Launch of Canary Wharf: Docklands treasure hunt

Limehouse Basin - Canary Wharf: Docklands treasure hunt Limehouse Basin - Canary Wharf: Docklands treasure hunt

Treasuredays has just launched a new treasure hunt, and it's our 50th.  The Canary Wharf: Docklands treasure hunt starts at West India Quay, runs through Canary Wharf to the river, then heads along Narrow Street to finish at Limehouse Basin.

Docklands treasure hunt – Canary Wharf

West India Docks were London’s first enclosed docks, and helped make it the busiest port in the world throughout the 19th century.  The first two docks, originally called the Import and Export docks were opened in 1802, and could berth over 600 ships.  They were renamed the North and Middle docks when a third South Dock was opened in 1860.  Closed in 1980, they were redeveloped over the next 11 years into a thriving business, residential and retail complex, and renamed 'Canary Wharf' in tribute to berth 32 of the original docks.

West India Quay, where our treasure hunt starts, formed the north quay of the Import dock. The only original warehouses still standing are here, housing the Museum of London Docklands and the Port East leisure development.

Docklands treasure hunt – Limehouse

Running parallel to the Thames through Limehouse, Narrow Street is a fascinating stretch, housing atmospheric early Georgian terraces. Ancient alleys run between the street and the riverbank, and there have been wharves recorded here since 1348. The Grapes pub - now owned by actor Sir Ian McKellen - has been standing on its site since 1583.  Nearby, the Narrow pub is run by Gordon Ramsay.

Limehouse gets its name from the area's historic 'lymehostes' (kilns), producing pottery goods, and developed further during the Tudor period as an important base for sea traders and chandlers. It was also the original Chinatown, due to Oriental sailors who settled and stayed until the Blitz in World War 2 made a move to Soho necessary. You may recall the Conan Doyle story 'The Man With The Twisted Lip', in which Sherlock Holmes braves the opium dens of Limehouse in disguise to solve a mystery!

Our treasure hunt ends by exploring the delightful Limehouse Basin marina.  Built in 1820, the basin was originally called the Regent’s Canal Dock, and linked the canal to the Thames, as well as to the river Lee via the Limehouse Cut. It was closed to commercial traffic in 1969, and is now a 90 berth luxury marina.


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