The WEST INDIA DOCKS are a series of three docks on the Isle of Dogs
* 1 History * 2 Layout * 3 Decline * 4 The docks today * 5 See also * 6 Notes and references and notes
The Docks were constructed in two phases. The two northern docks were
constructed between 1800 and 1802 (officially opened on 27 August
1802) for the
West India Dock Company to a design by leading civil
The southern dock, the South West India Dock, later known as South
Dock, was constructed in the 1860s, replacing the unprofitable City
Canal , built in 1805. The
City of London
Map of the
Isle of Dogs
The original docks consisted of an Import Dock of 30 acres (120,000
m2) of water, later named North Dock, and an Export Dock of 24 acres
(97,000 m2), later named Middle Dock. Between them, the docks had a
combined capability to berth over 600 vessels. Locks and basins at
either end of the Docks connected them to the river Thames. These were
known as Blackwall Basin and
The Docks' design allowed a ship arriving from the
Around the Import Dock a continuous line of five-storey warehouses was constructed, designed by architect George Gwilt and his son, also named George. The Export Dock needed fewer buildings as cargo was loaded upon arrival. To protect against theft, the whole complex was surrounded by a brick wall 20 ft (6.1 m) high.
The three docks were initially separate, with the two northern docks interconnected only via the basin at each end, and South Dock connected via a series of three basins at the eastern end. Railway access was very difficult. Under PLA control, cuts were made to connect the three docks into a single system, and the connections to the Thames at the western end were filled, along with the Limehouse basin and with it the western connection between the two northern docks. This allowed improved road and rail access from the north and west. South Dock was also connected to the north end of Millwall Dock , its enlarged eastern lock becoming the only entrance from the Thames to the whole West India and Millwall system.
South Dock in the 1980s
From 1960 to 1980, trade in the docks declined to almost nothing. There were two main reasons. First, the development of the shipping container made this type of relatively small dock inefficient, and the dock-owners were slow to embrace change. Second, the manufacturing exports which had maintained the trade through the docks dwindled and moved away from the local area. In 1980 the docks were closed and the Government took control of the land.
THE DOCKS TODAY
The Spanish air defence frigate Méndez Núñez moored at South Dock in 2015
After the closure of the upstream enclosed docks, the area was regenerated as part of the Docklands scheme, and is now home to the developments of Canary Wharf . The early phase one buildings of Canary Wharf were built out over the water, reducing the width of the north dock and middle dock, and the Jubilee line station was later constructed within the middle dock. Since 2009, the Canary Wharf Crossrail station and the Crossrail Place development above it have been under construction within the north dock. Further parts of the western end of the south and middle docks are also being built over in new developments currently under construction.
However, the docks remain open to ships and structural aspects (such
as the dock walls) are now effectively protected from future major
change by national and
In 2005 planning permission was granted for a floating hotel in the shape of a modern yacht to be berthed in the South Dock, however this was never constructed.
Part of the original dock building is now occupied by the Museum of
NOTES AND REFERENCES AND NOTES
* ^ The
City Canal had been constructed across the Isle of Dogs
just to the south of West India Docks. The aim to provide a short cut
for sailing ships, to save them travelling around the bottom of the
Isle of Dogs
* ^ "History of the Port of
Coordinates : 51°30′12.5″N 0°1′2″W / 51.503472°N 0.01722°W / 51.503472; -0.01722
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