St Paul’s Church

First built in 1656, although the present building dates to 1820, this was the church of Captain James Cook who had his eldest son baptised here in 1763. Jane Randolph, mother of the third US President, Thomas Jefferson, was also a parishioner before moving to Virginia. She had nine children before her death in 1776.

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Marshland until drained in the 16th century, Wapping takes its name from a Saxon chief, Waeppa. Centre of London’s docks,  crime associated with pressed sailors, poorly paid dockers and rich cargoes made it the natural home of the River Police.   http://whatsinwapping.co.uk/

Tube: Wapping

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St Peter’s London Docks

Awarded a Grade 1 Listing, this is one of only 13 such buildings in Tower Hamlets. Begun in 1865, it had to be  restored after WWII bomb damage but the dull exterior hides a magnificent interior. Lovely stained glass windows by Arts and Crafts follower Margaret Rope tell the story of this interesting parish.

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Wapping Old Stairs

Execution Dock, where pirates were hung and then chained until three tides had covered them, was nearby. Fishermen from Ramsgate in Kent once sold their catch here – hence the name of the pub beside them (below). Wapping-born John Newton also landed his slaves here but later reformed and wrote ‘Amazing Grace’ in 1779.

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The Wapping Project

This ‘multi-purpose exhibition and performance space’ converted from a former power station (built in 1890) shows off its Victorian industrial origins proudly. Much of the massive machinery remains, while achingly trendy art projects and dining fill the spaces.

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Tel: (0)20 7680 2080


St John’s Old School

Although founded in 1695 – a year after the parish of Wapping itself – the building you see now dates ‘only’ to 1765. These are two of the finest Bluecoat statues in London, with the costume details outstanding. The separate boys and girls entrances are clearly marked. Read more about these here.

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Town of Ramsgate

At one time there were some 36 pubs on Wapping High Street. This one may date to 1543 and the building is Grade 2 listed, but a make-over has spoilt some of the atmosphere, ‘Hanging Judge’ Jeffreys was arrested here before being taken to the Tower of London. Serves good beer and decent food.

62 Wapping High Street E1
Tel: (0)20 7481 8000

The Prospect of Whitby

The oldest riverside pub in London, dating to 1520, was once the haunt of pirates and sailors. The noose outside recalls Judge Jeffreys, who liked to watch hangings at nearby Execution Dock. The original flagstone floor and a rare pewter-topped bar survive. The terrace has great river views. Open every day.

57 Wapping Wall E1
Tel: (0)20 7481 1095

Raine Street School

Henry Raine (1679-1738) was a Wapping brewer who founded this charitable school in 1719 for 50 boys and 50 girls. This original building is now a community centre but the school continues in Bethnal Green. Its motto – still to be seen above the door – is: ‘Come in and learn your duty to God and man.’

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