The riverside wharves
|Wharves of the Pool: the north bank|
New Fresh Wharf
The Fresh Wharf was the most important of the modern wharves within the City of London. It was east of London Bridge Wharf and Adelaide House.
It was the most visible – and thus the most photographed – part of the port.
It handled fish imports in medieval times, before becoming one of the legal quays. By the 19th century, the Fresh Wharf handled fruit and general cargoes.
By this time, the company had taken over its neighbours - London Bridge Wharf and the Cox & Hammond's Quay.
The rebuilding was not completed when war broke out in 1939.
After the war, the impressive new warehouses were finished and the site was relaunched as the New Fresh Wharf.
It took vessels of up to 10,000 tons – the largest merchant ships ever to visit the Pool – and was successful until the late 1960s.
An office block built in 1977 now occupies the site. Adelaide House survives to this day.
It was destroyed during the Blitz, and was used as a depot by the neighbouring Billingsgate Fish Market. An office building now stands on the site.
Custom House Quay
This busy quay stood to the east of the 19th-century Custom House. It occupies part of the site of the medieval Custom House in which Geoffrey Chaucer worked.
In the 1930s, the Dutch firm of William H. Muller was based here.
Its Batavier Line steamers carried freight and passengers between London and Rotterdam until 1958.
Sugar Quay, an office block housing Tate and Lyle and several smaller firms, now occupies the site.
This was mentioned in 1598 as a place for landing grain. The wharf was destroyed by a fire in 1846. In 1854, the London, Leith, Edinburgh and Glasgow Steam Packet Company used the site as its London terminal.
The wharf became the major London base for the General Steam Navigation Company, which operated regular cargo services to several European ports. The wharf area is now part of the Thames riverside walk.
Carron and Continental Wharves, Wapping
The carronade proved highly successful, and the company sold large numbers to the Royal Navy and several other navies.
The Carron Shipping Company ran a regular service from Grangemouth and Glasgow to London. As a reminder of the company's origins, its ships carried a cannon ball on their main masts.
The Carron wharves handled general cargoes, particularly wines, spirits, tea, fruit and vegetables.
The London and Continental Steam Wharf occupied the site of two earlier wharves – Downe's and the Black Lions Wharf. In 1859, the Black Lions Wharf had been the subject of one of the Sixteen Etchings on the Thames by James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903).
Black Eagle Wharf, Wapping
This photograph shows the Black Eagle Wharf during its heyday in the middle of the 19th century.
By the 1930s, the Black Eagle was used by Truman's for the loading and unloading of beer barrels. The Capital Wharf housing development now occupies the site.
Hermitage Wharf, Wapping
Whistler's etching of 1859 shows the Hermitage Coal Wharf, a small-scale operation, typical of that period. It later became the Hermitage Steam Wharf owned by the London and Edinburgh Shipping Company.Morocco and Eagle Wharf, Wapping
Like the Custom House Quay, this wharf serviced vessels of the William H. Muller's Batavier Line. Ships brought fruit and general cargo from Rotterdam.
The jetty and buildings have now disappeared, and the Metropolitan Police's riverboat maintenance works now occupy the site.
Free Trade Wharf, Ratcliff
One of the largest of the wharves and frequently called 'the madhouse'. Some of its warehouses had been built and used by the East India Company.
It closed in 1971, and bold, box-like apartment blocks now cover the whole site.
Dundee Wharf, Limehouse
The Dundee and Perth Shipping Company was founded in 1826, and operated regular routes to London, Glasgow and Liverpool.
In 1901, the firm acquired this wharf as its new London terminal. The Limekiln Dockyard previously stood on the site.
By the time this photograph was taken in the 1950s, the wharf had been rebuilt after severe damage in the Blitz. It closed in 1969 and was later demolished to build the Limehouse Link Road. Modern housing now occupies most of the site.
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