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Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

BLACKWALL, a district in the parish of Poplar, Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, and borough of the Tower Hamlets, in the county of Middlesex, 4 miles to the E. of St. Paul's.

It is connected with the metropolis by a railway terminating in Fenchurch-street. A branch line runs from the Stepney station to Bow on the Great Eastern railway, forming part of the North London railway; and near Blackwall the North-Western and Docks Junction railway meets it. The Blackwall railway, which is carried along a viaduct for about 22 miles, was completed in 1841, at a cost of 288,200 per mile, and was worked till 1849 by stationary engines and a wire rope. Locomotive engines are now employed. Blackwall is situated on the north bank of the Thames, on Blackwall Reach, where the river Lea falls into it, and is the site of the East India Company's Docks, several extensive shipyards, iron-foundries, and other important establishments connected with the shipping trade. The East India Docks, which were constructed under the superintendence of Rennie, and were completed in 1806, are at the east end of the district, near the Mast House, and comprise import and export docks, and an entrance basin. The import, or inner dock, covers an area of 18 acres; the export, or outer dock, originally covered between 9 and 10 acres, but was subsequently enlarged, and the basin comprises 3 acres. The water in the docks has a depth of 30 feet. A lofty wall surrounds them, and extensive ranges of warehouses and offices stand within. The railway terminus occupies the space between the docks and the Brunswick wharf and pier, near which is the Brunswick White Bait tavern. The quay of the Trinity Board is at the mouth of the river Lea. The living is a chapelry belonging to the East India Company, of the value of 500, in the patronage of the directors. Blackwall Reach is that part of the river Thames which lies between Greenwich Reach and Bugsby Reach.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]
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[Last updated on 9 Oct 2003 by David Hawgood. 2003]