Limehouse

Limehouse

London Escorts Areas / Limehouse

Limehouse is a district in East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east. Limehouse stretches from Limehouse Basin in the west to the edge of the former Chinatown, London in Pennyfields in the east; and from the Thames in the south to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the north. The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to Millwall.

History

Etymology
The name relates to the local lime kilns or, more precisely, lime oasts, by the river and operated by the large potteries that served shipping in the London Docks. The name is from Old English language ''līm-āst'' "lime-oast". The earliest reference is to ''Les Lymhostes'', in 1356.''Folios cxci - cc: Dec 1416 - ', Calendar of letter-books of the city of London: I: 1400-1422 (1909), pp. 175-86''

The name 'Limehouse' is sometimes mistakenly thought to be derived from the nickname for the seamen that disembarked there, who had earned the name ''Lime-juicers'' or ''Alternative words for British#Limey'' after the obligatory ration of lime juice the Royal Navy gave their sailors to ward off scurvy.

The name is found used in 1417:Inquisicio capta sup' litus Thomisie apud Lymhosteys pro morte Thome Frank.
("''Inquest held on the shore of the Thames by Lymhosteys for the death of Thomas Frank''")
17 Aug, 5 Henry V. [A.D. 1417], inquest held before "les Lymehostes" within the liberty and franchise of the City, before Henry Bartone, the Mayor, and the King's Escheator, as to the cause of the death of Thomas Franke, of Harwich, late steersman (conductor) or "lodysman" of a ship called "la Mary Knyght" of Danzig in Prussia. A jury sworn, viz., John Baille, Matthew Holme, Robert Marle, Henry Mark, Alexander Bryan, John Goby, Richard Hervy, Walter Steel, Peter West, Richard Stowell, John Dyse, and Walter Broun. They find that the said Thomas Franke was killed by falling on the sharp end of an anchor

Maritime links
From its foundation, Limehouse, like neighbouring Wapping, has enjoyed better links with the river than the land, the land route being across a marsh. Limehouse became a significant port in late Middle Ages, with extensive docks and wharves. Although most cargoes were discharged in the Pool of London before the establishment of the docks, industries such as shipbuilding, ship chandlering and rope making were established in Limehouse.
's view of the riverside at Limehouse in 1751 shows respectable houses and shipyards crowding onto the riverfront]]
Limehouse Basin opened in 1820 as the ''Regent's Canal Dock''. This was an important connection between the Thames and the canal system, where cargoes could be transferred from larger ships to the shallow-draught canal boats. This mix of vessels can still be seen in the Basin: canal narrowboats rubbing shoulders with seagoing yachts.[http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConFactFile.80/Regents-Canal-Dock.html Regent's Canal Dock (1812–1970s)] accessed 10 May 2007

From the Tudor period until the 20th century, ships crews were employed on a casual basis. New and replacement crews would be found wherever they were available - foreign sailors in their own waters being particularly prized for their knowledge of currents and hazards in ports around the world. Crews would be paid off at the end of their voyages and, inevitably, permanent communities of foreign sailors became established, including colonies of Lascars and African people from the Guinea (region). Large Chinese communities at both Limehouse and Shadwell developed, established by the crews of Cargo ship in the Opium#Prohibition and conflict in China and tea trades, particularly Han Chinese. The area achieved notoriety for opium dens in the late 19th century, often featured in pulp magazine works by Sax Rohmer and others. Like much of the East End of London it remained a focus for immigration, but after the devastation of the Second World War many of the British Chinese relocated to Soho.[http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.127/chapterId/2614/Chinese-in-the-Port-of-London.html Port Cities: London's First Chinatown] accessed 29 May 2007[http://www.portcities.org.uk/london/server/show/ConNarrative.96/chapterId/2682/The-port-in-literature.html 'Chinatown' literature] accessed 10 May 2007

On 12 February 1832, the first case of cholera was reported in London at Limehouse. First described in India in 1817, it had spread here via Hamburg. Although 800 people died during this epidemic, fewer than had died of tuberculosis in the same year, cholera visited again in 1848 and 1858.[http://www.mernick.co.uk/thhol/1832chol.html ''The 1832 cholera epidemic in East London'' East London Record, '''2''' (1979)] accessed 5 July 2007

The use of Limehouse Basin as a major distribution hub declined with the growth of the railways, although the revival of canal traffic during World War I and World War II gave it a brief swansong. Today, Stepney Historical Trust works to advance the public's education in the history of the area.

Modern Limehouse
Limehouse Basin was amongst the first docks to close in the late 1960s. By 1981, Limehouse shared the docklands-wide physical, social and economic decline which led to the setting up of the London Docklands Development Corporation. In November 1982, the LDDC published its Limehouse Area Development Strategy.[http://www.lddc-history.org.uk/wapping/index.html#Intro], LDDC Completion Booklet. This built on existing plans for Limehouse Basin, and offered a discussion framework for future development, housing refurbishment and environmental improvements across the whole of Limehouse. It was based on four major projects: Limehouse Basin, Free Trade Wharf, what was then known as the Light Rapid Transit Route (DLR) and the Docklands Northern Relief Road, a road corridor between The Highway and East India Dock across the north of the Isle of Dogs.

However, it was not until the mid-1980s with the abolition of the Greater London Council that the impetus for improvements to the infrastructure was provided. The key to development in Limehouse lay next door in the Isle of Dogs. Initial development plans on the island had been modest: light industrial development and a low rise business park. The Limehouse Studios were an early development on the island; despite the name the studios were located in South Quay, not Limehouse.

By 1984, 8 million sq it of potential commercial development was predicted. In 1985 proposals for a 10-12 million sq it development on the of Canary Wharf were being considered. The sheer scale of the Canary Wharf proposals, and in due course the rapid implementation of the first phase of development, provided the impetus to the transport improvements which completely altered prospects for Limehouse as well as for the Isle of Dogs.

Significant events in politics
, mayor of Metropolitan Borough of Stepney (1919) and MP for Limehouse (UK Parliament constituency) stands outside the former Limehouse Library.]]
On 30 July 1909, the Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George made a polemical speech in Limehouse attacking the House of Lords for its opposition to his "People's Budget". This speech was the origin of the phrase "To Limehouse", or "Limehousing", which meant an incendiary political speech.[http://www.takeourword.com/Issue070.html ''Take our word for it'' 24 Jan 2000] accessed 10 May 2007

From 1906 to 1909, Clement Attlee worked as manager of Haileybury House, a club for working class boys in Limehouse run by his old school. Before this, Attlee's political views had been Conservative Party (UK), but he was shocked by the poverty and deprivation he saw while working with slum children, and this caused him to become a socialism. He joined the Independent Labour Party in 1908, and became mayor of Metropolitan Borough of Stepney in 1919. At the United Kingdom general election, 1922, Attlee became Member of Parliament for the constituency of Limehouse (UK Parliament constituency), which he represented while Deputy Prime Minister. After WWII he moved constituencies to Walthamstow West. Beckett, Francis. (1997) ''Clem Attlee: A Biography'' Francis Beckett (Richard Cohen Books) ISBN 1-86066-101-7

On 25 January 1981, MPs Shirley Williams, Baroness Williams of Crosby, Roy Jenkins, William Rodgers, Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank and David Owen made the Limehouse Declaration from Owen's house in Limehouse, which announced the formation of the Council for Social Democracy in opposition to the granting of block votes to the trade unions in the Labour Party (UK) to which they had previously belonged. They soon became leading politicians in the Social Democratic Party (UK).

Today, Limehouse is part of the constituency of Poplar and Limehouse (UK Parliament constituency) and has been represented in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom since 1997 by Jim Fitzpatrick (politician) MP (Labour Party (UK)), and in the London Assembly since 2000 by John Biggs (politician) AM (also Labour). Limehouse is a district in East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east. Limehouse stretches from Limehouse Basin in the west to the edge of the former Chinatown, London in Pennyfields in the east; and from the Thames in the south to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the north. The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to Millwall.

Cultural references

The area inspired Douglas Furber (lyricist) and Philip Braham (composer) in 1921 to write the popular jazz standard "Limehouse Blues (song)",[http://www.kendormusic.com/2005/3263.htm ''Limehouse Blues'' sheet music and sample files] accessed 10 May 2007 which was introduced by Jack Buchanan and Gertrude Lawrence in the musical revue "A to Z". Much later, it was reprised in the ballet "Limehouse Blues" featuring Fred Astaire and Lucille Bremer in the musical film ''Ziegfeld Follies (film)'' (1946). In both instances the actors were heavily disguised as Chinese. Other notable performances on film include those by Hoagy Carmichael in ''To Have and Have Not (film)'' (1946) and by Borrah Minevich and His Harmonica Rascals in ''One in a Million (1936 film)'' (1936). ''Limehouse Blues (film)'' was also the name of a 1934 film, starring George Raft.

Thomas Burke (author) wrote ''Limehouse Nights'' (1916), a collection of stories centered around life in the poverty-stricken Limehouse district of London. Many of Burke's books feature the Chinese character Quong Lee as narrator. The area also features in the ''Fu Manchu'' books of Sax Rohmer, where a Limehouse opium den serves as the hideout of the Chinese people supervillain. The notion of East End opium dens seems to have originated with a description by Charles Dickens of a visit he made to an opium den in nearby Bluegate Fields, which inspired certain scenes in his last, unfinished, novel ''The Mystery of Edwin Drood'' (1870).Peter Ackroyd (1990) ''Dickens'': 1046[http://www.mernick.co.uk/thhol/curiousburial.html ''A Curious Burial''] 11 January 1890 ''East London Observer'' – an account of the burial of Ah Sing, said to be the inspiration for the character of the opium seller. Accessed 22 July 2008 More recently, the popular graphic novels of Alan Moore, "From Hell" (1989) and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (1999) contain a number of references to the notorious criminality of the area in Victorian London. Victorian-era Limehouse was also the setting of the novel ''Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem'' (1995) by Peter Ackroyd, a fictionalized account of the notorious 'Limehouse Golem' serial murders.

The area also appeared in Anna Mae Wong's 1929 film ''Piccadilly (film)'', where, as the toughly alluring Shosho, Ms. Wong was said to embody the Limehouse Chinatown mystique. The Limehouse district of London is depicted in the silent film "Broken Blossoms" or "The Yellow Man And The Girl" directed by "D.W. Griffith" (1919) "where the Orient squats at the portals of the West." Limehouse is also the setting of the 1926 film "The Blackbird," directed by Tod Browning and starring Lon Chaney (Sr.).

Birthplace of the rock group Limehouse Lizzy [http://www.limehouselizzy.co.uk/ Limehouse Lizzy] Limehouse is a district in East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east. Limehouse stretches from Limehouse Basin in the west to the edge of the former Chinatown, London in Pennyfields in the east; and from the Thames in the south to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the north. The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to Millwall.

Notable residents

, c. 1583]]
Sir Humphrey Gilbert lived here,[http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Sir_Humphrey_Gilbert 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica ''Sir Humphrey Gilbert''] accessed 10 May 2007 and was an advocate of opening up the Northwest Passage. This inspired Martin Frobisher to sail to Baffin Island,and he returned with a mysterious black rock.[http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Sir_Martin_Frobisher 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica ''Sir Martin Frobisher'] accessed 10 May 2007 Gilbert set up the Society of the New Art with William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and the Earl of Leicester who had their alchemical laboratory in Limehouse.''Calendar of the Patent Rolls, Elizabeth I, Vol. VI, 1572-1575'' Joel Hurstfield ''The English Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 358 (Jan., 1976), pp. 127-129'' However their attempts to transmute the black rock into gold proved fruitless. (Humphrey's brother Adrian Gilbert was reputed a great alchemy and worked closely with John Dee.)

Captain Christopher Newport lived in Limehouse for several years up until 1595.K.R. Andrews, ''Christopher Newport of Limehouse, Mariner,'' College of William & Mary Quarterly 3d ser., 11, no. 1(January 1954):28. He rose through the sailing ranks from a poor cabin boy to a wealthy English privateer and eventually one of the Masters of the Royal Navy. He became rich pirating Spanish treasure vessels in the Caribbean. In 1607 he sailed the ''Susan Constant'', followed by the ''Godspeed (ship)'' and ''Discovery (1602 ship)'', as Admiral of the Fleet to Jamestown, Virginia. He helped secure England's foothold in North America through five voyages to Jamestown. He sailed his entire life, dying on a trading voyage to Bantam (city), on the island of Java in present day Indonesia. His sailing experience in Limehouse made him known as Captain Christopher Newport, of Limehouse, Mariner.
Charles Dickens' Godparent ran his Sailmaker business from Church Row (Newell Street);[http://www.eastlondonhistory.com/dickens.htm East London history] accessed 28 March 2007 and James Abbott McNeill Whistler[http://www.davidrumsey.com/amico/amico1093308-4593.html Whistler ''Limehouse'' 1878] accessed 28 March 2007 and Charles Napier Hemy''The Barge Builders'' in ''The Burlington Magazine'', Vol. 126, No. 981 (Dec., 1984), p. 786+804 sketched and painted at locations on Narrow Street's river waterfront. Contemporary residents include the actor Sir Ian McKellen,[http://www.mckellen.com/life/per.htm Ian McKellen Personal Website] Matthew Parris, and comedy actress Cleo Rocos,[http://icthewharf.icnetwork.co.uk/thewharf/headlines/tm_headline=new-forum-fighting-for-a-limehouse-focus&method=full&objectid=18492430&siteid=71670-name_page.html The Wharf] actor Steven Berkoff,[http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article2124821.ece ''Steven Berkoff: The real East Enders'' The Independent 4 January 2007] accessed 10 May 2007 comedian Lee Hurst (comedian) , as well as politician Lord David Owen.[http://sca.lib.liv.ac.uk/collections/Owen/biog.htm David Owen biography] accessed 28 March 2007 Limehouse was also the home of the late film director Sir David Lean.[http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19971025/ai_n14142206 The Independent] Limehouse is a district in East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east. Limehouse stretches from Limehouse Basin in the west to the edge of the former Chinatown, London in Pennyfields in the east; and from the Thames in the south to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the north. The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to Millwall.

Buildings

St Anne's Limehouse was built by Nicholas Hawksmoor. A pyramid originally planned to be put atop the tower now stands in the graveyard. The church is next door to Limehouse Town Hall and close to Limehouse Library, both listed building, the former now used as a community centre. Across the road is the Sailors' Mission, where Situationist International held its conference in 1960. The building subsequently became a run-down hostel for the homeless which became notorious for its squalor, although it has since been converted into a luxury apartment block.


Further to the southwest, Narrow Street, Limehouse's historic spine, which runs along the back of the Thames wharves, boasts one of the few surviving early Georgian architecture in London. Next to the Terraced house is the historic The Grapes pub, rebuilt in 1720 and well-known to Charles Dickens, featuring as the ''Six Jolly Fellowship Porters'' in ''Our Mutual Friend''. A few doors along was Booty's Riverside Bar but this closed down in 2012. Almost every building on the other side of Narrow Street was destroyed by bombing in the World War II, including hundreds of houses, Taylor Walker & Co's Barley Mow Brewery and a school. One notable exception is a former public house, known locally as 'The House They Left Behind', because it was the only Victorian architecture to survive. It still stands today, with the aid of three large supporting pillars.

Further along the street is 'The Narrow', a gastropub, now run by Gordon Ramsay. It is housed in the Grade II listed, former harbourmaster's and Custom House, for Limehouse Dock. accessed 13 December 2008 Limehouse is a district in East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east. Limehouse stretches from Limehouse Basin in the west to the edge of the former Chinatown, London in Pennyfields in the east; and from the Thames in the south to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the north. The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to Millwall.

Education

Limehouse is a district in East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east. Limehouse stretches from Limehouse Basin in the west to the edge of the former Chinatown, London in Pennyfields in the east; and from the Thames in the south to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the north. The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to Millwall.

Transport

Nearest places
* Poplar, London
* Isle of Dogs
* Wapping
* Shadwell
* Stepney
* Rotherhithe
* Bethnal Green
* Ratcliff

Rail, DLR and Tube
Limehouse station, located to the immediate west of the Limehouse Basin, serves the c2c mainline trains out to Essex, and Docklands Light Railway, which is two stops from Bank & Tower Gateway in the City of London. The next stop to the east on the DLR, Westferry DLR station, also lies within the Limehouse area.

There are no tube stations in the immediate area. The nearest London Underground railway stations are Canary Wharf tube station — on the Jubilee Line, to the east; and Stepney Green tube station on the District line, to the north.

Roads
The A13 Commercial Road passes west-east through Limehouse, while the A1203 Limehouse Link tunnel passes under Limehouse Basin, linking The Highway with the Docklands Northern Relief Road. The northern entrance of the Rotherhithe Tunnel emerges in Limehouse, to the west of the Basin and close to Limehouse railway station.

Narrow Street forms a part of the north bank of the Thames Path, the walk is between tall former warehouses and modern flats. Many were built with planning covenants granting river access, but these are now often barred to the public. Vehicular access is limited, as the area is cut off by the entrance to the Limehouse tunnel and parking is strictly controlled, however this makes the area reasonably quiet for cyclists. Public access to the foreshore is prohibited, apparently part of the security arrangements for former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, David Owen.

Waterways
Though no longer a working dock, Limehouse Basin basin with its marina remains a working facility. The same is not true of the wharf buildings that have survived, most of which are now highly desirable residential properties. Limehouse Basin connects to the Regent's Canal via the Commercial Road Lock to the north, and the River Thames via Limehouse Basin Lock to the south. The Limehouse Cut connects the Basin to the River Lea in the east.

The nearest Thames River Boat stop is Canary Wharf Pier, located to the east. Limehouse is a district in East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east. Limehouse stretches from Limehouse Basin in the west to the edge of the former Chinatown, London in Pennyfields in the east; and from the Thames in the south to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the north. The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to Millwall.

Gallery

Image:Canal lock - Regent's Canal - Limehouse Basin.jpg|Commercial Road Lock on the Regent's Canal entering the Limehouse Basin.
Image:Limehouse Basin Entrance Lock - geograph.org.uk - 129004.jpg|Limehouse Basin Lock separating Limehouse Basin from the Thames
Image:Limehouse development 3.jpg|Construction of apartments on Commercial Road (now complete).
Image:Docklands-Narrow Street.jpg|Taken from Narrow Street, this shows the proximity of Limehouse to four of the high rise buildings of Canary Wharf.
Image:Limehouse mission 1.jpg|The Mission, formerly the British Sailors Society, now apartments.
File:Limehouse Mk1.png|A picture of Limehouse Docklands Light Railway station in 2002. Limehouse is a district in East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is on the northern bank of the River Thames opposite Rotherhithe and between Ratcliff to the west and Millwall to the east. Limehouse stretches from Limehouse Basin in the west to the edge of the former Chinatown, London in Pennyfields in the east; and from the Thames in the south to the Victory Bridge at the junction of Ben Jonson Road and Rhodeswell Road in the north. The area gives its name to Limehouse Reach, a section of the Thames which runs from Shadwell, through Ratcliff and then Limehouse and on to Millwall.

References

Category:Districts of Tower Hamlets
Category:Areas of London
Category:Districts of London on the River Thames
Category:Port of London