London has always attracted people from across Britain and from around the world, creating an exciting and diverse community. The many activities of the port have also shaped the landscape and architecture of maritime London.
With its global trading connections, London has always attracted people from around the world. As a result, the city has a diverse and vibrant mix of different cultures.Crime and punishment
The Thames could be a dangerous place, its great wealth attracting the criminal underworld. It was also used as a place for punishment with floating prison hulks moored in the river.Leisure, health and housing
Many came to London to work in the port and its associated industries, some were seeking refuge and a better life for themselves and their families. The demand for improved housing and public facilities increased with the rise in population.Thames art, literature and architecture
The different landscapes and varied architecture of maritime London reflect the changing use of the Thames and the fortunes of the port. The river and the working port have long been a source of inspiration for artists.