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The Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
is an area in the East End
East End
of London
London
that is bounded on three sides (east, south and west) by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames. The northern boundary has never been clearly or consistently defined but many accept it to be the (former) line of the West India South Dock. The name Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
had no official status until 1987, with the creation of the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
Neighbourhood by Tower Hamlets London
London
Borough Council.

Contents

1 Geology 2 Etymology 3 Districts 4 History

4.1 Origins 4.2 Docks 4.3 Industry 4.4 London
London
Docklands Development Corporation 4.5 LDDC legacy 4.6 Politics 4.7 Incidents

5 Education 6 Transport

6.1 Nearest places 6.2 London
London
Underground and DLR stations 6.3 Crossrail 6.4 London
London
bus routes 6.5 River bus services 6.6 Pedestrian and cyclists 6.7 Airport and helipad

7 In the media 8 See also 9 References and notes 10 Bibliography 11 External links

Geology[edit] The soil is alluvial and silty in nature, underlaid by clay or mud, with a peat layer in places.[1] Etymology[edit] The first known written mention of the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
is in the ‘Letters & Papers of Henry VIII’. In Volume 3: 1519-1523. 2 October 1520. No. 1009 – ‘Shipping’, there is a list of purchases, which includes: A hose for the Mary George, in dock at the Isle of Dogs, 10d The 1898 edition of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
attributes the name: "So called from being the receptacle of the greyhounds of Edward III. Some say it is a corruption of the Isle of Ducks, and that it is so called in ancient records from the number of wild fowl inhabiting the marshes."[2] Other sources[1][3] discount this, believing these stories to all derive from the antiquarian John Strype, and believe it might come from one of the following:

a nickname of contempt: Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
and Thomas Nashe
Thomas Nashe
wrote a satirical play in 1597, which was a mocking attack on the island of Great Britain, titled The Isle of Dogs, which offended some in the nobility. Jonson was imprisoned for a year; Nashe avoided arrest by fleeing the area. Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
referred to the "unlucky Isle of Dogs." the presence of Dutch engineers reclaiming the land from a disastrous flood.[1] the presence of gibbets on the foreshore facing Greenwich.[1] a yeoman farmer called Brache, this being an old word for a type of hunting dog.[1] the original docks located here were used for firewood importation and the phrase is linked to "fire dogs", the cross-beams beneath a hearth fire, hence Isle of Dogs.[citation needed] the dogs of a later king, Henry VIII, who also kept deer in Greenwich Park. Again it is thought that his hunting dogs might have been kept in derelict farm buildings on the Island. Now known as the area West Ferry Circus. [1][4] Isle of Dykes, which then got corrupted over the years.[5]

Districts[edit] The whole area was once simply known as Stepney
Stepney
Marsh; Anton van den Wyngaerde's "Panorama of London" dated 1543 depicts and refers to the Isle of Dogs. Records show that ships preparing to carry the English royal household to Calais
Calais
in 1520 docked at the southern bank of the Island. The name Isle of Dogges occurs in the Thamesis Descriptio of 1588, applied to a small island in the south-western part of the peninsula. The name is next applied to the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
Fam (originally known as Pomfret Manor) shown on a map of 1683. At the same time, the area was variously known as Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
or the Blackwell levels. By 1855, it was incorporated within the parish of Poplar under the aegis of the Poplar Board of Works. This was incorporated into the Metropolitan Borough of Poplar
Metropolitan Borough of Poplar
on its formation in 1900.[1]

Aerial view the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
in 2015. The O2 Arena can be seen on the Greenwich Peninsula
Greenwich Peninsula
to the right (east) of the Isle of Dogs.

After the building of the Docks (especially the West India Docks
West India Docks
and the adjacent City Canal), and with an increasing population, locals increasingly referred to the area as The Island. This area includes Millwall, Cubitt Town, and Blackwall. The south of the isle opposite Greenwich
Greenwich
was once known as North Greenwich, now applied to the area around the Millennium Dome
Millennium Dome
on the Greenwich
Greenwich
Peninsula. Between 1986 and 1992 it enjoyed a brief formal existence, as the name Isle of Dogs was applied to one of seven neighbourhoods to which power was devolved from the council. The neighbourhood was later abolished.[6] It was the site of the highest concentration of council housing in England
England
but is now best known as the location of the Canary Wharf office complex. One Canada Square, also known as the Canary Wharf Tower, is the second tallest habitable building in Britain at 244 metres (801 ft).[7] The peninsula is an area of social extremes, comprising some of the most prosperous and most deprived areas of the country; in 2004, nearby Blackwall was the 81st most deprived ward in England
England
out of over 8,000,[8] while the presence of Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
gives the area one of the highest average incomes in the UK.[9] The Times noted Lincoln Plaza was the 2016 winner of the Carbuncle Cup
Carbuncle Cup
and describes the buildings as 'mediocre at best, ugly at worst'.[10] History[edit]

A map showing the wards of Poplar Metropolitan Borough as they appeared in 1916.

Origins[edit] The Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
is situated some distance downriver from the City of London. The area was originally sparsely populated marshland before its drainage and planting in the 13th century. A catastrophic flood occurred in 1488, resulting in the area returning to its previous marshy condition. This was not reversed until Dutch engineers re-drained it in the 17th century.[5] One road led across the Marshes to an ancient ferry, at Ferry Road. There was rich grazing on the marsh, and cattle were slaughtered in fields known as the Killing Fields, south of Poplar High Street. The western side of the island was known as Marsh Wall, and the district became known as Millwall
Millwall
with the building of the docks, and from the number of windmills constructed along the top of the flood defence. Docks[edit]

1899 The Isle of Dogs, at the height of its commercial success

The urbanisation of the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
took place in the 19th century following the construction of the West India Docks, which opened in 1802. This heralded the area's most successful period, when it became an important centre for trade. The East India Docks
East India Docks
were subsequently opened in 1806, followed by Millwall
Millwall
Dock in 1868. By the 1880s, the casual employment system caused Dock workers to unionise under Ben Tillett and John Burns.[11] This led to a demand for 6d per hour (2.5p), and an end to casual labour in the docks. After a bitter struggle, the London
London
Dock Strike of 1889 was settled with victory for the strikers, and established a national movement for the unionisation of casual workers. The three dock systems were unified in 1909 when the Port of London Authority took control of the docks. With the docks stretching across from East to West with locks at each end, the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
could now once again almost be described as a genuine island. Dock workers settled on the "island" as the docks grew in importance, and by 1901, 21,000 people lived there, largely dependent on the river trade on the Isle as well as in Greenwich
Greenwich
and Deptford
Deptford
across the river to the south and west. The Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
was connected to the rest of London
London
by the London
London
and Blackwall Railway, opened in 1840 and progressively extended thereafter. In 1902, the ferry to Greenwich
Greenwich
was replaced by the construction of the Greenwich
Greenwich
foot tunnel, and Island Gardens park was laid out in 1895 providing views across the river. The London
London
and Blackwall Railway closed in 1926. Until the building of the Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway
in 1987, the only public transport accessing and exiting the Island consisted of buses using its perimeter roads. These were frequently and substantially delayed by the movement of up to four bridges which allowed ships access to the West India Docks
West India Docks
and Millwall
Millwall
Docks. The insular nature of the Island caused its separateness from the rest of London, and its unique nature. During World War II, the docks were a key target for the German Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
and were heavily bombed. A number of local civilians were killed in the bombing and extensive destruction was caused on the ground, with many warehouses being totally destroyed and much of the dock system being put out of action for an extended period. Unexploded bombs from this period continue to be discovered today.[12] Anti-aircraft batteries were based on Mudchute
Mudchute
Farm; their concrete bases remain today.[13] After the war, the docks underwent a brief resurgence and were even upgraded in 1967. However, with the advent of containerisation, which the docks could not handle, they became obsolete soon afterwards. The docks closed progressively during the 1970s, with the last – the West India and Millwall
Millwall
docks – closing down in 1980. This left the area in a severely dilapidated state, with large areas being derelict and abandoned. Industry[edit] The Docks brought with them many associated industries, such as flour and sugar processing, and also ship building. On 31 January 1858 the largest ship of that time, the SS Great Eastern
SS Great Eastern
designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was launched from the yard of Messrs Scott, Russell & Co, of Millwall. The 211 metres (692 ft) length was too big for the river so the ship had to be launched sideways. Due to the technical difficulties of the launch this was the last big ship to be built on the Island and the industry fell into a decline. However, parts of the launching slipway and plate works have been preserved in situ and may be seen close to Masthouse Terrace Pier. London
London
Docklands Development Corporation[edit] The Isle of Dogs' economic problems led to mass unemployment among the former dockyard workers and caused serious social deprivation. Ted Johns, a local community campaigner, and his supporters, in protest at the lack of social provision from the state, proclaimed a unilateral declaration of independence for the area from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
as the Republic of the Isles of Dogs[14] and setting up a so-called 'Island Council' with Johns himself as its elected president and blocked the two swing-bridges providing the only access to the area by road.[15] Successive Labour and Conservative governments proposed a number of action plans during the 1970s but it was not until 1981 that the London
London
Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) was established to redevelop the area. The Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
became part of an enterprise zone, which covered 1.95 km² of land and encompassed the West India, Millwall
Millwall
and East India Docks. New housing was built, as was new office space and new transport infrastructure. This included the Docklands Light Railway
Docklands Light Railway
and later the Jubilee line
Jubilee line
extension, which eventually brought access to the London
London
Underground to the area for the first time. Since its construction in 1987-1991, the area has been dominated by the expanding Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
development with over 437,000 square metres (4,700,000 sq ft) of office and retail space having been created; 93,000 now work in Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
alone.[16] LDDC legacy[edit] It has been stated by some, but with no justification, that the redevelopment has not benefited the long-term residents as much as it might, with accusations of a "land grab" of riverside sites for private apartment blocks during the period of relaxation of planning conditions under the LDDC.[17] Some tensions remain, as in most areas of central London, between the close-knit island community and professionals who have more recently moved to the area. Today, this revolves around the former's need for family homes, against further development of small high-priced apartments.[18] Politics[edit] The Island achieved notoriety in 1993 when Derek Beackon of the British National Party
British National Party
became a councillor for Millwall
Millwall
ward, in a by election. This was the culmination of years of resentment by local residents of perceived neglect by both Liberal Democrat and Labour Party politicians.[19] Labour regained the ward in the full council election of May 1994, and held all three seats until a further by election in September 2004. Incidents[edit] On 9 February 1996, the IRA detonated a truck bomb near South Quay DLR station on the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
that killed two people and injured more than a hundred others. Education[edit] For details of education in the Isle of Dogs, see List of schools in the London
London
Borough of Tower Hamlets. There are four state primary schools located on the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
Cubitt Town
Cubitt Town
Junior School, Arnhem Wharf, Harbinger School and St Edmunds. There is also an independent primary school, River House Montessori,[20] located near South Quay. George Green's School
George Green's School
is a secondary school and Specialist Humanities School at the southern tip of the island. Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
College,[21] is a free school on the Island which covers primary, secondary and sixth form education. Transport[edit] Nearest places[edit]

Deptford Greenwich Limehouse Poplar Rotherhithe Stepney Bow Bromley
Bromley
by Bow Canning Town

London
London
Underground and DLR stations[edit] The nearest London
London
Underground station is Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
on the Jubilee line. Key areas including Regent's Park, The West End, Westminster, South Bank, Millennium Dome
Millennium Dome
and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, are all within 20 minutes of Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
by Tube. The DLR runs north-south through the Isle of Dogs. Docklands Light Railway stations are West India Quay, Canary Wharf, Heron Quays, South Quay, Crossharbour, Mudchute
Mudchute
and Island Gardens. Key areas including the City of London, Tower Hill
Tower Hill
and Greenwich
Greenwich
are all within 20 minutes of the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
by DLR. Crossrail[edit] Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Crossrail
Crossrail
station is currently under construction and is due to open in 2018. Situated at the north of the Island, it will provide high-frequency, fast connections to the heart of the West End, Paddington
Paddington
Station, Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport
and Abbey Wood. London
London
bus routes[edit]

London
London
Buses route 135 London
London
Buses route 277 London
London
Buses route D3 London
London
Buses route D6 London
London
Buses route D7 London
London
Buses route D8 London
London
Buses route N550

River bus services[edit] Regular commuter boat services serve both Masthouse Terrace Pier
Masthouse Terrace Pier
and Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Pier on the Isle of Dogs. The Thames Clipper
Thames Clipper
provides regular commuter services to Woolwich Arsenal Pier, Greenwich
Greenwich
Pier in the east, and the City of London including St. Katherine's Dock, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Greater London
Greater London
Authority building, Tate Modern, Blackfriars, as well as the West End of London
London
in the west on the commuter service. There is also a connecting shuttle service to Rotherhithe
Rotherhithe
and the Tate to Tate service from Tate Modern
Tate Modern
to Tate Britain
Tate Britain
via London
London
Eye. From Summer 2007, the service has been enhanced with express boats[22] from central London
London
to the O2 Arena (former Millennium Dome). Pedestrian and cyclists[edit] The Thames Path
Thames Path
National Trail runs along the riverside. At the southern end of the Isle of Dogs, the Greenwich
Greenwich
foot tunnel provides pedestrian access to Greenwich, across the river. National Cycle Network
National Cycle Network
route 1 runs through the foot tunnel (although cycles must not be ridden in the tunnel itself). Airport and helipad[edit] The nearest airport is London
London
City Airport, which is 25 minutes away from Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
by DLR. There is also a helipad situated on the west of the Island and next to Ferguson's Wharf, which is privately run by Vanguard.[23] In the media[edit]

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The Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
was the title of an early play by Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
and Thomas Nashe, briefly performed in 1597 and then thoroughly suppressed as slanderous. T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land
The Waste Land
contains the lines "The barges wash / Drifting logs / Down Greenwich
Greenwich
reach / Past the Isle of Dogs."[24] In modern times the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
has provided locations for many blockbuster films, including the opening scenes of the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, and more recently Batman Begins, The Constant Gardener, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Love Actually. The Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
featured heavily in the 1980 British film The Long Good Friday.[25] In 28 Weeks Later, the Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
is the primary location of the film, being the only secure and quarantined area in all of Britain suitable for recivilization after a massive epidemic of the "Rage Virus" kills the entire population of Britain. The Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
was also the setting for the 1986 Channel 4 series Prospects starring Gary Olsen and Brian Bovell. See also[edit]

Crossrail Honourable East India Company Island History Trust Islands in the River Thames Museum in Docklands Samuda Estate SS Robin Burrells Wharf

References and notes[edit]

^ a b c d e f g The Isle of Dogs: Introduction, Survey of London: volumes 43 and 44: Poplar, Blackwall and Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
(1994), pp. 375-87 accessed: 9 February 2007 ^ "E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. (1898)". Bartleby.com. Retrieved 27 June 2013.  ^ Tower Hamlets website Archived 29 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "An Account of the Hamlet of Poplar, in Middlesex". The Universal magazine. East London
London
History Society. June 1795. Retrieved 19 September 2011. It is opposite Greenwich
Greenwich
in Kent; and when our sovereigns had a palace near the site of the present magnificent hospital, they used it as a hunting-seat, and, it is said, kept the kennels of their hounds in this marsh. These hounds frequently making a great noise, the seamen called the place the Isle of Dogs.  ^ a b [1] Archived 31 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Tower Hamlets Borough Council Election Maps 1964-2002 accessed: 9 February 2007 ^ Welcome to the Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Group plc website ^ Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
Community Foundation report August 2004 indicates that Blackwall was in the most deprived 1% of wards Archived 26 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Ward Data Report Theme 3: Creating & sharing prosperity (Tower Hamlets Partnership, 2004) accessed 2 May 2008 ^ Jonathan Morrison (1 July 2017). "There are ways to build homes that people want to live in". The Times. Retrieved 1 July 2017. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ John Burns
John Burns
is commemorated in the name given to a current Woolwich Ferry) ^ " World War II
World War II
bomb found at Canary Wharf". BBC News. 28 July 2007.  ^ " Mudchute
Mudchute
in WWII". Mudchute
Mudchute
Park & Farm. Retrieved 19 February 2013.  ^ https://ianbone.wordpress.com/2009/08/05/march-1st-1970-isle-of-dogs-declares-independence/amp/ ^ Ted Johns The Daily Telegraph (London). 14 May 2004. ^ Welcome to the Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
Group plc website Archived 3 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ James Steele, "The Market and Meaning in Contemporary British Architecture" accessed 13 February 2007 ^ "Now we're all upwardly mobile" in Regenerate Live, February 2006. Accessed 13 February 2007. ^ BBC "on this day" report accessed: 17 April 2007 ^ "Welcome to River House Montessori School". River House Primary School. Retrieved 9 September 2015.  ^ " Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
College". canarywharfcollege.co.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2015.  ^ "Travelling to The O2". ThamesClippers. Retrieved 27 June 2013.  ^ "Welcome to Vanguard Helipad". vanguardhelipad.co.uk. Retrieved 9 September 2015.  ^ "The Waste Land", Project Gutenberg, retrieved 2 April 2018  ^ "Five Best Film Scenes Set On The Thames", Thames Leisure, 11 May 2016, retrieved 20 June 2016 

Bibliography[edit]

Eve Hostettler, The Isle of Dogs: 1066–1918: A Brief History, Volume I (London: Island History Trust, 2000) ISBN 0-9508815-4-6 Eve Hostettler, The Isle of Dogs: The Twentieth Century: A Brief History, Volume II (London: Island History Trust, 2001) ISBN 0-9508815-5-4

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Isle of Dogs.

Island Heritage & History Trust Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
landscape architecture

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Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green
(Cambridge Heath) Blackwall Bow (Bow Common, Fish Island) Bromley-by-Bow East Smithfield Hackney Wick Isle of Dogs
Isle of Dogs
(Canary Wharf, Cubitt Town, Millwall, North Greenwich) Leamouth Limehouse Haggerston Mile End
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London
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Bethnal Green
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foot tunnel Rotherhithe
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Tunnel Tower Bridge

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Canary Wharf
(DLR) Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf
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Stepney
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