Tower Bridge is an iconic tourist sight in London, near to the Tower of London, and anyone who hasn't studied their guide book might think, from looking at it, that Tower Bridge is as old as the Tower itself, and probably had knights in armour clanking over it in olden days.
In fact, Tower Bridge is relatively modern. It was opened in 1894 (the same year that the first Marks & Spencer store was opened). The original design was by Sir Horace Jones in a very archaic 'Gothic' style. The engineer, Sir John Wolfe Barry, devised the bridge and came up with the idea for the two towers.
In 1750 there were 36 taverns in Wapping High Street.
The houses of Wapping Pierhead were built in 1811 for officials of the London Dock Company.
In 1879 the road was widened so it could take traffic in both directions.
It seemed like a good idea at the time: build docks as close as possible to the City where cargoes could be unloaded from ships and then stored in secure warehouses. 11,300 people were turned out of their homes without compensation. On 23 acres of land Thomas Telford built the docks with six-storey warehouses lining the edges.
They opened in 1828. But the lock between the river and the newly created docks was too narrow for large ships and St Katharine Docks were soon overshadowed by bigger, deeper docks downriver.
Despite the inefficiencies, the docks and warehouses kept going until 1968 when St Katharine Docks was sold to Taylor Woodrow for development.
The stainless steel sundial 'Timepiece', at the end of St Katharine's Way is by Wendy Taylor (1973). The bronze fountain 'Girl with a Dolphin' is by David Wynne (1973).
Execution Dock was where pirates were condemned by the Admiralty Court and then hanged.
Since the Admiralty only had jurisdiction over crimes at sea, they used Execution Dock, which was beyond the low tide mark, for the executions. Captain Kidd was one of those executed there.