Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,355 pages of information and 245,904 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Poplar Dock

From Graces Guide

1828 A series of reservoirs were built by the West India Dock Co on a site immediately to the north of the West India Docks' Blackwall Basin to provide clean water to keep up the water level in the docks.

1843 the impounding system was wholly abandoned in favour of a steam dredger

1844 The reservoirs were converted into a timber pond

1846 The land was transferred to the East and West India Docks and Birmingham Junction Railway Co (later the North London Railway Company)

1851 The company opened the Poplar Dock as the first railway dock in London; in those days none of London's enclosed dock systems were connected to the railway network. The line from the dock connected to the company's goods yard at Chalk Farm.

In its early years the dock was used mainly to import coal from the Northeast of England.

1875-7 The dock, which was used for coal and export goods traffic, was extended to the west a barge dock extension to provide depots for other railway companies.

1909 Alone among the docks, the Poplar Dock remained outside the control of the Port of London Authority, remaining in the hands of the North London Railway Company.

1981 Remained in the ownership of British Rail until closure in 1981.

Much of the dock survives today as a mooring connected to Blackwall Basin. Much of the barge dock extension and the north end of the old dock have been filled in to make space for roads.


1863 William Simpson, having retired from his partnership with James Simpson in the shipbuilding yard further south, took a 60-year lease of a wharf on the Isle of Dogs, establishing his own ship-repairing yard there, known as Christ Church Works, The yard was dominated by a large patent slip 500ft long, extending over 100ft into the Thames.

1864 Simpson took an adjoining plot from Cubitt & Company increasing his yard's river frontage to 237ft.

By 1870 Simpson's business had gone

1879 The wharf, reduced to a frontage of 170ft, was taken by John & Robert Barclay Brown, shipbuilders. They transformed the site into a substantial dry dock, known as Poplar Dry Dock, for the repair of iron ships and steamers. It had a wood and concrete bottom, wood and brick sides, and wooden entrance gates, and was the largest dry dock in London at that time. The engineer of the works was Mr McConnochie; the pumping apparatus was provided by John & Henry Gwynne. The dock opened in October 1880[1]; a range of brick workshops, fitting shops and sheds was erected to its south.

The Brown brothers' business did not survive long. The premises were taken over in 1886 by the Dry Docks Corporation of London.




N.B.

Blackwall Yard, a little to the east of Poplar Dock, also had a small railway dock known as Poplar Dock.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times Oct. 19, 1880
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • [2] British History Online
  • [3] British History Online map