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Butler's Wharf (A trading wharf from 1794 to 1972)

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At the heart of the Pool of London
Known for
Butler's Wharf
View full size imageButler's Wharf. © NMM

Butler's Wharf is to the east of Tower Bridge, on the south side of the Thames.  It is within an area known as the Pool of London.

The wharf made a significant contribution in the link between the Port of London and the trade of the British Empire.  

Main trade

Landing tapioca at Butler's Wharf.
View full size imageLanding tapioca at Butler's Wharf. © NMM
Trade at Butler's Wharf included:

  • sugar
  • tea
  • cinnamon
  • tapioca
  • grain
  • rubber
Interesting Facts
Treading in tea at Butler's Wharf.
View full size imageTreading in tea at Butler's Wharf. © NMM

Around 1910, an unknown photographer was commissioned by the Directors of Butler's Wharf Ltd, to document the daily life of the company.

More than one hundred photos illustrate how, with the exception of cranes unloading goods from a ship, all work was carried out manually. The Butler's Wharf Collection is in the archive of the National Monuments Record.

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Life Story
1794The first recorded association is a Mr Butler, who trades in grain from a rented warehouse.
1871-3Butler's Wharf is completely re-built. The huge warehouses cover some 14 acres, and are linked together by high level bridges.
1972Automated container terminals cause the wharf to become redundant. During this year, ships pay their last visit.
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Find out more
StoriesThe riverside wharves
The forgotten part of the port
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Fact fileHay's Wharf
London's larder
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National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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