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The riverside wharves

'Another life below'
The wharves before the docks
The wharves and the docks
Wharves of the Pool: the north bank
Wharves of the Pool: the south bank
Other wharves
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Until the late 1960s, the Thames was a busy working river. Massive cranes and warehouses dominated the river for miles east of London Bridge.

The Pool looking through an arch of London Bridge
View full size imageThe Pool, looking through an arch of London Bridge. © NMM
For centuries before the building of the docks, the riverside wharves WERE the Port of London. With the coming of the docks, the wharves became busier than ever. There were many types of wharf, reflecting the rich variety of commercial life on the river.

The wharves, not the docks, were the visible face of the port for millions of people. With new housing and office blocks now lining the riverside, it is difficult to imagine just how busy the river once was.


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Find out more
StoriesThe 19th-century port
Docks and industry transform the Thames
StoriesThe 20th-century port
The changing fortunes of Docklands and the port
Related Resources
Related Images 2 Images
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory Greenwich New Opportunities Fund  
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