Mind the gap


My great (x4) grandfather was a coal merchant in Wapping. The family lived within the parish of St George-in-the-East, but went to the Presbyterian church in Stepney which is where all 6 children were baptized. St George’s was hit during WW2 and only the exterior remains.

A new church was built inside the external walls (which had been designed by the celebrated architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor) in the 1960s (below).



On to Wapping. I knew that the coal merchant’s premises no longer existed because they were demolished to make an entrance to the London Docks in about 1800. So there was a gap between the properties fronting the Thames near the Old Wapping Stairs which used to house the Morrisons.


I don’t imagine it was quite so glamorous as the gentrified area is today, nor was the view of the river (a stinking sewer at the time) quite like today’s view.


Most of the old London Docks have been filled in to make way for Rupert Murdoch’s printing presses, but some bits remain, and are very peaceful.





No doubt a vast improvement on life in the 1790s.


  1. Sam

    where are all the people though???

  2. They were all at work, I suppose. It was very quiet wherever I went.

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