Nearest Tube: Wapping
The East End district of Wapping is situated on the north bank of the River Thames just east of The City. The name is believed to be derived from a Saxon settlement whose name meant "Waeppa's People".
For many years the area was marshland and largely uninhabited, but by the 16th century the marshes had been drained and Wapping had become a warren of houses and narrow alleys.
Because of the district's proximity to the river, the inhabitants of Wapping were traditionally seamen. And marine trades such as boat-building, makers of navigational instruments and mast makers were well represented in the district.
With the sailors however, also came disruption, crime and poverty and so for the next 200 years Wapping had a distinctly unsavoury reputation.
By the 19th century much of the housing in Wapping had been demolished and had been replaced by huge warehouses. As the Docklands grew Wapping's population declined and the district became a predominantly industrial district.
And by the 20th century the Docklands had gone into decline, and the area suffered extensive bomb damage during the Second World War. Wapping became a largely derelict and desolate area, a state of affairs that lasted for several decades.
Then in the 1980s the Docklands underwent extensive re-development. The warehouses were converted into executive flats, gardens were landscaped and shopping complexes built - and Wapping underwent a renaissance.
The huge shopping and entertainment centre of Tobacco Dock is the main attraction in today's district of Wapping, or you could visit the more gruesome Execution Dock. The area is also known for its numerous riverside pubs.
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