Canary Wharf and East India Docks Walking Tour - Saturday 27 April 2024 10.30am

Canary Wharf and East India Docks Walking Tour - Saturday 27 April 2024 10.30am

Regular price £19.50
/
Tax included.

Ticket

Join Open City for an architectural walking tour exploring the history and ideas behind the changing architecture of Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf and East India Docks — home to the ‘next generation education campus’ Republic.

This walking tour around the northern end of the Isle of Dogs – delivered in partnership with Republic – takes in the area’s history as the industrial centre of a global trading empire with strong colonial ties to the empire, through its industrial decline, regeneration and recent construction boom.

The event starts at West India Quay and finishes at East India Docks which is home to Republic. Once a relatively isolated part of industrial London, the area is now a financial district with towering office skyscrapers, new homes, landmark retail centres and multiple transport links to the rest of the capital. 

This tour will tell the story of the original West India Dock complex built by Robert Milligan – whose statue outside the Museum of London Docklands has recently been removed following Black Lives Matter protests around the world. Here, the dock complex and the Grade I-listed sugar warehouses offer a rare glimpse of the area’s colonial past as a vast landscape created to receive the products of empire and slavery.

Moving on to a dramatic viewpoint revealing one of the River Thames’ most enigmatic post-industrial landscapes, the tour will then discuss some of the early docklands developments in Surrey Quays, Rotherhithe and Wapping, and the later work of the London Docklands Development Corporation. The unique planning and ideas behind the early approaches to rethinking London’s formerly derelict docks will be compared to the later thinking behind the private sector-led Canary Wharf development and some of the more recent towers going up on the island. 

Passing through the former West India Docks complex, still apparent as vast expanses of water alongside the new banking towers, the tour will consider Reuters Plaza and the transformation of the area from one of toil, industry and colonial extraction to one of big banks, finance, shopping, recreation and luxury living.

It will then pass through Crossrail Place’s roof garden before travelling on to East India Dock – originally created to receive tea, spices, indigo, silk of the East India Company which had been key to the creation of the British Empire – where a 1990s office complex has recently been reinvented as Republic, an education campus with landscaped public realm and spaces for local charities.

Key information

Meet: Outside West India DLR station

Duration: 2 hours approx

Tour end: Republic building 2 Clove Cres E14 2BE (near to East India DLR station) 

 

Rosamund Lily West is a curator, writer and historian. Having previously worked as a curator at the Royal Society of Sculptors, Kingston Museum and London Transport Museum, she now works as Research Fellow at the Survey of London based at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

She is interested in public and community engagement with heritage, public art and the built environment and has led architectural tours for the V&A, London Festival of Architecture and the Architecture Foundation. Rosamund is also writing up her part-time PhD, 'The 'concrete citizens' of the London County Council's housing schemes, 1943 to 1965' at Kingston University.


Rosamund joined the Open City tours team in November 2021.

 

Tickets are non-refundable and tours go ahead rain or shine.

* Please check for any planned transport engineering works, planned strike action or large scale events that may effect your journey before making your ticket purchase *

If you find you can no longer make the tour for any reason we are unable to transfer you to another date, but please feel free to pass your booked place onto a friend to go and enjoy the tour in your place. 

In the event your tour date is cancelled you will be issued with a credit note (with no expiry date) that you can use to 

- book onto a rescheduled date
- book onto any other tour from our programme 

or you can request a refund. 

All ticket purchases are in support of the work of our organisation including our pioneering education programmes. We really appreciate your support! 

Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries.

Please select solidarity pricing to help Open City offer the concessionary tickets rate for student and jobseekers.

Our concession pricing (£9.50 for walking tours / £19.50 for boat tours) is available for students and jobseekers only. 

 

If you find you can no longer make the tour for Covid or any reason we are unable to transfer you to another date, but please feel free to pass your booked place onto a friend to go in your place. 

In the event your tour date is cancelled due to Covid or any other reason you will be provided with the opportunity to book onto a rescheduled date, book onto another tour, provided with a credit note (with no expiry date) or you can request a refund. 

All ticket purchases are in support of the work of our organisation including our pioneering education programmes. We really appreciate your support! 

Get in touch with Adrianna at tours@open-city.org.uk with any queries.