East of the London Docks lay the Regent's Canal Dock at Limehouse. It was opened in 1820 to connect the Regent's Canal with the River Thames. It is now known as Limehouse Basin. The ten acres of water and associated warehousing was designed by John Nash.
In the 1830s and 1840s, the complex was enlarged. The dock was one of the first to use hydraulic power. A small pumping station was built on the west side of the Commercial Road locks. A steam engine was used to pump water into a system of mains that supplied the cranes and other hydraulic machinery. A basin was also built where canal boats could wait for the right state of the tide before passing through the locks. This basin could also admit sea-going vessels. Goods could be transferred to and from lighters or canal boats.
By 1835 three-quarters of the traffic on the Regent's Canal came from the Thames. Much used for coal shipments, the dock ceased operations in 1969. Today, the basin has become a marina for pleasure craft.