The Royal Docks is made up of the Royal Victoria, Royal Albert and King George V docks. These three were the last group of docks to be built in London, between 1855 and 1921 and the last to as operational docks in 1981. When built, they were collectively the largest enclosed docks in the world, with a water area of nearly 100 hectares (250 acres) and an estate of 445 hectares (1100 acres).
There are 12 listed buildings within the Royal Docks, from warehouses and cranes at Royal Victoria Dock to St Mark’s Church and the entrance to the Pedestrian Tunnel, both at North Woolwich. Newham has locally listed a further six historic properties or structures, including the Millennium Mill at Pontoon Dock and the Tate and Lyle Building at Plaistow Wharf.
The heritage reports (below) appraise the historic environments of the Royal Docks (part I, II, II), and recommend how best these assets can be protected through significant change and redevelopment. The Greater London Authority wants to make sure that all new development complements and improves the area’s historic townscape and character, and reinforces the unique identity and sense of place of these neighbourhoods. The purpose of these reports is to inform policy and decision making.
Museum of London Docklands
Located in a Grade I listed Georgian sugar warehouse on West India Quay, the Museum of London Docklands reveals the long history of the capital as a port through stories of trade, migration and commerce. From Roman settlement to the regeneration of the docks, discover the tale of the world’s greatest trading city through state-of-the-art galleries, including Sailortown, an atmospheric recreation of 19th century London; and London, Sugar & Slavery, which reveals the city’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.
The museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm (closed 24-26 December) and is a short walk from West India Quay DLR station or ten minutes from Canary Wharf Underground station on the Jubilee line.