Narrow Street, E14

Road in/near Limehouse, existing until now

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2021

Narrow Street is a road running parallel to the River Thames through the Limehouse area.

Many archaeologists believe that Narrow Street represents the line of the medieval river wall. This wall was built to reclaim riverside marshland and to protect it from the tides.

A combination of tides and currents made this point on the Thames a natural landfall for ships. The first wharf was complete in 1348. Lime kilns or oasts (’lymehostes’) used in the production of mortar and pottery were built here in the fourteenth century.

Houses were then built, on the wall itself at first, but then outwards onto the foreshore by a process of encroachment. Indeed, the eastern end of Narrow Street was previously known as Fore Street.

The area grew rapidly in Elizabethan times as a centre for world trade. The neighbourhood supplied ships with ropes and other necessities; pottery was also made here for the ships. Ship chandlers settled here building wooden houses and wharves in the cramped space between street and river.

By the time of the reign of James I nearly half of the area’s population of 2000 were mariners.

Narrow Street may take its name from the closeness of the original buildings. A 1865 report to Parliament noted that no part of Narrow Street was "wider than 25 feet".

In 1661, Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary of a visit to a porcelain factory in Narrow Street alighting via Duke Shore Stairs while en route to view work on boats being built for herring fishing.

The Limehouse Cut for barges, which ran under Narrow Street and led to the Lee Navigation, was established in 1766. In 1772, Smith & Sykes ran a sugar house in Narrow Street - a small factory that baked and refined sugar.

In the eighteenth century a small group of Chinese sailors from Canton and Southern China settled along the old Limehouse Causeway creating the original London Chinatown. The Chinese community later moved to Soho following the Blitz.

Limehouse Basin was built in 1820 to allow the transfer of goods to barges on the Regent’s Canal. The Narrow Street Swing Bridge is sited between the Limehouse Basin Lock and the Thames. Limehouse Basin was one of the first docks to close in the late 1960s.

For much of the 20th century the area was dominated by the tall chimney of Stepney Power Station at Blyth Wharf, which has since been demolished. In 1977 the north side of Narrow Street was demolished.

Nicholas Hawksmoors’ Church St Anne’s Limehouse was designated a conservation area by the London Docklands Development Corporation in the 1980s.

Access to the area was always difficult, with the dock standing to the north, and the entrance to the Rotherhithe Tunnel at one end. In 1993 the 1.8 kilometre Limehouse Link tunnel was completed, further restricting traffic to the riverside area.

On the south side of Narrow Street is a rare example of an early Georgian brick terrace. With the exception of the westernmost property (The Grapes public house) it was standing derelict and abandoned, but in 1964 the writer Andrew Sinclair bought and saved one of the houses. A number of his freinds bought others.

The Grapes (formerly The Bunch of Grapes and known to the young Charles Dickens) was notably bought in 2011 by actor Sir Ian McKellen, director Sean Mathias and Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev.

The late twentieth century brought much development to the area, with the erection of the Canary Wharf tower close by. Since the 1990s, many new apartment complexes have been built around the Limehouse Basin as well as Victorian warehouse conversions.




Main source: Wikipedia
Further citations and sources




CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LOCALITY


Born here
Beverly Sand   
Added: 3 Apr 2021 17:19 GMT   

Havering Street, E1
My mother was born at 48 Havering Street. That house no longer exists. It disappeared from the map by 1950. Family name Schneider, mother Ray and father Joe. Joe’s parents lived just up the road at 311 Cable Street

Reply
Lived here
   
Added: 16 Feb 2021 13:41 GMT   

Giraud Street
I lived in Giraud St in 1938/1939. I lived with my Mother May Lillian Allen & my brother James Allen (Known as Lenny) My name is Tom Allen and was evacuated to Surrey from Giraud St. I am now 90 years of age.

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Born here
colin Passfield   
Added: 1 Jan 2021 15:28 GMT   

Dora Street, E14
My grandmother was born in 1904 at 34 Dora Street

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Comment
Boo Horton    
Added: 31 May 2021 13:39 GMT   

Angel & Trumpet, Stepney Green
The Angel & Trumpet Public House in Stepney Green was run by my ancestors in the 1930’s. Unfortunately, it was a victim on WWII and was badly damaged and subsequently demolished. I have one photograph that I believe to bethe pub, but it doesn’t show much more that my Great Aunt cleaning the steps.

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LATEST LONDON-WIDE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PROJECT

Lived here
Norman Norrington   
Added: 8 Jun 2021 08:08 GMT   

Blechynden Street, W10
Lived here #40 1942-1967

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Comment
Brenda Newton   
Added: 5 Jun 2021 07:17 GMT   

Hewer Street W10
John Nodes Undertakers Hewer Street W10

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Added: 3 Jun 2021 15:50 GMT   

All Bar One
The capitalisation is wrong

Reply

   
Added: 3 Jun 2021 15:50 GMT   

Abbeville Road (1940 street directory)
North west side
1A Clarke A S Ltd, motor engineers
15 Plumbers, Glaziers & Domestic Engineers Union
25 Dixey Edward, florist
27 Vicary Miss Doris J, newsagent
29 Stenning John Andrew, dining rooms
31 Clarke & Williams, builders
33 Hill Mrs Theodora, confectioner
35 Golding W & sons, corn dealers
... here is Shandon road ...
37 Pennington Mrs Eliz Harvie, wine & spirit merchant
39 Westminster Catering Co Ltd, ham, beef & tongue dealers
41 Masters A (Clapham) Ltd, butchers
43 Thomas Euan Ltd, grocers
45 Garrett C T & Co Ltd, undertakers
47 Mayle T & Sons, fishmongers
49 Mayles Ltd, fruiterers
51 & 73 Hardy Arthur Sydney, draper
53 United Dairies (London) Ltd
... here is Narbonne avenue ...
55 Norris William Lennox, baker
57 Silver Star Laundry Ltd
59 Thorp John, oilman
61 Bidgood Leonard George, boot makers
63 Wilkie Rt Miln, chemist
65 Gander George Albert Isaac, hairdresser
67 Harris Alfred William, greengrocer
69 & 71 Lambert Ernest & Son Ltd, grocers
... here is Hambolt road ...
73 & 51 Hardy Arthur Sydney, draper
75 Cambourn Frederick, butcher
77 Siggers Clement, chemist
77 Post, Money Order, Telephone Call & Telegraph Office & Savings Bank
79 Hemmings William, baker
... here is Elms road ...
85 Cornish Joseph
91 Bedding Mrs
151 Johnson Mrs H K
157 Robinson Albert Ernest, grainer
173 Yardleys London & Provincial Stores Ltd, wine & spirit merchants
175 Clark Alfred, butcher
175A Morley Douglas Frederick, confectioner
... here is Crescent lane ...
... her is St Alphonsus road ...

South east side
... here is Trouville road ...
4 Bossy Miss, private school
... here are Bonneville gardens ...
24 Osborn Charles Edward, ladies hairdresser
24 Hall H Ltd, builders
24A Walton Lodge Laundry Ltd
... here are Shandon road & Abbeville mansions ...
28 Copley Fred Smith, chemist
30 Finch H G Ltd, laundry
32 Carter William Alfred, furniture dealer
34 Spriggs Charles & Co, wireless supplies dealer
36 Miles Frederick William, confectioner
38 Pitman Frederick, hairdresser
40 Rowe Frederick F, valeting service
42 Modridge Edward J, oilman
... here is Narbonne avenue ...
44 Southorn Albert, butcher
46 Brown Ernest, fruiterer
48 Stanley Mrs A A, confectioner
50 Fryatt Owen, delixatessen store
52 Benbrooks, domestic stores
54 Davis William Clifford, boot repairer
56 Blogg Alfred, newsagent
58 Rowlands Thomas & Sons, dairy
... here are Hambalt, Elms, Franconia, Caldervale & Leppoc roads ...
124 Clarke Frederick, decorator
... here are Crescent lane, Briarwood road & Park hill ...

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Comment
   
Added: 2 Jun 2021 16:58 GMT   

Parachute bomb 1941
Charles Thomas Bailey of 82 Morley Road was killed by the parachute bomb March 1941

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Comment
MCNALLY    
Added: 17 May 2021 09:42 GMT   

Blackfriars (1959 - 1965)
I lived in Upper Ground from 1959 to 1964 I was 6 years old my parents Vince and Kitty run the Pub The Angel on the corner of Upper Ground and Bodies Bridge. I remember the ceiling of the cellar was very low and almost stretched the length of Bodies Bridge. The underground trains run directly underneath the pub. If you were down in the cellar when a train was coming it was quite frightening

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Comment
PETER FAIRCLOUGH   
Added: 10 May 2021 14:46 GMT   

We once lived here
My family resided at number 53 Brindley Street Paddington.
My grandparents George and Elizabeth Jenkinson (ne Fowler) had four children with my Mother Olive Fairclough (ne Jenkinson) being born in the house on 30/09/1935.
She died on 29/04/2021 aged 85 being the last surviving of the four siblings

Reply
Comment
Carol   
Added: 7 May 2021 18:44 GMT   

Nan
My nan lily,her sister Elizabeth and their parents Elizabeth and William lived here in1911

Reply

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NEARBY PUBS
The Grapes The Grapes is a Grade II listed public house situated directly on the north bank of the Thames in Limehouse with a veranda overlooking the water.


Limehouse






LOCAL PHOTOS
Frank Whipple (1908-2011)
TUM image id: 1570047040
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In the neighbourhood...

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Burdett Road by Baggally Street (1906)
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The 'Queen' beerhouse at 128 Rhodeswell Road. Limehouse (1897). Beerhouses weren't licenced to sell wines and spirits - only beer.
Old London postcard
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Frank Whipple (1908-2011)
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In a part of its long history, Shoulder of Mutton Alley briefly became the centre of British TV satire - the latex ’Spitting Image’ puppets were made there.
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The corner of Dupont Street (1925). The roofs are covered to keep out the rain and the houses have no glass in the windows.
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R. Passmore & Company in Limehouse. This was sitauted on the corner of Narrow Street and The Highway. Free Trade Wharf was behind.
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Looking along Narrow Street, Limehouse, showing four of the high rise buildings of Canary Wharf in September 2007.
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