry VIII kept his dogs on the island, others say it is a corruption of Isle of Ducks, or Isle of Docks.
The E14 postcode district lies within or includes part of the following towns, counties, localities, electoral wards and stations: All Saints Station, Blackwall and Cubitt Town, Blackwall Station, Canary Wharf Station, Chanary Wharf Station, Crossharbour & London Arena Station, East India and Lansbury, East India Station, Heron Quays Station, Island Gardens Station, Limehouse, Limehouse Station, London, Mile End East, Millwall, Mudchute Station, Poplar Station, Shadwell, South Quay Station, St Dunstan's and Stepney Green, Tower Hamlets, West India Quay Station, Westferry Station.
The Isle of Dogs has had a lifetime of ups and downs. Being surrounded by water, it is naturally marshland, and over the last millennium there have been several episodes of draining the area. The first occurred in the thirteenth century, then the area was barely populated, and known as Stepney Marsh. However, in 1488, the Thames broke its bank, and the area returned to its natural marshy state.
After this period it is rumoured that the Isle of Dogs was simply left as it was, and used as land for the royal dogs to be kept on, when the royal palace was located just on the opposite side of the River Thames in Greenwich.
In the seventeenth century the Isle of Dogs began to take shape as the habitable, economically viable area that it is today. Prior to this, the only recorded buildings in the area were a chapel, and the Ferry House Public House, on the same site as today’s Ferry House Pub, serving those using the nearby ferry crossing to reach Greenwich. Records begin to appear naming the area as Isle of Dogs and the Blackwall Levels. At this time, Dutch engineers successfully drained the area for a second time. One road, known as Ferry Road, was built, running north to south down the length of the island and the rest of the area was used for cattle grazing. To the south of Poplar high street was an area known as the killing fields, where cattle was slaughtered before market, and the area to the west became known as Millwall, due to the number of windmills situated along the flood defence.
In the nineteenth century, the Isle of Dogs flourished economically. Being surrounded on three sides by the River Thames meant it was an ideal port for goods entering into the City of London. West India Dock was the first to open in 1802. Following that, the East India Dock opened in 1806, followed by Millwall Dock in 1868.
In 1909, the London Port Authority made the isle an island, by linking the docks with canals and therefore surrounding the area on all four sides, and the workforce and population grew. In 1901 the docks had a booming economy and a population of 21,000 people. However, as a trade centre, the Isle of Dogs became an important target in World War II and suffered much damage, whilst being unable to keep up with new shipping and storage methods. This led the area into a period of decline.
In March 1970, the inhabitants of the Isle of Dogs declared the area an independent republic, electing themselves a president, Ted Johns. Plans for the revival of the area and to combat social deprivation were proposed by both Labour and Conservative governments, however, in the 1981 the London Docklands Development Committee was established. The LDDC are responsible for the Docklands Light Railway, the Jubilee Line Extension, and of course, One Canada Square (also known as Canary Wharf Tower) and much of the housing and office space surrounding Canada Square.
The Isle of Dogs now centres around Canary Wharf (Canary Wharf refers to the both the tower, the tube station, and the offices in its immediate vicinity). Canary Wharf is London’s financial district. Businesses located in Canary Wharf include: Citibank, Credit Suisse, Barclays Bank and HSBC. Businesses from other industries, such as BP and Reuters, have also located in the area, but it is still dominated by the financial sector. This means that a significant proportion of the residents of E14 work in the financial sector, and earn high wages. It also means that the types of property here are predominantly new properties (built after the regeneration in 1981) designed for young executives rather than families.
The area went through its most significant period of development in the late nineties, and is still being developed now, with the recent appearance of gated complexes such as Victory Place. These new build blocks will often be approximately five stories high, and comprise of a number of one to three bed apartments, often with balconies and roof terraces, a concierge and communal gym.
The second significant residential area of Limehouse is Narrow Street (linked to the marina via Northey Street, Horseferry Street and Spert Street). Narrow Street runs from the meeting of The Highway and the Limehouse Link, merging into the Limehouse Causeway as it crosses Colt Street. Narrow Street runs parallel to the Thames, and as such the housing stock here is dominated by fashionable warehouse conversions, such as Duke Shore Wharf, Molines Wharf, Victoria Wharf, Chinnocks Wharf, Paper Mill Wharf and Dunbar Wharf. Historically, the area around Narrow Street and the Limehouse Basin would have been a busy trading area. Some older buildings are set back from the river, set around what is now known as Commercial Road. For example, St. Annes church, build by Nicholas Hawksmoor can be found here, as can Limehouse Town Hall and Library (both listed buildings). Narrow Street itself has a number of riverside pubs, such as The Grapes, however, the most famous is fast becoming the The Narrow, which is owned by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey.
Westferry is an area that has become recently defined by the installation/establishment of the Docklands Light Railway station in 1987, which is situated at the junction of Westferry Road, West India Dock Road, and Limehouse Link. There is a wide variety of property types around Westferry, with a high concentration of Council-built property. Garford Street has a number of period houses from the height of the docks economy, whilst Campden Crescent consists of new build family homes. Because of its proximity to Canary Wharf, residential/work units are also appearing within easy walking distance of the many transport links.
West India Quay
The area of West India is not predominantly a residential area, however, it does house the exclusive address of No. 1, West India Quay. No. 1 West India Quay is 33 stories high. The first 12 floors comprise a hotel, whilst the higher levels house 158 apartments. West India Quay has a number of bars and restaurants which serve the employees of the nearby Canary Wharf Office Complex.
Canary Wharf and Heron Quays
Canary Wharf is the financial centre of London, and the business centre of the Isle of Dogs. It is served by Canary Wharf Tube Station (Jubilee Line) which is located on Upper Bank Street. It also has Canary Wharf DLR Station, which is located in the Cabot Place shopping centre. The Ontario Tower near to Canary Wharf is one of the tallest residential buildings in London. It is soon to be joined by the Pan Peninsula tower with construction expected to be completed in Spring 2009.
South Quay and Crossharbour
South Quay accounts for the area south of Marsh Wall. Marsh Wall marks a transitional area with the land use changing from office space to residential. The area to the southeast of Marsh Wall and South Quay DLR station, and to the east of Millwall Inner Dock, is the most residential area, particularly around streets such as Alpha Grove, Millharbour, Mellish Street and Tiler Road. The type of property that dominates the interior of the island is generally much older than that on the outskirts, overlooking the Thames, particularly off of the main streets of Manchester Road and Westferry Road. Westferry Road is dominated by modern apartment blocks which are inhabited by the Canary Wharf banking population, the interior of the island has retained more of the character of the earlier days of the docks, and as a result has some period properties. Crossharbour refers to the area from Eastferry Road to the River Thames, and thus includes roads such as Glengall Grove and Launch Street. The same rule applies here, that the streets on the interior (between Eastferry Road and Manchester Road) such as Plevna Road and Eastferry Road have some period property, whereas those streets closer to the river itself, such as Amsterdam Road, are dominated by property built after the success of Canary Wharf’s Regeneration.
Mudchute and Island Gardens
Mudchute is the area south of Millwall Outer Dock, and west of Eastferry Road. It was one of the first areas of the island to be occupied, as the original ferry crossing over to Greenwich was located here, off Ferry Street, and the pub that once served those using the ferry is still open today. The area around Eastferry Road and Thermopylae Gate have the highest concentration of period property, whereas property around Spindrift Avenue and Westferry Road are, as is the theme with the Isle of Dogs, a product of the high demand for housing created by Canary Wharf. As with much of the newly built property in this area, many of the apartments have balconies overlooking the Thames, whilst some properties along Falcon Way and Whiteadder Way have gardens. Butlers Wharf, a converted warehouse, has communal gardens. Mudchute is also home to Mudchute City Farm.
The most southerly area of the Isle of Dogs is Island Gardens which includes the area to the southwest of the island as well. It has the lowest concentration of newly built property, and a higher concentration of council properties. This area at the south of the Isle of Dogs has a park by the entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, south of Saunders Ness Road, and several open park spaces adjacent to Stebondale Street and East Ferry Road.
Most of the people living in E14 are highly educated, young persons that are either single or do not have large families. Not surprisingly, detached housing makes up only one percent of the housing in the area. The postcode is densely populated and housing consists mostly of flats.
Schools include Lansbury Lawrence Primary School on Cordelia Street and George Green’s School on Manchester Road for secondary education. Tower Hamlets College is on Poplar High Street. The Canary Wharf Shopping Centre has over 200 places to eat, drink and shop spread across three mostly underground arcades.
The Museum in Docklands takes visitors through the history of the area. Early birds get the best seafood before 8 a.m. at Billingsgate Fish Market on Trafalgar Way.