London Runs and Photo Routes – East India Dock Area – East London
East India Dock
East India Dock Basin is one of London’s most central nature reserves, but in the 19th century, it was a working dock which was famous for its shipments of spices from the Far East and could handle up to 250 ships at a time. The dock basin is the last remaining section of the once grand East India Docks and now provides the only salt marsh ‘wildlife’ habitat in this stretch of the Thames.
The area between East India DLR station and the East India Dock Basin used to be the site of Brunswick Wharf Power Station (also known as Blackwall Power Station), but this was demolished in 1988–89 and has been replaced by Flats and a Flyover.
Trinity Buoy Wharf is at the end of Orchard Place on the west side of East India Dock Basin. It is the site of London’s only lighthouse, which is located at the point where Bow Creek joins the Thames. In the 19th century, the site was also used as a maintenance depot and storage facility for the many buoys that aided navigation on the Thames. The original lighthouse was built by the engineer of Trinity House, James Walker, in 1852, and the lighthouse was demolished in the late 1920s. The surviving lighthouse was built in 1864-6 by James Douglass for Trinity House.
Today, Trinity Buoy Wharf is a thriving centre for the arts and creative industries. Urban Space Holdings have used the area to develop ‘Container City’ in 2001, a studio and office complex made from recycled sea shipping containers. The original project was made from 80% recycled material. “Container City 1” took 5 months to complete, and took 4 days to install. The University of East London opened its Fine Art studios at the wharf, and the Institute of Performing Arts have two dance studios at Trinity Buoy Wharf.
The Virginia Quay Monument was unveiled in 1928 by America’s Ambassador and was dedicated to the ‘First Settlers’ who had sailed from Blackwall in December’s day in 1606 in three small Merchant ships and arrived in Jamestown Virginia in 1607. King James I had commanded them to bring him treasure and gold from the ‘New World’, the venture being financed by ‘The Virginia Company of London’.
This voyage took place 14 years before the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers.
This area is one of my secret photographic locations in London, which provides me with some great views of the Thames and the O2 (Millennium Dome), as well as plenty of other photographic sites and subjects just a short walk away. As with most of my locations, I prefer to visit the area in the morning, to catch the best light and the occasional sunrise.
These London Runs and Photo Routes are a great way of getting to know London, for seeing London’s best sights, and for photographing London.
By doing this London photo early in the morning, you can get to know London quickly and see it at its best – all for free.
For more details visit www.Londonruns.com or www.londonphotoroutes.co.uk
Map East India Area