PortCities London

What is left of the old port: The West India Docks

The West India Docks, opened in 1802, were the first of the enclosed docks. They were literally enclosed - being cut off from the surrounding area by a high wall and a moat. Much has survived, despite wartime destruction and the building of the massive Canary Wharf complex on part of the dock site.

Guard House.

Guard House.

No 1 Gate.

No 1 Gate.

The round Guard House, one of two built in 1802-03. This served as an armoury and lock-up. It was outside the original perimeter moat, but was linked to the dock by a drawbridge.

The original No 1 Gate. This was the main entrance to the West India Docks and was the scene of the daily 'call-on' - where dock labourers would be taken on for a day's work.
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Constables' cottages.

Constables' cottages.

Commemorative wall tablet.

Commemorative wall tablet.

These cottages in Garford Street, designed by John Rennie and built in 1819, were for the constables of the West India Dock Company.

The wall tablet that once graced the original entrance to the docks. It heaps praise on the 'public spirited individuals' who had promoted the docks.
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The Dockmaster's House.

The Dockmaster's House.

Replica of original entrance gate.

Replica of original entrance gate.

This building served many functions. It has been an excise office, the Jamaica Tavern, and even the Dockmaster's House. It is now a public house.

A modern replica of the original entrance gate demolished in 1932. On top of the original gate was a sculpture of the 'Hibbert' a vessel engaged in the West India trade, and named after the chairman of the West India Dock Company.
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Warehouses at the Import Dock.

Warehouses at the Import Dock.
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The impressive warehouses on the North Quay of the West India Dock Import Dock. Designed by George Gwyllt, these are the most important surviving early dock warehouses in London.
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