Bob will lead a short tour of the site of the former gaol, explaining the history of the building, which was first constructed in 1816 but later largely demolished with the construction of the Harbour Railway in the later 19th century. Prior to the construction of the gaol, the area was unreclaimed marsh – the name Wapping derives from the Saxon word for marsh – until it began to be used for shipbuilding from the end of the 17th century. Various dockside buildings and docks were constructed, largely connected with the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. The shipbuilding industry ceased and the docks were infilled with the coming of the railway and several granaries were built. These were bombed in the Second World War and the present M Shed was built in the 1950s.
The area is now undergoing major redevelopment, the first phase of which is virtually complete. This tour will look in more detail at how this important and now popular area of the waterfront has developed from its beginnings in the 17th century until its reinvention as a major leisure and residential destination.
Meet at the rear entrance of M Shed at 2 pm. There is car parking (with a charge).
Bob’s mobile number on the day is: 07746 101106.