Surrey Commercial Docks

A view of the Commercial Docks at Rotherhithe.
View full size imageA view of the Commercial Docks at Rotherhithe. © NMM
Almost opposite the entrance to the London Docks lay the Surrey Entrance to the Surrey Commercial Docks. In 1807, the Commercial Dock Company had purchased the Greenland Dock at Rotherhithe. It was used for the North European trade in timber, hemp, iron, tar and corn. The company eventually owned all the docks built at Rotherhithe over the following 70 years.

Surrey Commercial Docks.
View full size imageSurrey Commercial Docks. © NMM
The interconnected docks, basins, timber ponds and waterways of the Surrey complex extended over 150 acres of water, surrounded by five miles of quayside. The Surrey Docks were the only docks on the south side of the river. Apart from the Greenland Dock and East Country Dock, in which general cargo from many countries was unloaded, they were devoted to the handling and storage of timber.

The docks declined after the Second World War and the area was sold by the Port of London Authority to Southwark Council in 1969. Finally, an infilling programme followed until 1981 when the London Docklands Development Corporation was given the task of the regenerating the peninsula.

 Find out more:
Fact fileSurrey Commercial Docks
StoriesDevelopments at Rotherhithe and St Katharine's
GamesMatch the commodity to the dock it came into
VideoThe regeneration of Surrey Docks (this clip is 35 seconds long - 1.82MB)