Wapping Pier Head

These two rows of fine Georgian houses face each other across gardens that cover the former entrance to London Docks. Built by engineer John Rennie in 1805, the year of Nelson's victory and death at Trafalgar, the docks soon attracted rich merchants, for whom these houses were built in 1813.

Wapping High Street E1

Marshland until drained in the 16th century, Wapping takes its name from a Saxon chief, Waeppa. Centre of London’s docks,  crime associated with pressed sailors, poorly paid dockers and rich cargoes made it the natural home of the River Police. http://lovewapping.org

    Tube: Wapping

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Wapping 1 2

Jamrach's Tiger

This statue at Tobacco Dock shows an incident in the late 1800s. Charles Jamrach had a ‘repository’ nearby to which seafarers sold exotic animals. He was unloading a tiger when it escaped and seized a nine-year-old boy in its jaws. Jamrach hit the tiger with a crowbar, saving the boy. He later sold the animal for £300.

Pennington Street E1

Wilton’s Music Hall

The oldest surviving Grand Music Hall in the world is part of the 1850s explosion of music halls. Only a music hall for 28 years, it is still being restored after years of neglect but has a diverse programme of entertainment. The ornate Mahogany Bar of 1725 hosts vintage music every Monday.

1 Graces Alley E1
Tel: (0)20 7702 2789 (box office)


‘Chigwell Streate 1678’

This sign on a former pub (The Old Rose) dates back to the Ratcliffe Highway (now The Highway). Notorious for crime, like many dock areas, a gruesome double murder on two nights in 1811 left seven dead. The alleged murderer committed suicide in prison and his corpse had a stake driven through its heart at Cannon Street Road. 

Chigwell Hill E1


River Police

Formed in 1798, when theft in the docks was said to be costing a staggering half a million pounds per year, and based at Wapping ever since, the Marine Support Unit of the Metropolitan Police is the oldest UK police force. It patrols from Dartford to Hampton Court in launches that can do up to 40knots.

Wapping High Street E1

Tobacco Dock

Custom-built in 1811 to handle tobacco and wine, this Grade I Listed warehouse had a £30million make-over in 1990 by architect Terry Farrell. This planned ‘Covent Garden of the East’ is now empty, although the developers announced it will become a hotel and luxury apartments complex.

Porters Walk E1

‘Pirate Ships’

These two ships outside Tobacco Dock are replicas set up as a pirate attraction. The 'Three Sisters' was a 330-ton ship built at Blackwall Yard in 1788 which traded in tobacco and spices with the East & West Indies. The ‘Sea Lark’ was an American merchant schooner captured by the Royal Navy during the Anglo-American War in 1812-4.

Porters Walk E1


St George-in-the-East

Opened in 1729, this church was designed by Wren’s pupil Nicholas Hawksmoor. His idiosyncracy can be seen in the tower with six circular pillars in the style of Roman sacrificial altars. Gutted by an incendiary bomb in 1941, the church was rebuilt with a smaller worship space and several private flats.

14 Cannon Street Road E1