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Historic England Research Records

The Wharf

Hob Uid: 1099220
Location :
Greater London Authority
Tower Hamlets
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : TQ3340080520
Summary : The wharf at the Tower of London originated between 1275 and 1285 in Edward I's reign. It provided direct access from the river to the Tower and was a short length of quay encased i ntimber extending from a point SW of the Lion Tower to a point opposite the Byward Tower. It was extended in 1338-9 in timber and earth as far as St Thomas' Tower and in 1365-1370 the builders returned to encase the whole length in stone. During Richard II's reign (1377-1399) a further extension saw the embankment complete with a tunnel or bridge in front of the river entrance to St Thomas Tower which became known as Traitors Bridge. From 1452 the wharf was in use between here and St Katherine's by the Master of Ordnance. In 1632-3 considerable efforts were made to improve it's condition with whole sections demolished and re-built with camp-shedding and timber-fenders installed to reduce the damage done by ships mooring here. 1634-5 156 piles were sunk for foundations of an "apron" which would prevent vessels from being stranded in the mud at low tide. A proof yard was constructed here in 1682 which began a tradition of arms manufacture here which peaked during the Napoleonic War in 1815. By the 1860s the eastern half of this sprawling complex was cleared of its Ordnance workshops, stores, offices, stables and forge. A large pillbox was constructed at the east end of the wharf in World War II and was demolished in 1959.
More information :

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : English Heritage book of the Tower of London
Source details :
Page(s) : 11,37,40,49,53,55,62,76,77,94,95,96,105
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1285
Monument Start Date : 1275
Monument Type : Wharf
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : extended 1338-9
Monument End Date : 1339
Monument Start Date : 1338
Monument Type : Wharf
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : extended 1377-99
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1377
Monument Type : Wharf
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1682
Monument Start Date : 1682
Monument Type : Proof Range
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : demolition 1860s
Monument End Date : 1869
Monument Start Date : 1860
Monument Type : Workshop, Office, Stable, Forge, Ordnance Factory
Evidence : Destroyed Monument
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Demolished World War Two
Monument End Date : 1959
Monument Start Date : 1959
Monument Type : Pillbox
Evidence : Destroyed Monument

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 38 SW 1505
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FORESHORE, TOWER OF LONDON
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE WHARF, TOWER OF LONDON, TOWER HILL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, TOWER OF LONDON, NORTH WHARF WALL COLLAPSE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31